Corn salad (valerianella Locusta) also known as mâche or lamb's lettuce, is a winter salad of the of the family valerianaceae. Earlier it was considered a common weed because it grows spontaneously in all latitudes (Europe, Africa, South America). Unlike other salads, which develop big leaves, corn salad grows in a low rosette with spatulate leaves up to 15.2 cm long. As a cultivated crop, it is a specialty of the region around Nantes, France, which is the primary source for corn salad in Europe.
Corn salad has a delicate, sweet, nutlike flavor and a juicy texture that seems to melt in the mouth. It has great nutritional and micronutritional interest. Low in calories: 19 kcal per 100g, corn salad is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B9, Beta carotene (precursor of vitamin A, a valuable vitamin for healthy skin and hair), vitamin E and fiber. However, its main feature is that it contains plant omega 3 fatty acids (about 240 mg per 100 g), making it a food of choice to balance daily intake of omega 3.
Corn salad complements seasonal foods: raw or cooked beets, pears, apples, walnuts, sweet onions, mushrooms, Belgian endives, chicory, cress, arugula, cheese, etc. To prepare corn salad, prefer mild seasonings: balsamic vinegar, walnut oil, canola oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), olive oil, etc. Corn salad can be eaten cooked: in full season, cook it like spinach and serve it as an accompaniment. It can also be incorporated into soups.
When possible, choose organic corn salad. To take maximum advantage of its micronutritional interest, prefer corn salad in bunches, with apparent roots and lush green leaves rather than bags ready to use. It can be kept 3-4 days in the refrigerator after purchase.
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