I am not by nature a patient person. In first grade, this character flaw (if you choose to see it that way) ruined my very first sleepover. My friend and I were designing puffy-paint t-shirts (mine was bedazzled and said, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”). I was so engrossed in my craft project, that I couldn’t bear to take the time to go to the bathroom, and ended up peeing all over the kitchen floor. To this day, I think this one anecdote reveals a lot about my true self.
One reason why I prepare salad so often is that it can be done as quickly or as fastidiously as you like. You are not necessarily beholden to the pre-heated oven, overnight brine nor the painstaking braise. It is really a marvel that I was ever attracted to gardening in the first place, since most of all, any form of agriculture is a patience game. You cannot rush the process, it just takes time for seeds to germinate, for compost to break down, for plants to fruit and ripen.
You can imagine how anxious I was to see this garden mature, to have the patches of mulch shaded with bushy leaves and heavy fruit. I am happy to report that, just as predicted, the vegetables have grown and there is food to be eaten.
I want to honor the first salad to come from the rooftop garden. It was incredibly simple — an unadulterated celebration of our hard work in the garden, and I ate it with ritualistic fervor.
This inaugural salad was made of:
– Baby swiss chard
– Baby spinach
– frilly mustard leaves
– Wild Italian arugula
– Speckled Gem lettuce
– Cherry Belle radishes
– Baby collard greens
– Salad burnet
Lightly tossed in a lemon vinaigrette, and sprinkled with Maldon Salt.
So many more to come.