Sunday, July 3, 2011
This summer, thanks to the company sponsored CSA (= Community Sustained Agriculture) program, we receive fresh organic produce twice a week. About 15 of us share a couple of bagful of mystery vegetables just dug up in that morning. Displayed in communal table, they look big & wild, somewhat gnarly, still full of dirt & occasional bugs are included. So far we ate radishes, arugula, variety of lettuce, pan di zucchero chicory, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, nappa cabbage, kabu, turnip, eggplant, beets, sugar snaps, English peas, string beans, fennel, tatsoi, bok choi, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, basil & cilantro, and totally unfamiliar leaves that resemble giant dandelion (they look & smell "bitter green" all over) called Chickendive. There was no taker, so I end up taking them home. And yes, the leaves are extremely bitter, I couldn't eat them raw.
So there is a new agenda: "Make meals with whatever already in the kitchen first" because eating up all the vegetables became my mission. I wasn't really a salad person before, but it is a good way to systematically go though the large amount of leafy greens.
I made a salad of chopped lettuce & shredded beets with mustard-ponzu dressing (whole grain mustard, ponzu, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil). Sweet & Sour & Hot dressing (hot sauce, garlic sweet chili paste, rice vinegar, fish sauce) is perfect for a slaw of nappa cabbage & shiso leaves. Red skin potato, tomato & parsley salad can be dressed with simple Lemon Oil dressing (lemon infused rice oil, rice vinegar, salt & pepper). If I need the protein, I add hard boiled eggs, bacon, smoked fish, chopped peanuts, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, etc. If I want substantial meal, I mix Korean style vermicelli, ramen noodles (without soup!), small shaped pasta, kasha, or potato. So every morning I consult my mood and decide what to make, that are relatively balanced in nutrients, flavor and volume. I am taking my mantra "East what I make" to the next level.