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It’s Salad Week at Big Barn

Now we’re firmly in summer, salad season is here and we know a lot of you are enjoying your healthy home grown leaves from the veggie patch and window sill. The brilliant thing about these plants is that they’re really easy to grow and if you’ve got a suitable variety, they’ll continue to provide you with leaves which you can utilise for months to come!

For many a salad is a nice side dish decoration and nothing more, for others it’s the “optional” part of your meal. We firmly believe that a good salad can be a truly amazing thing, especially by adding lots of grated veg, cheese, egg, fish and it can all be topped off perfectly with a lovely, 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 rogersparkgardengroup.org

Fresh salad crop at rogersparkgardengroup.org

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 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? MakeMoreOfSalad.com  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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