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CSA Recipes: Week 1 (bok choy, radish green, spinach, lettuce, scallions)

June 14, 2011

Last Tuesday (yes, one week ago), was our first CSA pick-up. Evelyn & I walked there (well, Evelyn rode and I walked) in the 95+ degree heat and picked up the vegetables in the stroller. I’m surprised they didn’t wilt, and when we got home I took a photograph of the bounty.

CSA produce, week 1

Here’s a list of what we got:

  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  • 3/4 lb. small lettuce greens (a variety of types)
  • 1 lb. spinach leaves
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch radishes (I also picked up 2 bunches of radish greens someone else had left behind.)
  • 1 bok choy
That night, I made a menu and list of ingredients for how to use all the produce. Because I haven’t posted in awhile, I’m going to put some of the recipes here.
Using some of the spinach, I made Grilled Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas, a recipe from Real Simple.  (Click on the title for the recipe.) (And, yes, I bought a rotisserie chicken.) Evelyn loved this recipe! So did we. With the leftover chicken, and using some of the Bok Choy, I made Chicken Salad with Bok Choy, Celery, and Peanut Butter Vinaigrette. (Scroll down for all the recipes I do not link to.)
With the rest of the spinach, I made Spinach and Tofu with Wasabi Dressing. (Note, the recipe I’ve linked to says this serves 12. I think it makes 12 appetizers, but I’d say that it serves 4 modestly. Seven ounces of tofu is just not that much for a main dish.) This was also delicious; we served it with Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Cold Soba Noodles (click the recipe title for the recipe) which used up most of the scallions. The Cold Soba Noodles are delicious and very simple to make.

Spinach and Tofu with Wasabi Dressing and Cold Soba Noodles

Justin ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and we learned that Evelyn has a penchant for cold soba noodles and plain tofu. Yes, right-out-of-the-plastic-container plain.
Well, before I get to the salads that I made, I want to tell you about the most exciting thing I made this week. It wasn’t exciting because it was the most awesome thing I’ve ever tasted, it was exciting because I finally found an amazing recipe for radish greens! For years I’ve known that radish greens were eatable and I’d often squeeze them into stir-fries or Moo Shu Vegetables, but now I’ve found a simple recipe that uses a ton of radish greens and tastes great to boot. It is, simply, Radish Greens Soup and it calls for onion, oil/butter, potatoes, broth, radish greens, and 1 lemon. The taste is superb (it’s the lemon) and you can feel a bit virtuous as you eat something that others may have thrown away. Do you realize how good radish greens are for you? They’re full of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
And now, to the salads. Using some seasonal asparagus I’d purchased at the Farmer’s Market, I made Asparagus Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing (recipe below). I love this recipe because it calls for lemon balm, a herb that grows rampant in my garden. I dry it for tea, but often don’t know what else to do with it. I also made Red Leaf Salad with Oranges, though I thought this version had way too much onion in it. I even used Vidalia, which should be less pungent. See below for my revision. With other leftover lettuce, I served it up with Feta Dressing with Oregano and Mint (scroll down on this link for this recipe).
So…that was what I did with some of the vegetables we got. And now, without further ado, the promised recipes…
Chicken Salad with Bok Choy, Celery & Peanut Butter Vinaigrette
3 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 head bok choy, rinsed
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 celery stalk, halved and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
Dressing ingredients:
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. honey
5 T. fresh orange juice
2 T. lime juice
2 T. canola oil
2 t. minced fresh ginger
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Slice each bok choy leaf in half lengthwise. With your knife at a diagonal, cut each half into 3/4″ slices using all parts of the vegetable. Combine with celery, carrot, and red pepper strips. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Place shredded chicken in a bowl and combine with the dressing. Add the vegetables and mix lightly. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Asparagus Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
1 lb. asparagus, lightly steamed and cut into 1-2″ pieces
4 C. mixed baby greens
2 C. thinly sliced bok choy
4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1 T. thinly sliced lemon balm leaves, for garnish
Mix the above ingredients together or arrange them on a plate. Use the following as a dressing to serve on or alongside:
1 C. sour cream or yogurt (Or a combination of the two.)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 C. thinly sliced lemon balm leaves
 1 t. lemon thyme or any thyme leaves
1/4 t. salt
Red Leaf Salad with Oranges: The less-strong version
Peel, and thinly slice (paper-thin slices!) 1/2 a small Vidalia onion, or less, if you don’t love onion. Place it in a large bowl. Pour over 1 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar. Let it sit for awhile to soften while you do something else. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the following to the salad: 2 oranges, peeled with a knife and cut crosswise into round slices, 1 head of read leaf lettuce, torn, and 1 1/2 T. olive oil. Mix gently together.
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