Best of "Fresh:" Miner's Lettuce

Whether it's an unusual variety, interesting color, odd size, shape or texture, every "Fresh From the Ranch" delivery includes at least one item that generates a little buzz. At the moment, it's Miner's Lettuce.... Also known as Claytonia Perfoliata, Winter Purslane, Spring Beauty or Indian lettuce, this vitamin C-rich, native green is most commonly called Miner's lettuce after the miners who used to forage it to prevent scurvy after long, harsh winters during the California Gold Rush. From early spring through mid-summer, it flourishes after the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Thanks to our mild winter, Miner's lettuce can already be found throughout the Bay Area blanketing parks, lining hiking trails and sprouting its tender, heart-shaped leaves all over our Petaluma ranch. With its sweet, mild taste and smooth texture, Miner's lettuce is as versatile and agreeable as spinach. Enjoy it raw in salads, throw a handful into soups, wilt it with aromatics or toss some into a cleansing, green smoothie. A bit like tiny lilly pads, Miner's lettuce leaves also make an excellent appetizer cup for fresh cheeses, shaved vegetables or a bite of fresh crab meat drizzled with our extra virgin olive oil. For a closer look at harvesting and more culinary tips, check out this video on from the founder of forageSF, Iso Rabins: What is Miner's Lettuce? We're currently selling Miner's lettuce in our Ferry Building shop for $12/lb. We'll also be featuring it there next Friday, February 11th, during Slow Food's annual Food from the Heart event, so mark your calendars and join us for a locally foraged, seasonal taste. -Susan