This week your basket contains: FLORENCE FENNEL, zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers, GREEN TOMATOES, carrots, CHINESE CABBAGE, garlic, Swiss chard, basil, and sweet peppers.
SAVE THE DATE: The weekend of October 21st and 22nd is set aside for our PUMPKIN PICK-UP WEEKEND. As we can not deliver carving pumpkins with your basket (and the perfect carving pumpkin is a very personal choice anyway) we set aside this weekend for you to come out to the farm, choose your pumpkin (and other seasonal decorations) and share a pot luck lunch with other subscribers. We will press fresh apple cider, make pizza (you have to try pumpkin pie pizza!) and in general have a great time. We can’t wait to see you then.
Here is how you prepare Florence fennel: wash and trim fennel stalks to the point where they meet the top and sides of bulbs. Save the stalks and leaves for flavoring and garnishes. Fennel can be eaten raw, but our favorite way to prepare it simply is to slice it in half through the root end so that the resulting halves are wider than they are thick. We then throw it on the grill or under the broiler with a brushing of olive oil. Cook until crisp-tender and slightly browned. It is great with fish, very low-calorie, and has an anise flavor. This is one of our favorite fennel recipes:
FAST SAUTÉ OF FENNEL AND MUSHROOMS
1 large fennel (with leaves)
1/2 lb whole mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
Thinly slice fennel, discarding any hard core. Mince 1/2 cup of the leaves and set aside. Slice mushrooms to same thickness as fennel. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and oil in a sauté pan. Add mushrooms and cook over medium high heat until brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining butter and fennel to pan. Cook over medium heat until softened but still crunchy. Add mushrooms, stir together. Season with salt and pepper and stir in minced fennel leaves. (From The Victory Garden Cookbook)
Green tomatoes in your basket is a sure sign that autumn is upon us. While we have several recipes on our web site, perhaps the easiest way to use them is as:
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
Fried green tomatoes are extremely easy to make. On a plate or in a shallow bowl, beat 1-2 eggs. Cut green tomatoes approx. ¼ to ½ inch thick, dip in egg, coat with bread crumbs and fry in a small amount of butter. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fried slices and serve.
ZESTY GREEN TOMATO CHUTNEY
4 med. green tomatoes
3 Tbs. ghee or veg. oil
1 Tbs. minced hot peppers
½ tsp. black mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
1/8 tsp. saffron threads
2 Tbs. finely chopped candied ginger
½ cup diced under-ripe mango
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped cilantro
Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and peel. Cut each tomatoes in half, squeeze out as many seeds as possible and dice. Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Drop in mustard seeds and cook until they start to “pop”. Add the curry leaves, and in seconds carefully add the tomatoes and saffron. Stir and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. Add the ginger, mango and salt. Cook additional 15 minutes stirring often until thick. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the cilantro and let cool. Serve at room temperature. From The Best Of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi
Chinese (or Napa) cabbage is like a cross between European cabbage and bok choi. It is often used in pad Thai or in spring rolls, but this is my favorite way to serve it.
SAUTÉED CHINESE CABBAGE WITH BLUE CHEESE, WALNUTS AND APPLES
4 cups thinly sliced Chinese cabbage
1 med. onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tart green apple
8 oz. ripe blue cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. walnut or olive oil.
If you choose to use walnut oil, be aware that it will scorch more readily than other oils. In a large skillet sauté the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add the chopped Chinese cabbage and salt. Sauté 4-5 minutes or until the cabbage wilts. Add the walnuts, cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove to serving dish, top with chopped apple and crumbled blue cheese and serve warm.