Corn salad can be found in every supermarket, especially in autumn and winter. While other salads must be imported from southern climes in the cold season, lamb's lettuce also grows as a winter vegetable in domestic fields. This ensures affordable prices, although the salad must still be harvested by hand. But there are other reasons for more frequent use, because lamb's lettuce is also popular because of its health effects.
Is lamb's lettuce healthy?
In principle, every salad is healthy - including lamb's lettuce. But what is so healthy about lamb's lettuce?
With provitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid, it contains important vitamins. He also provides the body with protein and minerals such as:
But that's not all: lamb's lettuce is also a good source of iodine for plants and therefore especially important for those who do not regularly eat fish - such as vegetarians.
In addition to these valuable ingredients, the green leafy vegetables also scores with extremely few calories: only 14 kilocalories per 100 grams are in lamb's lettuce, which fits well into a diet plan.
Oxalic Acid as a Calcium Raider
However, it is not advisable to give too much space to lamb's lettuce in the diet: the proportion of oxalic acid, which can be problematic for the kidneys, should not be underestimated. If consumed excessively, the acid can also damage the bones and teeth by binding calcium in the body. It also complicates the absorption of iron in the intestine.
People with kidney disease are therefore advised not to consume salads as well as osteoporosis patients. Even with arthritis, rheumatism and gout you should avoid oxalic acid and therefore better refrain from lamb's lettuce.
Nitrate in corn salad
In addition, lamb's lettuce has a partly increased concentration of nitrate, which the lettuce - like spinach, rhubarb and many other types of vegetables - absorbs from the soil during cultivation. Although nitrate itself is not toxic, it is a precursor to the carcinogenic nitrosamines that may be formed during processing or during the digestive process.
Therefore, one should not do without lamb's lettuce - the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends on the contrary that adults should not restrict their consumption of nitrate-containing vegetables, but above all pay attention to a varied selection of vegetables. However, caution should be exercised in the case of young children due to possible health risks related to nitrated foods.
So, as is often the case, the proverbial "healthy mediocrity" applies. So the body gets many nutrients that contribute to health and living conditions. By the way, the lowest nitrate content is usually organic field salad from outdoor cultivation.
Prepare lamb's lettuce properly
Since lamb's lettuce is not a compact head of lettuce, but many small tufts, the preparation does a little more work than other types of lettuce. If you simply washed it and put it directly into the salad bowl, it would probably cause an unpleasant crunch. Because the salad is picked with roots, which is usually very sandy. In addition, the lowest parts of the tufts do not taste very good.
Therefore, you have to thoroughly clean the salad before washing. With a small kitchen knife, the tufts can be quite easily edit. It is important to ensure that the sheet ends still hold together.
During the subsequent washing in cold water, remaining residues of sand and earth can be removed well. Do not wash the salad under running water as it is very sensitive.
Now the salad must be dried thoroughly, which works best with a salad spinner. If the lamb's lettuce is processed too wet, its leaves collapse very quickly. In addition, the salad dressing sticks much better to dry salad.
What goes with lamb's lettuce?
With its slightly nutty taste, lamb's lettuce is a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. It can be prepared sweet or spicy and offers so many opportunities that even some salad mustache for the often spurned "rabbit food" can inspire.
Here we have put together 4 ideas for recipes with corn salad:
- Corn salad with honey mustard dressing: A honey mustard sauce is not only the perfect companion for numerous fish dishes, but also goes well with lamb's lettuce. The dressing can be combined with goat cheese.
- Corn salad with pomegranate: Dark fruits harmonize wonderfully with nuts. If you know this, you will not be surprised at the combination of corn salad and pomegranate. Especially with dishes with game or other dark meat this salad brings not only freshness, but also a touch of exoticism on the plate. The pomegranate seeds in corn salad ensure a special dining experience.
- Corn salad with walnuts: This simple recipe fits perfectly with a varied cheese plate. A popular addition to this salad combination are figs. It is served with baguette or ciabatta - it is already taken care of for a great party snack.
- Corn salad with bacon: A small ingredient that makes a great deal: By adding fried bacon, the salad gets a really hearty-spicy note. It can even become a complete meal that is delicious and healthy.
As a side dish you expect per person about 50 to 75 grams of lamb's lettuce.
Corn salad in green smoothies
Even in a smoothie, lamb's lettuce does very well, with just a handful of lettuce leaves per person and glass. These green smoothies have long ago outstripped the popularity of the "classic" variety with sweet fruits. Because in its "green" form, the smoothie is an even more fertile source of vitamins and nutrients.
Storage and durability
Best buy lamb's lettuce when it's in season: between October and February - outdoor salad is the hottest one before the first frost. Already while shopping can be guessed that it is the lamb's lettuce is a diva among the vegetables. For if he came into the business without rooting, he would make a very sad impression there with withered, fallen leaves.
But even so, the salad is not one of the most storable representatives of its category. If it has not yet been washed and cleaned, lamb's lettuce stays in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for a few days. But even there he quickly loses strength and aroma.
The best way to make lamb's lettuce is to make it as fresh as possible and consume it quickly. The salad tastes best if the dressing is added just before consumption.
Corn salad: worth knowing about the plant
For a long time, little attention was paid to the lettuce plant: small and inconspicuous wild lamb's lettuce is still growing along the roadsides in North Africa and the Balkans. He is thought to be a common weed, though he has been cultivated in fields for a long time.
Its adaptability to a wide variety of climatic conditions is indeed something it shares with weeds, because the small salad is hardy.
In contrast to weeds, lamb's lettuce is also so popular in Central Europe that it has received many different names in German-speaking countries alone. Depending on the region one speaks for example of:
- Rapunzel salad
- lard herb
As it is a member of the valerian family, the leaves contain much valerian essential oil. Not only is it responsible for the slightly nutty flavor of the corn salad, it is also good for the veins and has a calming effect - but in some people it can cause an allergy