Buying food in season has several health and green benefits: It cuts down on carbon dioxide pollution; it guarantees the food you are eating has the most flavor and nutritional value; and it's more affordable. That's why each week, I've been highlighting in-season produce and corresponding recipes and storing techniques.
Now that we're well into April, lettuce and other spring greens (mesclun, baby spinach, collards, arugula, etc.) are in season in most states.
What's the best use for fresh lettuce and spring greens? Salad, of course! And here's a chance to use all those strawberries, which are still in season:
8 cups lettuce or other spring greens
1 cup strawberries, sliced
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1.5 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon each: garlic powder, dried basil, dried parsley, pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Puree strawberries in blender. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding oil until combined. Toss greens in dressing.
Spring greens are very perishable, so it's best to buy them in perfect condition and use them immediately. Most greens—except lettuce!—can be frozen for later. Here's how to do it:
1. Wash greens. Tear, chop, etc. into salad-size pieces.
2. Blanch greens by first submerging in boiling water for 1 minute and then transferring to ice bath for 30 seconds.
3. Pack in air-tight freezer bags or containers.
Don't miss these other features on seasonal eating: