Using up those salad greens


It’s been really hot here for the past week and a half, and things are beginning to bolt in the garden–my dill, cilantro, and very soon, I’m sure, my lettuce.  I took most of the lettuce with me in the field last week, but because our trip ended earlier than expected, I ended up bringing some back home with me.  We got another small head with our CSA share this week, so I decided I’d make salad for dinner Saturday night.  I’m sure Hubby was thinking, though he didn’t voice it out loud, “Great.  Salad again.  Can’t wait.”

He really liked this one, though.  I used up all the remaining lettuce in the fridge (finally!) and I diced that 1 carrot that Hubby saved from our CSA share this week.  The snow peas are going berserk in our garden right now (and I’m sure this heat is about to do them in), so I chopped a very large handful of snow peas and tossed them in with the lettuce and carrot.  I added some dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and some extra sharp white cheddar cheese.  Topped it off with honey mustard salad dressing and we had ourselves a very fine salad for dinner.

Iced tea is heavily ingrained in my Southern roots.  I have discovered a new twist to the old standby, a consequence (and compliments) of my CSA share.  I made a large batch of sun tea yesterday, and I sweetened it with a tarragon simple syrup.  It is delicious stuff.  I know for a fact that before a couple of weeks ago I’d never used fresh tarragon before.  It has a licorice-like flavor to it, and I am not a fan of licorice.  So when we got (what seemed to me) a huge bundle of it with our CSA share a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  A somewhat panicked internet search led me to a recipe for tarragon simple syrup.  Sounded interesting, but I was skeptical I would like it.  The recipe said it was good in cocktails, especially those with citrus flavors, as well as lemonade and tea.  Well, it’s summertime, and sweet tea is a staple in my house.  I thought I’d give it a try.  I brought 2 cups of water and 3/4 cup sugar to boil in a small saucepan and added a large sprig of tarragon.  I turned off the burner and let it steep for about 20-30 minutes, then I strained the tarragon from the syrup.  I made a 1 gallon batch of sun tea and added 1 cup of the simple syrup to the tea.  And you know what?  It’s pretty darn good!  I’ve been drinking a lot of it since I got back from the field.

I can see how it might taste good in lemonade, and I think tarragon and mint would make a nice combo, especially for a berry lemonade, like strawberry or raspberry.  I just might have to give that a try this summer.  I still have several tarragon sprigs that I threw in the freezer right before I left for the field last week, so I can make simple syrup ’til the cows come home!

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