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Garden Planter ‘Salad Bowl Red’ Lettuce, Fresh Herbs, Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Salad Bowl Red Lettuce with Fresh Herbs and Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Well now, I couldn’t prepare and post this fresh salad from my garden the past few days due to a ‘Boil Water Alert’ in my bustling Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell. Yes, yes, I know it sounds like the old ‘dog ate my homework’ routine but in this case it is true, the dog really did eat my homework.


The bursting planters on my deck filled with varieties of leaf lettuces, including today’s ‘Salad Bowl Red’ and lots of brightly colored pots filled with herbs have sat untouched this week all but by the intermittent belting rain storms and gusty winds insuring ample, likely too many, droplets of moisture to the blossomed greens and its rich surrounding soil. Even the flocking Canadian Geese have been showing annoyance except towards their newly arrived furry offspring whereby looking my way with a mere snub of a beak before assuming defiant posture as if to say, ‘don’t even think of messing with me’ whoa, while their little ones help themselves in the garden, mostly to fallen bird seeds from the feeder above.   


Something just didn’t seem right anyway about boiling pots of water for cooling before soaking or pouring over such freshly picked green and curly reddish tinted delicacies, not to mention that I used to work in the Division of my county health department tasked with food borne diseases and outbreaks so the questionable aspects on sharing this salad early in the week might appear, well, questionable.


There is little good to be shared about having to use bottled water for nearly every kitchen task and even wondering what might have been lurking in that said boiling water, but, just like laundry that never ends, yesterday or today, the dishes still need doing no matter what the delayed excuse and a few days’ worth involves a lot of dish washing re-dos, glassware, coffee mugs, and even when eating Palermo’s Pizza, the only open food take-out establishment in town during the episode.



But there is much good to be shared about growing one’s own lettuce, whether in a long deck planter or in bunched rows of a garden, it’s all especially good, flavorful and nutritious. Made even more special when the water from your sink is officially deemed usable and the light sprays of clear cool pull away any small bits of clinging dirt revealing tender clean leaves, carefully dried, torn and mixed with combined pungent flavors and scents of fresh herbs, a bit of added tart sour, Garden Planter ‘Salad Bowl Red’ Lettuce, Fresh Herbs, Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette.

Garden Planter 'Salad Bowl Red' Lettuce Leaves, Fresh Herbs, Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Fresh Lettuce Leaves and Herbs from the Home Garden
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  1. 8 cups baby red leaf lettuce, approximately 2 cups per person ('Salad Bowl Red is the variety)
  2. 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  3. 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem then chopped
  4. 6-8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  5. 1 stem lemon verbena, about 14 leaves, removed from stem and chopped
  6. 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
  1. 2 pinches sugar
  2. juice of 1 whole lemon
  3. 1 scant tablespoon white wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  6. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  1. Clean lettuce leaves and dry, a salad spinner is helpful if desired. Break lettuce leaves into small pieces and place into a bowl. Add fresh chopped herbs into the salad bowl, tossing well together with the lettuce. Drizzle an 1/8 cup Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette into salad adding more a little at a time to desired flavor.
For the Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
  1. Into a glass bowl sprinkle in a couple small pinches of sugar then pour in the white wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil vigorously a little at a time to emulsify then add in poppy seeds, stir, sprinkle in the kosher salt, whisk again and check seasoning adding extra salt or a bit more sugar if desired. Vinaigrette may be kept refrigerated for up to five days.
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  1. Posted May 24, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Ugh! A boiled water order is just awful. I remember living with them after hurricanes when I lived in Florida…such a nuisance. Your greens look fabulous, Peggy! There is something about lemon that is so indictive of warmer weather; nothing says spring like lemon. And lemon poppyseed is such a great combination…it’s one of my favorite muffins. 🙂 Hooray for warmer temps and salad season. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.
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    • Posted May 24, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, agreed, boiled water orders cause quite an inconvenience. Fresh greens from the garden have such a delightful flavor, even in their delicacy. Looks like we both enjoy using lemons which really do heighten food flavors,including salads, the tart with the sweet combination, and I love lemon poppy seed muffins too!Thanks for joining in, see you soon on A Lovely Life Indeed.com Have a great Memorial Weekend…. getting closer to the end of the school year and Spain!

  2. Sooky
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The fresh leaves of a garden salad are so pretty and taste almost sweet. I also like fresh herbs tossed in, complexity with different scents and flavors. The lemon poppyseed dressing looks great in the combination.

    • Posted May 24, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sooky. There is something special about growing ones own lettuce, and herbs too. All of the flavors and scents really do seem so intensified. Happy for the first batch, I’m definitely hoping to be tossing up lots of these fresh green combinations over the next few weeks. Thanks so much for joining in!

  3. Posted May 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Now that the warmer weather is here I eat a lot more salads. Healthier for you too! Wish I could grow my own here in NYC!

    • Posted May 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Hello Phil! Was literally just thinking of you yesterday! Was in Miami for food blog conference… and from there…hectic…. so am happy to hear from you! Warm weather does inspire eating a bit healthier and salads seem to just fit the bill. I just love growing my own vegetables and herbs, if I lived in a city I think I would need a roof garden or something! Thanks for joining in and see you soon on the regular guy nyc!

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.