Tag Archives: fennel

Local Box Meal Plan: June 20-24

Peaches – Caskey Orchards 
Blueberries – JB Organic
Assorted Summer Squash – Gundermann Acres and Texas Natural 
Basil – Pure Luck 
Fennel – Bar W 
Avocado – G&S Groves 
Tomatoes – ABJ Farm and My Father’s Farm 
Black Radish – My Father’s Farm   
Summer Peas – Just Peachy Farm OR Engel Farms
Indian Cucumber – My Father’s Farm   

Peach-blueberry pie – Let me know if you’re getting tired of peach/blueberry combo recipes. I just love the two together in the summer. You can use store-bought pie crust here if you don’t want to make your own.

Chicken penne with basil

Spanish-style stuffed bell peppers

Cucumber, carrot, and radish salad with creamy avocado dressing – You can peel the Indian cucumbers and eat them in the salad raw, as you would a regular cucumber. If you don’t have crème fraiche on hand (and who usually does?) just sub sour cream. Or even whole milk.

– Stephanie

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Local Box Meal Plan: June 6-10

Peaches – Caskey Orchards 
Blueberries – Berry Best
Sorrel OR Fennel – Tecolote Farm 
Yellow Onion – Gundermann Acres 
French Carrots – Gundermann Acres
Large Cucumbers – Acadian Family Farm
Valley Girl Tomatoes – Fruitful Hill Farm
Golden Cherry Tomatoes – Acadian Family Farm OR Tecolote Farm
New Potatoes – Gundermann Acres
Red Beet Bunch – Acadian Family Farm

 

Peach blueberry muffins – I might try subbing whole wheat flour for half of the white.

Carrot, fennel, and potato soup – I’ll use a whole fennel bulb and a whole onion, instead of the halves the recipe calls for. Because I’m hardcore like that.

Heirloom tomato sandwich – Layer sliced Valley Girl tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and basil on ciabatta spread with hummus. Delightful.

Chilled beet salad – One of my favorites. Roast or boil peeled beets till tender. Toss with your favorite salad greens, some crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Farro, avocado, cucumber, and cherry tomato salad – Unlike the previous salad, this could serve as a meal. Add chicken if you need some meat. Farro is also called spelt, and barley makes a nice substitute.

If you get sorrel, here’s a good list of sorrel recipes.

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 21-25

I am so, so excited about getting strawberries this week. What a rare local treat! Here’s the full list, video, and menu plan.

Strawberries – Gunderman Farm
Avocado – G&S Grove
Spinach – Orange Blossom
Planting Onions* – Orange Blossom
Collard Greens – Gunderman Farm
Fennel – J&B Farm
Mushrooms – Kitchen Pride
Bok Choy – Gunderman Farm
Grapefruits – G&S Grove
Meyer Lemons – G&S Grove
Multicolored Carrots – Animal Farm

Strawberry and spinach salad – I like to savor the first strawberries of the season in all their fresh, raw glory, and they have a natural affinity for spinach. Mix sliced strawberries with roughly chopped spinach, thinly sliced carrots (their sweetness goes well with the strawberries), pecans, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette. I like to make the vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of honey.

Fennel salad with lemon – This month’s Cooking Light magazine has an entire section of Meyer lemon recipes – pick one up if you get the chance. This salad would be a great side dish for grilled or broiled fish.

Broiled grapefruit – Makes a lovely breakfast.

Chicken, Mushroom and Bok Choy Soup – The original calls for shiitake mushrooms, but just use what you get. And sub several of the planting onions for the green onions.

Raw collard wraps with avocado – I’ve stumbled across several different recipes for wraps that use raw collard leaves instead of lettuce or tortillas. It’s kind of genius if you think about it. The collards are a lot sturdier than lettuce, and healthier than a tortilla. Rather than point to one recipe or another, I’m just going to make this a California-style wrap, with diced avocado, grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Use whatever veggie/protein combo you like.

*A note about planting onions: if you want to use these in your garden, just bury the white part and an inch or so of the green part of each onion in rich, organic soil, and go forth. I practice square foot gardening and will be planting 16 of these in one square foot (you’d be surprised how close together you can put many plants). If you’re interested in this method, I recommend checking out the book if you can get your hands on a copy. It’s not the best-written thing, but it’s detailed and has a lot of information. Another good, more general source of gardening info (but for Central Texas specifically) is The Natural Gardener’s information page. I especially like their month-by-month checklists.

