Jun
06
    
Posted (Lori) in News

STORING AND PRESERVING

LETTUCE AND GREENS

–Get it into the refrigerator as soon as you can

–Pat it dry before you refrigerate

–Put it in a bag with holes poked in it; put a piece of paper towel in the bag to absorb moisture

–Check every few days; remove brown leaves, replace

the paper towel

–Use the more fragile varieties—the mirlo and panisse—first, the Tropicana will last almost two weeks if cared for.

Some sources suggest wrapping each leaf in paper towels, which probably works if you have enough time, patience, and paper towels.

PRESERVING

Freezing lettuce is possible, but not worth the trouble. You can make lettuce soup and freeze that. Or chop and freeze the leaves and use them in soup. But they are so much better fresh that it’s better to eat them.

But Chinese cabbage and bok choy, which are usually cooked, are great candidates for freezing and can also be made into sauerkraut or kimchee. See the website, www.chycsa for instructions and recipes.


 
Jun
03
    
Posted (Lori) in News
Week #1
Dear CSA Member,
The first week is always very busy and full of activity!  We have been busy cultivating the fields, transplanting new crops, planting the sweet potatoes, seeding fall crops, and getting the fields ready for the next set of plants that will be ready in the greenhouse.  We are expecting some heavy rains to come through within the next couple days and need to get as much done as we can beforehand.  Compared to last spring we have had a cool, damp, and very windy spring.  Last spring there was no rain and it was just about 80 degrees every day.  The early spring greens are really enjoying the moist soil and are growing happily!
It is that time of year again, get your salad spinners out!  Lettuce, Lettuce, Lettuce!  Greens will fill the bulk of your share this week.  It has been a long winter and, I don’t know about you but, I am ready for some fresh salad!  This week you will be getting Mirlo Butter Head Lettuce.  This is a new variety this season that we had a lot of requests for. We found this great red and very tender variety to try this year.  You will also be getting a bunch of Red Cherriette Radishes along with, a few other varieties of lettuce to go in your salad.  You can chop up the radish leaves nice and fine.  They make a great addition to your salad.
Some of the spring greens such as the Box Choi and Chinese Cabbage will have small round holes in the leaves.  This is caused by a tiny insect called the Flea Beetle.  We have worked diligently to keep the number of beetles under control by using a very long cloth called row cover.  We will walk the row cover out over these specific beetle loving crops and stake the row cover down every five feet.  These beetles still manage to outnumber us.  They only left cosmetic damage and will not in any way affect the flavor of the greens.
The Stoneledge Farm website has some great recipes if you aren’t sure what to do with an item you can refer to our website or, if you have a great recipe for an item you would like to share please email the farm and I will gladly add it to our recipe section.  info@stoneledge.farm
We hope you all enjoy your first week’s harvest!  Below are a couple notes for this week.
Enjoy the Harvest,
Candice for everyone at Stoneledge Farm
1 Head- Mirlo Butter Crunch Lettuce
1 Head- Panisse Oak Leaf Lettuce
2 Heads- Boc Choi
1 Bunch- Rhubarb
1 Head- Red Tide Lettuce
1 Head- Chinese Cabbage
1 Bunch- Cherriette Radishes
1 Head- Tropicana Lettuce
1 Green Genovese Basil Transplant.  (You can eat now)
Optional Shares:
Mushrooms- Crimini
Coffee Share Week
Dry Bean Share Week
1.This week you will be receiving a transplant you can grow at home and is ready to eat now! This plant should be planted right away in a pot or directly outside in your garden.  The pot we are sending is a decomposable pot and can be planted directly into the ground or larger pot.  The plant should have a good amount of sunlight daily and should be checked to see if the soil is dry and needs to be watered.  You can snip off some basil leaves now and use in your favorite Italian dish!  Enjoy!
2.The Online Marketplace is Open!  You can log into your account and place your order for this coming weeks delivery.  Keep in mind all Mushroom orders need to be received by 12 pm Friday before your delivery that following Mon. Tues. or Wed.
To order from the Marketplace login to your account and click Marketplace.  Follow the steps from there.
Cooking Tips-
Boc Choi: Boc Choi makes a great Stir-Fry.  It can be added in dumplings, soups or even salads.  Boc Choi has a slightly bitter flavor. Similar to Mustard Greens but a little milder.
Rhubarb: Rhubarb can be added to your smoothies and eaten raw, it can be roasted and drizzled with honey or sprinkled with sugar.  You can even bake a delicious pie or try this Spring Rhubarb Cake it’s a farm favorite! https://www.stoneledge.farm/csa-program/recipes/rhubarb/124-spring-rhubarb-cake
Chinese Cabbage: Chinese Cabbage makes a great addition to a stir-fry.  Chinese Cabbage can be added to soups, made into stuffed cabbage, taco toppings, braised, or be made into a quick kimchee.
Cooking Dry Bean Share Information:
1/2 dry beans = 1 serving of beans
1 cup of dry beans = 3 cups cooked beans, drained
Step 1-  Soak the beans typically overnight.  Place the desired amount of beans you wish to cook in a bowl and cover the beans with cool water until about an inch and a half of water is covering the beans.
Step 2- Drain beans.
Step 3- Add to a large pot and cover again with fresh water and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and let beans simmer for 45min – 2 hours. Checking on them occasionally to make sure there is enough water in the pot.
Step 4- Once beans are tender you are able to make your favorite bean recipe.
This information was taken from Food UNL

