Shaved Fennel, Salad Turnip & Cucumber Salad

Fennel. It is one of those vegetables that seems inspire strong opinions – a love it or leave it veg! As an infant, fennel tea was the only thing that soothed my colic. Through the rest of my life, it has been my number one comfort food. And garden fennel? I know almost nothing better. Sadly, good fennel is hard to grow and it is also difficult for many other crops to grow near to it. We haven’t grown fennel on the farm for four seasons. But this year, love broke Nigel down and he planted some for me. Hooray! Thankfully, a bulb can stretch pretty far. Use the fronds in a dressing or pesto. Make a bed of the stalks on a grill and cook fish or summer squash over them. Shave the bulb into salads like this delicate and refreshing dish for a hot day.       

 

PREP TIME: 15 min   COOK TIME: 0 min   TOTAL TIME: 15 min

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced
  • Salad Turnip, thinly sliced
  • Cucumber, in half moon slices
  • Fennel Fronds, torn
  • Sour Cream
  • White Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Salt and drain the cucumber to release moisture – only if you have the time! Whisk the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Gently toss the veggies in the dressing. Garnish with fronds!

Summer Vegetable Stratta

We usually steer clear of sharing many-step or make-ahead recipes…. but this one is worth it. Rich. Simple. Satisfying. The basic idea is cubes of bread soaked in eggs and cream, with whatever else you have a taste for. It’s a great dish for salvaging a stale loaf of bread (soak overnight), though even gluten-free sandwich bread from the frozen food section will do the trick. Brew up some local Lark coffee, gather some local fruit, and a decadent brunch is served!

PREP TIME:  30 minutes                   COOK TIME:  90 minutes               TOTAL TIME: 120 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Summer Squash, cubed

  • Peppers, sliced

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Swiss Chard, in ribbons

  • Olive Oil

  • 6 Eggs

  • 1C Milk

  • 1C Cream

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

  • 2-4C Bread, cubed

  • Parsley, chopped

  • 1-2C Cheese, grated (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss summer squash, peppers, and tomatoes in olive oil. Roast until squash is starting to brown. Let cool. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Add parsley and cheese if using.

  • Evenly mix or layer bread, roasted vegetables, and chard in a casserole dish. Pour egg mixture over to cover. Let sit, at least until the bread is well soaked or as long as overnight.

  • Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes. Serve warm. Be happy.

Blistered Shishitos & Cherry Tomatoes

PREP TIME: 15 minutes                   COOK TIME: 0 minutes                   TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Olive Oil

  • Basil Leaves

  • Salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  • Make sure your peppers and tomatoes are dry.

  • Heat a wok or sauté pan on high until very hot. Add a tiny dash of oil, peppers, and tomatoes. Fry, stirring as little as possible until the skins of the tomatoes and peppers have blistered. Be sure to stop before the tomatoes go soft.

  • Toss the tomatoes and peppers with the basil leaves and a little bit of extra oil. Salt and serve.

  • Ideas on what else to eat… salad, polenta, and seafood, say we!

 

Pasta Con Tutto

This is no classic Italian dish – just a simple, early summer pasta. This could be a great end-of-week recipe – work with whatever you have left to whip up a deceptively impressive-looking dinner. Have a little white wine kicking around? A splash in the pan while the fennel cooks wouldn’t hurt!

PREP TIME: 15 minutes                   COOK TIME: 15 minutes                   TOTAL TIME:  30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Peas, out of the pod or sliced in the pod (whatever works for you)

  • Broccoli Florets, in small pieces (save the stalks for slaw!)                                                      

  • Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced            

  • Greens, chopped (chard or kale)

  • Olive Oil or Butter                      

  • Pasta (shells, penne, gnocchi)       

  • Fennel Fronds, chopped              

  • Scallions, thinly sliced                          

  • Shaved Cheese (parmesan type)  

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:​

  • Cook your pasta according to the directions given.

  • Meanwhile, sauté the fennel in oil or butter over medium-high heat until just softening. Add the broccoli and peas, cooking just long enough to brighten their green colour.

  • Toss the pasta and veggies together. Garnish with fennel fronds, scallions, and cheese. Season. Serve. Enjoy!

