Jun
05
    
Posted (Lori) in News

FOR INFO ON STORING LETTUCE, see PATRICIA’S PICKU TIPS HERE:

http://www.chycsa.org/?s=patricia%27s+pickup&x=10&y=5

HOW TO TURN A HEAD OF LETTUCE INTO A MAIN DISH

I’m sure everyone knows how to make a salad, but in the coming weeks we’re going to be inundated with lettuces and greens and pretty little side salads are not going to be enough to use them up. Over the years, I’ve come up with ways to use my lettuce, with just a few extra ingredients, as a main dish. To call it a main dish, I need it to:

–Supply me with a reasonable amount of protein. I’m not a nutritionist—and if any of our nutritionist-members want to correct me, please do—but from what I’ve read, I think I need about 45-50 grams of protein a day. Spread over three to five small meals a day, my main dish salad has to have 10-15 grams of protein in it. The three cups of torn lettuce in my salad supply about 2.5 grams of protein, so I need at least 8, and up to 12 or 13 more grams of protein. The amounts of protein listed below are rough averages.

–Taste good.  The lettuces we get in our CSA shares are tastier than average—but I still need more taste and texture to make me happy.

–Fill me up. A bowl of lettuce is not going to keep me going until the next meal; I need to add something more filling.

Here are some of the things I add to my 3 cups of chopped or torn greens (I use lettuce, sometimes greens like mizuna or mustard greens, spinach or arugula when we get it, and herbs.

–Beans and peas: lot of protein—average is about 8 grams per half cup. My favorite is the chickpea. Soybeans have the most, 14 grams in a half-cup. Agata & Valentina sells roasted soybeans that are crunchy and delicious.

–Nuts and seeds: again, protein-packed. Almonds have 7 grams of protein in one-quarter of a cup. Toasting them for just a minute makes them taste even better.

–Cheese—crumbled feta or chevre, shaved parmesan or dry jack, chunks of cheddar, shredded mozzarella—or any of the many interesting and yummy cheeses available through Lewis Waite Farms or in local stores. Cheeses average 7 grams per ounce.

–Tofu—absorbs salad dressings, sort of like manna. And has lots of protein.

–Animal protein—for non-vegetarians, just an ounce or two of grilled, roasted, or any other preparation of meat, poultry, or fish. Flaked salmon and strips of grilled chicken are two of the easiest additions. Leftover coldcuts—smoked turkey, roast beef, and ham, for example—are also easy and get rid of little bits of food that might otherwise go to waste. Leftover barbecued chicken or spicy sausage add strong flavor as well as protein. Chopped or sliced hardboiled eggs are also good.

–Grains—A half-cup of carbs often makes the difference between hunger and satisfaction. Rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta, as well as lesser-known grains like faro, wheatberries, barley (look at Lewis Waite’s grain list for other choices)—are both interesting and filling.

–Other vegetables and fruits—Tomatoes, of course, though they are usually not in our shares the same weeks as lettuce. But any raw or cooked vegetables go a long way in making a salad a main dish. Fruits—dried, cooked, or fresh—are also nice.

–Salty things—olives, capers, and anchovies add a unique flavor

–Dressings—You’ll find a nice batch of dressing in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, on pages 54-55 as well as throughout the book. Dressings add interesting flavors, and if they’re full of dairy (buttermilk, bleu cheese or protein-based ingredients (such as tahini or peanut butter), they also contribute significant protein.

MORE SALAD DRESSINGS

If you have a super salad dressing, please send it for next week. See also: Recipes from America’s Small Farms (on pages 54-55) and the Stoneledge website

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Namrita, a former member, sent this to us last year.

Goes well with our leafy greens.  Also can be used on sandwiches as an herby mayo!  The herbs can be replaced with whatever you have on hand or comes in the CSA.

1/3 cup packed basil leaves

1/3 cup packed tarragon leaves

1/3 cup packed chopped chives

2 medium-large garlic cloves

2 anchovy fillets

zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup good mayonnaise (such as Spectrum’s olive oil mayonnaise)

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the lemon juice (i.e., the basil, tarragon, chives, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, salt, and mayonnaise) in the bowl of a food processor. Puree smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the lemon juice. Chill until needed.

LEMON-ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE

MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP

2 lemons

4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, finely chopped

½ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut all peel and white pith from lemons; discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut lemons along sides of membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze in juice from membranes and discard membranes.

Mix in anchovies, oil, and red pepper flakes, breaking up lemon segments against the side of the bowl with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 4 days ahead. Transfer to a jar; cover and chill.

Recipe by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, Bon Appetit

CUBAN MOJO

Cook 5 chopped garlic cloves or 2 chopped garlicscapes in 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, 30 seconds; cool. Blend with 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and kosher salt in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley; pulse to combine.

From www.foodnetwork.com/recipes

GINGER-SOY-ORANGE-SESAME VINAIGRETTE

From Lettuce in Your Kitchen, Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby

1/3 cup sesame oil

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons grated ginger

¼ cup orange juice + (optional) zest

2 tablespoons tahini paste

2 teaspoons minced fresh chile pepper of your choice, or less if you don’t want it spicy

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together well

MANGO

1 large mango

1 tablespoon red wine or champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon light vegetable oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Peel the mango, cut it into pieces and puree until smooth in food processor. Add other ingredients to the food processor bowl and pulse to combine. Add other herbs and spices, such sumac, nutmeg, star anise, or thyme if desired; most kids like this better without extra spices.

