Manda Cooks: Summer CSA & Lettuce Overload

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This is my and Brett’s third summer as members of a CSA. Every week we get a load of vegetables, and every other week we get a dozen eggs, a pound of ground beef and a block of cheddar. Our veggies have varied week by week, and I’ve learned a lot about the sub-seasons of summer — tomatoes and corn (the definition of summer produce in my mind) weren’t even part of our weekly delivery until two weeks ago! The tricky part about a CSA is that you don’t really know what to expect each week, but if you’re up to the challenge of figuring out a) what kholrabi is and b) how to eat it, it’s pretty fun. Toward the beginning of summer, the weekly challenge was finding ways to eat all of the lettuce. I’m talking like 4…5…6 heads of lettuce in a single week. In the first few weeks I would spend 30 minutes washing lettuce, and then I’d have to figure out how to use it all. Eventually salads for 6 meals straight gets boring, so we had to get creative…the obvious solution was to use lettuce as a vehicle for other food, specifically salty and spicy ground beef, cucumbers, carrots, peanuts and rice (because #carbs). The result, Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps, were so good we’ve made them three times this summer. (Secret tip: they go quite well with scallion pancakes too….)

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