Chioggia Beet & Balsamic Salad

A bonus to having flavourful greens is that making a salad with them is that much easier… there is just less need to dress things up. But if you are hoping to put on a pretty show, few veggies provide the instant impact of a candy-striped Chioggia beet. We find that halving the beets, laying them cut side down, and slicing thin half moons is the simplest way to get them into a salad. Their earthiness pairs well with equally earthy walnuts or hazelnuts. Creamy feta or goat cheese and a tangy dressing round it all out.

PREP TIME:  15 minutes                   COOK TIME: 0 minutes                   TOTAL TIME:  15 minutes

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • Chioggia beets, thinly sliced

  • Salad greens, washed

  • Toasted nuts (hazelnuts are best!)

  • Scallions, thinly sliced

  • Crumbled cheese (feta or similar)

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Part Dijon Mustard

  • 2 Parts Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 Part Maple Syrup or Honey

  • 4 Parts Olive Oil

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:​

  • Combine the mustard, balsamic vinegar, and sweetener. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season.

  • In a salad bowl or on the plate create a bed of greens. Then layer the beets, nuts, cheese, and scallions. Dress.

Use-It-All-Up Flatbread

As Tragically Hip fans, we have sought wisdom in the lyric, “Use it up, use it all up, don’t save a thing for later.” Every year, we try to offer our customers an early season reminder: almost all parts of what we grow for you are edible. Carrot tops, beet greens, scallion roots. Good for eating – use it up! The most fail-proof advice for the odd bits is to think fat and carbs. Consider Indian Pakoras or Japanese Tempura. Omelettes and frittatas work, too. This suggestion? Flatbread with turnip and radish green pesto.  

PREP TIME: 15 minutes                   COOK TIME:  10 minutes                   TOTAL TIME:  25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:​

  • 2C Radish and/or Turnip Greens

  • 1C Spinach Leaves

  • 1 Bunch Scallions (Green Tops)

  • 1 Clove Garlic

  • 1/3C Toasted Almonds

  • 2/3C Olive Oil

  • 1T White Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1/2t Salt

  • Thinly Sliced Radishes

  • Thinly Sliced Spinach

  • Thinly Sliced Scallions

  • Flatbread (Pizza Crust, Naan Bread, Focaccia, Socca, etc.)

  • Soft Cheese (Brie, Ricotta, Fresh Mozza, Vegan Nut Cheese, etc.)

INSTRUCTIONS:​

  • For the pesto: Blend the radish/turnip greens, spinach leaves, scallions, garlic, almonds, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.

  • Spread a generous layer of pesto over the bread. Add the spinach and cheese. Broil until the cheese is softened.

  • Top with radish and scallions!

Spicy Salty Sour Sweet Tangy Noodle Salad

This meal-in-a-salad was our go-to dinner a few summers ago summer. It looks beautiful and is an easy recipe to adapt based on what you have on hand as the season unfolds. Make it into a mason jar for a great lunch on the go. Here are the rules of the game…

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • Oil: Sesame is best, but swap in coconut, peanut, etc..

  • Spicy: Our favourite option is Sambal Oelek (chili paste that you can buy at local grocery stores), but other Asian hot sauces (like Sriracha) are great, as are fresh sliced hot peppers or even dried chili flakes.

  • Salty: A mix of soy and fish sauce if you can, but salt will do the trick.

  • Sour: We’ve stuck to plenty of lime juice and zest, but lemon works, too.

  • Sweet: Palm sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey… a little dose of something sweet will go a long way.

  • Tangy: Finally, vinegar. We’ve been using plain old white. Rice vinegar or coconut aminos might be a step up.

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • Noodles: We like glass noodles (bean vermicelli), but they can’t always be found in town. Use rice, soba, or any noodles that will taste nice cold.

  • Protein: Leftover chicken. Grilled sliced steak. Fried ground pork. Marinated tofu. Work with what you’ve got.

  • Greens: Lettuce. Salad mix. Even ribbons of kale. Anything goes.

  • Tomato: We’ve been loving rainbows of halved cherry tomatoes.

  • Other Veggies: Cucumber moons. Thinly sliced onion. Shredded carrot.  Chopped peppers. Embrace what the season offers.

  • Herbs: Basil, cilantro, mint, chives… or any combination.

  • Crunch: Can’t stop? Top with chopped roasted peanuts or sesame seeds!