My family and I decided to get a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) basket this year and to try whatever produce comes in it at least once. This has been great except for during the last three weeks, we have received lettuce, and lots of it. I like salads as much as the next person but there are only so many salads you can eat in a day. One idea that has helped with our salad eating is to make up several in one day and store them in mason jars. (Thank you Pinterest!) This way it is easier to grab a salad to eat when the kids eat and we finish eating around the same time.
When I was asked to write about what to do with greens besides salads, I had no idea what I was going to do. So like any person, I took to the Internet to get ideas and then made them my own. I have two yummy ideas for you today; try to keep your mind open as you read them.
(Yes, I said soup, but think leek and potato, not wilted lettuce)
This recipe is gluten free and vegan.
- ½ head of lettuce (Since we are going to cook it you can use wilted or fresh)
- ½ large onion
- 1 large baking potato
- 2 ribs celery
- 2 garlic scapes (If you can’t find any leave them out. They were another thing we got a lot of in our CSA basket.)
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used safflower oil)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 cups broth (I used vegetable)
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stockpot, combine oil, onion, celery, garlic scapes and a pinch of salt and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent. When your onions done add your garlic and stir for about a minute or until it is fragrant. Add your stock and potatoes, and bring to a boil, then simmer for 7 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your potato pieces. When your potatoes are almost tender add your lettuce and continue to cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.
Here is where you get to make some choices about the soup. If you want to bring out the lettuce taste you can add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Leave it out for a more potato taste. You can also leave it chunky, or you can puree the soup to a smooth texture. If you choose to puree the soup it will have a color about like split pea soup. In my house, that is a big turn off, so I left it the way it was. This soup is even better the next day warmed up.
This next recipe might also sound a bit strange, but again trust me, it works. I like pickles, and one of my favorite quick recipes is Asian fridge pickles. I took this recipe and applied it to the lettuce, and it worked out great. They do not get soggy or slimy like I thought they might, and they held up in the fridge three to four days.
- ½ head of lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 6 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ onion, optional (I love pickled onions, so I added some in.)
- Radishes, optional (I had a few that needed to be used.)
Combine the water, salt, sugar and vinegar together in a container and stir until sugar and salt is dissolved. Add in lettuce and any other vegetables to the pickling mixture and stir well. Put a tight fitting lid on your container, or else everything in your fridge will begin to taste like pickles. Let the mixture sit for half an hour before you try it.
These two recipes have made their way into my book of recipes, and I hope you will give them a try too!
How do you use greens when you have a lot?
I am a single mom to two small boys (2 and 5) and we love to garden, can and take adventures together. We are a gluten, dairy and food coloring free house and to find out more about our tasty treats visit us at http://goingfreeglutendairy.blogspot.com/
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