Wilted Greens & Hakurei Turnip Salad

One of several benefits to joining the Farm Direct Coop is the opportunity to experience a wide variety of local fruits and vegetables. When I first joined the coop three years ago, I never ate turnips, had never even heard of Hakurei Turnips for that matter!

Fast forward to today and it’s one of many new favorites I look forward to each Spring. As you prepare your first bounty of the season, here’s a quick take on what to do with those lovely white turnips.

"Hakurei Turnips" Photo by Hattie's Garden via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

“Hakurei Turnips” Photo by Hattie’s Garden via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

Salad:
1 bunch hakurei turnips with greens
1 bunch arugula or lettuce of choice

Clean and chop greens, minus stems. Cut top and bottom of turnips off, then slice up the rest of the turnips as thick or thin as you prefer. I like mine with some ultra thin slice mixed in with some bigger chunks.

Dressing:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil (or 2tbsp of the same if you only have 1 on hand)
1 tbsp local honey
1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
*optional 2 tbsp nut of choice such as walnuts
*optional croutons

In a saucepan, heat olive oil just until warm. Add seeds and nuts, if using. Toast gently. Add remaining wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Warm through and reduce to desired thickness. Remove from heat and toss with salad. Greens should wilt gently, bringing out the flavors and creating a unified salad. Top with croutons, if using, and enjoy immediately. *Note* If your dressing is boiling vigorously, let cool for one minute before tossing with salad.

Let Us Eat Lettuce

By Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

I’ll admit it: I let the lettuce go bad. More than once. I stick it in the vegetable drawer vowing to myself that I’ll wash it and make a salad tomorrow, but, inevitably, it wilts. There is a unique sadness to be found in a defeated, deflated head of lettuce forgotten in the bottom of the fridge.

Believe it or not, I love salad. I just hate washing lettuce.

Which brings me to tip No. 1 for Using Your Lettuce:

1. Get a salad spinner.

It’s not the washing of lettuce that’s so terrible; it’s the drying. I live in a very tiny apartment with a very tiny kitchen leaving inadequate space for the storage or subsequent drying of a salad spinner. But believe you me, if I had a salad spinner, that magical device that guarantees the end of soggy salad while providing more than moderate entertainment in its operating, never again would a head of lettuce perish in my kitchen.

For the time being, however, I continue to exist without a salad spinner, necessitating Tip No. 2 for Using Your Lettuce:

2. Eat lots of sandwiches.

In heat like this, the sandwich is our best friend. No turning on of stoves or ovens required. The sandwich can provide a complete meal of protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains with minimal prep time and convenient portability. Nothing makes a sandwich like a few fresh pieces of lettuce and even if you don’t have a salad spinner, you can easily wash a few leaves and dry them between paper towels or cloth napkins. Eat enough sandwiches and before you know it, your lettuce is spent.

If you are bored by salad spinners and sandwiches, however, you may be more inclined to employ Tip No. 3 for Using Your Lettuce:

3. Liquify!

Depending on the variety, lettuce can be made up of nearly 95 percent water. This high water content makes lettuce almost impossible to preserve, but also makes it the perfect base for homemade juices. It is also high in vitamin A, among others, and potassium. Try juicing your lettuce with other seasonal veggies from the coop like cucumber, beets and carrots for a refreshing, highly nutritious meal or snack.

Early June Salad-As-A-Meal

By Stefanie Timmermann, Salem Depot

Picking up the first share was quite exciting – so fresh! We had a salad with some of the veggies that night, with some homegrown Swiss chard thrown in. The dressing on the salad has a spicy twist.

2 generous portions if eaten as a stand-alone course

•½  head red lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
•½  bunch of dandelions, de-stemmed, bite-sized pieces
•1 small Japanese turnip, peeled, finely cut
•Handful of Swiss chard, bite-sized pieces
•1 avocado, sliced
•4-5 cocktail tomatoes, cored, sliced thinly
•3 barely hardboiled eggs, just egg whites, (remove egg yolks and keep for dressing), bite-sized pieces
•Cooked quinoa, about 1 to 1.5  cups
•Some chopped basil, especially Thai basil if handy
•¼ red onion, finely chopped

Gently mix all ingredients together.

Dressing:
•Juice of 1 lemon
•½ cup greek yogurt
•3 hardboiled egg yolks, crumbled
•2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
•Salt to taste (generous amount – depends on acidity of lemon)
•Dash of sesame oil
•Dash of cayenne pepper
•Dash of cumin
•Olive oil

1) Cream dressing ingredients together until quite smooth. It should taste lively on its own – tangy& hot.
2) Just before serving, gently fold dressing into the salad.