The growing season has begun, which means that CSA members throughout the country are getting shares packed with early crops, like lettuce, radishes, and baby spinach. If you're like many of us, you might feel somewhat ambivalent about the bounty of Boston, romaine, and red-leaf heads making their way into your box this month. On the one hand, it's such a treat to have fresh-from-the-farm salad greens on hand to toss with olive oil and lemon juice at a moment's notice. On the other hand...lettuce is so annoying to wash. The only way to make sure none of it goes to waste? Surrender to the lettuce: make peace with the fact that you'll need to dedicate half an hour each week to your salad spinner. With leaves washed, dried, and bagged in the fridge, salads become the effortless summer meals they were meant to be.
The Haul: Baby spinach, Toscano kale, garlic scapes, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, red beets, Japanese salad turnips, strawberries.
The Menu Ideas:
Marinated Kale with Tahini Dressing [Miami New Times]
Who cares that it's healthy? This kale salad is crazy delicious. Let it hang out in the dressing for an hour before eating.
Sweet, fragrant garlic scapes lend their mild garlic flavor to this creamy cannellini dip.
Beef Salad Parisienne [JBF]
Some leftover beef and a classic French vinaigrette are all you need to turn salad greens into an entrée. (A couple of hardboiled eggs doesn't hurt either.)
If you roast, peel, and quarter the beets ahead of time, this dish comes together in seconds.
Strawberry Summer Cake [Smitten Kitchen]
Simple and not too sweet, this gorgeous snacking cake will make quick use of your strawberry surplus.