My vegetable garden is really flourishing! The lettuce has gone wild and is starting to overpower the other plants in the garden. I decided it was time to eat the spoils of my garden.
I wasn’t sure what to do, so to the internet I went. I read a bunch of different websites on how to harvest the things in my garden. For the pizza party we had on Saturday night I clipped fresh basil and rosemary for our homemade pizza and it turned out wonderfully. I loved that I could just walk outside and clip off fresh basil for the pizza.
Michael and I eat mountains of salads. I think my garden has enough variation of lettuces that we won’t get bored eating them. Monday morning before work I went out and broke off the outer, big leaves of the romaine plant. I didn’t want to use scissors because I felt like that might brown the leaves, even though some websites recommended cutting. I think this will be a trial and error experiment. I will figure out which one works best.
Tips on Harvesting Romaine Lettuce
1. Pick lettuce early in the morning when the leaves are still crisp.
2. Start harvesting leaf lettuces as soon as they’re big enough to use. Cut leaves from the outside of the plant, letting the inner ones continue to develop. You can also take the whole plant, cutting it off about an inch above the ground, and letting it re-grow.
3. Use all lettuces immediately for best flavor and texture.
4. Store lettuce in sealed plastic bags in your refrigerator’s crisper. Depending on the variety, it will last from a few days to two weeks.
I snipped off a bunch of the big outer leaves and cleaned them with a veggie cleaner I bought at Trader Joe’s. It worked really well.
I dried off the lettuce and stored it in the fridge until dinner time. Monday night when we got home from work, Michael and I walked the track near the house. It was nice and sunny out and neither of us just wanted to sit inside. We walked for a little over an hour and probably did about 3 miles. I was tired and hungry by the time we were done! Michael relentlessly tried to convince me that we needed to go out for burgers–pretty much the whole walk–but I resisted! I was already defrosting salmon for dinner and I was excited about eating my lettuce from the garden. The salad I made to go with dinner turned out great. I don’t know why, but the lettuce from my garden tasted better than the store bought lettuce!
For our salads I tore up the romaine lettuce and added chopped celery, one slice of crumbled bacon for each of us and topped it with a little bit of Gorgonzola cheese. I also added a few toasted walnuts. The salad was delicious and hit the spot. I loved the smokey flavor of the bacon with the cheese.
I like having “lighter” meals on my Rest Days–not just because of the calories but I also find that I don’t really crave certain foods on Rest Days. Instead of craving a big steak or a juicy turkey burger, I almost always crave something like fish or a chicken salad. I don’t know if that would be considered Intuitive Eating, but I listen to what my body craves. It took me awhile to learn how to listen to my body and feed it the nutrients it needed after hard workouts (almost always protein) but I’m doing much better.
For dinner I baked two salmon fillets. First I sprinkled some sea salt on the fish, then lemon pepper seasoning. Next I sprinkled lots of dill on it, a little bit of butter and freshly sliced lemons. I wrapped each salmon fillet loosely in foil and baked them at 350 Degrees for about 16 minutes. I also steamed some broccoli and baby carrots as a side.
I wanted to create some sort of topping for the fish–like plain Greek yogurt mixed with freshly squeezed lemon and dill–but I decided I was too lazy to try and create something. In the end the fish didn’t need it. It was delicious in its simplicity. I squeezed the lemon on the fish before throwing the lemon away. It was tangy and delicious. I love how versatile fish is.
I’d say our first meal from the garden was a success. I’m dying to eat some fresh tomatoes and strawberries from the garden! Portland just needs some hot, sunny weather….
QUESTION: If you are a gardener, what’s your opinion on cutting or tearing the leaves?