Well, we've been feasting on some of our early season goodies, and now that we have so much more than microgreens, we wanted to share just what to do with tons of lettuce, arugula, fun with escarole, and that early summer allium - garlic scapes!
LARB GAI (or, Vietnamese sausage salad with herbs) - Serves 2-3
~ 2-4 heads lettuce (preferably Boston, but any will do)
~ 1 medium red onion, chopped
~ 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
~ 1 bunch basil, chopped
~ 1 bunch mint, chopped
~ juice of 2 limes, approx. 1/4 cup
~ 3 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1/3 cup asian fish sauce
~ 1 T. sugar
~ 1 hot chile
~ 1 pound pork or turkey sausage
~ some hot rice (optional)
* Start rice, if using.
* Separate leaves from heads of lettuce. Leave the leaves whole - wash and let drain.
* Brown the meat - let cool in a large bowl.
* Prepare the dressing. Mix together the lime juice, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and hot chile. Whisk periodically to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
* Once the meat is room temperature, add the dressing, herbs and onion into the meat. Stir to combine.
* Divide leaves onto plates, and serve pork mixture and rice with the leaves. Use lettuce leaves like eggrolls to eat. This is a finger food! If preferred, mix the rice with the meat and have it over a salad for a very refreshing summer salad.
What to do with all of that arugula!!
ARUGULA LEMON PEPPER SALAD WITH PARMESAN SHAVINGS - Serves 4
~ 1/2 pound baby arugula
~ 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
~ 2 tsp. coarse sea salt
~ juice of 1 lemon
~ 1/4 c. olive oil
~ a piece of really good parmesan reggiano, romano or other hard cheese
* Wash & spin dry arugula leaves - tear if necessary - and place in a large salad bowl.
* Make the dressing, adding the olive oil last in a thin stream, whisking to emulsify.
* Toss the arugula with the dressing, arrange on plates, and top with shaved parmesan.
* NOTE: add the dressing to the arugula immediately before serving - the lemon juice "cooks" the arugula a little, and it will have a melted appearance if tossed with dressing long before serving. You have about 10 minutes before the leaves loose their crunchiness.
Never eaten escarole in a salad? Get ready to live!!!
ESCAROLE SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE AND TOASTED NUTS - Serves 2-4
~ 1 large head of escarole
~ 4 oz. of good blue cheese (we love Gore-Dawn-Zola or Boucher Blue from Boucher Family Farm), crumbled
~ 1 c. toasted nuts - particularly good are walnuts or pine nuts
~ 1 tsp. black pepper
~ 1 tsp. kosher salt
~ 2 T. balsamic vinegar
~ 2 tsp. fresh thyme
~ 1/4 cup olive oil
~ 1 small red onion, cut into thin rings
* Wash escarole leaves, then chop or tear into manageable pieces. Spin dry, place in large salad bowl.
* Make the dressing. Whisk together the pepper, salt, vinegar, thyme and then drizzle in a thin stream the olive oil until well mixed.
* Add the crumbled blue cheese to the dressing. Mix well to coat, let stand for 5 minutes.
* Toss the escarole leaves with the dressing. Let stand for 5-10 minutes - then top with onion rings and nuts.
* ENJOY! It seems like a lot of salad, but then you start eating it and can't stop! Definitely try this if you think you DON'T like escarole or blue cheese - you'll be a convert, for sure! Don't balk at the amount of salt, either - it definitely cuts the bitterness of the escarole.
Last recipe this week to showcase the first garlic scapes!
GRILLED SKIRT STEAK SALAD WITH SAUTEED GARLIC SCAPES - Serves 2
~ 1 lb. skirt steak
~ freshly ground black pepper
~ kosher salt
~ 1 bunch garlic scapes (5-8 scapes)
~ olive oil
~ balsamic vinegar
~ 1 large head lettuce (summer crisp or a red romaine would be perfect)
* Preheat gas grill to medium hot.
* Prepare steak. Pat dry, and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
* When grill is hot, put skirt steak on grill, and close lid. Cook on each side for 5 minutes for medium doneness.
* Tear or chop lettuce into pieces. Wash and spin lettuce. Arrange leaves on large plates.
* Prepare scapes. Wash and chop scapes to 2-inch pieces. Heat a saute pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. When oil shimmers, add scapes. Saute until bright green. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and remove from heat.
* Remove steak from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. When ready, cut into thin strips across the bias. * Lay several pieces of steak on bed of lettuce. Top with garlic scapes. Drizzle entire dish with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Enjoy these recipes! Please let us know if you try any and if you like them!!