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Winter Salad Vinaigrette

March is strange time of year for the veg grower. There is not much that is new; more kale, cabbage & some parsnips as I have, but really all of my efforts are going into putting in new crops such as potatoes, shallots, onions and garlic for the year ahead and sowing flower and veg seeds. This month I have popped in my potatoes; Sarpo Mira, ( great for resistance against potato blight) Nicola & Charlotte simply because they grow well in our soil here. I have also potted on my Alexanders & Foxglove grown from seed and I unearthed my dahlia tubers 'Mignon Mixed' and planted them deep in the borders with some nice manure. If you haven't tried

Dahlia seed before, can I recommend it to you as an excellent long lasting and fabulously bright border filler. The seeds are cheap, easy to germinate & grow and then once the season is over, you dig up the tubers and store them in vermiculite in a damp proof place over winter. At the moment, I am eagerly awaiting my Asparagus crowns from the nursery since I had to leave my long established bed behind when I moved to Fovant. More on progress with this later in the year.

This month, the only things that are actively growing are my winter salad leaves. I sowed the seed direct into the ground in October and since January I have been enjoying regular crops of spicy leaves; enough to prevent me having to buy lettuce from the supermarket and so much tastier. I grew Sarah Raven's 'Winter Salad Mix' and it has been superb. Very healthy & easy to grow with a peppery zing. So the recipe this month is for my Vinaigrette to go with my lovely leaves.

Salad Vinaigrette

6 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin olive oil

4 Tablespoons of White wine vinegar ( or Cider if you have it)

1 tsp salt

1 generous tsp Dijon mustard

Mix & SHAKE. You're done. The French tend to put their vinaigrette in to the base of the large bowl they are serving their salad leaves from. Then just before serving, someone at the table is designated to 'turn the leaves' and coat them in the vinaigrette from the bottom of the bowl. This prevents the leaves getting soggy and spoiled before serving.

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