This will be a brief post because the sun is shining and we are going full steam ahead to get as much in the ground as possible before the rain starts again on Thursday. It looks like a great week for seeds to sprout. I’m going to also provide some information about greens from Angelic Organics – a CSA farm with their own cookbook and great online resources. Grilling season is also fast approaching (already here) and many veggies are great on the grill in foil packets (smaller pieces) or simply split in half, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with seasonings and placed directly on the grill. Enjoy the Sunshine!
Refrigerate unwashed choi in a plastic container or loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Choi keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.
Just before using, rinse choi under cold running water and gently shake it dry. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and slice, shred, or tear the leaves. If you will be eating the stems raw, slice or julienne them.
Choi with Gingery Butter
This sauce has characteristically Asian-inspired flavors, but this recipe uses butter instead of oil for added richness. Don’t be fooled by how simple this is; it is an interesting and wonderfully flavorful side dish. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Judy Gorman’s Vegetable Cookbook).
Serves 4 to 6
2 medium choi (any kind), sliced crosswise into 1-inch strips
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoonfinely chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the choi; cook until the choi is tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the choi in a colander and immediately run under cold water. Drain well.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and choi; cook, stirring constantly, until the choi is well coated and heated through.
3. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately
Salad greens start early and keep coming throughout the season. Experiment with salad building! You can top greens with fruit, nuts, seeds, pasta, and whole grains in addition to numerous dressings. As nineteenth-century editor and author Charles Dudley Warner once wrote, “You can put everything, and the more things the better, into a salad, as into a conversation; but everything depends on the skill of mixing.”
Store unwashed lettuce or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Wet greens will spoil quickly, so make sure they are truly dry before refrigerating them.) If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating. Use mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.
Salad greens bruise easily, so be sure to handle them gently. For lettuce, slice the head at its base with a sharp knife and let the leaves fall open. Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash lettuce and mesclun mix by swishing them in a basin of cold water. Dry the greens in a salad spinner. (Or place them loosely in a mesh bag or thin towel, then go outside and swing the bundle.)
Another possibility for lots of lettuce when you are in the mood for something warm is to wilt it and add to rice or potatoes. Simply wash and chop coarsely, then saute in olive oil or butter until wilted, season (try also adding a dash of balsamic vinegar) and toss with warm potatoes or rice.