2019 CSA – Week 11: On Melons—the Queens of Cucurbitaceae

CSA Newsletter – Week 11


On Melons – the Queens of Cucurbitaceae

You’ve got a fully packed August box this week, complete with sweet corn, heirlooms, bell pepper, melons, and so much more. As always, I like to notice when we have multiple members of a plant family present in one box, and though Solanaceae may be the leading star of summer, including such gems in your box this week as heirlooms, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes, Cucurbitaceae, home to melons, cucumbers, and squash, comes in at a close second.

Winter squash is beyond amazing, so dense, creamy, and filling. Cucumbers are so refreshing, so crisp and full of sweet, summer water filtered through the vine. Summer squash are so tender and buttery, so versatile in muffins or on the grill. But, as much as I believe in vegetable equality, let’s be real— melons are the best. Melons mean summer! You don’t do anything to them except impatiently wait for your body to slice them up so that you can finally devour the sweet fruit waiting inside. No cooking. No prep. They’re just perfect. They woke up like that.

This is the side of melons that most people enjoy—the tasty part. Here at the farm, we’re lucky to get to enjoy an entirely different aspect of what it is to bring melons into existence—the fun part! Unlike any other item we grow, harvesting melons is like our farm’s version of a company baseball game.

For those of you who have driven past during melon season, you may have seen the joy that is melon tossing. First, our select melon whisperers go out and harvest all the melons that are perfectly ripe, gently picking each one up for the first time. We’re all used to having to try to tap out a tune on melons at the grocery store in fear of buying a bland one picked before it was ripe, but at our farm our melon whisperers weave through the fields and pick only what is perfectly ripe. They stack the ripe melons in piles to await the great toss.

Because our melons are picked ripe and full of sugar, they are quite fragile to transport. It is for this reason that we take as many as eight people out to a field, stand in a long line from the melon rows to the flatbed truck lined with bins, and we toss melons from one end to the other for hours. It’s super fun!

The melon gets touched for its second time when pulled from the ripe pile and tossed to the next person, and, depending on how far the row is from the truck, another seven people might gently catch and then toss each precious orb. We all talk and laugh as we toss melons in the sun, a task that feels much more like play than work. From harvest to consumption, melons are so precious, thus they receive the utmost care. Only the best for the Queen of Cucurbits. Enjoy!

As always, all my best
—LB

Table of Box Contents

  • Watermelon Surprise!—You’ll have to cut open your melon to see what’s inside, whether it be red, yellow, or orange fruit. All our melons proudly bear seeds, as the development of seeds is what triggers the plant to produce more sugars in the fruit. And don’t worry, if you’ve never had an orange or a yellow watermelon and it seems unnatural to you, be assured these melons are as normal as can be! There has long existed a vast diversity of melon colors, shapes & sizes. It’s just the reds that have dominated mainstream grocers.
  • 1 bulb FennelBe sure to use the bulb as well as the fronds if you can! Thinly slice the bulb raw alongside pork chops, or in a slaw. For those of you who are into brewing kombucha, I highly recommend using fennel fronds in your secondary fermentation process—it’s amazing.
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes—Harvesting our heirloom tomatoes is such a treat. To walk up to a plant and find this giant warped tie-die piece of art, to try to approach it from the right angle with your scissors like a game of Operation so as not to damage the fruit—it’s a joy. We are so lucky!
  • 4 ears Serendipity Sweet Corn
  • 1 bu. Purple Carrots
  • 1 Sweet Colored Bell Pepper
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 2 Willamette Sweet Onions
  • 1 head Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 1.5 lb. Nicola Yellow Potatoes

Recipes

Heirloom Tomato & Fennel Panzanella

Ingredients

  • 2 large Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced or chunked as you prefer
  • 2-3 inch chunk of a nice creamy Feta (I prefer the kind kept in water)
  • large handful of Basil leaves, chopped
  • 4-inch chunk of Sourdough (or other loaf bread, fresh or day-old, doesn't matter)
  • 1/2 large Fennel Bulb, sliced
  • a few Fennel fronds
  • Olive Oil
  • Fennel Seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle, or simply broken between your fingers
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Tear the bread into crouton-like chunks and toast in a toaster oven until gently browned.

