As of this very moment, I want you to forget everything you know about bagged salad mix. That sketchy stuff at your local grocery chain that you have to thoroughly inspect – through an overly-printed package – to make sure there are no wilted, brown or slimy bits in it. Imagine being able to go to an independently owned market and picking up a see-through bag of locally produced, high-quality lettuce for little more than you’d pay at a big-box store.
That day is finally here thank to Podponics, an Atlanta-based company growing some of the highest quality salad greens I’ve ever had the good fortune of tasting. Most salad lettuces are grown 2,000 miles away in California, which makes their average trip from field to table somewhere in the three-to-four day range. Podponics can deliver fresh salad greens to Atlanta stores and businesses in mere hours. Add to the fact that local produced products mean more local jobs…and it’s a win-win for everyone.
Their current blend of seven different types of lettuces creates a delicious blend of natural flavor – did you know lettuce had a flavor besides salad dressing – and texture. These aren’t your usual stiff, overly robust leaves – they have a silky soft texture that is unparalleled. I’m not the only food folk to be obsessed with these greens. Restaurants such as 4th & Swift and Goin’ Coastal have added Podponics salad lettuces to their menus. While the fledgling company is looking for investment to be able to extend their retail reach in 2011, consumers who want to use Podponics greens at home can purchase them at intown retailers such as Candler Park Market and Savi Urban Market in Inman Park.
For the ultimate Podponics salad experience, leave that heavy dressing for an Iceberg wedge. Use your greens as soon as possible after purchase and dress lightly. This is not the type of salad you use as a vehicle for the dressing. I whipped up a terrific and feather-light dressing of honey, citrus and poppy seeds (for a teensy bit of crunch), which I’ve included below. Enjoy!
Honey-Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette – makes enough to lightly dress one bag of Podponics salad lettuces – serves 2
– In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, lime juice and poppy seeds. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl and whisk until combined. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Dress the greens and lightly toss. Serve immediately.