Recipe Round Up

Six years into CSA membership and our house still has trouble using all the lettuce in a typical week. While we can rock some seriously yummy salads–magic happens with roasted beets and garlic and a little vinegar–salads are just not our go to thang when meal time rolls around. Regardless, we get lettuce…so lettuce we will eat. Thus, we dedicate this recipe round up to some un-salady uses for lettuce.

Lettuce Roll

Lettuce Wraps

Typical in Thai & Vietnamese cuisine, wrapping up meats and slaws in a leaf of lettuce can be a great way to utilize your lettuce. We don’t really follow any official recipe, kinda just make mix of (fake) meat (pictured above) with some seasonings and onions and then top it with some yogurt and cukes and tiny tomatoes. However, there is a lot of guidance out there for people who want to play with different flavor profiles in their wraps.

Anne B posted some great recipes this week, including this recipe for braised veggies which uses up 2 cups of rommaine lettuce. Braising is a great way to use up a glut of  lettuce and a fun way to make “hot” salads. Works well as a leftover for lunches too.

Braised Spring Legumes
6 servings

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped scallions (white and tender parts; about 6 scallions)
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 1/2 pounds fresh peas in the pod, shelled
1 1/4 pounds fresh fava beans in the pod, shelled, blanched, and peeled
1 cup finely diced zucchini
1/2 teaspoon peperoncino (crushed red pepper)
2 cups thinly shredded romaine leaves
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh mint leaves

In a large, heavy casserole with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and onions and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the peas, fava beans, zucchini, and peperoncino and season lightly with salt. Stir well, reduce the heat to low, and cover the casserole tightly. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the romaine and mint, cover the casserole, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes more. (The vegetables should give off enough moisture during cooking to prevent sticking or burning. If you find they are sticking, you can add a few tablespoons of water. Make sure the heat is very low and the pot is tightly covered before continuing to cook. It is fine, however, if the vegetables do brown a little.) Season to taste with salt and serve hot.

Another great way to use up a ton of CSA veggies is risotto. There are tons of new ways to make this classic italian dish every week, making risotto a popular dish for experimenting. (Anyone for Epazote & Cilantro risotto?)

For years i was too intimidated by horror stories of gummy risotto (or was it from watching Gordon Ramsey throw a fit when a bad risotto came his way in Hells Kitchen) that i never even tried to bust it out. Fortunately, my friend Naomi, who had studied abroad in Italy and was a risotto expert treated me to a crash course in risotto this Winter. Totally not hard, I have been creating them ever since.

This recipe from Anne B looks like a super way to use all those great MimoMex herbs!

Green Herb Risotto
6 servings
1 hour

1 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups short-grain rice (such as arborio) or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until thick paste forms. Bring broth and 2 1/2 cups water to simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to very low; cover to keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add rice; stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add wine; simmer until absorbed, stirring often. Add warm broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to bite, about 20 minutes. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Uncover; stir in herb paste, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm bowls, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

And while we are on the un-salad week, don’t save all your radishes for cold salads. Radishes are great served hot, either roasted, braised, or sauteed. Last fall, sauteed radishes became a favorite side dish in our kitchen. Don’t miss out. Check out Anne B’s recipe, altered from an epicuirious recipe to work with our week’s produce.

Sauteed Radishes
4 Servings
20 minutes

2 bunches radishes with greens attached (1 lb)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
1/2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh spring onion (green part)

Cut greens from radishes and coarsely chop. Trim radishes and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges.

Heat 1 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté radish wedges with salt, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Sauté garlic in remaining tablespoon butter in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add greens and sauté, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute.

Return radish wedges to skillet and stir in spring onion.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper upon serving.

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