Posted (Lori) in News


It’s going to be too hot to cook for the next few days, and probably for many other days over the summer. Luckily, the vegetables we’re getting from CSA this week need very little cooking. Here’s a batch of recipes that create main dishes or full meals and require 10 minutes of less of cooking heat.


Makes 2 servings as a main-dish salad

The greens: 6-8 cups of greens; lettuce, spinach, mizuna, arugula, bok choy, washed and torn into small pieces

The fruit: 2 cups of 2 or more varieties of sliced fruit: berries, peaches, cherries, apples, mangos, bananas, etc.

The nuts: ½ cup of pecans, almonds, walnuts, or any other. They are even better if you toast them by tossing with a few drops of oil in a frying pan over low heat until they are brown (watch them, they burn easily). Even better: spice them by tossing with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and your favorite spice mix (curry; chinese five-spice blend; pepper; smoked paprika)

The cheese: Any firm cheese, highly-flavored cheese; ricotta salata works very well, so does cheddar; about 2 ounced, cut into chunks.

Miso-honey or tahini-honey dressing

1 teaspoons crushed peppercorn (mixed pink, green, black and white work well; or use ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.

1/4 cup miso or ¼ cup tahini

1 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Whirl all the ingredients in a blender until combined

Arrange the greens, fruit, nuts, and cheese in mounds on individual plates. Drizzle the dressing over it.


Longtime member Dick Sandhaus has given us many wonderful recipes over the years. He is the author of one of the best, most useful blogs on the web, full of simple, healthy recipes, exercise ideas, travel tips:

Better, Cheaper, Slower blog; if you don’t know it,http://www.bettercheaperslower.com/cgi-bin/iowa/home/index.html

As you may have noticed, I rely on it a lot. Dick has put this link in front of the paywall on the blog in case you want to check out the blog:


It was 80 degrees and humid when I made this. This perfect cool, light meal. Better. Cheaper. Chilled.

No oven, no stove, no sweat. I used a food processor and got it done in three minutes. You could use a mortar and pestle like M.F.K. Fisher during the last Depression. That Way, you get the added benefit of a 10-minute upper body workout. Pound vigorously while standing and burn 30 calories. Twenty percent of your soup serving.

This is really a salad cross-dressing as a soup. Lettuce and herbs with milk. Amazing how flavorful it is. It really tastes like lettuce. Very good lettuce.

I made it with great lettuce I get from my CSA farm share. If you don’t do that, go to the the Farmers Market. You’ll be pleasantly shocked by the difference that fresh and well-grown make. If you think of lettuce as nothing but a platform for salad dressing, this’ll change your mind. It’s prime greens season in a lot of places, so lettuce is peaking in ripeness and supply. And plunging in price. Demand the good stuff. Better and Cheaper.

To serve 4 or more

1 head of lettuce, chopped. I used red leaf.

6 stems of parsley

12 sage leaves

1 sprig of rosemary

6 sprigs thyme

20 basil leaves

12 arugula leaves

1 small Kirby cucumber

1 scallion

3 cups of whole milk (or more to serve more)

Put everything but the milk in your food processor. Press play and wait 30 seconds. You’ll have 3 – 4 cups of deep green pesto. Add 1 cup of the milk and blend for 10 more seconds. Now transfer the mix to a serving bowl and stir in two more cups of milk. Use more if you want to serve more. There’s plenty of flavor and substance in the greens to stand up to more milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Or not. Cover and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Or a day.

It’s surprisingly satisfying. Almost shockingly flavorful. And it’s very, very cooling. When it’s too hot to bother making dinner, this is a wonderful dinner to make.

Note: This soup keeps well for about a week in a tightly covered container in the fridge. You can also freeze it and then bring out a little bit of spring on a winter night.


Another idea from member Dick Sandhaus’ Better, Cheaper, Slower blog.

Piled high between two slices of bread, slathered with dressing (on the bread and between the leaves), with sliced radishes for crunch—there’s no need for meat or tuna salad to make a great sandwich. The trick is get the lettuce completely dry, unless you like soggy. The dressing can be a simple vinaigrette, a strong bleu cheese, or anything in between. I prefer drier dressings (because I hate soggy), but there is something to be said for the dressing soaking into the bread.


You barely notice a leaf or two stuck between your BLT’s tomato and bacon. But pile the lettuce high and you get a whole different experience. Dress it up right for a big, fat lettuce sandwich that’s refreshing, crunchy and luscious. On a hot summer day, it’s cool. So are you. No oven, no stove, no sweat.

Use lots of lettuce, like a lettuce version of an overstuffed New York deli pastrami sandwich. Then compress it. Get very fresh, full-flavored lettuces. Go to the Farmers Market, not the supermarket. We just got a load of Tropicana Green Leaf, Red Tide Red Leaf, arugula, mizuna and mustard greens in our CSA farm share. I picked some basil from the kitchen windowsill for something aromatic. A ton of flavor from a few ounces of near-zero-calorie greens.

I dressed it all very lightly in olive oil, lemon and salt. Very little dressing – just toss thoroughly to spread it around. Then dress the bread. Rich garlic mayo you make in five minutes. On fresh brioche bread that takes a little longer to make. Lots of flavors in this sandwich, but the lettuce holds its own. Of course you can add a slice or two of tomato or cucumber. Or if you’re just not a believer yet, make a BLT with lots of extra lettuce and just a little bacon for flavor and fat. You’ll get the idea.

