In season: salad greens

Beautiful green salad mixes are one of the delights of spring farmers markets.

The salad mix sold by Green Ola Acres of McDonough is a particular point of pride. You can find the farmers of Green Ola, Patricia and Phil Bennett, and their salad mix at the Saturday morning Peachtree Road Farmers Market opening this Saturday for the 2016 season.

“I put so much into it,” says Patricia Bennett. “I grow about 15 different types of leaf lettuce alone for the mix. And I put so many other things in there. Depending on the week, it may have broccoli leaves, salad burnet, arugula, sweet potato leaves, fava bean leaves, kale, even carrot leaves, mint and lemon balm. It’s definitely different every week.”

How long the farm’s salad mix is available depends on the weather and Bennett’s stamina.

“I make it until about the end of June,” she said. “Then it gets to be too hard. The lettuce is bolting, and I’m tired of doing it. Everything is field grown and that means bending over to pick every leaf.”

Come fall, she’s recovered, and by the end of September or early October, she’s ready to create her beautiful and delicious mixture again. The salad mix is sold at the Peachtree Road market and to restaurant clients. For many of their farmers market customers, it’s an item that brings them back time and time again.

“Most of our customers use it for fresh salads, but in early spring and late fall when it has more kale, broccoli or arugula in it, some of our customers tell me that they braise it.”

Green Ola Acres is in Ola, a small community near McDonough in Henry County. They named the farm as a play on the old television series, “Green Acres.” The land was a cotton farm and the Bennetts have been growing market farm crops there since 2004.

Local Salad Greens with Miso Dressing

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons yellow miso

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

6 cups lightly packed mixed salad greens

1 cup sliced radishes

1 carrot, grated

2 green onions, sliced

1 cup whole pecans

1/2 cup shaved Parmesan

In a jar with a lid, combine canola oil, miso, vinegar, honey, sesame oil and mustard. Put on lid and shake vigorously. Set aside until ready to serve. Can be made up to 1 week ahead.

When ready to serve, arrange greens, radishes, carrot and green onions on serving platter. Garnish with pecans and Parmesan. Serve dressing alongside. Serves: 8

Per serving: 218 calories (74 percent from fat), 5 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 275 milligrams sodium.

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