As I cozy up inside today with a cup of tea, listening to the unbelievable amount of rain coming down in sheets against my window, I can't help but think about how green everything will be in a matter of days. Yes, it's annoying that it's so difficult to do anything outside right now, but I'm also feeling a sense of satisfaction that all of the parched flora out there are getting their much needed dose of rainwater.
One such flora that requires the winter rains to poke up through the soil & show its vibrant, green face is the Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) a.k.a. Winter Purslane, Spring Beauty, or Indian Lettuce. It is native to the western mountain & coastal regions of North America, thriving as far north as the southern tip of Alaska all the way down to Central America, but most abundant here in California. Due to its high levels of Vitamin C, the miners of the California Gold Rush used to eat it to stave of scurvy, a trick the Native Americans of the area taught them, thus the name.
Preferring cool, damp conditions, & moderate light, it flourishes in the dappled shade of the numerous Live Oak trees around the ranch this time of year. Once it starts to warm up out there, we will have to wait a another year for this deliciously succulent green. So while the season lasts, get down to our Ferry Building shop & pick up a bundle (Our produce deliveries are every Wed. afternoon.). It is not only delectable in salads, but quite tasty when cooked as well. I love to throw a few leaves on top of whatever saute medley I have going on!