Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
27 Mar

Lamb’s Lettuce and Spinach Salad

We can’t think of a better green to welcome in spring than one with an adorable name like Lamb’s Lettuce. Of course, this green has many identities and what you call it depends a lot on where you buy it. In France and in most American grocery stores it goes by the name mâche (pronounced mahsh), in Germany it’s called Rapunzel and in some parts of this country it’s called field greens or corn salad, because it’s known to grow wild in corn fields. But today, since we’re feeling in a spring mood, we’re calling it Lamb’s Lettuce and giving reader Richard Freund credit for reminding us how much we love this green in salad. Lamb’s Lettuce (or mâche, or field greens, or Rapunzel…) is unique not only for its delicate rosette shape, but also for its buttery texture.  It’s usually served in salads, but can also be thrown into soup or wilted slightly in a quick sauté with oil.

Richard’s Lamb’s Lettuce and Spinach Salad recipe (submitted for the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest) has such a vibrant, green color that we feel healthy just looking at it. In both color and nutrients, Lamb’s Lettuce gives spinach a run for its money. Not only is it loaded with iron and B vitamins, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Where raw spinach is slightly astringent and coarse, Lamb’s Lettuce is nutty and velvety. The two balance each other out nicely in a salad, and the addition of bright purple cabbage lends an added boost of color and antioxidants. Richard cuts up thin slices of green apple to give his salad a little sweetness and crunch, which together with the Lamb’s Lettuce, spinach and cabbage creates a new flavor combination that will pull you out of a salad rut.

Lastly, Richard picks a protein to make this salad recipe a full meal. A fillet of wild salmon will further enhance the omega-3s, but grilled chicken will taste great with the greens, too. Richard finishes off this mild and versatile salad with any dressing he has on hand, but walnut oil vinaigrette is our favorite since it enhances the sweet, nutty qualities of Lamb’s Lettuce.

As with most salads, simply add more or less greens depending on how many servings you want. In grocery stores, Lamb’s Lettuce (or mâche) is often sold in 4-ounce bags. It’s delicate and wilts easily, so plan to use it soon after you buy it. This time of year, keep your eye open for Lamb’s Lettuce at farmers’ markets as well.

Lamb’s Lettuce and Spinach Salad

Ingredients (for approximately 1 serving):

  • 1-2 cups Lamb’s Lettuce
  • 1-2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2-1 cup grated red cabbage
  • one quarter of a green apple (skin on), cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 pound wild salmon fillet


Although the salmon can be cooked any way you like, poaching is a quick and easy method. Preheat the oven to 350 degress Fahrenheit. Place the salmon in a baking pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cover with foil and bake until done, approx. 10 minutes for a 1/2 pound fillet.

Mix together the greens and apple* (see below), top with protein and drizzle dressing on top.

Walnut Oil Dressing


  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix together vinegar and shallot, then whisk in oil until well-blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*For a flavorful twist on this salad dressing, omit the sliced apple from the salad and add it to the dressing instead.

Apple Walnut Oil Dressing


  • one quarter of a green apple, cut into matchsticks (skin on)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Put apple slices in a blender and pulse a few times to break them up. Add vinegar and shallot, then drizzle in oil with the blender running. Blend until the dressing has a thick, but smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Looks delicious, as always. Something to make in the future when I can afford quality salmon and have walnut oil on hand!

    Todd wrote on March 27th, 2010
  2. Never had mâche before. At least not that I was aware. Gonna add it to my Primal list.

    Pamela wrote on March 27th, 2010
  3. I saw lambs lettuce for sale at wholefoods and almost got some. Now I will. Thanks for the idea!

    Not So Fast wrote on March 27th, 2010
  4. This salad looks great! I think adding coconut flakes would make it a perfect meal. Coconut makes everything better :)

    Dawn wrote on March 27th, 2010
    • I agree with you 100%… maybe 110% :)

      My father always had a mature coconut that he would add to various things. I never tried coconut at the time.

