Confession Wednesday- Dirty Girl Produce

I don’t always wash lettuce. To be slightly more precise, I seldomly wash lettuce. The packaged stuff we get at the store is pre-washed and fairly dry.

The stuff we get at the farmers market seems clean. Romaine lettuce in a bag looks squeaky clean and I am just not a huge fan of the salad spinner. I have one- it is decent, but I am still not a fan. And there is lettuce I will wash, and spin, and then towel dry because I hate to dilute the dressing I put on and the texture of damn watery lettuce is just not agreeing with my palate.

[Side note- while I long for comments on this blog (they make me feel less lonely) I KNOW that I am supposed to wash lettuce even the pre-washed kind and I have read extensively on why I should do so. That is the whole purpose of the “confession”- I know it is wrong. ]

When I considered what to write this Wednesday- three things came to mind – first, the farmers market started and I bought beautiful things there. Second, I am getting a little agitated by comments about my recipes being too complicated (you know who you are!). And lastly, a comment I made about cooking “dirty” this past weekend was totally misunderstood. So I plotted the Wednesday post…

My most favorite greens in the world were to be highlighted. That is the Cure Organic Farm braising mix, an organic blend of tender and barely spicy greens that only require a quick sear. These are not your regular sturdy braising greens- the large kale, collars, or chard. They are delicate mustard greens, gentle dandelion greens, petite beet greens and tender young spinach.

The recipe this week was to be simple and as easy as easy gets. No cooking twine or cheesecloth needed, no making stocks or reductions or jus, no simmering or baking for four to five hours. I swear it doesn’t get easier than this recipe.

[ I knew one day I’d get to use this picture- San Fransisco Ferry Terminal Market]

My comment about “dirty” cooking during a dinner party was perceived to mean that ingredients are not thoroughly cleaned. I was however referring to a cluttered, chaotic, disorganized kitchen- the messy cook! My kitchen is clean throughout 7 hours of cooking; a messy cook’s kitchen looks like a hurricane came through 10 minutes in. Both me and the messy cook in question believe in cleaning everything that goes into our food and the areas and equipment around us. I do my cleaning while I cook, the messy cook ends up with piles upon piles of dirty pots, pans, prep bowls, and utensils after the meal is plated. And I don’t always wash lettuce.

I didn’t wash my braising mix from Cure Farm. You should.

Ingredients: a quarter pound of braising mix, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic- in our case, fresh green garlic!

Plus, salt, pepper, a dash of fresh lemon juice.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and let it cook for about a minute- you just want it to get tender not begin to turn golden at all. Then add the braising greens, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the greens are wilted. Add the lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Enjoy and check out the local produce at your farmers market!

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  • Lazaro Cooks!

    If you cook a lot from the French Laundry Cookbook I can understand how you would feel spent once done with just one dish. Sometimes I couldn't get up the energy to stick the mountain of dirty stuff in the washing machine.

    I think we should just cook what we like…something we are proud to give to someone else to enjoy. I find your cooking to be very detailed and your blog a joy to read.

  • Julie

    This post made me laugh because I rarely wash my green either. I bought a pound of the braising mix from Cure on Saturday and of course it's gone already because I ate it for lunch every single day–yum! I was cracking up yesterday at lunch, though, because I sauteed a single blade of grass in with my braising mix (I love your recipe, but this time I made it with tamari & a little teriyaki sauce, garlic, red peppers, and tofu!) and didn't notice until it was on my plate. It went in the compost, but the rest was delicious!

  • Wheels and Lollipops

    My husband is adamant and is slightly obsessed with washing lettuce. However when I buy the pre packaged one, the bag gets opened and tossed into the bowl ! That's why we pay more for it ? Enjoyed reading your post !

  • Rae

    That is…exactly what I ate for dinner last night, except with spinach from Pachamama.

  • Marly

    I agree – when I buy salad in a bag…it goes right into the bowl. I sometimes think people go a little crazy with washing too much. My mother-in-law and I were just talking about this – how no one even used to wash the cutting board after it had raw meat on it. They would go straight into cutting veggies, whatever. I don't have to worry about that because we're vegan (we're not cutting up any meat). I sometimes wonder too if there's not advantages to being exposed to a little of the elements – a little bit of dirt never hurt anyone. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for your post. Very thought-provoking.

  • Andra

    Lazaro- thank you- I agree that we should cook what we like and we should really like to cook, but it is a bit of a chicken and egg dilemma- if your repertoire of things you like and things you cook it limited, you might not like to cook that much.

    Julie- Cure is amazing! Your recipe sounds fabulous- I might try it this week with the new big bag of greens we bought.

    Wheels and Lollipops- glad you enjoy the blog- come back often!

    Marly- I think you are onto something with being a little exposed to the elements- we wash and sanitize the bad but also good bacteria out of everything- it can't do great things for our immune systems.