  2. Mix tomatoes, basil, fennel bulb, fronds, and seeds with a good drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt, to taste.

  3. When the bread is done toasting, add it into the mix, with more olive oil if
    needed. Plate and top with feta and black pepper as desired. [optional: add raw
    sweet corn]

 

Baba Ghanoush with Purple Carrots & Bell Pepper

Ingredients

  • 2 roasted Eggplants, or 1 large
  • 1-2 heads Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • splash of Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Cut the eggplants in half and score them diagonally. In a bowl mix together whatever herbs you have on hand, such as thyme, rosemary, cumin, salt, pepper and half of the olive oil.

  3. Cut the head of garlic in half and place on baking sheet with eggplants. Roast for about 50-60
    minutes. Halfway through check the eggplants and pour the rest of the olive oil over them. 

  4. When slightly cooled, scoop the eggplant meat out of the skins and add into the rest of the
    ingredients for the Baba Ghanoush in a blender: garlic, paprika, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, & pepper. Blend until smooth, adjust seasoning if needed. 

  5. Serve with roasted or raw multi-colored carrots.  [The purple carrots you have are GORGEOUS sliced in half-lengthwise with bright orange centers. Also serve with raw slices of sweet bell pepper.] Enjoy!

2019 CSA – Week 10: Como una Flor—the art of making beautiful bunches

CSA Newsletter – Week 10


Como una Flor—the art of making beautiful bunches

Welcome to week ten of CSA, folks, you’ve made it! Ten weeks of cooking and eating delicious, healthy, local, seasonal food! That’s medicine, folks, always be proud of yourself when you do your body and mind right. I’m super excited about many items in the box this week, such as poblanos and corn! But as some of you may remember from last year, gold beets are special to me. The gold beets in your box remind me of a day earlier last season out in the field, bunching beets. On this particular day, we had a lot of new people on the crew and we spent our day learning and teaching how to make beautiful, even bunches.

For beets and other round roots, we are taught to make bunches como una flor, like a flower, with one beet in the center and an array of beets around it. As we harvest, we make sure to gently pull the beets from the soil so as not to damage the delicate greens of the smaller beets that we leave behind to keep growing. On that day, we found a light gold beet and we made an exemplary bunch that more than any other was como una flor.

Whatever bunch you’re making, your twist tie can’t be too low or too high, too tight or too loose; the orientation of the leaves and roots must be just so, so that it turns out beautiful every time. Each bunch is hand-crafted, people who worked hard to make sure that that one bunch was perfect and beautiful, como una flor.

All my best,
LB

Table of Box Contents

  • Sweet Corn!!!!— The sugar content in sweet corn just went through the roof! We’re already onto our second corn planting, onto our favorite variety, Serendipity. It’s also a bicolor variety with a mosaic of sweet white and yellow kernels. Roast it, eat it—you know what to do.
  • Gold Beets—Sweet, earthy, gold. Beets, like the rest of us, come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. For many people who have hated on beets in the past, gold beets provide the perfect opportunity to form a new, healthy beet relationship. Gold beets don’t turn everything in your pan red, and have a sweet, mild beet flavor that’s really lovely raw in slaws or roasted in the oven & dipped in aioli!
  • Poblano PeppersPoblanos are so rich in flavor with a lovely warmth, excellent in any sauté. The seeds however are very spicy! Be sure to wash your hands after removing the seeds.
  • GarlicOur garlic is almost all the way dried at this point, so the large cloves are still soooo easy to pop out of their peels. Such a treat!
  • Green Cabbage
  • Red Slicer Tomatoes
  • Willamette Sweet Onions
  • Dill
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Nicola Potatoes