Stoneledge Farm LLC
Mailing Address Only:
359 Ross Ruland Road
South Cairo, NY  12482


 
Jun
03
    
Posted (Lori) in News
Posted (Lori) in News

RHUBARB

Tips and Basic Cooking.

From: http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–1110/all-about-rhubarb.asp

A perennial plant that has celery like stalks that are greenish pink to dark red in color. Rhubarb is a vegetable but is generally prepared and served in the same manner as a fruit.

Rhubarb can be eaten raw with a little sugar sprinkled over it but it is generally cooked with other ingredients to produce a fruit dish of some type. Rhubarb can be used nicely to enhance the flavor of other fruits, such as pairing it with strawberries in baked sauces or beverages. It makes a delicious pie filling and is also used to make sauce in the same manner as applesauce. Rhubarb can also be used to make jellies, jams, cakes, muffins, and other desserts. It can also be used in savory dishes and is good as a sauce to serve with meats and fish.

Storage:

Before storing, remove any leaves from the rhubarb stalks and discard. Rhubarb stalks can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, unwashed and sealed in an air tight plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic. It is best to store fresh rhubarb in whole stalks because cut or diced pieces will dry out more quickly. Trim just before using. Rhubarb can be frozen for future use by cutting the stalks into 1-inch lengths and packaging in airtight bags or by stewing first and then freezing. Rhubarb does not need to be sweetened before it is frozen.

Rhubarb Preparation

Trim off leaf ends and roots using a sharp knife and discard. Be sure to discard the leaves, which contain toxic levels of oxalic acid.

If the more mature stalks are wider than 1 inch, slice lengthwise in half or thirds.

Check stalks for blemished areas and trim off before using.

If stems are fibrous, they will need to have the strings pulled off. At one end of the stalk, cut just under the skin. Pull the piece down the stalk to remove the strings. Continue until all of the strings are removed.

Wash stalks and slice them into 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces when preparing for stewing or making sauce. Pies and other recipes may call for the pieces to be cut to a smaller size, such as 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Tip:

Refresh rhubarb stalks by standing them in a pitcher that has been filled partially with cold water. Allow them to stand for a minimum of 1 hour.

Rhubarb Cooking

Stewed Rhubarb | Baked Rhubarb | Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb can be eaten raw but because of its tartness, it is generally cooked and sweetened first. It can be sweetened with sugar, honey, syrup, or berry preserves. When cooking rhubarb do not use aluminum, iron or copper pans. Rhubarb has high acidity and will react with these types of metals. The reaction will cause the rhubarb to turn a brownish color and can cause the pan to discolor. It is best to use anodized aluminum, non-stick coated aluminum, or enameled cast iron pans. If the rhubarb is being baked, glass bakeware can be used also.

STEWED RHUBARB

Because rhubarb varies in sweetness, it is hard to determine how much sugar is needed. The rhubarb will also sweeten as it cooks. Start out with a small amount of sugar. Once the rhubarb has cooked, more sugar can be added if necessary.

Clean 1 pound of rhubarb and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces. This should produce approximately 3 cups of rhubarb.

Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.

Add the rhubarb and bring sauce back to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until rhubarb is crisp-tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Taste to see if sauce is the desired sweetness. If it requires additional sugar, add 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and bring sauce back to a boil to be sure sugar dissolves.

Remove from the heat when sauce is at desired sweetness. Serve as a sauce warm or cold. The sauce can be eaten on its own or it can be served as a topping on other food, such as cake, ice cream, pancakes, and waffles.

BAKED RHUBARB

Spread 2 pounds of rhubarb, cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces, on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Mix ginger and nutmeg into the sugar until evenly distributed.

Pour the sugar mixture evenly over the rhubarb.

Drizzle with 1/2 cup of orange juice. Pineapple juice can also be used.

Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350°F oven. Remove rhubarb from the oven and stir mixture. Put back in the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.

