Friday, April 24, 2009
A Dimes Worth of Salad Burnet
Last spring we picked up a couple outdated seed packets stashed in a local grocers bargain bin for 10 cents a piece. One of those seed packets was salad burnet. Having never even heard of this herb before I decided to give it a try and promptly planted the seed. All the seeds were still viable and the plant quickly sprang to life. We found the distinct pungent flavor a most appealing addition to our summer salads.
Salad burnet is a perennial plant, member of the Rosaceae family and relative of the rose. The younger leaves have a light nutty cucumber like flavor and become somewhat bitter as they age, but we find them both to be palatable...especially in a salad. The herb will supposedly self-sow in the garden if left to its own devices, and I am looking forward to seeing how well it performs on that front. Grown for animal fodder in the past, it was most well known for the numerous medicinal properties it is said to possess and was often used as an astringent and diuretic. It is also supposed to be a good source of vitamin C.
For only 10 pennies I have a most impressive plant that has been beaten into the earth by hail last July, left uncovered and neglected in the frozen soil all winter, and was one of the first plants to come alive this spring. What more could I possibly ask for in a plant so obviously well suited for our small Northern garden.