Simple Romaine & Cucumber Salad

romaine lettuce

Summer’s here, and it’s time for crisp, cool salads!

2 cups bread cubes (1/2-inch cubes)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 small seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let the croutons cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the balsamic vinegar. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the romaine, cucumber and croutons, toss well and serve.

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About Romaine Lettuce

romaine lettuceIt’s the time of the season when the weather is getting hot and people are craving light salads over heartier meals. Often overlooked in the interest of hearty greens, romaine lettuce is a lighter green that packs a serious nutritional punch!

Romaine is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A – important for eye health
  • Vitamin K – essential for blood clotting
  • Folate – critical for neuronal development and DNA synthesis

Romaine is a good source of:

  • Vitamin C – important for immune health
  • Potassium – protective against high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Copper – central to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in cells
  • Iron – enhances oxygen transport to all parts of the body

To add some fresh crunch to your summer days, chop up some romaine for a fresh salad, use the gorgeous large leaves as a bed for most any dish, or use the large crisp leaves to make spring rolls without the rice paper!

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Grilled golden beets with brown butter vinaigrette on greens

Golden beets, bunched

Imagine the brilliant colors in this salad: sunny oranges and reds from the beets, toasty golden brown of the butter, and rich greens of the lettuces. Beautiful!

1 bunch golden beets (or any other beets), washed and cut into 1-inch slices
(Keep the tops; cut and reserve for salad)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons smoked Hungarian or sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs thyme or 2 tablespoons ground thyme
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or vine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch reserved beet tops
1 bunch red leaf lettuce
1 bunch arugula
1 bunch romaine lettuce
1 bunch Italian parsley

In a bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, fennel, coriander, garlic and thyme. Add beets and let marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat a grill pan. Remove the beets from the bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat for 10 minutes until they turn brown, then transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile cook butter until it turns brown and starts to have a nutty smell (about 5-10 minutes). Add the sherry or vine vinegar and water. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the beets and serve it on the bed of greens.

Greens
Chop the spinach, beet tops, red leaf lettuce, arugula, romaine, and parsley into bite-sized pieces and combine in a bowl. Put a serving of greens on each plate and top with grilled browned buttered beets.

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Fava Bean Pesto on Charred Romaine Salad

fava beans

Did you know that you could grill lettuce? Or that you could make pesto from fava beans? Try doing both with this tasty recipe.

1 cup fava beans, removed from pods and blanched
1 bunch garlic scapes, roasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
1 head romaine lettuce

Preheat oven to 375. Place garlic scapes on a cookie sheet with a little bit of oil and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, place all ingredients except romaine in a food processor and pulse till combined. Set aside.

Cut romaine head into 4 wedges. Drizzle the cut sides of the wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the romaine over a hot fire, cut side down, until charred in spots, about 20 seconds. Turn the romaine over and grill for 20 seconds longer. Transfer the wedges to a platter, cut side up, and drizzle the fava bean pesto over them.

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Mixed Greens with Oranges and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bot navel orange

Brighten up your salad with oranges.

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 small navel oranges
2 bunches arugula or watercress, stemmed, washed and dried (about 4 cups)
1 small head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn (about 4 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk together orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil until well blended.

Remove the rind and white pith from the oranges with a very sharp knife and discard. Slice oranges thinly, or remove the individual segments by slicing between the membranes. Halve the orange slices if they are large.

Toss the arugula and romaine together in a shallow salad bowl. Separate the onion slices into rings. Scatter the onions and oranges over the greens. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss.

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Mary Wong’s Chinese Chicken Salad

lettuce in the field

A good salad starts with lettuce fresh from the fields!

Mary Wong of our very own farm store has given us this delicious Chinese chicken salad recipe. Check out our frozen organic chicken from Mary’s Chicken of Pitman’s Family Farm in CA. These free-range birds are fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products, no GMOs or antibiotics, no food grown with pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, and no synthetic amino acids.

Salad Base
1 cup Nash’s purple broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 cup Napa cabbage, sliced fine
1-2 cups romaine lettuce, broken into small pieces
1/3 cup daikon radish, grated
1/4 cup sunchokes, sliced thin
1/3 cup carrots, grated
2 cups frozen chicken, thawed and cut into pieces
1/4 cup leeks, sliced thin (use the inner, tender layers)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 teaspoon Chinese five spice (optional)

Dressing
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat a pan to hot and quickly add oil and leeks. Sauté until tender. Add chicken, stir-fry until cooked, then cool.

Toss all vegetables in a salad bowl and add chicken/leek mixture.

Pour all dressing ingredients into a pint jar. Cover firmly and shake vigorously. Pour over salad ingredients and toss. Serve immediately.

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