CSA Week 14

In your share week 14:

Onion
Zucchini
Leek
Green Onion
Kale
Napa Cabbage (half shares) or peppers (full shares)
Italian Parsley
Salad Mix
Fennel

Full Shares Only:

Radish

I thought the shares were going to be getting smaller, but this week’s is pretty full again.  This is a greens and allium (onion family) heavy share, which I personally love.  Today’s fennel are probably the last and are definitely the nicest of the year: they are huge and simply stunning!  If you still aren’t sure what to do with fennel, try using it with your napa cabbage to make slaw or roast it and make it into soup (recipe below).

 

New today are leeks.  We have never had great luck with these, but we have a much larger crop than usual.  Hopefully plenty more coming your way!  Leeks can be used similarly to onions, but are less sweet and have a more vegetal, green flavor.  I love them in soups, roasted, braised, or used in stir fries.  Most people just use the white and light green part, reserving the outer parts of the leaves for stock.  I usually find that ours are tender enough to use the entire leek, and that’s what I usually do.  To prepare leeks, trim off the leaves (if you don’t want to use them), split the stalk in half lengthwise, and then slice across each half into thin half moons.

 

This has been en excellent allium year on the farm, and we have lots more leeks, shallots, and onions for you.  We are finally nearing the end of our green onions, which I’m sure some of you are sick of!  (Remember, they are great roasted or grilled whole for easy prep.)  Maybe because onions are so ubiquitous, its easy to forget that they are actually extremely nutritious.  According to The Fruit Guys magazine,

A wide array of sulfur compounds gives onions, garlic, and other alliums their characteristic taste, smell, and tear-inducing pungency as well as their many health benefits, including cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer activity, lowering blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lowering blood pressure, and providing anti-clotting benefits. Alliums also contain polyphenols, including the flavonoid quercetin, which along with many of the sulfur compounds have important anti-inflammatory effects.

To get the greatest health benefits from your alliums, either eat them raw or allow them to sit for about 10 minutes after being cut but before being cooked or acidified.  According to the article above, “This allows the enzymes released when the alliums’ cells are broken to more completely react with sulfur-containing molecules and convert them to beneficial forms.”  In addition to cancer fighting antioxidants, alliums are rich in Vitamin C, several B complex vitamins, chromium, and magnanese.

 


Roasted Fennel Soup

From Fresh Fork Market.

1 large or two small bulb fennel (fronds removed, but keep for garnish)
 5-6 small potatoes
 1 bulb kohlrabi
 1 large leek
 Oil for tossing veggies
 salt and pepper
 4 cups stock
 Juice from 1 whole lemon
 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
 1 tbsp fresh thyme minced

Preheat oven to 375 and get out two baking sheets.

Rinse and chop your leeks and fennel and toss with just a little oil, salt and pepper. Place on one baking sheet. On the other, scrub and cut up your potatoes and kohlrabi to roughly the same size (about half the size of your fennel pieces), and also toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes, with the potatoes on bottom and fennel in middle of the oven, then toss. Roast for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and add to large soup pot.

Turn heat up on soup pot and add stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and purée.  Stir in lemon juice first, and then cream (or additional water to thin it to desired consistency). Optional to pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove solids. Serve garnished with minced thyme and minced fennel fronds.

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