You decide what’s Better. The lettuce is definitely Cheaper. And completely satisfying. Eat Slower. This is a very tasty Way to get more leafy greens into your diet. Even if you’re not trying to lose 5 pounds this month. But if you are, be sure to read your BCS this Saturday.


When the romaine lettuce starts coming, I start making Caesar salad. There’s no reason why all our lettuces—and arugula and other greens—can’t be used in this salad, but romaine is traditional. I thought this was a difficult salad to make, until Dick Sandhaus provided a recipe in his Better, Cheaper, Slower blog. This recipe is based on his.

There’s a raw egg in this recipe; use only high-quality eggs and make sure they’re fresh. I don’t serve this to people who have health problems unless they know that they are eating raw eggs. And I don’t store it—if any is left over, I discard it.

1 clove garlic or about 6 inches of garlic scape

1 egg yolk (save the white for something else)

2 tablespoons olive oil (I use my best oil for this)

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 anchovy fillets, more or less to taste

3 cups torn romaine or other lettuces or green

¼ cup (or more) toasted croutons, homemade or bought

freshly grated black pepper.

Rub the garlic or garlicscape or garlic all over the salad bowl for about 15 seconds; then chop it very fine and add to the bowl. Add the egg yolk, oil, and parmesan and whisk until well blended. Mash the anchovies to a paste, add to the bowl and whisk until combined. Add the lettuce, toss until it is coated with the dressing. Top with the croutons and add pepper to taste.


This one is from Viveca, a former member. You can use only the spinach we’re getting this week, or mix in lettuce, arugula, and mizuna. It’s a perfect example of a main dish salad—beans for protein, so much flavor, texture, and color.

Viveca writes: I’m originally from a suburb of Cleveland, and this my homemade version of a salad that they serve at one of my favorite restaurants there! If I’m being honest, I usually just use Olde Cape Cod Light Champagne Vinaigrette dressing for this, but I’ve included a recipe I’ve also made before below.

4 cups baby spinach

1 can sliced hearts of palm

1 fresh mango, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 can black beans, drained

10 tortilla chips, broken into large pieces

For the dressing:

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients together in food processor or blender.

Mix spinach, hearts of palm, mango, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and black beans. Toss with dressing and top with crushed tortilla chips.


Serves 2, adapted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite



If you haven’t visited this blog yet—you’re missing a great recipe source

This recipe give you more than just a salad—but still requires only ten minutes of cooking time.

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus additional for drizzling

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch thick slice peeled fresh ginger, minced

1 bunch spinach

1 bunch mizuna (or another bunch mustard greens)

1 tbsp soy sauce, plus additional for drizzling

2 wild salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oils in a very large skillet.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the mustard greens, mizuna, soy sauce and 3 tbsp water, and saute until the greens start to wilt, 2 minutes longer.

2. Spread the greens out in the bottom of the pan.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper.  Place on top of the greens.  Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and let the fish steam until just cooked through, about 6 minutes.  If the pan dries out before the fish is cooked, add a little more water, a tsp at a time.

3. Uncover the pan and transfer the fish to serving plates.  If the greens seem wet, turn the heat to high to cook off any excess moisture.  Serve with rice, drizzled with a little more sesame oil and soy sauce, if desired.


adapted from a recipe Bon Appétit  | January 2011 by Melissa Clark

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided

3 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided

1 14- to 16-ounce container extra-firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons peanut oil

4 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped-or use Garlic Scapes, finely chopped

4 bok choy, leaves separated (or use spinach)

12 cups loosely packed mizuna (about 8 ounces)-or one bunch from your CSA share


Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in bowl.

Stack 2 paper towels on work surface. Cut tofu crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice crosswise in half. Arrange tofu on paper towels and let stand 10 minutes. Pat top of tofu dry.

Heat peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to paper towel to drain, then place tofu on sheet of foil and brush both sides with soy sauce mixture.

Wipe out any peanut oil from skillet. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil and place skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons vinegar, then bok choy. Toss until bok choy wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mizuna in 2 batches, tossing to wilt before adding more, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Season greens with salt and pepper. Add tofu to skillet. Toss gently to blend. Transfer to platter.


Martha Rose Shulman, NYT

Note: The only cooking called for in his recipe is 4-5 minutes for steaming the broccoli; you can, instead, microwave the broccoli for 2 minutes


2 cups mizuna, spinach or arugula (or a combination)

3 cups shredded or diced cooked turkey


freshly ground pepper

1 serrano chili, seeded if desired and chopped optional

1 bunch scallions, white part and green, thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, seeded, diced and peeled if waxy

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 small red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts

2 broccoli crowns, cut or broken into small florets, steamed four to five minutes, refreshed with cold water and drained on paper towels optional


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced or put through a press

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark Chinese sesame oil or walnut oil

2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

? cup low-fat buttermilk or plain nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon turkey stock or water, for thinning out if using yogurt

Line a platter or large bowl with the mizuna or arugula.

Season the turkey with salt and pepper, and combine in a large bowl with the chili, scallions, cucumber, cilantro, red pepper and walnuts

Combine the ingredients for the dressing, and mix well. Toss with the turkey mixture. Arrange on top of the mizuna or arugula and serve.

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