Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu.
This week the word is: Mâche
It’s finally fall! You know that we love a good seasonal menu change at the fig, and autumn is no exception. With all of the beautiful items being harvested in Sonoma, we are lucky to have many delicious options to choose from. One new item that has been added to our menu is the Roasted Beet Tartine. Local beets, pickled fennel, a walnut spread, and mâche all top sourdough toast for a delicious and flavorful starter. We’re going to get into one of those ingredients today!
What is mâche? Mâche is also known as “corn lettuce” or “lamb’s lettuce” (how cute!), and is a European salad green. It is soft, sweet, and velvety, with a distinctly sweet and nutty taste. Because of this delicate flavor that lacks bitterness, it pairs well with many other ingredients.
French farmers first began cultivating mâche in the 17th century, among cereal crops (hence the name “corn lettuce”). Before it’s delicious potential was realized, mâche was considered a weed, and tends to grow as one. The plant is cold tolerant, relatively slow growing, and has a long harvest window.
Enjoy this tender and juicy lettuce raw with a light dressing, chopped with more flavorful produce, or mixed in a salad with sharper greens.