Thursday, May 29, 2014

CSA Share - Spring Week 2 and Bok Choy Salad

Week two of our spring CSA, and things are looking pretty green around here! 

See what I mean?  This week's share brought us potted thyme (We could have chosen oregano, but I got that last week, so I decided to switch it up!), bunches of bok choy, spinach, pea shoots, beet greens, Harukei turnips, and another ginormous bag of lettuce.

So, here's the plan.  Salads for everyone.  On my block.

Just kidding.  Kind of.  But I did send salads in the kids lunches, made of the lettuce and some pea shoots.  There will be a lot of salads again this week.  Luckily, my family is pretty okay with that.  I might also make some more lettuce soup to freeze.  I sent some of the turnips and some pea shoots in with my hubby's veg for his lunch.  The thyme was planted. I'm thinking of making a pesto-type filling with the spinach and doing a bread roll with it.  I might freeze this week's beet greens for later too, since they freeze well and are so plentiful right now.  And as for the bok choy...

Bok choy salad is one of my favorites.  It's quick, beautiful, and easy, can be adapted to include a variety of veggies, and is generally loved by those who try it.

In a jar, pour in a quarter cup of olive oil, an eighth of a cup each of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, and then add a generous tablespoon of sugar.  Seal up the jar and give it a good shake to combine.  Delicious dressing: check.

Clean and chop several bunches of baby bok choy.  It depends on how big your bok choy is, and how many people you want to serve, but I generally assume at least one bunch of bok choy for each person, plus a couple additional at the end.  For my family of five, I use at least 8.

Chop up some green onions.

Grate or julienne some carrots.  I have a great julienne peeler that makes these perfect little matchsticks a lot easier to make!  It's another one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Today I julienned up some of the snow white Harukei turnips to add in as well.

Toss all the veggies together in a large bowl.

Add some sliced almonds and some chow mein noodles for crunch.  You could also go with sunflower seeds here, or add dried cherries or cranberries for an extra zing.  And yes, I do know that chow mein noodles are very over-processed.  It's part of my 90/10 theory.  If 90% of what my family eats is wholesome, I'm not going to stress over that other 10%.  If a tablespoon of chow mein noodles helps to get a cup and a half of veg down with eager smiles, bring it on.

Give the salad another toss.

Add the dressing and combine right before serving.

This salad doesn't keep well once the dressing is on it, because over time it will make the noodles soggy.  But I've rarely had any left to save.  If you're serving it for a large group, you may want to serve the chow mein noodles, nuts, etc. on the side so that people can adjust it to their personal tastes.  This is a crowd-pleaser at picnics, and mixes it up a bit from your typical garden salad.

Next week's CSA projection looks like more of the same, green green green, with the possible additions of baby beets and arugula.  Can't wait!  

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