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A small patch of garden or a large shallow bowl is all you need to grow your own salad. The bowl can sit on a sunny windowsill and has the advantage of being out of the way of slugs and snails that have a taste for fresh lettuce. No more the careful planting and re-planting of tiny seedlings, as now gardeners have developed the ultimate ‘cut-and-come-again' salad. In the UK, the seeds go by the brand of ‘Salad bowl' and come in a variety of mixes; green leaves, red leaves or both.
Sow your seeds carefully and keep them moist. A week later your lettuce starts to make an appearance. Move the bowl into a sunny position and start cutting the leaves as soon as they're big enough.
The best thing about salad bowl lettuce: the more you cut it, the more it grows.
Watercress is a good source of iron and very tasty too. Try it with roast beef and horseradish in sandwiches or chopped and stirred into soft cheese such as ricotta as a dip. Teamed with sliced ripe pears, toasted walnuts and soft goats cheese it makes a fantastic salad or light starter to a more substantial meal. And if you're lucky enough to have a glut of it, you could do worse than stirring a mountain of chopped watercress into a deeply savory vegetable or chicken stock, and adding a handful of noodles, for an almost instant warming, de-stressing lunch.