Remove from the oven and serve as a warm sauce on its own or as an accompaniment to other foods, such as meats and fish.

SPRING RHUBARB CAKE

Cake

4 tbs softened butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup yogurt

1 small bunch rhubarb (about 1- 1 1/2 cups, diced)

Topping

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix butter, brown sugar and egg. Add sifted flour, baking soda and salt alternately with yogurt and rhubarb. Spread in 9×12” pan.

Mix topping ingredients together in separate bowl, sprinkle over top of cake. Bake 35-40 minutes @ 350 degrees.

NOTE: The hardest part of this recipe is dicing the rhubarb. I cut into 2-inch pieces and then put it into the food processor and pulse 8-10 times for a few seconds on each pulse.

RHUBARB BOURBON SOUR

http://katieatthekitchendoor.com/2015/04/17/rhubarb-bourbon-sour/

Katelyn sent in this recipe for a new way to use rhubarb. I hope we have enough rhubarb. And bourbon.

Serves 4-6.

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb

1 c. sugar

3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 c. water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bourbon

few drops bitters

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer gently until the rhubarb is completely soft and the mixture is syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Strain the liquid into a bowl or glass jar. Stir the vanilla extract into the rhubarb syrup. Keep the stewed rhubarb for another use.

For each cocktail, add ice, 1 part rhubarb syrup, 1 part Bourbon, and a few drops of bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds, until foamy, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with extra rhubarb stalks if desired, and serve immediately.

RADISH IDEAS

1. Radish salad: (adapted from an interview of Deborah Madison/The Splendid Table)

I slice the radishes paper-thin, and they get so translucent, delicate and delicate-tasting. Then I mix them all with some things like radish sprouts, maybe some of the radish leaves, a little salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. I put in some very thin slices of a dry Monterey Jack cheese, an aged Gouda or maybe manchego, which isn’t the usual thing to do with radishes. But I think that the proteins and caseins in the cheese give it such a round, wonderful taste. It’s one of my favorite salads, and it’s absolutely beautiful

2. Piquant Radish Soup with Crème Fraiche; from Vegetarian Times

1/2 lb. radishes, halved (3 cups)

1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

1 small white onion, quartered

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 Tbs. prepared horseradish sauce

2 Tbs. crème fraîche, plus more for garnish, optional—see note

1. Pulse radishes and potato in food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl, wipe out food processor, and set radish mixture aside.

2. Pulse onion in food processor until finely chopped.

3. Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add radish mixture, white pepper, and 31/2 cups water. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

4. Remove soup from heat, stir in horseradish, and purée in food processor in batches until smooth. Add crème fraîche, and purée until combined. Season with salt, if desired. Serve garnished with radish, greens, and crème fraîche (if using).

NOTE: To make crème fraiche: Add 2 tbs buttermilk to 1 cup heavy cream.; stir to combine. Cover, and leave in a warm dry place—not the refrigerator—for 12-16 hours. Like magic—the cream thickens and turns into a delicate, complex concoction that adds great flavor to everything it comes in contact with.

3. Raita: Add 3 tbs of chopped radish, 1 tbs chopped onion, and 3 tbs of chopped cucumber to one cup yogurt. Add ¼ cup chopped parsley and mix thoroughly, .

4. Radish toast. Butter a slice of toast and cover with a thin slice of radish.

5. Braised radishes

3/4 lb. radishes (about 1 bunch), tops removed and reserved

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/3 cup lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. granulated sugar

Kosher salt

Trim the radishes and slice them crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Trim and discard the stems from a small handful of the tops, wash the leaves thoroughly, pat dry, and then finely chop enough to measure 2 Tbs. (Save the rest of the tops for another use.)

In a 10-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the radishes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the radishes are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and add the vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the chopped leaves and serve.

6. Grated radish dressing

Trim 1 bunch radishes and chop them roughly. Place them in a food processor and pulse to grate. Combine with 1 tbs soy sauce and 1 tbs rice wine vinegar. Serve with broiled fish.

7. Cabbage radish slaw

1 1/2 pound cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (6 cups)

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 radishes, thinly sliced

Toss cabbage with salt in a large bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey mustard, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.

Rinse cabbage with cold water in a colander, then firmly squeeze handfuls to remove excess water and transfer cabbage to cleaned bowl. Add radishes and dressing to cabbage, tossing to combine.

8. Layer into sandwiches

Thin slices of radish add crunch and tang to sandwiches such as egg salad, tuna, and roast beef.

9. Microwaved radishes

Steam trimmed radishes in a covered microwave safe container for 8 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and toss with butter, serve immediately.


 
Jun
03
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SOME 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 returning 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

SERVINGS: 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 SALADS

CAESAR SALAD

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.

