If there is one kitchen tool I recommend you pick-up after joining our CSA Program, it has to be a salad spinner. My favorite is this one with the stainless steel bowl, it can double as a large serving bowl. If you’ve stopped by your local farmer’s market you might already have some spring greens, and CSA Members will enjoy the huge variety of greens we grow all season long. When I open my CSA Share Box each week, one of the first things I do is break down the greens. Start by giving everything a quick rinse, and then remove the stems. The easiest method I have found is to fold each leaf in half and cut the stem out.
When the stems are removed, stack the greens together in large bunches, roll them up, and then slice as fine as you would like. For raw salads smaller pieces are better. Place your chopped greens in the salad spinner and submerge greens. Mix the greens around with your hands, then lift out the basket. Empty the bowl and repeat 2-3 times. If you’re cooking the greens stop here. The greens are triple washed and ready for braising, sautéing, and soups or stews. Try these recipes from our index: Blanched Greens, Greens 101, Greens with Ginger and Sesame Seeds, Kale and Turnip Frittata.
For raw salads and slaws, put the lid on and spin until the greens are totally dry. It helps to lift the basket out after the first few spins and drain out excess water. Continue until greens are very dry so that water won’t compete with any salad dressings. Now you’re ready to prepare dishes like our Kale Slaw with Goat Cheese, or with Peanut Dressing. Once the greens are washed, chopped, and dry you can store them in the refrigerator for using later in the week. After this step you can also blanch the greens in boiling salted water, freeze them, and pull out later in the week to cook with garlic and olive oil. This is a great time saver during the work week.