Salad Burnets. In days gone by, the Burnet’s were in every garden. Today, not so much. The Lesser or Salad Burnet is a lovely little plant. It knows its place in the garden and usually stays where it is put. It has multiple stalks that puts forth small leaflets on a thin stem. It is lighter green when young and very tender. They tend to become tougher as the season progresses, so pick and use the young, tender leaves.
These leaflets have the refreshing flavor of cucumber. These are great in summer water with some lemon balm or watermelon. Iced, it makes a refreshing drink on hot summer days. When the leaflets are picked off the thin stalk, they are a wonderful addition to salads or used a fresh garnish.
Burnet has some mild medicinal uses also. According to Botanical.com, “The older herbalists held this plant in greater repute than it enjoys at the present day. Pliny recommended a decoction of the plant beaten up with honey for divers complaints.”
I grow Salad Burnet because I love the cool cucumber flavor and the delicate looking leaflets. It grows early in the season, well before the cucumbers are available, so it’s a great way to have the cucumber flavor early in the season.
This is a old world herb that is certainly a winner for the new world garden.