Miners Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
Popping up everywhere this is another winter staple that grows abundantly & wildly in the garden. I never planted Miners Lettuce, it just appeared in my lawn, probably from windblown seeds. I left it to do it's thing and now it's self seeding all over the unmown lawn & under my fruit trees, providing salad greens all winter long.
Miners lettuce is so great because you don't have to do anything, it just grows and grows all winter, popping up just when your summer lettuces/salads are feeling the cold. It's a really delicious salad green, soft yet crunchy & juicy, which works brilliantly in winter salads.
Miners lettuce is a great source of Vitamins A&C, contains iron, beta-carotene, is high in chlorophyll, & full of antioxidant-rich nutrients. Of course anything that grows in the wild (provided it's a clean environment), will be healthier for you than supermarket sprayed & processed greens (I believe).
The name "miner's" lettuce comes from California, where back in the mid 1840's during the gold rush, the miners found an abundance of it growing in the foothills where they were mining. It became a highly valued food source for them given the lack of fresh greens and uncertain food supply in the often rapidly established towns. It was prized by the miners for it's nutritional values, especially Vitamin C to prevent scurvy.
Make sure to let your miners lettuce self seed at the end of the season (early spring) to ensure a good crop next year.