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[personal profile] amazon_syren posting in [community profile] iron_chef_csa
Hi, folks.

I don't have a CSA. I'm looking at getting a CSA, and tyring to sort out which farm (a) delivers to a place that is grocery-carrying walking distance from my house and (b) will give us mostly veggies that we already eat. The latter part isn't a huge issue, but it's still a Thing (thense this community, I realize).

My question is: What do I do with lettuce (and arugula, and cut-and-come-again greens, and so on). I mean, the obvious is SALAD... except my wife actively dislikes lettuce and spending a month getting mostly veggies that my wife won't want to eat multiple times per week seems like a recipe for a lot of rotten greens, no matter how much I like the stuff.

In the case of just about anything else, I could either blanch-and-freeze the extra or preserve it as pickles, salsa, or something along those lines. But lettuces and other super-delicate greens don't preserve very well, so I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for creative ways to use tender/delicate greens quickly and in ways that don't scream "filler".



(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-23 11:03 pm (UTC)
phi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phi
I hate lettuce too, but a leaf or two on a sandwich for lunch, lettuce wraps, and lettuce coleslaw uses it up. You can also grill lettuce although I haven't tried that myself.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
sid: (cooking Carrots and broccoli)
From: [personal profile] sid
It can be made into lettuce soup, which I think could probably be frozen quite safely.

I just glanced at a few soup recipes, and one (that contained cream) said that if you were going to freeze it, leave out any dairy, which you can add in when you reheat the soup at a later date. So yes, it would freeze!

I thought for years that I hated lettuce, but it turned out it was iceberg lettuce that I didn't like. Which of course was the only kind my parents ever had in the house! It's possible you might get some varieties that your wife wouldn't mind eating, especially with a salad dressing that she really loves and enough other veggies, nuts, cheeses, etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-24 01:45 am (UTC)
amadi: A bouquet of dark purple roses (Default)
From: [personal profile] amadi
As an alternative, our CSA pickup location has a trade box. If you dislike or can't eat something in your box, you can put it in the trade box, and take something else, 1 for 1. You might want to find one that offers something like that.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-24 03:03 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
What kind of lettuces? If they're not iceberg (which I think is useful only for lettuce wraps), then it might be possible to cook them, like spinach.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-24 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Many tender greens except the milder/more delicate varieties (pretty much only lettuce) can be used in most recipes calling for any sort of greens, with adjustments to cooking time, and predictably some taste/texture differences. Arugula, cress, sorrel, lambs-quarters, mustard, tatsoi, "Japanses greens", stuff like that make fine substitutes for spinach in Indian recipes like palak paneer, aloo palak, etc.; in omelets or quiches.

Many soups are good with greens beyond their original recipe. Add tender greens in the last few minutes of cooking, or stir in very mild/tender lettucy ones just before serving. I like added greens in soups with a clearish broth and other tidbits or chunks of ingredients with contrasting textures-- my favorites involve meat or beans, and tomato, citrus or other tangy flavor (maybe it's because iron in leafy greens is more bioavialable when paired with animal-based iron, and calcium is more bioavailable in the presence of acid? and somehow my tastebuds know this? IDK) Besides Italian Wedding Soup (traditionally includes spinach, works fine with any dark green tender greens), I also like Chicken Tortilla Soup (chicken optional if vegetarian preferred), Minestrone, Howevermany Beans Soup, or my takes on soups inspired by Pho or or Udon or Thai rice-noodle soup --basically, variations on the theme of seasoned-clear-broth +noodles +added other meat/veggies/seasonings.

Sturdier or darker tender greens can be very briefly stir-fried or steam-wilted and seasoned to taste to eat as a cooked vegetable. I like to brown some garlic in oil, add a dash of salt (or salty flavor like soy sauce), a dash of sweet (fruit juice, honey, sugar), a dash of sour (lemon or lime juice, vinegar, tomato) or other flavorful liquid (broth, beer, wine) to deglaze the pan, then throw on the greens just til they wilt and pick up the flavor. Added crunchy tidbits are great with this: a few toasted nuts, seeds, or croutons, bits of bacon, etc. Dried herbs and spices can be added. Select flavors to complement whatever else you're eating it with. One of my favorite versions, based on a Medieval French (IRRC) recipe, browns pine nuts with the garlic, and adds raisins with a bit of brown sugar and salt dissolved in vinegar or light wine.

Very mild and delicate lettucy greens are harder to use in cooking, because of their tenderness. MHO, they're better used in sandwiches/wraps or atypical salads as others suggest, or as a crispy-cool additive to things that are hot & spicy or rich. In tacos. On top of spicy stir-fry.

Mmm, I'm hungry for greens now.


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