Lett-uce eat greens
This is the time of year when we all crave fresh, local produce and yet the only thing that is producing- is lettuce.
It’s also the time of year that we CSA producers fear. Well- technically we fear all of it, but that’s a different story. We sign families up, they pay us their hard earned wages and in turn we give them lettuce. For weeks. And hopefully not months.
For the first week its exciting- its the first pick up, they finally see signs of changing seasons. And then the second week comes around and again, they see lettuce- and we hope that they don’t remember that all they got the week before was lettuce. And the cycle repeats itself until the weather graces us with enough growing conditions to produce the next magical vegetable: KALE!
Sigh. And harumph (spelling sounds is not my specialty).
Try as we might, we cannot seem to coax a full salad bowl, or even something as exciting as a cucumber for the next several weeks.
So what the heck do we do with all that lettuce anyway? I mean, one can only eat so many salads right? Thus, my solution to utilize every last leaf in not so salad like ways.
- Spring rolls: Rice paper wrappers with lettuce, peanut sauce, carrot, steamed shrimp
- Lettuce wraps: Spiced ground pork with water chestnut and chili paste loaded into spears of Flashy Trout Back
- Taco pizza: Pizza with enchilada sauce, beans and ground beef, pork or chicken, baked until bubbly and topped with cheese, lettuce, tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream
- Protein style hamburgers: Burgers with all the fixings sandwiched between lettuce leaves versus buns. Can I get a shout out from my gluten-free crowd? And it leaves more room for french fries. Props to In-n-Out for the name invention.
- Tortilla wraps with chopped salad: Cesar or ranch salads all wrapped up in a tortilla for a to-go option
- Aspic salad: Your favorite Julia Child gelatinous mixture, add lettuce
Just kidding on that last one. Unless your into that sort of thing. Jellofied lettuce- ew.
See? Not so hard right? Have any creative ways to use lettuce that you’d like to share?
If you are a CSA member, this week you also got these green sticks that look like big green onions and your kids might be using them as edible swords. They’re leeks! So what is a leek? Its basically a mild and nutty/sweet onion. Peel off an outer layer, chop off the dark green portion (its not so edible), slice lengthwise and rinse out all the grit and sand. Then chop off the root end and chop for your use. Confused? Watch this: http://youtu.be/R8glwRaS8OM
Then make this:
What’s Leeking? (Pasta with leeks, bacon and Parmesan)
Serves 4 generously
1 medium leek, sliced lengthwise and rinsed thoroughly
4 slices bacon, chopped
½ cup cream
1 pound of your favorite pasta
Salt and pepper
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling for pasta.
Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until just browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add leeks into remaining bacon drippings and sauté until translucent and tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add back bacon and mix well, then lower heat and pour in cream. Bring just to a simmer, stirring to coat and then keep warm until pasta is ready.
Before draining pasta, remove ¼ pasta water adding to sauce pan, drain rest of pasta well then add to saucepan and fold into leek and bacon mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve and garnish generously with Parmesan.