      But, about 2 months ago I decided to try coconut and have been hooked ever since! Possibly my favorite food… young coconut meat, coconut water (haven’t tried yet), coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut shavings… am i missing any forms? :)

      Todd wrote on March 27th, 2010
  5. I live in a small town in Idaho that has the worst produce ever! Ill never find this! Uggh! It looks so amazing and I want some. Does anyone know where I can find a good produce store in southeastern Idaho? Thanks!

    Kaylie wrote on March 27th, 2010
    • how about growing your own? lettuce can grow well indooors.

      Cheryl wrote on March 27th, 2010
  6. Ohhh, excellent. I was served those greens in a buffet lunch at a conference I recently attended in Palo Alto. It was very good, so I wanted to find out what it was, but didn’t get to ask the caterer. I’m so happy to know what it is now.

    julietx wrote on March 27th, 2010
  7. I love idea of pureed apple and walnut dressing. Must try it.

    Janet wrote on March 27th, 2010
  8. Oh my goodness–I haven’t seen field greens (as they’re called in the part of Germany I lived in) since I moved back to the States! I hope to see them at my farmer’s market this summer. They really are tasty!

    K. wrote on March 27th, 2010
  9. mmm, salad would go perfect with some salmon. thanks for the inspiration!

    Sarah wrote on March 27th, 2010
  10. Looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try this!

    Lucas wrote on March 27th, 2010
  11. Interesting. I eat a ton of spinach. I’m all about the greens :)

    I can’t say I ever seen this Lamb’s Lettuce around here, or else I would’ve probably bought it. I’ll definitely be on the lookout now!

    Grok wrote on March 27th, 2010
  12. You all might want to try Purslane or Portulak-it goes well with Mache and is also packed with Omega 3. Plus it tastes great! I like a sald with MAche, Purslane and Red beet leaves, onions, avocado and radicchio!

    drpierredebs wrote on March 28th, 2010
  13. I grew up in Germany and Rapunzel lettuce were my absolute favorite by far… thank you for the reminder!

    UrbanEcoMama wrote on March 28th, 2010
  14. Does anyone know what this is called in the UK? I haven’t seen it before but it looks tasty and I’d love to try it!

    Nikki wrote on March 29th, 2010
  15. I LOVE mache! I eat it everyday, each and every morning in breakfast bowl of 2 sunny side up eggs, an avocado, and a table spoon of homemade salsa, then I pour the rest of the butter from the eggs over the top… delicious!

    Bibi wrote on March 29th, 2010
  16. FYI, the story “Rapunzel” is called such because the greens (rapunzel) were so good that the pregant woman begged her husband to go steal some from the garden of the witch. Of course, that ended rather badly for her LOL. But yummy when she had them!

    Ginger Baker wrote on March 30th, 2010
  17. Nikki, they’re called lambs lettuce in the UK and uou can certainly buy them in Waitrose and probably other supermarkets as well. They’re delicious.

    Jane wrote on April 1st, 2010
  18. Is Lambs lettuce goitrogenic like spinach? I love my raw greens but I have to steam everything now because of this.

    blueblood wrote on April 11th, 2010
    • Did you ever find out an answer to this? I would be interested to know as well.

      marie wrote on July 12th, 2012
  19. We just moved and the new place has lots of this in the old garden! Been enjoying it for the last few weeks!

    Spring greens are awsome!!

    Happy Gardner wrote on April 13th, 2010
  20. a good twist, seer the salmon both sides in coconut oil, transfer to broiler/over to finish cooking.

    kmac wrote on April 16th, 2010
  21. Maché-sallad in swedish :-)

    Tessa wrote on April 29th, 2010
  22. I bought mâche in Whole Foods here in Vancouver a few months ago and thought I’d gone to heaven. Where has this delicious salad vegetable been all my life? It is mild, yet full of flavour. Now I look for it every time I go to Whole Foods. They don’t always have it, but when they do I buy lots.

    Pre-Primal I used to make salad rolls with it or pile it high on sandwiches. Now I just make a big salad with it. I’ve been experimenting with homemade salad dressings, something I never bothered with before. And I’m really enjoying the results!

    Andrea wrote on May 26th, 2010

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