Author Dierdre Heekin relates how she and her husband have transformed an eight-acre hillside in Vermont into an organic, biodynamic farm in An Unlikely Vineyard (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014). The following excerpt from “Vine Yard,” provides a recipe for combining wild edible plants and homemade vinaigrette into a healthy, organic salad.
You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: An Unlikely Vineyard.
Learn to identify a few wild greens that grow in meadows in your area. Dandelion is a good spring green to start with, as it grows in most places; the tight, pale green bud surrounded by the lion’s mane of leafy greens is also fairly easy to single out. In our vineyard, we look for and pick dandelion, wild chicory, wild-seeded arugula, purslane, and pigweed. If any of the plants have gone to flower, we pick the blossoms, too, to toss into the salad.
Pick the leaves by cutting them at the base of the plant, and rinse them well in cold water. Spin dry. Toss with a classic vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard or a dash of balsamic vinegar, the sweetness playing off the bitterness of the leaves.
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 part red wine or white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 3 parts mild organic olive oil or organic sunflower oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rub the walls and bottom of a wooden or pottery mixing bowl with the clove of garlic.
2. Add 1 part red or white vinegar or a blend of both.
3. Add a small teaspoon of the Dijon mustard.
4. Add 3 parts of the oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Whisk with a fork or a whisk.
6. Taste. Add an extra dash of any of the ingredients you prefer.
Reprinted with permission from An Unlikely Vineyard by Dierdre Heekin and published by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014. Buy this book from our store: An Unlikely Vineyard.