Salad burnet is a short-lived perennial herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. High in vitamin C, the musky-cucumber-mint flavor adds a distinctive twist to cold drinks of all varieties (muddle with lemon and sugar, then add still or sparkling water for a sophisticated and refreshing lemonade.) Use it as a garnish for salads or in sauces, but the delicate flavor is best when the leaves are fresh, so if you add it to cooked sauces, add it at the very last minute. Great with anything grilled, especially as a garnish for grilled veggies!
Sow Salad Burnet in the early spring a few weeks before the last frost. Cover lightly with soil and the seedlings should emerge in 2-3 weeks. Thin to about 1 foot apart, (you can use the thinnings as your first harvest!) Once established, a patch of salad burnet is fairly carefree. And the flowers are very lovely too! Cut them for arrangements as soon as they start to bloom to encourage more leafy growth. Harvest leaves immediately before you intend to use them. Younger leaves are more tender and desirable than older leaves which can get tough. Strip the leaves from the stems before use.
Salad burnet can spread through runners or seeds. Trimming back the flowers not only encourages leaf growth but also prevents Salad Burnet from spreading to places you don’t want it. Plants from runners are easily pulled up. You can also use these to renew your patch as it ages.