-Stephanie

Fusilli with Shrimp, Spinach, and Lemon

Tonight I babysat two toddlers for the first time by myself. Well, I guess it’s not technically babysitting if one of the kids is mine, but it’s still work. Since the kids were only going to be awake for about an hour, I figured it couldn’t be that bad. And it wasn’t, but there were still arguments over toys to settle, tears to stop, and the challenge of getting two kids to bed at the same time.

Now, for my point: while I was doing all of that, I made this meal. So it’s easy, and pretty fast – took about 30-45 minutes from start to finish. And it’s darn tasty, if I do say so myself. There are a lot of flavors, but they all come together for a dish that’s perfect for a weeknight, but also good enough for company. Pretty cool.

Fusilli with Shrimp, Spinach, and Lemon

8 oz whole wheat fusilli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
8 oz spinach, roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice and zest of one large lemon

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fusilli. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and fennel and cook about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add spinach and shrimp and season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook another 5-7 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through and spinach is wilted.

Add pasta water and pasta and cook for a few minutes, until most of the liquid is gone. Add lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 14-18

Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day! Here’s this week’s list, video, and menu.

Bibb Lettuce – Bella Verdi
Romaine Lettuce – Farm Patch
Green Garlic – Fruitful Farms
Collard Greens – Gunderman
Fennel – J&B Farm
Grapefruit or Navel Oranges – G&S Grove
Meyer Lemons – G& GroveS
Green Cabbage – Gunderman
Turnips – Gunderman
Sweet Potatoes – Naegelin

Collards and turnips with red onion and bacon – The original calls for 4 lbs of collards, and since we probably won’t get that many, make up the difference with diced turnips and their greens. Add chopped green garlic for extra flavor.

Scalloped cabbage casserole – An oldie but a goodie. This recipe tends to make cabbage-haters eat cabbage. Because it’s covered in cheese and breadcrumbs. Yum.

Lemon-thyme roasted chicken

I’m going to eat the citrus out-of-hand for snacks, and use the lettuces in this week’s salads.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I’ve been in flu-induced hell for a while, and I’m finally starting to surface. Last night was the first night in a week and a half that I didn’t have a fever. I’m not constantly exhausted and I have the energy to cook, which means we aren’t subsisting on frozen pizza and fast food. Hallelujah!

Anyway, I want to share this special-occasion recipe with you that I made a few weeks ago. It takes some time, but it’s not difficult. You roast beef short ribs just until they brown, then braise in a flavorful broth that includes an entire bottle of wine. That’s my kind of recipe. I pureed the braising liquid at the end to make a sauce, but you don’t have to. Serve with rice and sauteed vegetables for easy sides that let the beef shine.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Braised Beef Short Ribs (adapted from Ina Garten)

6 beef short ribs, trimmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped, white part only
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. (Optional: Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the sauce until smooth.) Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce.

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 7-11

In spite of the great freeze last week, there’s a bunch of veggie (and citrus) goodness in this week’s Local Box.

Here’s the full list and menu plan:

Bibb Lettuce – Bella Verdi
Leaf Lettuce – Acadian
Microgreens – Bella Verdi
Collard Greens – Gunderman
Fennel – J&B Farm
Portabella Caps – Kitchen Pride
Multicolored Carrots – Animal Farm
Grapefruit – G&S Grove
Tangerines – Orange Blossom
Beets & Carrot Juicing Bag – My Father’s Farm
Sweet Potatoes – Naegelin

Grapefruit and fennel salad – This looks light and easy – a perfect side salad for some roasted pork. Add your microgreens for some delicate flavor.

Collards, carrots and lentils – This looks like a fast, weeknight vegan meal. You can use brown or beluga lentils in place of the French green lentils, but don’t try red lentils – they just turn to mush when cooked and are better used in preparations such as dal.

Pork tenderloin with portabella mushrooms and sweet potato pancakes – There’s a lot going on here, and I’m probably going to not worry about the hollandaise sauce and the spinach and peppers. But the rest of the recipe looks mighty tasty – probably a Sunday night meal.

I’m going to eat the tangerines out of hand (my toddler is crazy for them) and, because I don’t have a juicer, just roast up the carrots and beets in the juicing bag and use in salads.