Salads in Jars

Salads in Jars

There’s too much to do outside this summer to be stuck in the kitchen making lunch. A great strategy for using up all the produce in your CSA box, and keeping you fed with ease, is popping your lunch into jars for grab-and-go meals. You should feel free to use what you’ve got in the crisper, but here are some tips for success and some combinations we love.

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A Recipe for All Season[ing]s

A Recipe for All Season[ing]s

One of the greatest things about summer is cooking with gorgeous fresh vegetables. But my heart always breaks a bit when I look at the detritus littering my workspace after a marathon cooking session. Those scraps, peels, and leafy tops always promise even more pleasure. For years I’ve wracked my brain for ways to use it all.

Stocks, soups, pestos … all these options have been fully explored in my kitchen. I recently discovered yet one more way to use those scraps and it has changed the way I cook and season my food. (It’s also given me a bottomless arsenal of hostess and holiday gifts.) 

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Spaghettini with Asparagus Pesto

If you have asparagus pesto on hand you always have a quick dinner. This pasta dish is elegant, beautiful as a first course or a light dinner. For an extra savory dish, cook the pasta in chicken broth. You can also jazz up the garnishes: try sautéed shrimp, a dollop of homemade ricotta, or chopped fresh chives, or a combination.

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Asparagus Stock

I make asparagus stock with the trimmed off ends of asparagus spears. You can hold the stock in the fridge, but it tends to ferment in a few days; so it is best to freeze or pressure can it. There is no USDA data for asparagus stock. I have based my pressure canning time on the recommendation for whole raw asparagus tightly packed into a pint jar. This is the same timing as the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving uses for pints of vegetable stock.

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Shaved Asparagus, Pea, and Pea Shoot Salad

I have served this surprisingly rich salad as a second course after a pasta dish, on top of a piece of broiled fish, and garnished with croutons: they’re all good! When choosing pea shoots, look for small pale leaves with plenty of thin, curling tendrils. Avoid large stemmy pea shoots, which are tougher. But if you do find them in the market with very long stems you can cut the stems off and throw them in the stockpot. Save the asparagus ends or peels for asparagus stock.

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Hungry Ghost Bread’s Margherita Pizza Recipe

Don’t fear if you don’t have a pizza stone and peel in your kitchen. Shape and bake the pizza on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet instead. You’ll make enough sauce for two pizzas; any extra can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months.

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