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Topic: Salad greens

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Subject: Salad greens
Date Posted: 6/25/2014 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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Help!

We belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture).  Right now it's lettuce season and we are being overwhelmed with red lettuce, green lettuce, romaine, escarole, endive etc...  I'm getting the amount of 6 heads or more weekly and it's usually just my husband and I here.  I have made cobb salads, spinach salads and we are having salad as a side every dinner.  Today is my pickup day for the week and I am still swamped with lettuce from last week.  Do any of you have any main dish salad ideas/recipes to share?   Or any other uses for lettuce? 

I also am getting a large amount of garlic scapes/curls.  I've stir fried and made pesto with them but if anyone else knows what to do with them please let me know.  Luckily everything else in the bag right now is of a reasonable portion size.

I can't remember getting so much lettuce before.  So what's your 'goto' main dish salad? (that uses lots and lots of lettuce!)

Thanks!

Date Posted: 6/25/2014 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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   The Old Man and  I  manage to eat all the lettuce in our weekly Crop Box  because we love green salads and home-made salad dressings.  I stopped buying commercial salad dressings quite a long while back, because they weren't made with olive oil, for the most part.   I keep two varieties  of  olive oil on hand ---- one for making salad dressing and  the other for sautéing and baking  (as in lasagna, spaghetti, and pizza).

At my house, supper, especially in summer, is frequently chef salad accompanied by cheese and a good crusty bread.   (And wine, if you like.)

When I was a kid back in Missouri, the old folks would occasionally fix "a mess o' greens".  One kind in particular was "wilted lettuce", and it was done with bacon  and vinegar, in a skillet.  I think you'd have to ask an old-timer for more exact instructions, or check an OLD cookbook.



Last Edited on: 6/25/14 8:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2014 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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My spinach salad is a wilted one with the hot bacon grease & vinegar dressing.  I suppose you could do that with a hardy type lettuce as well.  Although we get a meal+ worth of kale or swiss chard each time so I can live without another bacon grease & vinegar option.  I had forgotten about chef salad.   That's another option, thanks.   I got pea shoots this time (as well as plenty of lettuce). I'd never had them before -tasty little guys. We must have had an optimal lettuce growing year.  Luckily other things are coming in now.  Bonnie, what do you get in your box?

Date Posted: 6/26/2014 7:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Have you made kale chips yet?

If you are a member of pinterest, go there and do a search.  I have sooooo much success there with recipes.  Just enter lettuce recipes.

too bad lettuce cannot be frozen.

Date Posted: 6/26/2014 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Salamagundi

Date Posted: 6/26/2014 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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Salamagundi:  leftovers? :)  now I'm about to try to stir fry kohlrabi and garlic scapes.  No salad tonight for the first time in 3 weeks.  I need a break from lettuce.  I have not tried kale chips but I really want to.  Maybe next week.

Date Posted: 6/26/2014 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmagundi

my mom made it with various deli meats, hard oiled eggs, sweet pickles, celery hearts, sardines and anchovies. 

She made it when it was super hot out so she didn't have to turn on the oven.  We didn't have air conditioning.



Last Edited on: 6/26/14 4:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/28/2014 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Ann:  The Crop Box so far has contained rhubarb, radishes, garlic scapes, fresh herbs (three kinds so far), several varieties of lettuce, kale, some broccoli, and shallots and onions (purple and white).  I get it each Wednesday late afternoon or early evening.  I try to process promptly the contents, whatever they are.   We made a strawberry-rhubarb pie with some of the rhubarb, and turned the rest into sauce (stewed with sugar, water, and a bit of ground nutmeg.)

I went to the local Farmer's Market this morning, hoping to find some green veggies, but had no luck, since I didn't get there early.  One vendor told me she had promptly sold out of the asparagus she brought in.  There were bok choy and Napa, but neither the Old Man or I really care much for those, and we had a ham and cabbage lunch just a few days ago, anyway.  I stopped at a kiosk on the way home, and was dismayed at the price of zucchini!   and of cucumbers, too.  In a little while, both will be so abundant that the jokes about how to get rid of one's excess zucchini will begin . . . .you know, like------"gift wrap it and leave it in some public place".   Or, if you get just "squashed out", you can just add it to the compost bin!  A good zucchini recipe is the one in Spices of the World cookbook for Zucchini Sautè.
 



