Greens, Crispy Winter: Signature Salads by Renee's Garden
Signature Salads: Crispy Winter Greens
Equal parts (all F-1): Glory Endive, Elysee Escarole, Presto Radicchio
START SEEDS OUTDOORS
At midsummer, or early fall in mild climates, sow seeds in a sunny garden bed 1/4 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart. Or, if it is still over 80°F (27°C) at sowing time, sow seeds in containers in a spot out of direct sun, but with bright light all day. Tend carefully and keep evenly moist. When seedlings are a few inches tall with several sets of leaves, transplant into the garden a foot apart. Gradually thin directly sown seedlings to stand 1 foot apart to allow heads room to mature.
Savor earliest thinnings in fall salads. Cool weather will bring vigorous growth. These tasty greens tolerate cold weather and light frosts well but require consistent moisture. Weed, water and thin carefully and feed monthly for best quality salad heads.
HARVEST AND USE
Radicchio is best harvested when red heads have formed inside the outer green “wrapper” leaves. Pick entire heavy rosettes of escarole and curly endive. Cut up and enjoy these hearty salads with either simple vinaigrettes or rich, creamy dressings. Try tossed with cooked chicken, meat or cubed cheese and olives for delicious whole meal salads. Add toasted nuts and cubed apples or pears for a delicious flavor contrast.