In Your Share Week 15:
Broccoli or Cauliflower
Cucumber or Zucchini
Tomatoes (some sites only)
Full shares only:
Not much new today, but lots of our usual favorites. We haven’t had much fennel for you this year, but this week we have a beautiful rotation sized up. Remember you can use fennel most places you’d use celery: it’s great raw, roasted, or used as an aromatic in soups and stuffings. I particularly like it with potatoes. Mostly use the white part of the bulb, the stalks have nice flavor but tend to be tough.
We are pulling from our final rotations of cauliflower and broccoli, so these will be some of the last you’ll see of them. They tend to peter out as the rains begin, and our final rotations are a little weak this year. I think I’m ready to pull the plug on zucchini as well, since the plants have gotten moldy and production is dropping fast. The cucumbers, though, are still putting out a surprising amount of fruit, so hopefully we’ll have those for another week or two.
Our fall salad has been especially nice this year, as is the cilantro. We’ve been getting back on a Mexican food kick, with lots of tacos and enchiladas around our house recently. We’ve been making lots of our own sauces with our tomatoes, cilantro, and dried chiles, then making fillings out of eggplant, turnip greens, zucchini, and whatever other veggies we have in the fridge. Usually we make our own tortillas (it’s easy and they’re soooo delicious) but this time of year we are tired and also use store bought ones.
We have one last onion for you today; as I’ve said, our onion crop was a disappointment but we do have some beauties today. These were a new variety I tried this year that turned out to be a longer season one, so they still have fresh green tops even though it’s October. Keep them in the fridge and use the whole thing: I use the tops along with the bulbs, but they also make good stock. We’ll have a few shallots and maybe leeks for you in the weeks to come, but these will be your last onions for the season.
Remember to come to the Neskowin Valley School Harvest Festival this Saturday! Say hi to us, support the school, and enjoy fresh pressed cider, fresh food, and music all day. I’ll be playing on the stage around 2:45; I’d love for you to come hear me sing. 10 to 5, this Saturday October 7.
Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pears, Fennel, and Walnuts
From The One Dish Vegetarian by Mia Robbins, this hearty salad can stand alone as a meal or be served as a side. I particularly like fennel raw, and it pairs very well with fruit as in this dish.
In a saucepan, bring 4 c water to a boil. Add 2 c quinoa, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the grains become translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine:
2 apples, cored, diced, and sprinkled with lemon juice
2 ripe pears, cored, diced, and sprinkled with lemon juice
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
½ c dried currants
2 shallots, finely minced
In a separate bowl, whisk together:
½ c fresh orange juice
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Mix quinoa together with fruit mixture, then pour dressing over the top. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with ½ toasted walnuts and serve.
Carrot Fennel Soup
From Gourmet November 2008, by Ruth Cousineau.
2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds
1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise
1 medium onion, quartered
1 garlic clove
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.
Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve. Discard stalks and remaining fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Blend half of vegetables in a blender with broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables and water. Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, finely grind fennel seeds in grinder and stir into remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Serve soup drizzled with fennel oil and sprinkled with reserved fronds.