Word of the Day : August 24, 2013

corn salad

noun KORN-SAL-ud


: any of several herbs (genus Valerianella) of the valerian family; especially : a low European herb (V. locusta syn. V. olitoria) that is widely cultivated for its leaves used in salads and as a potherb


"Corn salad has round leaves that form a crown of leafy green. The leaves are not as crisp as lettuce is, but they are hardy, quick-growing (ready in sixty days), and mild-flavored." - From Nancy Bubel's bulletin Grow Super Salad Greens, 1981

"In the mild West Country, I sow corn salad between late July and early September. It'll grow more or less anywhere, but if you can give it rich soil, in a well-lit position sheltered from winter winds and frosts, it'll really thrive." - From an article by Mat Coward in the Morning Star (United Kingdom), July 2, 2013

Did You Know?

"Corn salad" came by way of its name from its occurrence as a weed in grain fields: it's the salad green found growing among rows of corn. The plant is native to southern Europe but is widely found in both Europe and North America. "Corn salad" isn't a particularly refined name for a salad green, but the plant has other names that broaden its appeal. It's been called "lamb's lettuce" about as long as it's been called "corn salad"-that is, since the late 1500s-and in the late 1600s English speakers applied a tried-and-true technique for building a food's cachet: they started using its French name. That mâche on the fancy restaurant's menu? It's corn salad with a Continental nom de plume. Bon appétit.

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