June 22, 2012

CSA Summer Salad

Early in the season, salads are a great way to enjoy CSA vegetables.   The salad I made for lunch today included the following CSA items...green leaf lettuce (Panisse), beet greens, and salad turnips.  I also added cucumber and bell peppers. 

I was anxious to try a new vinaigrette with the cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar I purchased yesterday at Oro di Oliva in Wauwatosa.  It was absolutely fantastic combined with their blood orange olive oil and a little Dijon mustard.

I love getting items I've never seen before in a CSA box, and that happened last night when I pulled out salad turnips.  I turned to the CSA newsletter today for advice and not surprisingly, salad turnips are good in salads :)

I'm glad I read the newsletter closely this week because I wasn't aware that there's a variety of beets called Green Top Bunching which are grown just for the tops, with only tiny beet roots attached.   

One suggestion was to add the raw greens to a salad, which I tried today, but wouldn't do again as they were too bitter for my preference.  The remainder will get added to a stir-fry.

I was curious about turnips because this was my first experience ever seeing or eating a turnip, so I read more about them on Homestead Farms site.  Here's some info from their site that I found interesting...

"Turnips are nutritious root vegetables closely related to the radish and rutabaga, with crisp texture and mild flavor.  This cool season veggie belongs to the family; Brassicaceae, that also includes cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts etc.

Salad turnips are usually a cool season vegetable harvested early in the growing season or later in the fall resulting in a smaller tender turnip that lacks that strong smell and flavor larger turnips are famous for.  Similar to a radish, a salad turnip is earthy, crunchy and sometimes peppery.

Enjoy salad turnips as you would radishes in fresh salads and relishes. Salad turnips can also be thinly sliced and sautéed, or pickled with other vegetables. They can also be grated into a slaw or cooked until just tender and still a little crisp with a dash of salt and pepper.

Don’t forget to eat the greens! Turnip greens are tender and flavorful. Chop and sauté salad turnip greens as a side dish, or cook with other greens for added flavor. You can chop them and use in pasta sauces or wilted with some olive oil, garlic, and red pepper and toss with pasta and grated cheese."


  1. You know I always wonder why more people don't make their own salad dressing. It's so easy and the flavor is beyond compare. Cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar sounds amazing!

    1. Agreed, it's so worth it! I've heard people claim it's too expensive, but even with high quality oils and vinegars the price difference isn't that much.

  2. When I'm adding raw greens to salads (like kale or beet greens or swiss chard), I usually try to massage them with some lemon juice before adding them! It really helps to get rid of some of the bitterness. Great salad!

  3. I'd never thought turnips would be good raw. I always thought they should just be steamed or roasted. Nice to know!

    1. The turnips in my CSA box were salad turnips, which I think are sweeter than traditional turnips, and might be the only variety that are good raw.