Spring Greens

Cool-season annuals, lettuces and other salad greens can be grown in the spring and fall from either seeds or transplants. They taste best if planted when soil is between 60 to 65 degrees and receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sun. In summer, plant non-bolting varieties and site some plants in part shade.

Pick lettuce by hand early in the day and immediately plunge into cold water to prevent wilting.

Seeds should be sown 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep into prepared soil. Germination takes 5 to 7 days. Small transplants can be put into the garden 2 weeks before the last expected frost date of May 15, but be prepared to cover them in the event of frost. Make successive plantings, 12 to 18 inches apart, every 3 weeks until the weather turns warm.

Spring Greens with a Shallot Viniagrette

1 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lb. spring greens

Whisk together shallots, mustard and vinegar. Add oil slowly, whisking until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad greens with dressing to coat.