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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 6/10/18)


Featured Recipe: Green Beans, Roasted Fennel and Shallots

Serves 4

Instructions

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

2 large fresh fennel bulbs, green stalks removed, ends trimmed (reserve a few feathery fronds for garnish)

3/4 pound shallots or yellow onion, peeled, halved through root end

5 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, divided

1 pound green beans, trimmed

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Cut fennel bulbs lengthwise in half and then in half lengthwise again (you want them to be approx. ½ inch wide wedges, and leave some core attached to hold them together). Combine fennel and shallots or onions in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Arrange veggies in single layer on prepared sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 35 minutes.

Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again (this stops the cooking, so they stay crisp-tender). Pat dry. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roasted vegetables and beans; toss until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, top with a dash of the fennel fronds, minced first. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Stonefruit Tips:
“Stonefruit” refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, and apricots. The season for summer stonefruit is short-lived, and delicious! With the fruit coming and going so quickly, we don’t want you to miss out by having to toss spoiled or improperly ripened fruit. Here’s some tips for proper storage so you can make the most of these short-season gems.

Care: Store unwashed fruit at room temperature until ripe (usually only 1-2 days), then place in sealed container in the fridge.

Ripeness: Gently press around stem and when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe.

Tips for Preventing Spoilage: Stonefruit’s biggest enemy while ripening is moisture coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered countertop or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen. This lessens the chance of then rolling and bruising. Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Take special care when handling your stonefruit—never squeeze to check for ripeness! Even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening. Check for ripeness by gently pressing around the stem area. It should yield to light pressure.

Use: Once fruit is ripe, and you’ve placed in the refrigerator, plan to use within a day or two (this gives you a total keeping time of about 4-5 days). Stonefruit is refreshing as a healthy breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. For grilling, or for topping green salads: use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. Stonefruit also bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

Fennel:

Normally fennel tastes like a cross between celery, cabbage, and licorice. Roasting, however, brings out an entirely new flavor – as if pine nuts decided to join the party. And if you enjoy raw fennel, I recommend roasting some just for the fun of it. To do so, see recipe below. Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

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How to Eat Your BOX! (9/17/2017)

D’Anjou Pears:
The d’Anjou is a truly an all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartletts, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Fennel:
Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Beets:
In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish. Check out the recipe below for easy Roasted Beets.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
“The good news: Beets are packed with folate and potassium, and the red ones deliver lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.” – Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (~1 1/2 pounds)
2 thyme sprigs or 2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or balsamic

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.
2. Meanwhile, in a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.
3. Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from: foodandwine.com

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Cukes and More Cukes

This has been the best year for cucumbers and tomatoes. They just keep coming. Ironically, they also take a while to get established, but when they do – oh boy! This season I planted an early crop of cukes in the greenhouse and then direct seeded a crop outside in early June and with another planting in mid-July. The greenhouse cukes are done, the June cukes are slowing down and the July cukes are hitting their stride.

Look for Klesick Farms cucumbers till the first hard frost. We absolutely love the flavor of the Silver Slicers. Those yellowish white cucumbers have great flavor and provide a nice break from the traditional green slicers that come most of the year.

However, we also plant the classic green slicing cucumber “Marketmore”. Whenever Marketmore’s are brought up in grower circles, you should hear the poetic waxing, “Those are beautiful.” or “The disease resistance is incredible.” or “They just keep producing!” or “They taste great!”. Jeesh, all this gushing about a cucumber! It is well deserved.

And when you plant a Marketmore or Silver Slicer in organic soils it tastes even better, but, really every crop tastes better when it is grown organically. The healthier soil combined with ample water and sunshine is a recipe for a bumper crop bursting with nutrition and flavor!

Fennel
This week I am switching gears in the “boxes of good”. Our friends at Highwater farms have some excellent Fennel and I have a good quantity of beets, so we are pairing the two together and offering a roasted fennel beet salad for the recipe. Fennel isn’t on the dinner plate often, but every so often I like to stretch a few taste buds.

You can follow the recipe here or google how to use Fennel, or you can do what I do. I grab every root vegetable that has been hanging around waiting to be eaten (think: carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, potatoes, garlic, onions, and fennel), chop them up into 1″ chunks, coat them with olive oil, sea salt and a little pepper, toss them into a pan and roast them all at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. YUM! The tricky thing about eating good vegetables is that you have to eat them to get the nutrition. I know the produce is beautiful and you just can’t bring yourselves to cook them, it’s okay, but their beauty really shines when you eat them.

 

Tristan

Farmer/Health Advocate

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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 5/28/17)

Fennel:

Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Garnet Yams:

Technically sweet potatoes, in the United States, we refer to the orange specimens as “yams” to differentiate from the sweeter white colored version. Technical terms aside, Garnet Yams are one of the most versatile veggies out there! Eating them just for Thanksgiving is a thing of the past, they can be simply baked like a potato, poked with a fork and roasted for about an hour at 400 degrees and then eaten as is, or stuffed with any number of ingredients, including, but not limited to traditional chili, cooked veggies, sour cream, or curry. Slice them into 1” cubes, toss with a little olive oil and your favorite spice (I like paprika, or tandoori marsala seasoning), and bake on a sheet pan for 20 minutes or so, salt as needed, and you’ve got super tasty breakfast side or a topping for that green salad lunch the next day. Peel, cube, and boil until fork tender, like a potato if you’re trying to cut down on vegetable oils. You can also slice them into “fries”, but if you do so, we recommend frying in a high-heat stable oil like coconut oil.

