Salad Burnet | More About These Leaves

The ferny leaves of salad burnet have a scent reminiscent of fresh cucumber. It is a dainty and hardy evergreen perennial that will grow to 45cm. It forms a low basal rosette of pinnate leaves with many paired, toothed, oval leaflets. Borne on tall, slender stalks, the tiny green, wind pollinated flowers with deep red anthers are borne in dense globose heads.

These plants prefer full sun to partial shade, and a well drained, moist, slightly acid to alkaline soil that contains compost. Propagate by sowing seeds in either spring or autumn. Plants that are allowed to flower will self seed, producing particularly healthy plants. Space seedlings about 30cm apart. Cut emerging flower stems for increased leaf production. Harvest leaves for fresh use as required. Lift roots in autumn for drying.

Salad burnet is an ingredient in several sauces, including ravigote, which is used in French cooking and goes well with cold roast chicken or seafood. Add young leaves to salads and drinks, chilled summer soups and to soft cheeses. Also use as a garnish or infused in vinegar. This herb does not dry well, but can be frozen in ice cube trays.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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