By Nicole Franzen | May 3, 2011

Photo: Nicole Franzen

On this beautiful spring day in New York City, I stopped by the Greenmarket. Flowers everywhere, fresh herbs, loads of ramps, and the first of asparagus is here. I was so happy to see everything green and a new variety of veggies to explore.

Today I was intrigued by all the greens. A new one I had never heard of, chickweed. Read more about chickweed below. Using my usual mesclun mix from one of my favorite farmers. Baby Mizuna and Mustard greens with the addition of Sorrel. Love greens! So happy your back :) Variety again yipee!

Photo: Nicole Franzen

Upland Cress is also called Winter Cress, or Creasy Greens in the South. It is an easy to grow cut-and-grow again crop. The plant grows to about 4-6″ tall with mildly peppery leaves. Harvest at any stage from micro-size to full maturity. Leaves, shoots, and flower buds are all delicious.

Photo: Nicole Franzen

Fresh chickweed is very nutritious-it contains vitamin C and protein-and is a great addition to a spring salad. Traditionally, the herb was considered soothing to irritated mucous membranes, and the dried herb was made into teas for coughs and hoarseness.

Forms commonly used: Fresh herb, dried herb, capsules, tinctures and teas.

Photo: Nicole Franzen

This recipe is not designed to be followed spot on. It’s about trying new greens, ones that are seasonal and not very common. Depending on where you live and what is available. Also the addition of fresh herbs is very complimentary.

Photo: Nicole Franzen

Nicole Franzen is behind one of our go-to sites for beautiful photography, where this post originally appeared.

  • 1 bunch of upland cress(any kind of watercress would be fine)
  • 1 handful of chickweed
  • 1/4 pound of high quality mesclun mix(baby mizuna & mustard greens, sorrel)
  • 1/2 pound roseval fingerling potatoes(a reddish color fingerling, any fingerling would be fine)
  • fresh herbs (I used oregano)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • parmesan(your favorite cheese)


1. Wash all your greens well and place in a salad bowl.

2. Blanch asparagus in simmering salted water for 1-2 minutes. Shock into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and bring out their vibrant green color.

3. I added homemade crispy potatoes. Using a mandolin I thinly sliced fingerling potatoes. In a large pan on med-high heat, add oil. Add potatoes in small batches so they are evenly distributed in pan. Fry till crispy and season with sea salt.

4. Dress greens with about 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 4 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fan asparagus on the salad or chop into bit size pieces. Top with shaved Parmesan and the crispy potatoes. Very simple but the greens are so flavorful they don't need much.

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