It’s officially summer and the time of year when we are salivating in anticipation for the summer’s bounty. Soon your share will start to plump up with summer squash, beans, cabbage and parsley. Our tomato plants are starting to fruit, and our corn is as the saying goes “knee high by the 4th of July,” which means it’s right on schedule for arrival in your share later in the season. We hope you are as excited as we are for the season ahead and your share in the harvest.
Arugula, Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
Adapted from www.drgourment.com
2 large beets
1 large bulb or 2 smaller bulbs fresh fennel
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup arugula
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ounce feta cheese
Cut the stem and tip ends off of the beets. Scrub well and wrap in aluminum foil.
Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. (This may be done in advance, with the beets placed in the refrigerator overnight.) Remove the leafy ends from the fennel and any stalks that appear too tough. Slice very thinly. Place the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Remove the beets from the aluminum foil. The skins will slip off easily after roasting. After they are skinned cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix together the beets, sautéed fennel, arugula, salt, black pepper, ground cumin and crumbled feta. Chill well.
Whole Beet Skillet
From Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert
4-6 medium beets with greens
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons ginger root, peeled and minced
1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Cut green off beets, leaving about 1 inch of greens on beets. Place beets in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beets are tender when pricked with a fork, 15-30 minutes, depending on size. While beets are cooking, remove stem from beet greens. Chop stems in 1-inch pieces. Chop green separately. Drain the cooked beets and rinse with cold water. When beets have cooled enough to handle, slip off peel with finger. Cut beet in slices. In a sauce pan sauté stems in 1-2 tablespoons butter until tender. Add greens and sauté until bright green and just tender. Add sliced beets and heat through. Stir in lemon juice, ginger root, and honey and serve immediately.
Note: This is the last fennel until the fall, so enjoy the sweet smell and delicious flavor while you have it
Pasta with Golden Fennel
From Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
Note: Member Jessica Roberts, excited for the first taste of fennel in her share, submitted this recipe to us after the first distribution of fennel. She often makes it with bulghur wheat instead of pasta, and says both ways are, “so delicious and easy!”
2 fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (can use olive oil)
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 garlic glove minced
3/4 to 1 pound fettuccine
Parmigiano-reggiano or dry monterey jack cheese
Set aside the fennel greens. Quarter the bulbs and thinly slice. Heat a large pot of water for the pasta. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the chopped fennel and saute over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in places, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss with the lemon juice, then add 1 cup of water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another 1/2 cup of water and continue cooking in this fashion until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. If your fennel still has greens chop a handful of fennel greens (about 1/3 cup) with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside. Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pan with the fennel and chopped greens. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with the cheese, finely grated or thinly shaved over the top.
Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
(see above in Beet Recipes)
Note: Scallions are new this year, we planted them as an trial crop and they showed great results that you will enjoy in your share this week. Scallions (also called green onions) are additions to salads, tacos, baked potatoes, and any other dish you find for them.
Shrimp a la Fein
From the Court of Two Sisters
Note: This recipe is incredibly delicious and very quick and easy. It makes a great 15 minute meal when served over couscous.
1/2 lb medium raw shrimp
2 strips of bacon
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Dice bacon and sauté in a skillet until half cooked. Pour off excess fat. Lower flame. Add butter, peeled raw shrimp, scallions (chopped fine), and season and to taste with salt and pepper. When the shrimp are turning pink, add lemon juice and 2-5 dashes each of Tabasco and Worcestershire Sauce. Serve over couscous, quinoa, or pasta if desired.
Over the winter SIO decided to do some number crunching and figure out our approximate plastic bag usage so we could place our order for 2009. In the process we were stunned to learn that in the 2008 season SIO and its members used nearly 16,000 bags last season. That breaks down to 64 bags per share for the season, or approximately 2 bags per share per pick-up. Those numbers caused us to think more about our produce bag choices, and as a result we chose to go with US produced plant based bio-plastic produce bags that break down in 1 year in ideal conditions. In exchange for SIO taking a step to reduce its impact, we now challenge SIO members to reduce their produce bag use by 25% by bringing your own bags, using one bag for several items, and reusing produce bags when possible. We will happily continue to provide produce and paper bags and at our bulk sites (and when needed in box shares) for the convenience of our members, but appreciate any efforts in reducing overall bag use at SIO.