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

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.

WILTED LETTUCE SALAD

From 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

2 drops/splashes liquid smoke (optional)

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. If you are going to use the liquid smoke now is the time to add it.

Pour liquid over the lettuce and toss. Serve hot or cold.

SPINACH AND MANGO SALAD

This one is from Viveca; we’re not getting spinach this week, but I think our lettuces, bok choy, and chinese cabbage will work well. 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.

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

June 10, 2015. 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.

LETTUCE SANDWICHES

(This idea is 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.


 
Jun
03
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Chinese cabbage—Also called Napa cabbage–can be cooked like any leafy green, but it works particularly well in Asian salads and spring rolls. Another way to use it is to roast it—tear it into large piece, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread it in a pan or on a cookie sheet. Roast in 400 degree oven for about five minutes until it begins to brown; then remove from the oven—it will become browner and crisper as it rests. If you leave it in the oven longer, the ribs will become softer and tastier, but the leaves will burn (I know, I just tried it). If you want, you can separate the leaves and ribs and roast them separately. You can intensify the flavor by seasoning the olive oil before tossing with the cabbage; slowly sauté a few cloves of garlic or garlicscape, an onion, and your favorite herbs in the oil, letting the flavor develop over 10-15 minutes.

SPICY CHINESE CABBAGE STIR FRY

Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, New Yotk Times

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 star anise, broken in half (optional)

2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or dry sherry

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

1 small Chinese cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, shredded

1 medium carrot, cut into julienne

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons minced chives, Chinese chives or cilantro

Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. Serve with rice or noodles.

SPRING ROLLS

Chinese cabbage is a favorite ingredient in spring rolls. Shred the cabbage and mix two cups of shredded cabbage with a cup of rice or cellophane noodles, a tablespoon or soy sauce, other vegetables such as sautéed mushrooms, strings beans, or squash. Add diced shrimp or other meat if you like. Mix in a tablespoon on Szechuan or Hoison sauce, or your favorite seasoning and mix until everything is blended and sticks together. Wrap in wonton wrappers (there are pictures on the package showing you how) and bake or fry per the package directions. Or—you can can use the cabbage leaves as a simpler wrapper. Save some large leaves; fold them in half lengthwise, so that the thick rib is in the center. Place the filling on the rib and fold the leafy part around the rib to make a little packet. I’ve found that some kids (not all of them) like these packets and will eat things inside them that they would not otherwise consider.

CHINESE CABBAGE SALADS

NAPA with NOODLES and ALMONDS

1 head napa cabbage

1 bunch minced green onions

1/3 cup butter

1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, broken

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

½ cup white sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Finely shred the head of cabbage; do not chop. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Make the crunchies: Melt the butter in a pot. Mix the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake the crunchies in the preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven, turning often to make sure they do not burn. When they are browned remove them from the oven.

Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.

Combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage immediately before serving. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.

CHINESE CABBAGE AND TOFU SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING

From: Deborah Madison

Dressing

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1/2 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tahini (sesame paste)

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Salad

Salt

1 pound soft tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 cups finely shredded Chinese or Napa cabbage (about 1/2 large head)

2 cups spinach leaves, finely shredded (see Note)

1 cup finely shredded red cabbage

1 medium kohlrabi or small jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks

5 large radishes, cut into matchsticks

1 large carrot, shaved into thin curls with a vegetable peeler

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a mini food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. Add salt. Put half of the tofu in a small strainer and ease it into the water. Simmer over moderate heat for 2 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tofu.

On a large platter or individual plates, arrange the tofu, Napa cabbage, spinach, red cabbage, kohlrabi, radishes and carrot strips. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the dressing over the tofu or pass it separately. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve.

Make Ahead The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes To finely shred spinach leaves (make a chiffonade), simply stack and roll the leaves, then cut them crosswise into thin strips with a sharp knife.

Easy Kimchi Recipe

Another great recipe from Viveca! She says, “When we get more cabbage or daikon this summer, kimchi is also a great use of all three! This makes a ton, but is easily halved if you want less! I like using other vegetables, like brussels sprouts or bok choi too if you have them on hand.”

1 napa cabbage

1/2 cup kosher salt

About 12 cups cold water

8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)

1/3 cup Gochugaru (This is a sweet/hot Korean chili powder; you can substitute crushed red pepper (use about half or mix it with smoked paprika; or other chili powder mixes, such as ancho and aleppo. Kalustyan, and other Asian markets, have gochugaru in stock.)

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried shrimp (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover, making sure the cabbage is mostly submerged. Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture. (Highly recommended to use gloves for this portion!)

Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and seal the jar.