Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 15 — September 12, 2013

Greetings!

Half of this morning's fennel harvest

Half of this morning’s fennel harvest

We hope you like fennel — because we’ve got beautiful fennel bulbs in your bins this week.  I love it shaved thinly, mixed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and then left to marinate for an hour (or overnight, with patience).  It mellows the anise-y flavor and melds it into a lovely summer treat!

You half share folks are lucking out this week with the first of the melons — they’re almost individual-sized!  Full share folks should expect some large ones next week.  We’ve also got tons of tomatoes (finally) — a pint of cherries, a pound of slicers, and a pint of tomatillos thrown in for good measure.  Salsa, perhaps?

WHAT’S IN YOUR BIN?

FullShare_9-12Full Share

1 Napa Cabbage
2 Japanese Eggplant
1 bulb Fennel
1 head Garlic
1 Walla Walla Sweet Onion
1 bunch Parsley
2 Hot Peppers
1/2# Sweet Peppers
1 pint Tomatillos
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1# Tomatoes

HalfShare_9-12Half Share

1 Japanese Eggplant
1 bulb Fennel
1 head Garlic
1 small Melon
1 Walla Walla Sweet Onion
1 bunch Parsley
2 Hot Peppers
1/2# Sweet Peppers
1 pint Tomatillos
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1# Tomatoes

RECIPES

Fennel and Celery Salad

Recipe courtesy Mark Bittman

2 medium Fennel Bulbs
3 Celery Ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbls fresh Lemon Juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper, more to taste
Freshly shaved Parmesan

  1. Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.
  2. Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.

 

Ninfa’s Green Sauce

Recipe courtesy Homesick Texan

3 medium-sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped (you can substitute yellow if you can’t find green ones, but never use red)
4 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 small garlic cloves
3 medium-sized ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
4 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp. of salt
1 1/2 cups of sour cream

  1. Combine chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide the liquid), reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Place tomato mixture with the avocados, cilantro and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into a bowl and stir in sour cream.

Makes 4 to 5 cups

Spiced Peppers and Eggplant

2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp. Coriander Seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp. Cumin Seeds, crushed
Pinch of Saffron Threads (optional)
2 Sweet Peppers, any color (about 1 lb.), cut into 2” strips
1-2 Japanese Eggplants (about ½ lb.), quartered lengthwise, or ½ large eggplant, cut into 2×1” pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup torn fresh Basil Leaves
2 Tbls  Olive Oil

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, and saffron, if using; cook, stirring often, until garlic is softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add sweet peppers and eggplants; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 15–20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add vinegar.
  5. Just before serving, add basil and toss to combine.