Recipes

Gold Beet Cabbage Slaw

“I know that some people hate coleslaw. But I’ve converted even the most fervent among them with this
version, which bears no resemblance to the cloying stuff many of us grew up eating. Light and clean, it’ll lend crunch and brightness to any plate… And remember, the richer the food you plan to serve with it, the more acidic the slaw should be.” —
Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat (the Netflix star and next Michael Pollan)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium head Red or Green Cabbage
  • 1 bunch Gold Beets, grated or chopped thinly
  • 2 cloves Garlic, roughly minced
  • 1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Dill leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Quarter the cabbage through the core. Use a sharp knife to cut the core out at an angle. Thinly slice the cabbage crosswise and place in a colander set inside a large salad bowl. Season with two generous pinches of salt to help draw out water, toss the slices, and set
    aside.

  2.  In a small bowl, toss the sliced onion with the lemon juice and let it sit for 20 minutes to macerate. Set aside.

  3. After 20 minutes, drain any water the cabbage may have given off (it’s fine if there’s nothing to drain—sometimes cabbage isn’t very watery [but often in the early summer it is quite juicy]). Place the cabbage in the bowl and add the basil and the macerated onions (but not their lemony juices, yet). Dress the slaw with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss very well to combine.

  4. Taste and adjust, adding the remaining macerated lemon juice and salt as needed. When your plate zings with pleasure, it’s ready. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store leftover slaw covered, in the fridge, for two-ish days.

 

Poblanos & Potatoes in the Skillet with Eggs

(AKA: LB's favorite breakfast)

Ingredients

  • 2 Poblano Peppers, seeded & chopped
  • 2-3 Potatoes, sliced thin and patted dry
  • 3 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • Olive Oil, or a high heat oil like coconut
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 4-6 Eggs, pan fried & served on top
  • Optional: Grated Cheese - I love a good sharp aged cheddar with this dish
  • Optional: Corn Kernels, cut from 1 ear

Instructions

  1. Chop your potatoes ahead of time to let them dry a bit. These are new digs potatoes, so they’ve still got a lot of water in them, and getting that water out is key to cooking your potatoes all the way through without burning them. Often times I’ll just chop my potatoes
    and then put them in between a cloth on cutting board and press the moisture out.

  2. Next chop poblanos and garlic.

  3. Heat up oil in pan to medium-high and put potatoes in, stir around and let cook a few minutes. Add in poblanos and stir and cook for a few more minutes.

  4. Add in garlic and a bit more oil and continue to cook uncovered until vegetables are done, preferably with a bit of golden brown-black charring on the edges.

  5. Add in some fresh corn just before turning off the pan and toss around for a sweet crunch amidst the creamy, savory poblanos & eggs.

  6. Sprinkle with salt after done cooking. Serve with fried eggs on top, and cheese in between the two steamy layers if so desired.

2019 CSA – Week 8: Hot Problems & Muddy Solutions

CSA Newsletter – Week 8


Hot Problems & Muddy Solutions

We’re coming to you from down at the farm, where it is hot hot hot and all of summer’s most precious crops are loving it! We grow many of our heat-loving crops, such as tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers in hoop houses, long plastic tunnels that capture a ton of sunlight & heat to turn into food.

Right around this time of year, the hoop houses that once provided just enough extra warmth for cold-weather crops to make it through the winter are now far too hot, both for our heat-loving crops and for us workers. It is crazy hot in there, you guys! To harvest all the way through a row and make it out the other end, you step outside the house into the full beating sun of a hot summer day and you feel relieeeeeeved. So we have to do something to cool things down, for everyone’s sake. We have too many hoop houses to buy fancy expensive shade cloth for them all, so we engage in the strangely jovial practice of mudding.

