To make salad, Sunset reader Vicki Vermeer gathers miner's lettuce, a succulent tender green that grows abundantly on her 10-acre ranch. This wild native got its name from the gold miners who sought its freshness in their limited diet. Miner's lettuce (Montia perfoliata) thrives in moderate climates throughout the West from late winter to early spring. Sometimes it's sold at farmers' markets. As a substitute, user baby spinach leaves.
1/4 cup pine nuts or sesame seed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cups miner's lettuce, including stems and blossoms, rinsed and crisped
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over low heat, stir nuts in oil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add vinegar. Let cool.
Pour nut mixture into a wide bowl; add basil and miner's lettuce. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.