Last Edited on: 6/28/14 3:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2014 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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We've had lots and lots of lettuces no radishes yet which is strange because the past few years we've had loads.  We have spinach, swiss chard, zuccini,  .patty pan squash, kohlrabi garlic scapes, scallions onions basil & mint.  We get ours on wednesday too.  I think we've already started the squash over load -luckily that's one of my favorite veggies.  Now I'm wondering where the radishes are.

I'm going to have to try to make some kale chips.

Date Posted: 6/29/2014 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Ann:  One of my little disappointments is that no one around here likes pesto, so all I get to do with the fresh basil (ahhhhhh the aroma!) is make bruschetta.  Why oh why are the home-grown tomatoes so tardy this year in Minnesota?

Date Posted: 7/2/2014 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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Yay!!  Only 1 head of lettuce this week!  And no more garlic scapes.  I have garlic scape pesto and scapes in the freezer.  I made garlic scape bean dip (which was really quite good)  so I'm garlic scaped out.  It's zuccini & cucumber overload time here in VA.  I got some nice kale and am going to make kale chips.  Oh and the other thing I am struggling with is fennel bulbs.   I saw a recipe for cole slaw with fennel -may try that.  Bonnie -you could make pesto and put a little in marinara sauce for everyone except you and you can just enjoy the pesto!

 

Date Posted: 7/3/2014 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Everything is behind in Pennsylvania as well.

question for Ann:  do you find belonging to a crop box worth it?

Date Posted: 7/3/2014 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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Beth (and anyone else who's interested)

ETA:   I just made baked kale chips and they are really good!  thanks Beth for the idea.

I really enjoy my CSA bag -or crop box.  I get a medium sized one each week.   It will feed my husband and I for a whole week.  I generally have two adult children here for 1+ meals and another one for 4-5 so I do have to supplement.  If I actually knew who was going to be here when I could pick another size bag.  I enjoy the different vegetables.  I never would have bought swiss chard or bok choy or many other veggies I've received.  I love to cook and do cook dinner usually 5-6 nights a week (depends on which kids were here and how many leftovers we have...)  If you enjoy cooking and don't mind trying new recipes with new foods  it's great.  The first year i did it I had to search the web for pictures of some of the vegetables because there would be 2 or more items I didn't recognize and I had to figure out which was which.   

The veggies taste much better than the grocery store.  You don't have to peel your cucumbers and it all is much more more flavorful.  I rarely have any waste.  I did at the beginning of this year with the lettuce.  (guilt).  I get my veggies on wednesday and shop for the rest of my food on thursday so I can plan out (sort of more or less) my meals for the week.  It doesn't save me much money but I do get a better variety of fresher tasting veggies.  I imagine since you are in PA your crop box would be similar to mine since I'm in northern VA

Here's last weeks note from the CSA:

I had a member question about how we choose our featured veggie and why some folks don't receive that veggie on the week it is featured. Sometime I forget that you don't know our inner workings and systems! Here's the answer I gave so all of you can understand how we do things.

The veggies we choose to feature are ones you will see a lot of throughout the season or in the coming weeks. We try not to burn people out on one veggie, so we have a constant rotation going of who gets what each week that alternates share sizes, day of delivery, and on-farm pick up vs. delivery. We try to make certain everyone gets everything at least once, but that no one gets the same things all the time.

That said, sometimes there are items like lettuce that you will see each week until the season is over because the season is short and abundant, and because we actually have enough to fill 540 shares each week.

Here is a list of what you may find in your bag this week. Things change from day to day, so sometimes what's on our list is not exactly what you get. Don't be alarmed!
Mini: squash, garlic curls, cucumbers, onions, fennel, lettuce, fresh garlic, pea shoots
Regular: squash, garlic curls, cucumbers, onions, kohlrabi, fennel, kale, lettuce, leeks, Thai basil, pea shoots
Robust: squash, garlic curls, cucumbers, onions, kohlrabi, fennel, kale, lettuce, fresh garlic, leeks, Thai basil, pea shoots, cooking celery

 

What Do You Grow?

