Once upon a time, in a far away land, was a city named Lewiston. It was a dark and stormy afternoon in the Lewiston kingdom. Rain pattered on the asphalt of 21st street, children splashed through puddles at Centennial Elementary School, and the Clearwater River swelled with snow melt and rain. Deep in the Orchards of Lewiston lay the River City Farm castle. On the porch of this castle, the court of the Royal Green Vegetables were gathered in a cardboard box, ready to be picked up by their CSA shareholder. The purpose of these nutrition leaders? To rule fairly and justly, bringing delicious leafy greens to every table across the Clearwater Valley.
Just like the hills around the Clearwater and Snake Rivers, the first vegetables in your CSA share will be vibrant green. It’s the color of spring, both in the arid Idaho we call home and on our local food plates. Despite being delicious, green, leafy veggies can sometimes become as tiring as the June rain. “How many salads can a person possibly eat?!” a CSA member may think frantically. With proper introduction, however, this vitamin and mineral rich royalty in your spring CSA box can add flavor, nutrition and fun to your spring meals. Let’s introduce our Royal Green Court and a few recipes to make the best use of the court’s nutrition powers.
Lettuce is the dependable and trustworthy leader of the Royal Green Court. Everyone trusts lettuce and knows what she is best at: providing tender, buttery leaves of green for salads, sandwiches and wraps. Lady Lettuce invites you to welcome spring into your stomach by challenging yourself to eat two salads per day. The key to adding a salad to every meal is to never make the same salad twice. Roasted nuts, cheese, fruit and simple vinaigrettes help Lady Lettuce bring leafy greens to every girl and boy in the kingdom.
Strawberry/Mixed Green Salad from Comfort of Cooking
Rhubarb/Goat Cheese Salad from Martha Stewart
Asparagus/Salmon Salad from Coastal Living
Sir Spinach, Master of Disguise
With Lady Lettuce filling all your salad and sandwich needs, you are free to use Sir Spinach for his true talent: hiding. A cup of spinach blended into a blueberry smoothie will all but disappear. The bright flavor of farm fresh eggs and an onion will overwhelm the handful of leafy green added into a scramble at the last moment. Sneaky spinach can slide into a red pasta sauce without a whisper of “health food” left behind. Spinach is an especially powerful Royal Green for picky eaters.
Spaghetti Sauce with Hidden Vegetables by Chef Michael Smith
King Kale demands truly royal treatment. After a few minutes of TLC (kneading olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt into his leaves), he becomes the most tender and forgiving member of the Royal Green Court. Baked kale makes a great alternative to potato chips (no, really!) or raw kale can be substituted instead of pasta into any cold salad.
Baked Kale Chips from the Smitten Kitchen
Massaged Kale Salad from Food Republic
Most importantly, the Royal Greens Court knows the best way to make leafy greens disappear is to invite friends and family over to try your new recipes. With Lady Lettuce, Sir Spinach and King Kale ruling your kitchen, your spring can truly end happily ever after.