Corn Salad

Valerianella locusta

USDA nutritional info

Corn salad is also known as lamb’s lettuce or mâche (mosh). It is more cold hardy than lettuce and is considered a weed in some parts of the United States.


Storage: Store corn salad unwashed in a plastic bag (with the top closed if possible) in the fridge. It doesn’t last long, so eat it as soon as possible!

Prep: Wash in cool water and spin dry as you would lettuce. Cut the base off the rosette, separating the leaves, if you so desire.

Preserving: Best used fresh. If you simply have way too much, make some kind of sauce out of it and freeze it, or dry it thus: wash and spin dry, then coarsely chop. Sprinkle a thinnish layer on a towel and roll the towel up gently to get out as much water as possible. Place on cookie sheet and dry in the oven on a low temperature, or place  in a food dehydrator, also at a low temp. When leaves are crispy and crumble when crushed, they are fully dry and can be stored away for throwing into soup or something later on.

Recipes:

Corn salad is excellent fresh and can be used in place of lettuce as the basis of a salad, or garnishing a salad that has lettuce as its base. You can also cook it, substituting it for spinach in any recipe. Like spinach, it will wilt down quickly and lose much of its volume when cooked.

Warm Mâche Sauce with Garlic Scapes

Heavily adapted from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka

Makes about 1 cup of sauce

  • 1 c. finely chopped white or yellow onion (though you’ll be using the blender later, so you don’t really have to chop it that much)
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • 1.5 – 2 c. packed corn salad
  • 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock, or as needed
  • juice of 1-2 lemons, as needed
  • 1 or 2 garlic scapes (depending on size and desire for garlickyness), chopped
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. cayenne, or as desired
  • salt to taste

Cook the onion in butter over low-medium heat in a small pan until all texture has gone from it. Stir in corn salad and turn off heat. When corn salad has wilted, transfer to a blender and purée, adding stock as needed to keep the blender going. Throw in scapes, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne, re-blender-ize, and taste. Adjust seasonings to your preference. Serve over creamy polenta, with pasta, over steamed veggies, as the base for a stew or as a salad dressing. Spread it on bread or pour it into a baked potato. Oh yeah.

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