Radishes:

A favorite among farmers and gardeners because they can be grown and harvested virtually before any other crop, radishes deserve a place in the kitchen too! Crisp and peppery, they begin with a mild flavor, and have a spicy finish, which is why they’re a natural salad toppers. Another, not as well-known method is braising them, which softens their spicy profile and makes them calmer for those of us who don’t enjoy their spicy side.

 

Featured Recipe: Braised Red Radishes

Braising softens the bright red of radishes to a pretty pink and gives them a sweet turnip-like flavor. Ingredients:

– Kosher salt

– 10 red radishes with greens (about 1 bunch), greens trimmed to ¼-inch and radishes halved lengthwise – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

– 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Put the radishes in a medium saucepan and add a generous pinch of salt (just over ¼ teaspoon), oil and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to moderate, cover and simmer until the radishes are tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the radishes to a serving bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/8 cup, about 8 minutes. Season with salt if preferred and pour the liquid over the radishes.

Recipe adapted from “Across the Street Red Radishes” by foodandwine.com

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For the love of fennel!

Learn how to properly store, prep and use fennel, and check out our recipe for Roasted Fennel & White Bean Dip! It’s simple and tasty, and works great as an appetizer or side dish!

STORE: After several days, fennel’s flavor begins to lessen. Keep bulbs tightly wrapped in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Don’t wash them until just before using them, as moisture speeds decay.

PREP: Sprinkle cut fennel with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

USE: Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, grilled, sautéed, or used raw in salads.

Roasted Fennel and White bean Dip

For Roasted Fennel:

  • 1 Large or 2 Small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic still in papery shell
  • Salt and pepper

For the Cannellini Bean puree:

  • 3/4 cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Crostini

Procedure:

  1. First make the roasted fennel. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fennel and garlic cloves in the olive oil and spread on a sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning twice during cooking. Take out and let cool. When cool squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins.
  2. Start the cannellini bean puree. In a small frying pan heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until lightly golden, add rosemary and cannellini beans and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Take it off the heat.
  3. In a food processor combine the garlic bean mixture, fennel, roasted garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons of the parmigiano-reggiano. Puree until smooth.
  4. Raise oven temp to 450 degrees. Transfer puree into a small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Feel free to add more. If your dish is near full, place it on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over in the oven. Bake until cheese is golden on top, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with crostini. Enjoy!

*Recipe taken from Gojee.com

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Fresh This Week Tips – July 19, 2011

FENNEL:

STORE: Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about four days. However, it is best to consume fennel soon after purchase since as it ages, it tends to gradually lose its flavor.

USE: The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning. Try using Fennel to make an antipasto salad, with fish, onion soup or add it to a vegetable side like green beans for some extra flavor.

PREP: The three different parts of fennel—the base, stalks and leaves—can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb.

RAINBOW CHARD:

STORE: Do not wash rainbow chard before storing it because exposure to water can encourage spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around it, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can also blanch the leaves and then freeze them.

USE: Great in salads, chard can also be cooked. If you’re looking to cook your chard, one of the best ways to bring out the sweetest flavors is by boiling it for at least 3 minutes, but be sure to discard the water once it is fully cooked. This ingredient makes a great addition to many Italian dishes or breakfast frittatas.

PREP: Rinse chard under cold running water. Remove any area of the leaves that may be brown, slimy, or have holes. Stack the leaves and slice into 1-inch slices until you reach the stems. Cut stems into 1/2-inch slices discarding the bottom 1 inch portion.

CELERY:

STORE: To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients.

USE: There are many great ways to use celery both as a delicious snack and in a meal. Consider adding chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe or include celery leaves in a salad. Try braising chopped celery, radicchio and onions and serve topped with walnuts and your favorite soft cheese.

PREP: To clean celery cut off the base and leaves, then wash the leaves and stalks under running water. Cut the stalks into pieces of desired length. If the outside of the celery stalk has fibrous strings, remove them by making a thin cut into one end of the stalk and peeling away the fibers.

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Eating like it’s summer in the winter

There’s nothing like biting into a crisp, freshly picked sugar snap pea while basking in the summer sun. Or having a sweet tomato collapse and fall victim to your teeth as they sink into its tender red flesh.

Commonly in the winter we find ourselves a slave to the stove, constantly roasting, braising, steaming or sautéing. I am guilty of this, as I find an immense amount of pleasure from the sweet and caramel tastes that emerge from roasted vegetables. With those rich, roasted flavors a heavy coat of oil, butter and sometimes cream (vegetables braised in cream are out of this world) comes with it. And while that is fine and mighty delicious, night after night of those hefty side dishes will have you wearing a bulky winter coat – and I’m not talking about the kind you button up.