AVOCADO AND COCONUT SALAD DRESSING

Source: http://greenevi.com/avocado-and-coconut-salad-dressing/

This super simple 4-ingredient avocado and coconut salad dressing is incredibly creamy, healthy and delicious! Use it on any of your favorite salads, it’s delicious with leafy greens, roasted veggies or any grain salads.

1 avocado

1 lime, juiced

4 tbsp coconut milk

1 clove of garlic

¼ cup of water

salt, pepper

Add avocado, lime juice, coconut milk, garlic and water to a blender and process until completely smooth.

Keep the dressing in an air-tight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.

NOTES

Try the dressing with fresh orange juice instead of water for an even cooler taste!

SOME LETTUCE-BASED MAIN-DISH SALADS

GREENS, FRUIT, NUTS, AND CHEESE, WITH MISO-HONEY DRESSING

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.

GREEN SALAD WITH WHITE BEANS, APPLES, RADISHES AND WALNUTS

Ingredients

1/2?cup walnut pieces

3?tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1?tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1?teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1/4 tsp. dried)

1/2?teaspoon Dijon mustard

1?medium clove garlic, finely minced

1/4?teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1?14 ounce can low-sodium white beans, or 2 cups dried beans, cooked until tender

1?large head lettuce, thinly sliced

3-4 radishes, tinly sliced

1/2?medium Granny Smith apple, diced

In a dry skillet over medium-high heat toast the walnuts for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

For the dressing, in a bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, thyme, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.

In a bowl toss beans with 1 tsp. of the dressing. In a large bowl toss the chicory with remaining dressing. Divide chicory among salad plates. Top with toasted walnuts, beans, radishes and diced apple.

WILTED LETTUCE SALAD

Adapted fromrom Cooks.com

Many wilted salad recipes use bacon; this one doesn’t.

2-3 heads leaf lettuce (Romaine, red leaf, etc.)

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar (balsamic works best)

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped white or red onions

Your choice of protein—tofu, cubed cheese, meat/poultry, beans/seeds/nuts

Separate lettuce leaves, rinsing as you do so. Submerge all leaves into water to be sure they are clean. Sand and Dirt are not good seasonings. Dry lettuce leaves – spin, pat let drain – whatever works for you. Cut off the white parts and any bad spots. Then ribbon or chop leaves and place into a large glass bowl.

Combine vinegar, water and sugar and mix together in a bowl..

In a fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium high to high heat and then add the onions. Saute until the onions begin to crisp.

While the onions are crisping, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste onto the lettuce and toss. When the onions are should crisp and brown, but not burned, pour in the vinegar mixture and stir together.

Bring to a boil (about 2 minutes top). Remove from heat. Pour liquid over the lettuce and toss. Serve hot or cold.

CLUB SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Lettuce

Cherry tomatoes

Bacon

Avocado, chopped

Chicken, shredded

Mayonnaise

Mustard

Vinegar

Croutons

Hard-boiled eggs

Layer lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, bacon, chopped avocado, and shredded chicken on a plate. Whisk equal parts mayonnaise and mustard with a splash of vinegar; drizzle over salad. Top with croutons and quartered hard-boiled eggs.

Alison Roman, Bon Appetit

BEYOND THE SALAD BOWL

No matter how much we love salad, sometimes we want something else.

AND—if you’re looking for a way to freeze lettuce, the Lettuce Soup is fine when frozen and thawed.

LETTUCE SOUP

From member Dick Sandhaus’ “Better, Cheaper, Slower” blog. If you haven’t checked out Dick’s blog yet, you’re missing something wonderful. Here’s a link:

http://www.bettercheaperslower.com/cgi-bin/iowa/home/index.html

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.

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 (or oregano)

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.

LETTUCE SANDWICHES

(This idea is also from member Dick Sandhaus’ Better, Cheaper, Slower blog; if you don’t know it, http://www.bettercheaperslower.com/cgi-bin/iowa/home/index.html ) One of the best, most useful blogs on the web. As you may have noticed, I rely on it a lot.

Piled high between two slices of bread, slathered with dressing (on the bread and between the leaves), with sliced turnips or 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. Lettuce is also great in wraps, with or without other ingredients.

LETTUCE WRAPS and CUPS
For a lower-carb meal, skip the bread and wrap your filling in large lettuce leaves. The Tropicanan lettuce we’re getting today is especially useful for this—big, thick leaves that don’t leak.

ASIAN LETTUCE WRAPS

Ingredients

16 large lettuce leaves

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

White Onion, Large

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger

1 dash Asian chile pepper sauce, or to taste (optional)

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Directions

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile pepper sauce into onions. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center. Fold lettuce over the filling so that the wraps are easy to pick up.

SEARED STEAK LETTUCE CUPS

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger

Kosher salt

8-ounce flank steak

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

16 small crunchy lettuce leaves

2 tablespoons chopped salted roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves.

Asian sweet chili sauce.

Combine 1/4 cup finely chopped English hothouse or Persian cucumber, 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger in a medium bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and set aside.

Heat a grill pan or a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season an 8-ounce flank steak with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Grill steak, turning once, until charred on both sides, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Arrange 16 small crunchy inner leaves of butter lettuce, romaine, or endive on a large platter. Thinly slice steak against the grain, then cut slices crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Add steak to cucumber mixture and toss to mix. Season to taste with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

Divide steak salad among lettuce cups; garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped salted roasted peanuts and 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves. Drizzle with Asian sweet chili sauce.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen



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