I entirely understand that, given the number of dogs in London, the idea of actually eating pavement plants probably isn’t that appealing. So today I’m looking for ingredients for a ‘virtual’ pavement salad.
I find some Common Cornsalad nestled at the bottom of a wall – its cluster of tiny pale mauve flowers echo the flowers of it’s more robust cousin, Red Valerian. Garlic Mustard is in flower at the moment and has popped up on pavement edges all over south London. Appropriately its leaves taste first of mustard and then followed by a garlicky bass note – try it and you’ll see what I mean. And finally, there’s still plenty of Common Chickweed around too – which has a lovely fresh taste.
(The other reason I don’t often knock up a pavement salad is my challenging audience. At an early age, they learnt to pick through greens I was feeding them and to discard anything they didn’t recognise.)