Mache ( Corn Salad )

Useful gardening information

Once considered a coarse weed, mache is now a chic salad green. Before French farmers began cultivating it in the 17th century, mache ( Valerianella locusta ) was harvested from fields where it grew among cereal crops like corn, rye, and wheat, hence one of its common names, corn salad (it's also known as lamb's lettuce).

The sweet, slightly nutty leaves are tender and juicy. To truly appreciate this delicacy, serve mache the traditional European way: lightly dressed with a simple vinaigrette. The French also like to add chopped, hard-boiled eggs or sliced roasted beets. mache is good mixed with sharper-tasting greens like arugula or endive. Or try braising it lightly as you would spinach.

As you might expect, mache grows as easily as a weed, but you'll need to start from seed since plants are seldom sold. Sow this cool-season annual directly in the garden as soon as the soil is workable. mache is quite cold-tolerant, so late frosts won't harm it. It grows slowly, taking up to 60 days to mature, but you can snip off and eat outer leaves while the plant is growing.

The leaves stay sweet on the plant for quite a while without turning bitter. When temperatures top 80°F, mache wants to bolt (go to seed). Harvest most of the rosettes but let a few flowers form seeds; mache self-sows readily, so next year's crop is likely to seed itself.

Micro Greens Seed

1A354 Corn Salad
Valerianella locusta. Also known as Mache, Com Salad is a European favorite, which likes cool weather. Culture just like spinach. Seed may be sown early in the spring - April to May 1st. or during Sept. For wintering over, protect by a light straw mulch. Sow in Sept. for best results. Plant the large light seed 1/2 inch deep in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to 3 inches apart in the row.
Leaves should be individually picked, not cut, and may be harvested in about 6 weeks from seeding. Com salad provides a very distinctive salad, served like lettuce. Oval leaves are grey-green in color.
  2.25g package of hundreds of seeds $2.95
VIT is the ideal winter salad item.
This versatile, vigorous, mildew-resistant variety of corn salad is excellent at a time of year when greens become scarce. Long, oval, glossy green leaves form tight rosettes. Flavor is mild and slightly nutty.
  750mg package ( about 800 seeds ) $2.95