Mache, also known as lamb’s lettuce (which is the name I prefer) or corn salad, is a lovely little green, subtle in flavor yet distinct.
It is earthy, sweet, slightly nutty, and the tiniest bit astringent, which makes it a great compliment to many dishes. It has quickly become one of my favorite greens and it finds its way into a variety of meals on a daily basis.
I was first attracted to lamb’s lettuce because of the way it looked and its delicate name. It is a small rosette of bright green leaves, often with a little bit of root still intact, giving it that freshly foraged look. While its leaves look delicate and give the impression of young and fragile, lamb’s lettuce is a relatively hardy green that is packed with nutrients.
Being utterly smitten with everything about this green, I wanted to know more. Upon deeper investigation, I discovered that Mache has quite a nostalgic following and sparks intense discussion about seasonal eating, harvesting, and even cultivation for specific nuances of flavor. I’m even more fascinated by this amazing little green now.
Lamb’s lettuce is a member of the honeysuckle family, believe it or not and as mentioned, it is packed with nutrients. It has three times the vitamin C than its green lettuce-y counterparts and 14 times the Vitamin. It’s also full of vitamin B and minerals like Copper, Potassium, and Iron.
Other fun tidbits about Lamb’s lettuce??? This wild green goes by quite a few alternate names and is spread across multiple countries and continents. In Germany, it is also referred to as Rapunzel because it is featured in the Grimm’s fairy tale of the same name as the delicacy stolen from the witch’s garden. First recorded cultivation of lamb’s lettuce in the U.S. was by Thomas Jefferson in his Monticello gardens.