On Monday, for the first time, astronauts munched on red romaine lettuce that they grew in space.

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WASHINGTON — These are the salad days of scientific research on the International Space Station. On Monday, for the first time, astronauts munched on red romaine lettuce that they grew in space.

After clicking their lettuce leaves like wineglasses, three astronauts tasted them with a bit of Italian balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren pronounced it awesome, while Scott Kelly compared the taste to arugula. They talked about how the veggies added color to life in space.

If astronauts go farther in space, they will need to grow their own food. This was an experiment to test that.

Astronauts grew space-station lettuce last year but had to ship it back to Earth for testing and didn’t get to taste it.

Also Monday, two Russian crew members at the International Space Station on Monday ventured outside the orbiting outpost to install some equipment and check the exterior.

During a spacewalk that lasted 5½ hours, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko mounted devices that will ease the movement of crew on future spacewalks.

They also replaced a communications antenna, cleaned windows of one of the station’s modules and took pictures of its outer surface. In addition, the duo removed an experiment intended to study the impact of the space plasma environment on the station.

Monday’s spacewalk was the 10th for Padalka, who has spent more time in space than any other human.

The other crew members —Kelly, Lindgren, Russian Oleg Kononenko and Kimiya Yui of the Japanese space agency — stayed inside the station.

And, yes, they left some of the space salad for Padalka and Kornienko to sample after their return.