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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! (Week of 6/11/17)

How to cook your box:

Nectarines: You can either eat these smooth-skinned stonefruits crisp and hard like an apple, or set out on the counter to allow to ripen for a day or two if you like them sweeter and soft. Test for ripeness by fragrance and by gently pressing around the stem – it should give to light pressure when ripe. Place in sealed container in the fridge when ripe – if you leave them exposed to the open air in the fridge, they will wrinkle from dehydration. Nectarines, like other stonefruit, ripen from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe. Try nectarines for breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. Nectarines are also great on the grill, but be sure to use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. And of course, nectarines bake up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

Carrots: Twist the tops off those carrots as soon as they arrive so that they stay nice and crisp in the refrigerator. If you’re reading this, you’ve chosen organically grown carrots, so give yourself a fist bump. ? Carrots are so important to get organic because conventionally grown carrots are often a concentrated source of heavy metals, nitrates and pesticides. Eating carrots is a healthy alternative to junk food, and just one carrot can boost your willpower that is in resistance to those processed foods. Consider adding bunch carrots on to your order on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your body will thank you!

Recipe for Roasted Carrots with Spicy Green Sauce

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is loaded with vitamins A, K, and C and when consumed raw there are significant amounts of vitamin E and Iron. Besides a being a great green for a quick sauté similar to kale or spinach, swiss chard is great eaten raw. Cut into fine ribbons and tossed in a salad along with a fine mince of their brilliantly colored stems for a bit of crunch.

The frilly leaves are perfect smoothie fodder as their mild flavor is hardly detected when there are frozen berries involved (a must to get our youngest to enjoy her smoothie).

Along with salads, sautés and smoothies the hardy chard stems are perfect for a quick pickle. Make up a simple bring with vinegar, spices a bit of salt and a faint touch of honey then warm over the stove. Turn off the heat then add chard stems. Let them cool in the brine then refrigerate for up to two weeks. Dice them up then add to salads or serve alongside a cheese platter or simple snack on them throughout the day.

Cauliflower

This little vegetable darling is finally getting the spotlight it deserves. It boasts high levels of vitamin C and moderate levels of Vitamins B and K. Really though it’s quite possibly the most delicious vegetable after a good roast in the oven.

Vegetable butchers praise the cauliflower steak. If you think I’m kidding about any part of that last sentence you are mistaken. Cut a cauliflower into thick 1-inch slices. Slather with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper then roast in a 400°F oven until tender and the edges are deeply caramelized and even charred in parts. Top with a simple salsa of fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and olive oil. A fried egg on top of that makes a fine dinner or breakfast. Or chop the cauliflower into florets and roast in the same way. Toss with chili flakes, pasta and fresh goat cheese for a simple dinner.

And since I can’t stop talking about tacos today, roasted cauliflower makes a mighty fine taco add in too. Pulverized in a food processor cauliflower resembles the texture of rice or couscous. Baked or even consumed raw you have a lovely vegetable alternative. Check out this recipe for a raw cauliflower tabouli.

Cauliflower Tabouli

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos

from Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless

Serves 4

Ingredients:

12 oz. bunch of Swiss chard, thick lower stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons (10 oz. cleaned

spinach can be used instead)

1 1/2 tbsp. oil, lard or bacon drippings

1 large onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (water works too)

Salt

12 warm corn tortillas

1 cup (4 ounces) Queso Fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese

Salsa, for serving

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion then cook until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. To the onions add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir for about 20 seconds until you are hit with the aroma of the garlic then immediately add the broth or water, ½ teaspoon salt and the greens. Adjust the heat to medium-low then cover the skillet. Cook until the greens are almost tender. For Swiss chard this will be about 5 minutes. Spinach only takes about 2 minutes.

Uncover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-high then cook until the juices have reduced significantly and merely glaze the greens. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.

Serve with the corn tortillas, crumbled fresh cheese and Chipotle salsa.

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Stonefruit 101

Stonefruit 101

“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 info on proper storage in order for you to 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.

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. All Stonefruit bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!

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A Salad of Nectarines and Asparagus

A SALAD OF NECTARINES AND ASPARAGUS

4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small bunch asparagus, sliced on the bias

1 teaspoon oil

Zest of one lemon, reserve 1/2 lemon for juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

3 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 cups mixed greens, such as lettuces, spinach leaves, young kale, arugula

2 nectarines, thinly sliced lengthwise

2-3 ounces Feta or Chèvre, crumbled

1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds Sea salt and pepper to taste

Parsley for garnish, optional

Directions:

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the asparagus in one teaspoon oil, stirring occasionally, for about four minutes, until bright green. Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of juice from half the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Make the dressing by whisking together the Balsamic vinegar with the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with the dressing. Top with the asparagus, Feta, chopped almonds and finish with slices of nectarine. Garnish with parsley if desired. Best served immediately. Recipe adapted from: theyearinfood.com

Know Your Produce: NECTARINES

Nectarines closely related fruit species to peach. Juicy, delicious nectarines are low in calories (100 g just provide 44 calories), and contain no saturated fats. They are packed with numerous health promoting anti-oxidants, plant nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Store: Although best enjoyed without delay, ripe nectarines can be refrigerated for three to five days. Leave firmer ones at room temperature to ripen. Stone fruit ripens from the inside out: check the stem area to see if it yields to gentle pressure. Ripe nectarines are also usually fragrant. Prep: Wash well under cool water before using. Use: Nectarines may be enjoyed, peel and all. They are delicious sliced and eaten out of hand, or with your breakfast cereal/on yogurt. They also work well in almost any recipe calling for peaches.

Posted on

Stonefruit 101

“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. We’d like to share some info on proper storage in order for you to 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!

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Nectarine Blueberry Cake

With all of the summer fruit flooding our counter tops and the refrigerator all at once, we’ve been busy freezing and jamming! However, we don’t want to forget to enjoy some of that delicious fruit right now, while it’s in season.

This recipe was requested by a long-time customer who remembered it from a July 2010 newsletter.

NECTARINE BLUEBERRY CAKE

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup organic cane sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large nectarines, coarsely chopped

2 cups fresh blueberries

Garnishes: sliced nectarines, fresh blueberries, lemon rind

 

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yolk disappears. Add vanilla, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat batter at low speed just until blended. Gently fold in nectarines and blueberries. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in grated lemon rind and vanilla.

Spread 1/2 cup Cream Cheese Frosting evenly on top of one cake layer; top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining Cream Cheese Frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Adapted from original recipe by Pat Vennest, Seattle, Washington, Coastal Living, September 2006

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A Salad of Nectarines and Asparagus

4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small bunch asparagus, sliced on the bias

1 teaspoon oil

Zest of one lemon, reserve 1/2 lemon for juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

3 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 cups mixed greens, such as lettuces, spinach leaves, young kale, arugula

2 nectarines, thinly sliced lengthwise

2-3 ounces Feta or Chèvre, crumbled

1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Parsley for garnish, optional

 

Directions:

1.            In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the asparagus in one teaspoon oil, stirring occasionally, for about four minutes, until bright green. Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of juice from half the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2.            Make the dressing by whisking together the Balsamic vinegar with the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.            In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with the dressing. Top with the asparagus, Feta, chopped almonds and finish with slices of nectarine. Garnish with parsley if desired. Best when  served immediately.

Recipe adapted from theyearinfood.com