The run of leafy greens continues! Fear not, those of you who are getting tired of salads for dinner, we’ll have some more veggies joining the mix soon (last year the first July delivery brought fennel, broccoli and cucumbers). A new addition in this week’s share was frisee which may be less familiar than the other greens. Shana shares her thoughts on frisee:
For the last several years I’ve avoided this one at the CSA or put it in the back of my fridge hoping to like it better. Then I started having digestive issues and my nutritionist said – “Eat more bitters!” They are really good for reducing inflammation and improving gut health. So, I’ve been chopping them finely and eating them in heapfuls in my salad! One thing I found to help reduce the “harshness” of bitters, both in flavor and texture, is to add tahini to a salad. It’s creamy, high in protein and good fats and is a really nice addition. Happy eating!
To help support the plea from her nutritionist, Shana did some further research and came across the following information about frisee:
Frisee is a salad green in the chicory family, along with Belgian endive, radicchio, and escarole. Also called curly endive, frisee lettuce has long, narrow leaves which are extremely curly. They shroud the more tender whitish stalks and yellow branches. The leaves are usually a pale to bright green, although they can have reddish hues along the edges. Frisee can be described as a bitter salad green, although it also has a slightly nutty taste.
What is the nutritional value of frisee? A green leafy vegetable, frisee is packed with nutrients, and very low in calories. It is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, with approximately one third the daily recommended amount of each, in a single serving. Frisee lettuce is also a good source of vitamin K, and manganese. Its vitamin A content maintains healthy eyes, moistens the skin, and acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals in the body that would otherwise damage cells Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. It is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, and immune health. Vitamin K’s primary role is to prevent blood loss by forming blood clots, but it also helps to link calcium to bone. Folic acid is involved with a number of reactions, including energy production, and nerve cell development. It is one of the most essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Manganese as well serves a number of functions, from body metabolism to brain health.
Like Shana, Bob likes to pre-wash and cut his frisee into smaller bite size pieces and add them to each salad he makes throughout the week, rather than trying to eat the frisee on its own. In fact, Bob decided to use Shana’s tip from last week and washed, cut and bagged all of this week’s greens right away on Tuesday. It may take extra time on CSA pickup day but you’ll be happy you did all the prep later in the week when you can easily throw together a side salad alongside grilled meat or maybe as an entree with your favorite toppings.
After countless vinaigrette topped dressings this month, Bob decided it was time to try something new:
I stumbled upon a homemade ranch recipe from BarefeeintheKitchen.com. It was quickly whipped up using things I already had on hand – sour cream, mayo, buttermilk, vinegar, some herbs and spices – and proved to be a nice change of pace. Sure it’s not the healthiest salad dressing but it was homemade and if it helps use up some of those greens, I say go for it! The bottom of the blog post for the recipe had a few links to other dressings from the site. Some are more involved than others, including this fantastic looking Creamy Mango Chipotle Salad Dressing, but plan ahead when grocery shopping this weekend and plan to use it next week with a few meals to make it worth the time, effort and ingredients.
That’s it for this week – thanks for reading and we’ll see you again next week!
Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes. Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob. If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive. You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.