Grow a Salad Garden
Greens are one of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow in containers. They sprout almost daily—simply pluck the outside leaves you need and find more awaiting you tomorrow. Read on to see what's sprouting in our salad garden.
Meet Our GrowersJay and Graham Yelton live near Cooking Light headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. These avid gardeners oversee a yard that's packed with containers of delicious plants and stylish spaces for outdoor entertaining."We have a passion for eating organic, plant-based diets whenever possible," Graham says.This year, the Cooking Light Garden celebrates the joy and ease of growing themed containers. We enlisted the Yeltons' help to make our plans a beautiful reality, then brought their bounty back to our kitchen to create simple, straightforward recipes that will put your crop to delicious use. Grow, harvest, and cook along with us.
- Arugula Yields edible leaves quickly. Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant. The flavor gets stronger as the plant grows, so consider replanting throughout spring.
- Spinach Plant about a month before final frost; leaves should grow quickly. Likes a sunny spot.
- Radishes Pick a sunny spot for planting in well-drained soil; water consistently.
- Turnips To yield top results from your crop, sprinkle soil with coffee grounds soon after planting.
- Microgreens (Tatsoi) These little ones need about four hours of direct sun a day. They're a great option for windowsill gardening, especially if you are located in a colder container climate or don't have much outdoor space.
- Pea Shoots Plant in organic soil that's rich in micronutrients. Water when top of soil feels dry.
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Creamy Parmesan DressingHands-on: 10 min. Total: 10 min.This light but rich dressing meets at the happy place between Caesar and ranch.
1.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated and divided (about 6 tablespoons)1/3 cup canola mayonnaise3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice2 tablespoons water1 teaspoon Dijon mustard1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper4 cups baby spinach leaves4 cups baby arugula leaves3/4 cup matchstick-cut or shredded turnip, divided
- Combine half of cheese and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Add spinach, arugula, and half of turnip Toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and turnip.
Pea Shoot SaladHands-on: 10 min. Total: 15 min.Pea shoots offer the crunch of a salad green with the springy sweetness of green peas. They take wonderfully to Asian seasonings like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger. Grating garlic accentuates its pungency.
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint3 tablespoons dark sesame oil2 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger1 teaspoon grated garlic8 cups pea shoots1 1/2 cups thinly sliced English cucumber1 cup very thinly sliced radishes1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and divided
- Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pea shoots, cucumber, radishes, and half of almonds; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.