I became awakened to the joys of eating raw vegetables in the winter while working as a pastry chef for a catering company. The chef created a salad of finely shredded raw fennel, leeks, celeriac (celery root) and apples, simply dressed in olive oil, a splash of vinegar, and salt. I found myself nibbling at that salad when I should have been working on my desserts. I clung to the fresh flavors and simplicity as if it were a friend I hadn’t seen in months. The subtle sweetness of the vegetables and soft flavors of bitter, heat and licorice danced in my head. I was transformed in my winter eating.

While the health benefits are only an added bonus to the delicious tastes of these salads, they are still worth noting, especially since many of us have recently resolved to take better care of our bodies. “Raw vegetables are extremely rich in minerals, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and natural sugars. All of these are things that your body needs to function properly and the raw veggies will help stabilize and normalize your natural bodily functions. They actually help pretty much ALL of your natural bodily functions operate.” (http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Many-Benefits-Of-Eating-Raw-Vegetables&id=53492)

I’ll never give up my roasted carrots that taste of candy or my cream braised brussel sprouts that leave all cruciferous detesters eating their words and their vegetables. But what I will do, is enjoy the freshness of raw vegetables all year long seeking out different tastes and new ingredients.

by Ashley Rodriquez
Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. Read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com

Winter White Salad
Serves 4 as a side salad

Celeriac, also know as celery root, is the unsung hero of this dish. The flavor is similar to that of celery but with more spice and none of the obnoxious strings. It crunches like a carrot and yields an aromatic fragrance that will leave you wondering why you’ve never taken note of it before. You’ll have to get beyond the warty and hard to peel exterior but once you do you will be rewarded with a unique flavor and a crisp crunch that we so long for in the cold Winter months ahead.

1 apple – I used a tart Pink Lady and loved the flavor it added.
1 Fennel bulb
about 1/4 of Celeriac, peeled
1 small Leek

Using a Mandolin with the matchstick blade carefully slice the apple, fennel and Celeriac. Each item should yield about 1 1/2 – 2 cups once cut. You can play with the quantity of each depending on your flavor preference. Keep all the sliced produce in a bowl of cold water with a touch of lemon juice to keep them from browning. When ready to dress the salad make sure you completely drain the matchsticks. Thinly slice just the white part of the leek. Separate the rings. Make the dressing.

For full recipe please visit: http://notwithoutsalt.com/2009/11/05/winter-white-salad/

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Fresh This Week Tips, Week 10.17.10

Spitzenburg Apples
STORE: To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator.
PREP: Gently rub the apple as you run warm water over it to clean. Peel and cut your apple into slices or cubes. To prevent apples from browning, brush with a lemon juice-water solution (1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice).
USE: This dessert apple is great for cider, apple pies or eating out of hand. It is also rumored to have been a favorite of President Thomas Jefferson!

Bartlett Pears
STORE: Keep pears in a cool, dark place until ripe. To test for ripeness, gently push on the stem. If it gives a little, your pear is ready to eat. Once ripe, pears may be stored in the refrigerator.
PREP: Wash pears in cold water and keep them whole, slice them or chop them.
USE: Bartlett pears are delicious eaten out of hand, but are also great choices for canning or baking.

Beets
STORE: Separate your greens from the beets and keep them in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator. Leave an inch of the greens to prevent flavor loss and bleeding. The beets should last for about a week, but use your greens as soon as possible.
PREP: Scrub your beets and rinse the greens before using.
USE: Beets can be roasted, baked, steamed or eaten raw. The Klesick family loves to boil the beets, quarter them and eat them while they’re still warm with a bit of butter straight out of the pot! Be sure to sauté, steam or braise the tasty greens with a little olive oil and salt.

Cauliflower
STORE: Store cauliflower for up to one week in your crisper covered by a plastic or paper bag.
PREP: Keep whole and chop off ¼ inch off the stem or cut the head into bite-sized florets.
USE: Steam, roast, bake or stir fry cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook!  For a simple, delicious pizza, try this “pizza” with cauliflower crust recommended by a customer (great for those eating gluten free).

Fennel
STORE: Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper. It should keep fresh for about four days, but try to use it as soon as possible for the best flavor.
PREP: Wash your fennel thoroughly to remove all dirt. Don’t be afraid to use all parts of the fennel in cooking: the base, stalks and leaves. The ideal way to slice your fennel is to cut it vertically through the bulb.
USE: Fennel is the unique, crunchy, licorice-tasting vegetable used commonly in Mediterranean cooking. When paired with juicy oranges, the fresh flavor and crisp texture of the fennel really shines. Try this festive Fennel and Orange Salad from kiss my spatula. You can also use fennel leaves as an herbaceous seasoning to entrees or soups.

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Roasted Fennel

From www.simplyrecipes.com
Normally fennel tastes like a cross between celery, cabbage, and licorice. Roasting, however, brings out an entirely new flavor – as if pine nuts decided to join the party. And if you enjoy raw fennel, I recommend roasting some just for the fun of it.

Ingredients:
2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs sliced
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat. Line baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay out piece of fennel and roast for 15-20 minutes until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.

Serves 4

Image from norecipes.com