Cooking With This Week’s Box:
This Week’s Summary of Recipes and the Vegetables They Utilize:
Green Scallions OR Green Top Purple Cipollini Onions: Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger; Summer Vegetable Lasagna Casserole. (See below)
Italian and/or Green Zucchini: Zucchini Cornbread; Sour Cream Zucchini Bread; Summer Vegetable Lasagna Casserole. (See below)
Green and/or Silver Slicer Cucumbers: Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger; Middle Eastern Chicken Burgers with a Yogurt Cucumber Sauce
Strawberries: Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce
Sweet Baby Broccoli: Green Shakshuka; Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger; Summer Vegetable Lasagna Casserole. (See below)
Rainbow Chard: Green Shakshuka
Sugar Snap or Snow Peas: Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger
Purple and/or Green Kohlrabi: Green Shakshuka; Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger; Kohlrabi Fries
Fennel: Roasted Fennel & White Bean Dip; Summer Vegetable Lasagna Casserole. (See below)
Here we are in the last week of June! Strawberry season is winding down which means garlic harvest is right around the corner! We’re looking forward to attending the annual Garlic Harvest dinner at Harvest Restaurant in Madison on July 15. Tami Lax hosts this dinner every year to help us celebrate the garlic harvest. While we wait for this year’s garlic crop to come in, we have plenty of other vegetables to keep us occupied in the kitchen!
|Roasted Fennel & White Bean Dip|
Photo from food52
|Zucchini Cornbread, photo from brown eyed baker|
|Green Shakshuka, picture from epicurious|
I found this recipe for Middle Eastern Chicken Burgers with a Yogurt Cucumber Sauce and will prepare these for dinner served along with spicy Kohlrabi Fries.
|Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger|
Picture from smitten kitchen
Finally, lets celebrate this year’s strawberry season with Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce. Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day and pancakes are one of my favorite foods. Top them off with fresh strawberries and life is pretty good.
And on that note I’m going to sign off. Have an awesome week!---Chef Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Fennel
When I was in culinary school I worked as a cook at a restaurant called Mojo Grill. One of the signature appetizers on the menu was a classy dish of bacon-wrapped scallops served with fennel and a delicious Sambuca cream sauce. I was pretty excited when I was granted permission to prepare this dish, and even made it for a restaurant critic one night! After cooking the scallops until they were nicely browned and the bacon was crispy, I’d remove them from the pan, add several pieces of fresh fennel and then get ready for the excitement. With a bottle of Sambuca (an Italian anise-flavored liqueur) in one hand and my other hand on the handle of the pan, I’d pour some of the liqueur into the pan and announce “STAND BACK” as I tipped the pan away from me and watched the alcohol shoot up in flames! It was meant to be an impressive display for diners to watch as they peered into our open kitchen. (Do not try this at home.) Once the flames burned off I reduced the heat, added some heavy cream to the pan and let the sauce cook down a little bit until it was thick, creamy and fragrant and the fennel was tender. I will never forget the perfect way all the components of this dish came together with fennel as the star of the show. I believe it was this dish that gave me a new respect and appreciation for this unique vegetable.
|Fennel growing in the field|
|Pasta with Golden Fennel|
Fennel pairs well with a wide variety of foods including seafood, poultry, pork and cured meats such as salami and sopressata. It also works well with cream as well as fresh and hard cheese such as feta and Parmesan. Recipes featuring fennel will often include white wine, honey, lemons and other citrus fruit and/or vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, carrots, cucumbers as well as beets, dried beans and herbs including parsley, dill and basil. In addition to citrus fruit, fennel also pairs well with pomegranates, berries, apples and stone fruit.
Photo from food52
On our farm, we only plant two crops of fennel in the spring for harvest in late June/early July. So now is the time to embrace this vegetable and give it a try. In addition to the recipes included with our vegetable shares this week, I’ve also included two recipes including fennel in our fruit newsletter! Of course you can always search for more recipes on our website that have been featured in previous newsletters. Have fun and enjoy this unique vegetable!
Summer Vegetable Lasagna Casserole
12 oz fusilli or penne pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped finely
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped finely
1 cup fennel, small dice
1 cup broccoli or kohlrabi, small dice or florets
1 ½ cups zucchini, small dice
1 cup greens, thinly sliced (chard, kale, etc)
1 ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz ground beef, browned
16 oz cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, oregano, etc)
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
4 cups tomato sauce
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- First, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is about ⅔ cooked. You want it to be undercooked when you add it to the casserole as it will soak up some of the moisture in the casserole and continue to cook and soften while baking. Once the pasta is ⅔ cooked, drain the pasta into a colander, discarding the cooking liquid. Set the pasta aside.
- In a medium sized sautè pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sautè for 1-2 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Next add the fennel and broccoli and sautè for another 3-4 minutes before adding the zucchini. Season the vegetable mixture with 1 tsp of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the greens. Cook the vegetables about half way and then remove them from the heat so they don’t become overcooked! They’ll continue cooking in the casserole so you want them to be a little undercooked when you remove them from the heat.
- While the vegetables are cooking, mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl: ground beef, cottage cheese, egg, fresh herbs and red pepper flakes. Once the vegetables are finished, add them to the mixture. Taste a little bit and add more salt if necessary, then stir in the pasta. Set aside.
- Heat the tomato sauce in a pan over medium heat. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, red wine and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer. Once the sauce is heated through, remove from the heat and taste a little bit. Add more salt or pepper if necessary.
- Put a thin layer of the hot tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread the vegetable mixture over the top, and then pour the remainder of the sauce over the entire dish being sure to evenly cover the vegetable mixture.
- Bake the casserole in the oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until the tomato sauce is bubbling a little bit. After 25-30 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and spread the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Put it back in the oven and bake it for another 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Note: You can vary the vegetables you include in this casserole according to what you have available as long as you have about 3 ½ cups of diced vegetables and about 1 cup of greens.
Roasted Fennel & White Bean Dip
Serves 12 as an appetizer
For Roasted Fennel:
1 large or 2 small Fennel Bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, still in papery shell
1 pinch salt and pepper (more to taste)
For the Cannellini Bean puree:
¾ cups olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 baguette, sliced
- First make the roasted fennel. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the fennel and garlic cloves in the olive oil and spread on a sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning twice during cooking. Take out and let cool. When cool squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins.
- Start the cannellini bean puree. In a small frying pan heat ½ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until lightly golden, add rosemary and cannellini beans and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Take it off the heat.
- In a food processor combine the garlic bean mixture, fennel, roasted garlic, lemon juice, remaining ¼ cup olive oil and all but 3 Tbsp of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Puree until smooth.
- Raise oven temp to 450°F. Transfer puree into a small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Feel free to add more. If your dish is near full, place it on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over in the oven. Bake until cheese is golden on top, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with crostini.
NOTE: This recipe was borrowed from Food52.com. Serve this dip with bread as suggested, or serve it with fresh vegetables, olives, cured meats. You could enjoy this as an appetizer, or eat it as dinner!