There are many different ways to sling mud onto a house, and they all seem a little bit ridiculous. The saga of mudding technique evolution continues today. When I first started working at the farm seven years ago, we would load a flatbed truck up with four large totes of home-made organic mud. Four folks on the back would attempt to maintain their balance as a fifth slowly drove between two greenhouses. One Nancy’s yogurt cup at a time, we would mud all six acres of greenhouses this way. It was actually really fun!

A few years ago, a large mud-cannon of sorts was created, but its functionality is spotty at best. Most recently we’ve returned to simplicity. Two folks go out with a wheel barrow of mud, and one pushes as the other slings the mud. Another shout out to the hands that harvest and the souls that sweat! Gratitude goes well with food.

Best,
LB

 Table of Box Contents

  • Napa Cabbage—This very special sweet cabbage has a crisp crunch similar to romaine, with all these lovely little savoyed rumples that are perfect for soaking up whatever seasonings end up on them. Also, napa cabbage is used to make kimchi, a product near and dear to my heart. (For those of you out there interested in making kimchi at home, check out Maangchi’s YouTube channel.) Otherwise, see recipe on back for a delicious slaw
  • Bodacious Basil—This week while we were harvesting your basil, we found a little bird nest with three tiny eggs nestled in between the plants. Mama bird wasn’t far off and wasn’t happy, so we quickly flagged the area to protect it from accidental stomping, moved down the row, and kept on bunchin’ basil.
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh ShallotsFor those of you who have yet to discover the magic that are shallots, get ready! These lovelies are a cross between onions & garlic. You can tell by the way they grow, attempting to clove out into two or three large bulbs. And you can tell by the potent garlic flavor, a great addition to any dish.
  • Willamette Sweet Onion
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Leaf Lettuce

 

Savory Summer Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium Chicken/Veg. Broth
  • 1 cup uncooked Couscous
  • 1 head Lettuce, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 medium Cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 3-5 Carrots, grated or sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • a good pile fresh Basil, roughly minced
  • halved Cherry Tomatoes, tossed in last
  • sauteed Zucchini & Shallots
  • Olive Oil, to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • other dressing additions to play around with that I commonly use in this dish: Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari or Soy Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Spicy Chile Oil, Avocado

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly. 

  2. Slice up 1-2 zucchini and 1-2 shallots and sauté on medium high, stirring/tossing as
    needed until browned and beautiful. Salt after you’ve turned off the pan, otherwise your zukes will be mush.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, carrot, beet, onion, parsley, and lettuce.
    Stir in couscous. Toss in the zuke-shallot sauté.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Pour over couscous mixture; toss to coat. Add more of anything to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until chilled.

  5. I like to serve this with cheese, more fresh basil (or whatever herb is on hand), & sunflower
    seeds on top.

The Best Napa-Cabbage, Garlic-Basil, Apple-Walnut Slaw Ever

Adapted from LB’s home kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 head Napa Cabbage, chopped into thin strips
  • 4-5 Carrots, grated
  • 1 Apple, chopped into small chunks or thin slices, whicheva
  • 1-2 cups Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • handful Dried Craisins, if you're into that kind of thing

Dressing

  • 1-2 cups Mayo (store-bought or home-made)
  • 3-5 fat Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/3 to 1/2 bunch Basil, minced
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice your head of napa cabbage in half lengthwise. Depending on the size of your head, you may only need to use one half of it for this dish. Let your largest bowl be the deciding factor of how much can fit. Cut the half lengthwise again, and then slice another lengthwise cut to make long quarters. Chop down each strip finely to make thin, shredded slices. Place in a large bowl.

  2. Grate carrots on a cheese grater and add into the large bowl. Mix around evenly with your hands and then set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, plop in your mayo.

  4. Mince your garlic and toss it onto the mayo, along with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and your minced basil. Stir until well-mixed, dip a finger in to taste. If it needs more of anything, add it. Remember, you’re going for strong, it has a lot of crisp sweet veg to coat.

