Friday, May 23, 2014

What to do with all those spring greens?

Farmer’s Market Season is in full swing and if you remember my post Top 10 Reasons to #BuyLocal you know that we participate in a CSA.   Last Thursday was the first pick-up for our summer share and I got a crate filled with greens – merlot lettuce, butter leaf lettuce, kale, spinach, turnip greens.

One of my favorite things about the CSA is it forces me to think out of the box and try new things.  A few I've shared here (including a new yummy recipe)

Spinach:  Lightly sautéed and tossed in to my go-to shrimp & whole wheat pasta with a little olive oil & garlic dressing.  Small touch – big bonus!  Love!

Kale: Don’t you know I just tried a new green smoothie and fell in love – 5 medjool dates, a handful of kale, some honey drizzled on top and Vanilla NUTRIMEAL tossed into a blender with 8 oz. of water and ice – YUM!

Butter leaf lettuce:  Let’s be honest.  By the time it came time to deal with this I was almost greened out…until I tried an awesome recipe that I found at www.therawchef.com/raw-butter-lettuce-salad 
I’m already excited about all the greens coming up in this week’s share! 

And I've saved the best for last….
Merlot lettuce:  Beautiful, bright purple lettuce.  My first thought….”it’s so pretty! What on earth do I do with it?”  Then Michael surprised me with some freshly ground gyro burgers from the Fresh Market and I got inspired…see my recipe at the end of this post.




Merlot Salad with Hibiscus Flower Dressing and Roasted Mushrooms
Ingredients:
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp spicy horseradish mustard
2 small cloves of garlic
1 TB Wild Hibiscus Syrup + 1 flower
1 TB Red Wine Vinegar
1 TB Balsamic Vinegar
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ cups baby Portobello mushrooms, quartered and sliced
2 bunches merlot lettuce
2 fresh Gyro Burgers (lean ground meat, ground lamb)
Italian Seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, parsley)
Sea Salt
Crushed black pepper
Feta Cheese (optional)

How to prepare:
Mushrooms  Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss quartered and sliced mushrooms into a Ziploc gallon baggie with 1 TB of olive oil and sprinkle in enough Italian Seasoning, sea salt & crushed black pepper to coat and season the mushrooms.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Gyro Burger  Grill burgers until they reach an internal temperature of 160.  Try to time it so the burgers come off at the same time as the mushrooms will come out of the oven.  We had to cook ours about 8 minutes on each side, but since these burgers are fresh made the size and thickness of the burger will make a big difference here.

Salad -- while the mushrooms & burgers are on:
Remove merlot lettuce from stalk and chop into smaller pieces. Rinse, dry and arrange in large salad bowl and set to the side. 

Dressing - In a dressing cruet combine: Thyme, Garlic, Spicy horseradish mustard, Wild hibiscus syrup and flower, Red wine vinegar, Balsamic vinegar, 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Shake vigorously


Final Touches:  
Top the salad with roasted mushroom, feta cheese and dressing, toss in bowl.  Lay  Gyro burgers on top of salad (we just cut ours in half) and enjoy! 

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