For easy, instant salad greens, I grow mixed leaf lettuce as "cut and come again" greens, by simply sprinkling mixed lettuce seed thickly over a bed, and letting them grow until they are about 15cm tall, at which point I start harvesting as much as is needed at a time with a pair of scissors, cutting the plants off about an inch from their base. The plants will regrow, giving about 3 harvests before they need replacing. A quick wash, and the salad greens are ready to serve. Here's my current bed, sown on March 10th...
Leaf lettuces of all kinds
Beet greens (beetroot leaves)
Beetroot (grated raw, or bottled)
Carrots and carrot greens (the latter I use in small quantities, but they pack a nutritious and tasty punch)
Pea shoots and flowers
Cornflowers (edible garnish, though they don't have much flavour of their own)
Calendula petals (always remove the petals from the middle section, which tastes bitter)
Various other herbs if I wish
I will also be able to add, if I wish, dried, stored or preserved foods I gathered in summer such as:
Dried onion greens or spring onions
Dried or bottled tomatoes
I might also add some "wild herbs" (aka edible weeds) - the common edible ones in my garden include:
Fat hen (aka chickweed)
I will also do some sprouting in my kitchen, and add sprouts to the salads, for extra nutrition. Including such as:
Wheat grass (simply sprouted wheat, with the green part harvested with scissors)
Mung bean sprouts
and whatever else catches my fancy to try
It's wonderful to be able to go out into the garden with a bowl, and come back with the makings of a fresh salad! We all know we should eat more raw food, and a hearty salad with lots of variety in it is a great way to do so.
What is in your garden that will provide you with salad over winter? It's not too late to plant most of the above items, or too take a fresh look at the things already growing you maybe had never considered adding to a salad before.
Another tip to keep in mind - the closer to the kitchen you grow your salad veges and herbs, the more likely it is that you'll actually go out there and pick and use them regularly. So don't put your baby leaf lettuce bed at the far end of the garden - put it as close to the garden as possible! In winter time, leaf lettuce also do very well in tubs, baths or other containers, and in fact most salad ingredients are best picked small and fresh, so can nearly all be grown happily in containers of one sort or another.
So whether you have a large or small garden, or no garden at all, there is no reason why you can't grow your own winter salads! Start with a bed or container, filled with suitable growing medium, lightly sprinkled with leaf lettuce seed, finger-rake the seed in, water, and wait for your lovely greens to grow!