Why not open up your garden to some tasty Asian leaves?
Veg gardeners always have a few rows or pots of various salad leaves or lettuce on the go – even in the depths of winter in the greenhouse when many other forms of fruit and veg growing have waned.
Now you might think a leaf is a leaf – a bit of spinach and ‘Iceberg’ lettuce will do - but a whole world of Asian cooking has opened up over recent years, and with it a new world of salads and veg to try growing.
The gardening industry has taken note and provided gardeners with a lively selection of varieties to try – just search online or pop to the garden centre and see; it’s a culinary hotbed in the seed aisle! So why not add some easy-grow leaves to your repertoire this year? Once you try some peppery or crunchy Asian salads in your cooking, you’ll not look back.
Many leaves can be sown outside now, with some needing a late spring outdoor sowing. However, all can be sown now indoors or in the greenhouse, either in trays or modules of moist compost for planting out, or in permanent pots for your indoor salad garden. Sow successionally so that you’ll have good pickings for much of the year, and pick as baby leaves for salads or leave the plants to bulk up for stir fries with fuller flavour.
Just a little tip on stir fry cooking – don’t fry them so they’re too soft. Make sure there’s still a bit of substance and crunch to the leaf, and they’ll taste their best.
Herer are four to start sowing now. Click the images for more information…