The sections below were copied with permission from Mi Ae Lipe’s Tastes from the Valley to Bluff: The Featherstone Farm Cookbook (2008).
Featherstone’s salad mixes come prewashed and dried. If you prefer, you can rinse them on more time before serving, but the greens will keep far better dry until you are ready to use them.* For mixes that seem too damp, slip a couple of paper towels in the bag among the greens. This will keep drier and less susceptible to spoilage-inducing slime. (Conversely, if the greens seem to be on the dry side, use lightly dampened paper towels.) The greens should keep wrapped in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for up to a few days. Salad greens should not be stored next to apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gas, which will hasten spoilage and cause brown spots.
*Season Update: While the greens are prewashed, we recommend washing them one more time immediately before serving to get any remaining dirt off!
Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, & Foods
Anchovies, apples, avocados, bacon, cheese, croutons, eggs, garlic goat cheese, herbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, mayonnaise, greens, mustard, nuts, oil (walnut and olive), onions, oranges, peanut, pepper, raisins, sea salt, sesame, tofu, vinaigrette, vinegar (balsamic and rice wine).
• Fresh salad mix dressed with a light vinaigrette is hard to beat for a spring or an early summer salad.
• Throw in some salad mix into scrambled eggs, omelettes, or frittatas.
• Substitute salad mix for lettuce in sandwiches.
• Add variety to salad mix by adding fresh herbs, like basil leaves, dill sprigs, chervil, borage, or chopped chives. Edible flowers make beautiful, tasty decorations – try pansies, violets, nasturtiums, calendulas, daylily buds, or marigolds.
Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Croutons
Seasonal Salad with Herb Vinaigrette (serves 6)
Make the vinaigrette no more than a couple hours before serving.
2 scant tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar, or a combination
1 small clove garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large handfuls salad greens, about 3/4 pound
1. Measure the vinegar into a small bowl. Crush the garlic clove and add it to the vinegar, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. After 10 minutes or so, whisk in olive oil and a little freshly milled pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
2. To serve, put the greens in a wide salad bowl and season with a small pinch of salt. Remove the garlic clove, whisk the vinaigrette, and toss the greens lightly with just enough dressing to make the leaves glisten. (Your clean hands make the best salad-tossing tools.) Serve immediately with garlic toast or croutons.
Credit: Featherstone Farm CSA member Pam Garetto (adapted from Alice Waters)
Wash and dry salad greens. Wash and dry basil and tear off desired amount of leaves. Toss with a simple oil and vinegar vinaigrette and divide between individual serving plates. Pan fry a steak - preferably in a heavy cast iron pan - cook rare. Thinly slice meat when done, saving any juices to pour on the salad. Four to five ounces of meat per serving is plenty. Garnish the salad with some or all of the following: crumbled blue or feta cheese, sliced sweet onion, julienned raw kohlrabi, snow peas.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 5
If desired, you can add a broiled chicken breast just like they do in the restaurants. Or some broiled salmon or other fish. There are a lot of bad Caesar salads to be found in restaurants. Sometimes they think that if you just pile shredded parmesan and croutons on romaine and maybe squeeze on a little lemon then they can sell it as a Caesar. Too bad. You owe it to yourself to make the real thing. This recipe has good instructions for coddling an egg - which is an important step in an authentic Caesar salad. If you hate anchovies you could leave them out. A compromise would be to use a bit of anchovy paste. A hint of anchovy flavor is most desirable in a Caesar salad. I am not crazy about anchovies but I do like some in a Caesar salad.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2011 - Week 4
Pasta Chicken Salad
Cook pasta of your choice - such as rotini, fusilli, penne or elbow macaroni. Plan on about one to 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta per serving. Drain and set aside. Chop cooked green beans and asparagus into one or two inch pieces. Add to pasta. You may also add some chopped onions, garlic scapes or chives to taste. Fresh spinach leaves cut into 1/2 inch strips would also be a good addition. Then add pieces of cooked chicken. You could also use turkey, salmon or tuna or even some cured or smoked sausage. If I had some toasted pecans around I would thrown those in too.
Dressing: Mix equal parts mayonnaise and plain yogurt. Thin with a little milk if desired. Add a few tablespoons of fresh chopped dill and a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. If you want to spark the taste a bit, add a dash of vinegar and pinch of sugar. Serve on a bed of salad greens. (Note: Thursday's Hands On post will be about how to make mayonnaise at home.)
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 2
Wilted Lettuce Salad (4 servings)
You can use up a lot of leaf lettuce this way.
About one pound leaf lettuce, washed and dried (if you don't have a salad spinner you can use kitchen towels). You can also add some spinach, beet greens or other tender green.
4-6 strips bacon, diced (you can also use pancetta - that is my favorite)
4 green onions (or one bulb green garlic, minced fine, and some chopped garlic scapes)
4 T. Cider vinegar (or red or white wine vinegar)
2 t. sugar
While bacon is cooking, shred or tear salad greens and place in a large bowl. After bacon is cooked, add vinegar, sugar and onions or garlic to pan drippings and heat gently. Pour warm dressing and bacon pieces over the greens and quickly toss. Serve on warmed plates. Salt and pepper to taste. Excellent garnished with chopped or quartered hard boiled eggs and sliced radishes.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 2
Filled Butter Lettuce Cups with Asian dressing
Wash and dry individual leaves of butter lettuce - place on a large serving plate.
Chop the following (I suggest 1/2 inch dice or even smaller) Proportions can vary according to your taste and the amount of items you have on hand: garlic scapes, sugar snap peas (raw or very lightly steamed), peeled kohlrabi, carrots, onion, radish, cucumber, cilantro, roasted peanuts. You can also add tofu, hard boiled egg, mushrooms or cooked chicken or other meat or fish to the filling or on the side. Some cooked brown or white rice, at room temperature, would also be a nice addition to the filling. If desired, serve the various filling ingredients separately instead of mixing all together. Children might enjoy choosing their own filling ingredients.
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
1 T. toasted sesame oil
2 t. soy sauce
2 t. sugar
a little salt, red pepper flakes to taste
optional - add a T. of toasted sesame seeds
Serve the lettuce leaves, filling and dressing separately. Each person can serve themselves - making lettuce rolls to eat out of hand or filling "cups" of lettuce to eat with a knife and fork.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 3
One Bowl Salad - a Neat Trick
Put the following into a large bowl: 2 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. finely chopped garlic, 1/2 t. Dijon-type mustard, 1 t. red wine or sherry vinegar. Stir together. Add about 1/2 pound leafy salad greens - washed, dried and chilled -- 2-3 ounces at a time. Toss each time you add lettuce. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Optional additions: sliced radishes, shredded carrots, cucumber, nuts, bits of feta cheese, etc. Serve.
Credit: Cook out of the Box - Focus: Lettuce