Notes from the Farm
We have a great harvest this week, as this late September heat wave we are having is keeping our peppers and eggplants happy and productive. We’ll also have tomatoes, greens, honey nut squash and more. We know that bringing home a bounty of fresh vegetables can be both fun and challenging. This can especially be the case when we bring home fennel, kohlrabi and bok choi, which we might not work with as regularly in the kitchen as some other items. Well, while these are generally less heralded vegetables, they are beautiful, delicious, healthy, versatile, and in-season right now. Of course, you don’t have to take things you don’t think you’ll use, but I do recommend you give these
vegetables a try. Even as someone who has been growing these crops for a number of years, I too need to find creative new ways to use the harvest. This weekend I made Greek Marathopites, which are crispy, flat breads with lightly cooked fennel fronds, chard and herbs rolled in to the dough, cooked on the pan, brushed with olive oil and ready to eat with more of the greens piled on top. I tried another new fennel experience thanks to this Jamie Oliver video. I definitely recommend you and your kids try chewing the fronds as a sort of bubble gum substitute. Next, I’m gonna try making kohlrabi latkes to go along with some grilled bok choi – one of my favorite simple ways to prepare bok choi. Check out the recipes below and enjoy!
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Adam, Alyssa, Ariana, Kayla, Nikki, Sara, Shannon, TW and Tyler
In This Week’s Distribution
Our Harvest: Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Scallions, Purple Bok Choi, Lettuce, Kale or Chard, Fennel or Kohlrabi
U-Pick: Cherry Tomatoes (Final Week!)
Fruit Option: ‘Macoun’ Apples
Recipes and Cooking Ideas
from the greekvegan.com
if fennel leaves are not available, go with spinach and skip extra greens below
Cut the stalks from the fennel bulb, then snip off the fennel fronds/leaves from their stems and chop them very finely. Add these to a medium size bowl and then add whatever additional greens and fresh herbs, all chopped fine. Chop onion to a fine mince and set aside in a small, separate bowl.
Sauté the onions over low heat until soft and almost translucent. Add the fennel fronds/leaves, greens, herbs and salt to the pan. Stir well to combine all ingredients and warm filling over low heat for just 5 minutes to release the oils and aromas of the fennel and herbs and wilt the greens, not cook them. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix dough dry ingredients well to combine and add remaining ingredients, stirring until ball forms. Knead for about 4-5 minutes until ball becomes smooth.
Use a 1/3 cup measuring scoop of dough pinched off of the whole piece. Roll each scoop into a ball on a floured surface. Flour your rolling pin and roll out each ball into a thin circle.
Add approx 1 rounded tablespoon of fennel filling to the center of each circle. Gently pinch up the sides of your circle so that you end up with a little bundle.
Gently punch down the sides of each bundle into the center so that you have a fat pancake of filled dough. Then, again with a floured rolling pin, carefully roll out the fat pancake of filled dough into a very flat circle once again.
Roll out all of your filled bundles and collect on a baking sheet. Now they’re ready to either freeze with with sheets of parchment paper between pancakes or fry immediately. Brush each pita with olive oil as it comes out of the pan.
Garnish with chopped fennel fronds/leaves and chopped thin fennel stalks. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
If you want some encouragement on the goodness of fennel, this Jaime Oliver video was nice- informative and informal. https://youtu.be/phR7hwo8OqY
Basic Latke Recipe
4 cups grated vegetables – squeezed completely dry or 3 cups grated vegetables + 1 cup grated onion – squeezed completely dry
1/4 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat or gluten free will also work)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
oil for frying
Vegetable Ideas: celeriac, rutabaga, turnip, beet, winter squash, radish, summer squash, carrot, parsnip, kohlrabi, broccoli (bite-size florets + grated stem), potato, daikon radish
Basic Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise, vegennaise, or plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vinegar or citrus juice
1 tablespoon grated onion, garlic, or shallot
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh herbs or hot sauce salt and pepper to taste
Sauce Ideas: Dill, garlic & lemon. Sriracha hot sauce plus cider vinegar. Pureed chipotle peppers, lime juice, and garlic. Horseradish, lemon juice + zest. Cilantro, lime juice, and garlic. Fresh rosemary or thyme, shallot, and lemon.
Grilled Bok Choi
1 head of bok choi
1/4 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. In a bowl, mix butter, garlic powder, paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Slice the bottom off the head of bok choi, and remove and clean the stalks. Sprinkle seasoned salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper over both sides of the stalks. Lay the bok choi stalks on the preheated grill. Brush with seasoned butter mixture, cover the grill, and cook until the bok choi stalks show grill marks and the leaves are crisp at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the bok choi, brush with butter mixture, cover, and grill the other sides. Brush with any remaining butter mixture, and remove to a platter to serve.