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Salad Week: Week 25 of BigBarn’s Food & Drink Weeks

We are in salad season and should all be enjoying healthy home grown leaves from the veg patch or window sill. It is really easy to grow and the continual growth varieties mean you can pick off leaves for months.

For many a salad is a side dish decoration and nothing more, for others it is the “optional” part of your meal. But a good salad can be a truly amazing thing, especially by adding lots of grated veg, cheese, egg, fish and with a simple homemade dressing. Forget limp iceberg lettuce and a few lowly tomatoes, a true salad should be a feast of colour that is fresh and crisp and full of healthy nutrients.

If you can’t grow salad, or local ‘fur and feather’ have eaten your crop, our shops are now overflowing with a whole spectrum of salad leaves in all colours, shapes and sizes, coupled with fresh, sweet and juicy British tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and a host of other delights, a salad need not be a dreary affair.

Fresh salad crop at

Fresh salad crop at

There are more than 60 varieties of lettuce and salad leaves grown in the UK and we are growing and consuming more salad than ever before, so if you don’t like one leaf, there’s bound to be another that’s worth trying!

More salad facts:
1. Lettuce was first eaten by the ancient kings of Persia 2,500 years ago. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought it helped you to have a good night’s sleep.
2. Christopher Columbus introduced lettuce to the new world and from there lettuce in the United States went into cultivation.
3. The 17th century horticulturist, John Evelyn, introduced the vegetable to England.

Very mixed salad

Very mixed salad

4. The first supplies of Iceberg lettuce arrived on British shores in the mid 1970’s from the USA where it was developed, but it was not until 1984 that British growers truly mastered its growing techniques.
5. In Britain we eat less salad per head per head than the rest of Europe and the USA

To make a meal of it, why not throw together a tasty Caesar salad with some succulent free-range chicken on top, or bring a bit of Far Eastern promise to the table by whipping up a spicy Thai salad?

Stuck for ideas? is packed with recipe ideas, hints and buying tips to help inspire your salad days.

For the freshest and most unusual selections of locally-produced salad leaves, head to your local grocer or farm shop on the BigBarn map. Or salad realted products in the BigBarn MarketPlace click here.

If you have a favourite salad recipe, or any other recipe, and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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