  5. Stir in the garlic-basil mayo into the shredded veg in the big bowl until mixed through.

  6. Chop apples and walnuts and toss in last. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This slaw is delicious served right away, later that night, the next day, and the day after that! I always have a container of slaw in the fridge in the summer to munch on, and the type of cabbage and specific ingredients vary each time. Just yesterday I added grated gold beets, and it was delicious!

2019 CSA – Week 7: Summer Ripens from the Bottom Up

CSA Newsletter – Week 7


Summer Ripens from the Bottom Up

Hello veggie lovers! Welcome to week 7 of your CSA. Suddenly it’s almost August and just about everything is ripening up fast.

For heat-loving crops such as tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and tomatillos, the first fruits of the season always ripen from the bottom of the plant up. That means that all the early season summer veg that you’ll find in the box and at farmers markets this time of year was cut almost at ground level, by someone who was bent aaaall the way over almost aaaall day long in order to do so.

As we weave our way through tomato houses with teenage vines getting cocky and overgrowing their trellising, we maintain a permanent downward bend, held strong by the legs (not the back), eyes peeled for any sign of color that isn’t green. We may walk five or ten feet, crouch down, approach the rare eagerly ripe tomato cautiously with scissors, and snip it so that it falls gently into the palm of the hand, flipping it over and placing it into the flat on its strong shoulders. Then we pick up our flat again and continue to walk bent down the row on the search for the next hidden gem. Each tomato is cut this way.

For tomatillos, the only full lanterns are dangling far beneath the tangle of stems shooting up. These fruits are so low that you must get down on your knees and search below the tomatillo jungle like you’re looking under your bed for your long-lost sock, scootching the flat along the ground as you go.

As the season progresses, so will the angle at which we get to stand as we harvest. There’s such human embedded energy in the food we eat. So this week, take a moment to appreciate the hands that harvest and the backs that bend! A big thanks!

Best,
LB

Table of Box Contents

  • Tomatoes
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 bunch Beets—One of my favorite things to do with beets is to make bright pink beet hummus! Make hummus as you normally do, adding in 2-3 beets (that you’ve steamed & peeled) into the food processer at the end for a sweet, earthier flavor, as well as a bright pink color! Also, for a delicious raw way to appreciate beets, see Beet & Kohlrabi Slaw with Pistachios & Craisins recipe from Week 3.N
  • 1 bunch Chard
  • 2 Fresh OnionsOnions are seen as so common, but onion harvest also requires a significant amount of handling similar to tomatoes. We scatter somewhat evenly into the field and search for the biggest onions to harvest. With the humble sound of  ripping roots we pull the onions out of the soil, slice off the remaining roots nice and flat, and peel the outermost dirty skins off. We place the onions in stacks of ten, and eventually a few people break away to start carrying the stacks over to a flat bad to stack them in a washable pattern. On they go to be washed & packed into this box!
  • Moss Parsley
  • Summer Squash
  • Nicola PotatoesSee Week 1 recipe, Smashed Potato Salad w/ Herb Vinaigrette
  • Cucumbers
  • 1 head Lettuce

Recipes

Swiss Chard & Garden Frittata

“This is the perfect brunch to serve guest because it tastes just as good at room
temperature. -@lorindabreeze
“. Adapted from https://thefeedfeed.com/lorindabreeze/swiss-chard-garden-tomato-frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • a few twists freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 cups Swiss Chard, cut into pieces
  • 2 ripe garden Tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 3/4 cup Aged Gouda Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Herbs, minced (any or all of oregano, thyme, parsley, chives)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt & pepper together in a bowl.

  3. Lightly sauté the chard, tomatoes & half the herbs in the olive oil (in a large ovenproof
    skillet) for a few minutes until softened.

  4. Remove 1 cup of the cooked vegetables and set aside.

  5. Pour the whisked "egg mixture" over the sautéed vegetables.

  6. Sprinkle the grated cheese over this and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove from the stove top and place the remaining vegetables on top.

