NC Seasonal Sensation: Lettuce Recipes
Once again, here are a few recipes straight from the NC’s No Diet Diet – all featuring North Carolina-grown seasonal veggies. Lettuce varieties sprout in early spring and are packed with tons of nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, beta-carotene and folic acid. Not all lettuce is created equal, however, so look for dark green varieties like Romaine, Butter Crunch, Royal Red and even spinach.
Lettuce varieties sprout in early spring and are packed with tons of nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, beta-carotene and folic acid. Not all lettuce is created equal, however, so look for dark green varieties like Romaine, Butter Crunch, Royal Red and even spinach.
Walnut Vinaigrette Salad
From WakeMed’s HeartSmart Cooking Series, 2009 Serves 8, vinaigrette serving size 1 ½ Tbsp
For the salad
12 cups seasonal lettuce
1 medium tomato or two roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
5 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley, lightly chopped ½ cup dried cranberries or currant (unsweetened) ½ cup walnuts
Clean and chop the lettuce and place in a large salad bowl. Add the tomato wedges and chopped parsley and toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden, being careful not to burn them. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the vinaigrette
¼ cup white wine or champagne vinegar
Zest of a lemon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp walnut oil (Use extra virgin olive oil if walnut oil is unavailable.)
2 Tbsp water
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and cracked pepper to taste
Optional: herbs, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic
Place vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and optional ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until well combined. With the blender running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream. Pour the vinaigrette into a bowl and wisk in the lemon zest. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and top with the toasted nuts and dried fruit. Try garnishing the salad with a few tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Per serving: 165 calories; 13 g fat; 1 g sat; 6 g monounsaturated fat; 4 g polyunsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 2.6 g fiber; 90 mg sodium
Grilled Asparagus & Spinach Salad
From WakeMed’s HeartSmart Cooking Series, 2009 Serves 4 to 6
1 large bunch of asparagus
4 cups fresh spinach (preferably baby spinach)
1 Tbsp pine nuts
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
½ cups roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup button or cermini mushrooms
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over asparagus and toss well. Season with a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss well to combine. Place asparagus on a hot grill and cook until lightly charred or to preferred doneness.
Place spinach, mushrooms and roasted red peppers in a large salad bowl. Drizzle about two tablespoon of olive oil, followed by two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the salad. Toss well to combine. Top the salad with grilled asparagus and toasted pine nuts.
Per serving: 184 calories; 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat; 1.5 g monounsaturated fat; 120 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrates
For a complete list of farmers markets, CSA’s, veggie boxes, farm stands and groceries carrying locally grown sources, visit the Community Gardens & Local Foods section of Advocates for Health in Action’s website .
Tina Schwebach is a clinical dietician, R.D., at WakeMed Cary Hospital.