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Bitter weeds on a plate

It is an irony of comestibles
1475–85; Late Latin comēstibilis, equivalent to Latin comēst ( us ), past participle of comedere to eat up ( see comedo; -ēstus for -ēs ( s ) us by analogy with gestus, ūstus, etc.; see combust) + -ibilis -ible.
that even the blandest of greens are passed off as good tucker. This is perhaps why your everyday salad vegetable is deployed primarily as decoration rather than some thing meaty enough that you'd crave it in its own right.

Could you crave a hydroponic lettuce? For a bit of on-plate ikebana perhaps, but it is the fare that belongs  between the two halves of a McDonalds bun.  It's an excuse for vegetable input. Bland.

Greenery is all it is.

But the more I partake of the ubiquitous 'green salad' the more I am engaged with its penchant for simplicity.

It's Zen.

I grow vegetables primarily because I want a salad garden. The more I grow, the broader my botanical experiments, the sharper and more focused are my preferences for what goes into  the salad bowl.

After a time, taste -- remember that? -- begins to rule. Despite what people may say about weeds on a plate.
Boys, I may not know much but I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.(Lyndon B. Johnson)
This begins to  explain why the masters  of  the Insalata -- Southern Italians -- have a penchant for Chicory.

Radicchio Treviso Precoce Mesola
Radichio

Common chicoryCichorium intybus, is a bushy perennial herbaceous plant with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaveschicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized.
"Chicory" is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused
There are many chicories and you'd be hard pressed to find any at your fruit and vegetable supplier. You may be able to snaffle some Endive occasionally  but a red Radichio is very had to come by.

Why you would seek to combine together a salad of bitter tasting weeds to be tossed  in a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing begins to explain the  conundrum  of what constitutes green salad essentials. There is no other taste to be had anywhere. The chlorophyl by itself may indeed be unbearably bitter and the leaf may seem coarse, even hairy (it is indeed often hairy) -- but coat the medley with the dressing and you are chewing on a special culinary option.

And that, my friends, is only the beginning!  You can also  grill these weeds  and then toss them about.


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