  8. Put the skillet into the preheated oven for 16 - 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

  9. Add a little more salt & fresh ground pepper and toss the last bit of herbs over the top before serving.

  10. Cut into wedges and serve with some warm crusty bread - enjoy!

 

Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini with Tahini-Parsley Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 handful Parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes, diced or halved cherry tomatoes
  • Parsley, for garnish

Grilled Veg

  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 2 Summer Squash
  • 3-6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove both ends of eggplant & squash & slice into 1/2 inch slices.

  2. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and then lightly season with sea salt
    and ground black pepper.

  3. Heat either an outdoor grill or a cast iron indoor grill to medium-high and grill the eggplant until dark golden-brown grill marks form. This should take approx. 3 to 4 minutes per side
    - we’re looking for the inside to be grayish and soft, not white and hard. Summer squash timing may differ but can be roasted all the same.

  4. To make the tahini yogurt sauce, combine the plain yogurt, ground cumin, minced garlic, minced parsley, fresh lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice, tahini, sea salt,
    and black pepper in a mixing bowl. (I like to refrigerate this sauce for about 15-20 minutes to chill.)

  5. To serve, place a dollop of the tahini yogurt sauce over the grilled eggplant & squash, followed by a handful of sliced grape tomatoes and fresh parsley.

2019 CSA – Week 6: The Run-Down on Radicchio

CSA Newsletter – Week 6


The Run-Down on Radicchio

Although long-popular in Italy, radicchio and other bitter greens are unknown  to many people in the states, but this is changing! You may have seen it at the farmers’ market, or frisée endive, or sugarloaf chicory, and you might have asked someone what they were. Perhaps they replied, “it’s sort of like lettuce but bitter,” and you might have been like, “Oh,” and left it there to sit pretty on the shelf in search of a more appealing green.

We’ve all been there. The American palette doesn’t tend to value bitterness as a positive attribute. “Bitter” is a word we use to describe something that we don’t like, except that we love the bitter tones in coffee & beer. Appreciating and even craving bitterness is easily accomplished when combined with a multitude of other flavors that balance things out. We love bitter coffee specifically when it’s combined with sweet sugar & fatty cream.

Similarly, radicchio is so crazy refreshing and delicious when combined with specific other flavor friends. I often add a head of radicchio to a salad and balance its bitterness with sharp balsamic vinegar, sweet basil & fruit, and creamy, salty cheese chunks and walnuts. I love it raw, however, you can also cut your radicchio head in half, coat it liberally with olive oil, salt & pepper, and place it on the grill next to some fatty sausages!

Chicories are lettuce’s bitter cousin, but this is something to celebrate, not to lament. New flavors are like discovering new colors. Enjoy!
Best, LB (P.S. Chicories are the next kale.)

 

Table of Box Contents

  • 1 Tomato—With every day of hot weather we have, our tomatoes get sweeter and sweeter on the vine. Try to see if you can taste the change throughout the season!
  • 1 bulb Fennel—This big beautiful bulb and its fronds are both delicious and nutritious in their own ways. The fronds can be used as garnish on any dish or in a vegetable stock, and the bulbs are excellent grilled or sliced thinly and served raw in slaws and such. The oil that gives fennel (and tarragon) its licorice flavor can help reduce inflammation, and is high in vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
  • 1 head Radicchio—This vibrant cousin of lettuce is amazing raw, grilled, and roasted, particularly when paired with vinegars and cheeses to play off the bitter notes of the rich red leaves.
  • 2 Leeks—Like onions, but minus the pungency that’s been replaced by a buttery flavor, excellent in place of onions in almost any sauté that calls for onions.
  • 1 bu. Spinach
  • 1 bu. Purple Haze Carrots
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 4-5 Zucchini—To avoid your squash turning to mush when sautéing in the pan, be sure to wait to salt until you’ve turned off the pan.
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes—While this week’s potatoes aren’t the prettiest in the world (so it goes in the life of a farmer) they are still entirely nutritious and delicious gifts from the soil. Might be a good week to make mashed potatoes. Or, slice potatoes into ½ inch disks and then dice from there to make a breakfast hash.
  • 5 Cucumbers!!!!! —It’s time to make cucumber salad, cucumber soup, & cucumber facials all at once.
  • 1 head Lettuce

