This farmer obviously thinks I need lettuce. He substitutes all sorts of things, but he never substitutes anything for the lettuce. Fortunately, as I think I may have mentioned before, I have discovered that you can dehydrate lettuce, and, last night, I dehydrated 3 heads of lettuce which had survived the two weeks that I was away (I guess my room-mate doesn’t like that much lettuce either — she neatly disappeared all of the other vegetables, but the lettuce lay there, waiting for me)
Here you have what they said I would get vs what I got
Radicchio…………………1 head 2 small eggplants
Broccoli……………………2 heads 1 head
Toscano Kale…………….1 bunch
Purple Top Turnips……..1 bunch……….1 huge turnip
Red Oakleaf Lettuce……1 head
Green Boston Lettuce…..1 head
I know that I can make all of this food disappear this week. Between the lettuce dehydration, my new smoothie expertise, and my juicing skills, it might be gone by the weekend.
I do like that Boston lettuce, though…. now this seems funny to me– earlier in the season, we got the same thing, but that time it was called butter lettuce. Boston/butter lettuce is so soft that you can wrap up things in it very easily. I might make some wraps with it tonight, using the leftovers from last night (I made a quick and easy almond pate with some soaked almonds, a handful of the summer’s dried tomatoes, a sprinkling of the dried leeks–they turned out to be quite spicy–, and some herbs, and some kale.)
I came across your blog initially when I was surfing tags from my CSA blog (http://inmybox.wordpress.com/). It’s fun to see what’s in someone else’s box… Although you know what they say: The box is always filled with tastier vegetables on the other side of the country. (In other words, I have serious daikon envy.)
My impetus for commenting now is that I, too, have been getting tons of lettuce. And I would love to dehydrate it, but nowhere on the internet can I find a hint in that direction. If you’ve been doing it successfully, can you share your method with me? And let me know how the finished product tastes, as well!
It is pretty simple to dehydrate lettuce, but I have found that there is a little more prep work necessary than I had expected…. You cannot just put the leaves on the trays and wait (if you do that, when you put the next tray in, all of the leaves on the other trays climb off the back of the trays and lie on the bottom of the dehydrator or else gather in a group at the back of the dehydrator and push incoming trays out.)
So…. I chop the leaves up into 3 or 4 pieces (more or fewer depending on the size of the leaf, of course) The object is to make pieces that will lie down and obey.
I scatter the leaf pieces on the tray… my goal is to make one layer, but overlapping doesn’t seem to make much difference.
Then I dehydrate at @100 degrees until the leaves are dry (it happens while I sleep)
The pieces shrink A LOT!!!! (one big bunch of lettuce makes maybe 1/4 – 1/2 C of dried lettuce)
We ate some the first time….
they taste like ….. LETTUCE!!!!! I don’t really picture my own self munching on a handful (your mileage may vary), but I have used them for seasoning in just about everything, and I have thrown handfuls into green drinks.
At some point, when I am feeling creative, I would like to make a seasoning blend out of some of the dried tomatoes, peppers, leeks, carrots, etc. and so forth, that I have collected over my summer of CSA.
Thanks for the report!
There is a raw foods place here in SF called Cafe Gratitude, and I believe they use dehydrated lettuce wraps as the “tortillas” in their enchiladas. I don’t much care for lettuce (which is why I have so much backing up in my fridge) so I imagine I wouldn’t be too more excited by eating plain, lettuce-tasting dehydrated lettuce, but I’m going to see if I can track down a copy of the Cafe Gratitude cookbook to investigate into this lettuce-tortilla idea.
I’ll let you know if I end up successful!