We’ve been getting the most delicious produce ever from Alegría Farms, a vertical hydroponic farm that popped up in Laguna Canyon. Twice a week we get a beautiful bouquet of lettuces, chard, kale, collard greens and plenty of herbs. (And the tomatoes. OH the tomatoes! The taste is so good you could faint.) The Husband loved their green smoothies so much that he bought me a Vitamix, which means I’m a very happy girl.
Salads are pretty delicious now, and now the taste of all kale from anywhere but Alegría Farms tastes tough and bitter. And I’ve got more shiso (Japanese basil) than I know what to do with. Up until my discovery of the farm, I’ve only ever had shiso at a sushi restaurant, accenting my favorite hamachi sashimi.
Never one to balk at a challenge, I came up with two recipes for shiso that I love. I’ll be happy to experiment more, as I’m sure more shiso will show up on Tuesday with my next bouquet from Alegría. I saw something about combining it with pineapple, and that does sound pretty delicious.
But in the meantime, here are two recipes for you—I’m sure you can sub regular basil for the shiso if you don’t have it. I believe you can get it at Japanese or Asian markets, if you want to try the unique, slightly spicy flavor.
For the Green Goddess dressing, I’m off soy and couldn’t find any mayo that wasn’t laden with weird additives, so I came up with this recipe. It also uses very little oil, so it shouldn’t be too fattening.
Vegan Green Goddess Dressing (Soy-free)
2 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs sunflower seeds
1 cup fresh mixed herbs (I used combo of garlic chives, shiso and basil)
2 Tbs ripe avocado
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp agave syrup
Throw everything in a Vitamix or very strong blender. Add more water by the tablespoonful if necessary.
3/4 cup shiso leaves (no stems)
1/4 cup basil leaves (no stems)
1/3 cup sprouted raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup EVOO
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
Shove all ingredients into a Vitamix or small food processor. You could probably use a stick blender also. Add a few drops more olive oil for a looser consistency.
If you’re not vegan or lactose intolerant, you could happily throw in some grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese in there, but if you do, reduce the salt by half.