Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Chelsea CSA: Week 3
As I entered the Hudson Guild to pick up my weekly vegetable share from the Chelsea CSA, I was met by crates brimming with bright leafy greens. Week three's share consisted of several repeats from weeks one and two in addition to a few newcomers. I walked away with two heaping bags, each filled with Chinese cabbage, garlic scapes, Bright Lights swiss chard, summer spinach, romaine lettuce, Boston lettuce, red tide lettuce, and summer savory (also known as summer thyme).
My first inclination was to head home and make a quick salad while I decided how best to tackle this week's bounty (is anyone else wondering how to make the best of all this lettuce?). I had a day-old sourdough baguette, so I cubed it and combined it with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and some of the summer savory before baking it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes- voilà- homemade croutons (my mediocre attempt to add a little more flavor to an otherwise standard salad).
I used three sprigs of summer savory, threw away the stems and chopped the leaves before adding it to the crouton mix
The final summer savory croutons- an incredibly easy way to add flavor and crunch to a salad
And what was I inspired to create while eating that crouton heavy salad? A second salad. Instead of using lettuce as a base, I chose barley and dressed it up by utilizing a garlic scape (my first encounter with this elusive veggie!), summer spinach, Bright Lights swiss chard, and a handful of the prior week's fresh sage. With the addition of a few other ingredients- the Barley and Feta Salad was born...
Barley and Feta Salad (yield, approx. 4 cups)
1 cup uncooked barley
3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp thinly sliced garlic scape
1 tsp minced shallot
1 cup roughly chopped swiss chard (de-ribbed)
1 cup roughly chopped summer spinach
2 tsp sage leaves, thin chiffonade
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup Greek feta, small dice
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place barley and chicken stock in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 35 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Sweat garlic scape and shallot in olive oil, add swiss chard and summer spinach with a dash of salt and pepper and sauté until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Combine barley with sautéed greens and remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
I kept last week's sage fresh by storing it in a ziploc baggie with a damp paper towel wrapped around its stems
The flavor of a garlic scape is more mild than traditional garlic
Remove the colorful ribs from the swiss chard before sautéing
Bright, crisp summer spinach
The final barley and feta salad