This is a list of all the things we try to grow. You will most likely see each of these items at least once, and other items many times!

 



Last Edited on: 7/4/14 6:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/4/2014 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I should have mentioned I'm in central Minnesota-----and location does make a difference as to when one can look for what in a CSA share "crop box".    But all of you who are home gardeners know that, and about how the latest date for a damaging frost in your part of the USA varies according to your latitude.   What has been making life difficult for agriculturalists is the insane weather many parts of the nation have been experiencing for several months.

(Sorry, Farmer M., but I still don't like Swiss chard!)



Last Edited on: 7/4/14 8:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2014 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Thanks for responding.  We have many opportunities to participate in one but my concern with getting too much of one thing has kept me from joining and now we are down one child and the other is a tad picky.  I do love driving by and seeing signs that announce that they are sold out of memberships.  I think the GMO movement is helping.  If you like to read books about organic farming, i have some to recommend.  It is one of my favorite subjects.

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Beth:  Doesn't your Community Supported Agriculture farmer offer a half-share?

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 455
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we have 3 different sized shares but I bet the small one had a heck of a lot of lettuce the first few weeks too. (the small share is for for 1-2 adults who eat out frequently)  And although I don't dislike swiss chard we do get more than enough of that throughout the summer.  If you have a  picky eater, it might not be worthwhile.   Our CSA has a partnership with a (fill in blank here don't know name) co-op so we get wheatberries, barley, and different types of flours about every two weeks.  You may have one of those co-ops nearby if you don't want to go total produce but want to enjoy locally grown.     I'm envious --PA sells unpasteurized milk at small farms which I want to go up and get -not because I don't want pasteurization (I do)  I want to make cheese with unhomogenized milk and all the machines nowadays do both at once.  (I wonder if you can get arrested for carting unpasteurized milk across state lines)     Bonnie, I have a decent chard recipe if you are interested.  Otherwise I just stick it in with the rest of my greens and hope for the best.

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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That is why I bought it.  I purchased raw milk a few weeks ago and I couldn't remember what I wanted to do with it.  I had to throw it out.  Very short shelf life.   My memory is getting a bit creepy.  Anyway, if I can find that cheese  recipe, I will go back. Yes.  We can purchase it and there is a farm stand 2 miles away that sells it and goats milk and all kinds of heavenly things.  I was concerned that their prices were going to really jump when they built a nice building to take the place of the road side stand but there is a lot more than just produce now and it is supposed to be organic.

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Yes.  We can choose what size share.  I think. I prefer to hit the farmers market and buy what I want though.  It seems so romantic though and I would love to support one but around here they seem to do just fine.

Date Posted: 7/6/2014 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Our Farmer's Market here in central Minnesota is held every Saturday morning, in the historic "downtown" of town.  It's the one morning a week I don't mind a bit getting up early enough to eat breakfast and perhaps have a second cup of coffee, and get on over to the market for the 9 a.m. opening.   Two weeks ago I bought ground lamb from one vendor, and turned it into Esau's Pottage.  I served it, with warm Greek pita, for one of the meals while our two houseguests were with us for four days.  I was relieved when they both ate it readily, since it seems that some Midwesterners are prejudiced against lamb and/or mutton.  (They stick to beef, pork, and chicken, and eat only a few kinds of fish, infrequently.) Saturday, July 5, I bought peas from the little Asian couple.  The peas had no name on them, which is not so surprising, because even this summer, this couple is still a bit "linguistically 'challenged' ".   The peas are the kind that are eaten pod and all, and they were very tasty when cooked just simply.   We now have our first jar of home-made pickled beets, too, since last Wednesday's crop box contained some.  I neglected to bring a couple of jars of Southern-style cole slaw dressing with me when we came north for the summer, so we have had only 'regular' cole slaw thus far this summer.    Sigh . . . .I may have to make some Southern-style dressing "from scratch", if we are to have any sweet slaw this summer.  Oh, that reminds me----our farmer sometimes includes a jar of home-made kraut in the box.  His mother is the one who makes that, and it is good.


 


 



Last Edited on: 7/6/14 9:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2