 

Recipes

Grilled Italian Platter

Adapted from https://paleoglutenfreeguy.com/grilled-italian-platter/

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2-3 heads Romaine or Little Gem Lettuce
  • 1 Radicchio
  • 3-4 tbsp Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 4 Italian Sausage (1-1.5 lbs)
  • 1 cup Mixed Olives, pitted or not pitted
  • 1/2 cup Pistachios
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cherries
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
  • flaky Sea Salt
  • freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler or crumbled
  • fresh Burrata, torn or sliced
  • 8 oz Mascarpone, stirred w/ pinch salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare your gas grill, charcoal grill or grill pan over medium heat.

  2. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and place over medium heat (on the grill or stovetop). Simmer until reduced and thick and syrupy, about 15-20 minutes.

  3. Trim the ends of the zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise. If very thick, slice into thirds lengthwise.

  4. Trim the root end of the radicchio and romaine by thinly slicing off the very end of the root. You want the leaves to remain attached. If any outer leaves fall off, that's okay. Just discard or serve separately.

  5. Lay the veggies on a large baking sheet, brush with half the avocado oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip over and brush with more avocado oil and sprinkle with salt. For veggies that have 3 sides (like the wedges of radicchio), brush the 3rd side with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt.

  6. Add the veggies & sausages to the grill. Cook them, covered if using a gas or charcoal grill: - sausages: 8-10 minutes per side, or until an instant thermometer reads 145 degrees. Cook zucchini 5-6 minutes per side, radicchio & romaine 4-5 minutes per side, cut sides only

  7. Arrange on a platter. Scatter the pistachios, dried cherries, olives and basil on top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the balsamic syrup on the side, along with any cheese, if desired.

 

Fennel Pasta Salad

Adapted from https://thefeedfeed.com/wellness_arevik/fennel-pasta-salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large Fennel Bulb, cored and quartered
  • 1 lb fresh Pasta, or one medium bag dry
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, roughly diced
  • 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 cups Spinach
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to medium. Toss fennel with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook on grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until fully cooked. Let cool, then thinly slice.

  2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, then return to the same pot and add tomatoes and spinach. Cook over medium low heat until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat, then add sliced fennel.

  3. Blend avocado, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add to the pasta and toss to coat.

 

Fennel Slaw with Lamb Chops

Adapted from http://www.theoriginaldish.com/2019/04/16/lamb-chops-with-fennel-slaw-spiced-yogurt/

Ingredients

  • 1 large Fennel Bulb, cored and quartered
  • 2 Shallots, halved
  • 1 1/2 Lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Fennel Fronds
  • 2 Tbsp Chives, chopped
  • 2 sprigs Mint Leaves, torn
  • Salt to taste

Lamb Chops

  • 8 Lamb Loin Chops
  • Black Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Plain Yogurt to serve

Instructions

  1. Trim a sliver off each end of the quartered fennel and the halved shallots. One by one, place the flat side of each down onto a mandolin. Use the mandolin to shave the fennel and shallots almost paper thin (or do your best with a knife, and it’ll turn out just as well!). Place them both in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, fennel fronds, chives, and mint. Season with a generous pinch of salt to taste.

  3. Let the slaw marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.

  4. Let the lamb chops sit at room temp about 30 min. Pat dry and season well with generous salt and pepper.

  5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a smidge of oil, and once the oil is hot, place half the lamb chops in the pan & sear about 3 minutes until crisp and deeply browned on one side. Flip and cook another 3 min longer for medium. Transfer them to a plate and cover loosely with foil while you cook the remaining lamb chops. Spoon the yogurt onto a large serving platter. Place the lamb chops onto the yogurt, with the fennel slaw over top.