Week 5, 2011

Use Fennel in Recipes that call for celery.

Harvest Newsletter, July 2011
Week 5 of 18

Greetings, Members!

Farm News:  It has definitely felt like summer at the farm lately.  Warm temps, high humidity, virtually no wind, and lots of bugs have made it feel like we are working in a rainforest.  We are in what I like to call the transition period.  We are transitioning out of the greens and are moving on to the summer crops.  New this week are potatoes, carrots, beets and green beans.  And it looks like next week will come the tomatoes, cukes, and zukes.  Last but not least, as we did in 2010, we are pleased to be able to sell produce/herbs to River Rock Café and to The Food Coop (produce and deli)!!!

This week’s harvest includes: Green and lacinato kale (great raw garnish in soups made in a slow cooker or in a raw salad).  Rainbow chard (green leaf with either a white, red/magenta or yellow stalk) and green or red head lettuce, spinach, cabbage, sugar snap peas, basil, fennel, new potatoes, beets, green beans, and maybe baby carrots.

Storage and Preservation Suggestions: To store fennel, keep it in a container in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Ideas and Tips

Fennel has a white bulb and the greens resemble dill.  The flavor can be compared to anise (black licorice) and has the crispy consistency of celery yet when cooked it is sweeter.  Use fennel in recipes that call for celery in broths, salads, soups, and sautéed dishes of all kinds.  Try it chopped, leaves and all, either raw or cooked.

Fennel-Apple-Gouda Salad

(From: 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes)

  • 1 cup sliced fennel
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • ¾  cup chopped tart apple
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½  cup diced Gouda cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mustard
  • ½  tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, toss together the fennel, apple and Gouda.  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Yields 2 to 3 servings.

Pesto (can be made using basil, garlic scapes, cilantro, or parsley) . . . .

Garlic Scape Pesto

(From: recipe.com)

  • 1 cup chopped garlic scapes (about 10 scapes)
  • ½  cup organic olive or canola oil
  • ½  cup walnuts, pine nuts or sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more if preferred
  • ¼  teaspoon salt, more if preferred
  • water, as needed

Place all ingredients into food processor or blender and puree (smooth or coarse, as desired). Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning; add more salt or lemon juice as needed

Will keep, covered and refrigerated, for approx. 1 week or freeze in ice cube trays (covered) & thaw when you choose.

Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Herb Syrup

(From: Canning & Preserving Your Own Harvest)

(A super way to preserve the fresh flavor of herbs and use to sweeten iced or hot tea, lemonade or cocktails.)  We have been making the herb syrup with basil and it is quite refreshing!!  River Rock Café also makes delicious herbal refreshments.

3 cups water

1 cup fresh herbs (basil, fennel, or mint )

2 cups sugar (I used the cane sugar available in bulk at the coop)

Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from the heat and add the herbs; cover and steep for several hours to make a strong infusion.  (Lupita steeped the herbs for 4 hours.) Strain the liquid or use cheese cloth to squeeze all of the infusion out, add the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Boil without stirring to thicken, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and bottle.  The syrup keeps well in the refrigerator (up to 3 months).   Yields about 1.5 cups.

For visuals if something is unfamiliar in your share box/harvest newsletter check out:
www.highmowingseeds.com (the column on the left side of the website provides a list of vegetables, etc)
www.johnnyseeds.com (Product Index)
www.seedsavers.org (scroll to the bottom, and click on Helpful Links)

Remember to return your box clean and exchange it for the full share box.  Thanks in advance!

Happy eating! ~ Lupita & Adam

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