CSA 2012: Week 3 — One Tired Salad Spinner

More spinach!

The early part of the season is a bit tedious with all the greens. There, I said it. I’m hoping to raise a lettuce lover in my son by starting early, but I have to confess that I have to work to like eating lettuce — even this high quality organic lettuce. I blame it on my parents.

Just kidding — my mom is the one who gave us our salad spinner. All is forgiven! Seriously, my mom did really great with the healthy foods, but I just didn’t like lots of lettuce. Did I ever mention that I didn’t like tomatoes until I was 25? I still am not a huge fan, but I had an epiphany at 25 when I was out to eat with my friends (that was in my previous life when I worked for corporate America and went out to eat a lot). My friends and I frequented the cutest little Italian deli and it was there that I realized if I turned down the tomato on my sandwich, then lunch often was devoid of a veggie. I started allowing tomatoes on my sandwiches and realized that I couldn’t even taste them (not sure what kind of tomatoes they were…) and that’s how I got closer to 5 fruits and veggies per day back then.

Could it look any prettier?

Our salad spinner is not a full-size salad spinner, but a smaller one, which spins the perfect amount of greens for the three of us. It’s been getting a lot of use. Basically, it just sits out on our counter constantly. I’m not very tidy so that’s really why, but it sure makes it convenient when I come home with my son. He’s been really pounding the salad spinner when he helps me make dinner — what a great job for a three-year-old. Sadly, the salad spinner has already lost its novelty so I’m on my own now.

What to do with this?

How in the world do I prepare this green (pictured above)?? Help.


My mom came to visit and prepared the chard above by sauteeing it with garlic and onions. It was good. She claimed it was her first time eating chard, which I strongly doubt because she probably just doesn’t remember it.


My mom further claimed that it was her first time eating a turnip — I believe that. Again I roasted them and they were great. You guys suggested just eating them raw, but I didn’t want to try them raw. Call me unadventurous. Raw can be intimidating.

The weather is *slowly* turning warmer. I cannot wait for some nicer weather — and then come the farmer’s markets! Yippee!

Tomato Mountain CSA included lettuce, spinach, Red Russian Kale, Hakurei turnips, Rainbow chard, and bok choi


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12 thoughts on “CSA 2012: Week 3 — One Tired Salad Spinner

  1. Kale is my 2 year old’s favorite green. I melt tallow or lard in a sautée pan, add some sliced sweet onions which I cook until translucent, then add in a bunch of sliced baby portabella mushrooms. After a few minutes I add a ton of chopped kale. You can heap it on because once it’s cooked, it really shrinks down. Usually I put a lid on my pan to get my kale to cook faster. While doing all this, I add liberal amounts of salt and pepper to the whole thing.

    I’ve also added cooked beans, meat, poultry, or bacon to this. I serve it as a main dish or a side dish depending on how much I make and what I put in it.

    Kale is easily the green we always keep on hand! We also toss it into smoothies.

    Enjoy your bounty!

  2. The mystery greens are Red Russian Kale. Kale chips are a quick way to demolish a big pile of most any green.

    I’m partial to sauteing it in heavy pan until you smell it starting to burn just a bit and deglazing with water or stock (repeat 2-3 times). Near the end I add some garlic or onion as well as any other seasonings (salt, pepper, spicy vinegar), cook till the last additions are softened, and serve it as a side dish.

  3. I still love spinning my mum’s salad spinner, the novelty hasn’t worn off for me and I’m 21! But she didn’t have one when I was a child, so perhaps that’s why. I’m afraid I have no idea about your mystery green but when in doubt, I usually steam things and see what they taste like.

  4. For the kale, tear it into bite-sized pieces (discard the stem/spine), put those in your salad spinner, rinse REALLY well, spin them dry, put them on a baking sheet, toss with a TINY amount of olive oil and some sea salt or seasoned salt, bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes (stir/toss every 10 minutes) until they are crispy-crunchy. Kale chips! They are so delicious and super addictive. I got so sick of kale when we had our CSA a couple of years ago (we have a year-round farmer’s market now), but ever since I found out about kale chips, I actually go out and buy kale on purpose just to make them! They are that good!

  5. OK, this might be more work and ingredient hunting than you wish to do, but I always love making summer rolls, otherwise known as goi cuon. The only pain in the butt might be finding those big rice discs that you soak in hot water and roll everything up in. I put boiled shrimp or roast pork in mine, but you could make them totally vegetarian, and use up a lot of what your CSA provides: shred up a bunch of lettuce, herbs, carrots, even some slivers of turnip wouldn’t be bad in there if they were lightly pickled (or not). I make a dipping sauce to accompany them: chopped peanuts (of course, omit if there are nut allergies), vinegar, fish sauce, sriracha, and a little hoisin or honey.

  6. I left a reply I think a week or so ago when you asked about fave green recipes!

    But I guess you don’t like raw? But this raw kale salad is so good! Why don’t you just try it? keep an open mind!!


    You can also add kale to soup like you would spinach. I LOVE kale – is my favorite green by far!

  7. Next time you get a bunch of greens from the CSA just despine them all and saute together like your mom did the chard. I always do 3 bunches of greens together and it is the perfect amount for me and 3 kids. We love cooked greens! My favorite combo is purple kale, regular kale, and Swiss chard.

    1. I like to cut the kale into small pieces, saute it with some garlic (often the water on the kale from washing it is adequate, but I might add olive oil if I think I need it) and then stir it into mashed potatoes. The flavour does not overwhelm the potatoes at all AND I can get my non greens eater to eat them without batting an eye! I also came across this recipe the other day, which I think sounds marvelous: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/braised_kale_pancetta.aspx

  8. looks like everyone has figured out the mystery green is kale! We put it in our green smoothies…breakfast every morning!

  9. If you get tired of the kale, chard, or spinach, you could blanch them (boil for 1 minute then drop into ice bath to stop the cooking), spin dry, and freeze for a later time. Or any of those three would be lovely sauteed and then baked into a quiche.

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