I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently opted into a farm share, or CSA, program. I had a lot of lettuce to eat last week and a lot of garlic scape pesto to use up. In the last shipment, I got more lettuce and garlic scapes which means more new recipes to try! One of them being my new cocktail, chocolate mojitos! But more on that later…
In the bag this week were some typical veggies and some fun ones. Here’s what I got and how I divided it up for my meals, as I added it into my regular groceries:
SALAD – I can always eat salad – packed for lunch or as a starter for dinner. It helps with digestion and is an easy way to get your nutrients!
- Tomatoes: As mentioned last week, tomatoes should not be refrigerated. (This is pretty easy for me, since I can eat tomatoes every day and never tire of them!)
- Red Lettuce: Just before using, remove the leaves, rinse in cold water, and spin or pat dry. Break into bite-sized pieces by hand, or toss smaller romaine leaves with seasoned croutons. To store, wrap in paper towel and store in plastic in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Escarole: Escarole has crisp leaves with a rather sharp, bitter taste, and should be mixed with other greens when used in salads. Wrap escarole in damp towel or place in plastic bag and keep in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. Escarole is best used fresh but will keep for 2-4 days if kept moist and refrigerated. [I added some raw in salads, some I quickly braised and served as a vegetable side with burgers.]
SESAME CHICKEN – I was planning to make this anyway with the help of some store-bought sauce. Some fresh greens lightened up an otherwise heavy meal.
- Turnip Green Thinnings: Turnip greens can be prepared in the same manner as spinach or any other leafy green – boiled, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
- Snow Peas: The snow pea is a legume, more specifically a variety of pea eaten whole in its pod while still unripe.
BASIL PESTO – Last week I tried scape pesto; this week I’m going more traditional, but subbing the garlic curls in for regular garlic cloves. Extra pesto can be refrigerated or frozen for weeks.
- Garlic Curls: The same stuff as last week, garlic curls (or “scapes”) are the tender flower stalks that grow out of the middle of hardneck garlic, before the garlic below is full grown. (I’ll use them this week the same way I’d use garlic.)
- Basil: To store, put the stems into a glass of water and keep on the counter or to freeze, Blanch the leaves for 2 seconds, plunge into ice water, pat
dry and place in an airtight container or bag in the freezer. Alternatively, chop the leaves and place them in an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze. Use the cubes within 5 months in soups, stews or sauces.
CHOCOLATE MOJITOS – because, why not? It’s summer baby!
- Chocolate Mint: Mint can be used in everything from tea to meat, fish, and marinades. For me, I think I’ll add it to some cocktails.
- 1 tbsp. simple syrup
- mint leaves
- 2 parts rum
- 1 part creme de cocoa
- 2 parts seltzer
Make your simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar in a sauce pan, along with a sprig of the mint leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
Crush one sprig of mint leaves at the bottom of a glass to release the flavors.
Add simple syrup, rum, and creme de cocoa. Top with soda. Stir to combine.
Garnish with mint leaves (optional).
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