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This item was last sold on : 02/28/17
Red spinach leaves are oval to slightly oblong and rounded arrowhead tip. They are a deep green color with maroon veins and beet-red stems. When fully mature they develop a semi-savoyed surface with a rich chewy texture. Red spinach has a flavor similar to conventional green varieties with mild sweetness and earthy finish.
Red spinach is available late winter through spring.
Red spinach is a bicolored variety that is botanically classified as Spinacia oleracea. It is primarily harvested as a micro green or baby leaf and used to add color in salad mixes, but may be harvested as a fully mature leaf as well. The most prevalent seed variety is “Red Kitten”, which produces smooth oval leaves when young, becoming slightly more crinkled with age.
Very low in calories, Red spinach is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium and folic acid.
Red spinach can be eaten fresh or cooked, but does lose some of its red pigment when steamed, sautéed, braised or baked. To maintain the vibrant color use the leaves raw in salads or cook very briefly ad shock in an ice bath. Pair with spring vegetables, citrus, berries, eggs, nuts, bacon, pasta, and fresh cheeses. Flavor with Indian or Middle Eastern spices, creams, ginger, garlic, shallots, chiles, sesame and soy. Red spinach will keep, dry and refrigerated, for one to two weeks.
Most seed suppliers classify spinach varieties by the appearance of their leaf types: flat and smooth leaves, leaves that are semi-savoyed (crinkled) or those that are heavily savoyed or somewhere in between.
Spinach is a native to Persia, and today it is still found growing wild in modern day Iran. It and was introduced to Europe sometime in the middle ages and later brought to America with European settlers. Red varieties and other specialty cultivars were developed by the advanced breeding programs in the Netherlands. Preferring cool temperatures, sandy soil and some dryness, Red spinach grows well in spring and fall.