Once considered a coarse weed, mâche (mahsh) is now a chic salad green. Before French farmers began cultivating it in the 17th century, mâche (Valerianella locusta) was harvested from fields where it grew among cereal crops like corn, rye, and wheat ― hence one of its common names, corn salad (it’s also known as lamb’s lettuce).
The sweet, slightly nutty leaves are tender and juicy. To truly appreciate this delicacy, serve mâche the traditional European way: lightly dressed with a simple vinaigrette. If you have hazelnut or walnut oil, this is the green to drizzle it on. The French also like to add chopped, hard-boiled eggs or sliced roasted beets. Mâche is good mixed with sharper-tasting greens like arugula or endive. Or try braising it lightly as you would spinach.