Sunday, April 3, 2011

Branch Lettuce

One of the things that I've been anticipating since returning to the mountains is the arrival of branch lettuce. It's a wild lettuce that grows along mountain streams. This weekend, I took a hike into the mountains to pick some. I was not disappointed. The season, which is quite short, has just begun -- the leaves are between two and five inches long and are really tender.

I prefer eating them fresh in a salad with a bit of dressing.  You can also drizzle hot bacon grease over the wilted leaves. I've never tried it, but it's the way a lot of mountain people prefer it.

Yesterday's trip into the mountains for the wild lettuce was part of a nearly eight mile hike that wound along beautiful mountain streams, steep hillsides and along ridges with breath-taking views. At the top of one ridge -- strong wind gusts chilled the air -- but if you stepped ten feet down the other side of the ridge -- everything was calm -- not even a hint of those wind gusts. 

1 comment:

Juice Box said...

I live in a prairie province, but the Rocky Mountains are only a few short hours away. On clear days, you can see the jagged peaks shredding across the sky. I've never tried Branch Lettuce-- I think I want to now.