Magazine article Sunset

Mesclun of Nice Is Really Just Mixed Salad Greens. Here's How to Grow It

Magazine article Sunset

Mesclun of Nice Is Really Just Mixed Salad Greens. Here's How to Grow It

Article excerpt

Mesclun of Nice is really just mixed salad greens. Here's how to grow it

You won't find mesclun in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Unabridged); you won't find it in the Larousse Gastronomique either. You may find it for sale (at a considerable price) in upper-bracket produce markets in larger cities. You can certainly grow it in your own garden--if you start soon. For mesclun (or mesclum, or mezclum) is merely the name given to young, tender, mixed salad greens; the name comes from the word mescla, which means to mix in the dialect of Nice, in southern France.

Although some authorities insist that a mixture of arugula (roquette), dandelion, and new lettuce is the original and only true mesclun, others maintain that the numbers and proportions of the ingredient greens are limitless. The consensus is that arugula, with its piquant flavor suggesting (to some) peanuts and mustard, must be in the mix. Other suggested ingredients are chervil, various chicories (curly endive, broad-leafed endive or escarole, radicchio), and lettuces, especially loose-leaf and romaine types. …

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