Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - August 26, 2015


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach, Tomatillos, Jalapenos, Carmen Peppers
Head Lettuce, Broccoli, Snap Beans


And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes
Melon


Localvore Offerings Include:
Full Sun Canola Oil
Gingerbrook Farm Honest to Goodness Cider Vinegar
Champlain Orchards Peaches
 



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:

Spinach, Carrots, Head Lettuce
Carmen Peppers, Melon

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes 

 




Around the Farm

Fall field harvest has begun here.  Bins full of carrots started arriving from the field a couple weeks ago and onions harvest starts later this week.  Last year we lost thousands of pounds of onions that didn't cure properly following Fall wet weather.  Isaac is completing some modifications to section of our building that will gently heat and blow air through our harvested onion crop to help dry them.  Really hoping it goes perfectly this year.

The kitchen is getting pretty busy now.  This afternoon Richard, Sarah and Erick are cutting, roasting, scooping eggplant and making baba ganoush for the CSA (Richard and eggplant, photo at right).  This morning the team processed 2 pallets of seconds tomatoes, cutting blemished areas off and freezing the good.  Later this  winter we'll pull them out and make pizza sauce and other tomato based stuff for the CSA.  Right now we are too busy for tomatoes! On Friday we put up frozen corn for the CSA.  This was corn that had been planned for your share bags but it was just off peak when we went to harvest it for you last week. Though it wasn't perfect for fresh eating it was perfect for processing. (Don't worry - we have some great corn coming soon in the next couple weeks).  Later this week we'll be making more pickles, freezing green beans, peppers, and by the end of the week we might be making our first batches of tomatilla salsa.  

In between regular weekly harvests and Fall storage crop harvests, we continue to try to move forward other projects.  See below the slow but steady progress that Isaac is making on the new greenhouses.




Storage and Use Tips

Spinach - Beautiful fresh spinach this week for both shares.

Melons!  Canteloupe and honeydews are here and they are sweet and delicious.  
SMALL BAG members - your melons will be in your yellow veggie bag.  
LARGE BAG members - look for your melons outside your bag in a crate or box at your site.

Jalapenos - The little peppers in your bag this week are jalapenos and have a moderate amount of heat.  These will keep 7-10 days in the fridge, but they also freeze well.  If you won't use right away, or if you don't know you will use right away, just put them in a freezer bag and toss in freezer.  When you pull them out frozen and chop a little for a dish you are making, you won't notice much difference.

Tomatillos - A tomatillo is a Mexican fruit similar to a tomato that remains firm and green when ripe. Tomatillos grow inside lantern-shaped paper husks, which must be removed. Wash the tomatillos well to remove the sticky substance that keeps the husks in place. Because they are acidic, tomatillos are rarely used raw. Roast them to rid them of excess liquid and soften their texture. Roasted with some fresh chiles, they can be turned into a quick salsa in the blender.  There's a nice recipe on our website. Tomatillos exude a lot of liquid and seeds as they roast. Scrape all the flavorful juices into the blender. Store tomatillos in their husks in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Carmen Peppers - One of my absolute favorite veggies of summer, Carmens are large long red super sweet peppers.  Both shares are getting them this week and I highly recommend making some sort of stuffed pepper dish with them, just to  make something fun and fancy looking.  But if you don't want to fuss, these peppers will be gobbled right up by the kids or they will make a delicious addition to any salad or stir fry.




Tomatoes A note about our tomato crop  - We very carefully sort tomatoes before they go in the brown CSA bags. Emilie (at left) inspects and handles every tomato before packing. We separate out any with blemish and send them straight to our kitchen for processing.  Some blemishes can travel across and into an individual fruit quickly.  So something that has invisible or negligible blemish at packing sometimes can look very different coming out of your bag. Please do let us know if your tomatoes aren't satisfactory and if they are bad please send us a photo if you can so we can see what is happening to them (really helpful).








Head Lettuces are in both shares this week.  There's a mix of varieties going out, reds and greens.  Photo at right of Florencia preparing them for shares.




Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore


This week we have freshly harvested Contender Peaches from Champlain Orchards.  This is a large round peach with 70% red blush on a yellow background. It has a firm yellow flesh that is resistant to browning. This is a great tasting peach!
 
Jo Liddell and Bob Machim carved their homestead, Gingerbrook Farm, out of the woods of South Washington, VT 40 years ago. As they cleared for their fields, they found wild apple trees and decided to keep them. The land around their home is dotted with these old wild trees and it is from these trees and others nearby their farm that Bob makes their cider vinegar. This is the real macoy, Honest-to-Goodness cider vinegar, a health tonic, and almost good enough to drink straight! It starts with unpasteurized apple cider that Bob seeds with a "mother" culture of yeast that ferments the cider. The difference between apple cider gone bad due to the infiltration of natural airborne yeasts and a good artisanal cider vinegar is in controlling the process. The mother culture makes a big difference, as does the fresh cider used for the vinegar, and the aging process. Bob ages this vinegar for two years and pours the beautiful amber liquid from big wooden barrels in a corner of his home.  We are lucky to be able to put it in the share as they don't make that much vinegar each year. In time, you may find a slippery gelatinous mass forms in your cider vinegar. Fear not!  This is just more "mother" forming in your jar.  Just remove it from jar and continue to use your vinegar.  
 
I use cider vinegar for cooking, in salad dressings, or just drizzled plain onto my cucumbers etc. I also drink it in switchell which I swear by as an energy drink to supply electrolytes for running.   My recipe for switchell: 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 molasses, 1 tsp ginger, 4 cups water.  Delicious.
 
Also this week we have wonderfully flavorful Full Sun Canola Oil.  Before Netaka and Dave created Full Sun there was no where to buy VT grown and pressed canola oil that is certified GMO free. This oil is a fresh and delicious craft oil to use every day for cooking, sauteeing, in marinades or dressings.  Please keep in fridge for freshness!
 
From Netaka and David at Full Sun:
 
We’re Full Sun Company and we’re among Vermont’s new breed of oilmen; the culinary kind of oil that grows under the summer sun, turning fields to gold, the kind of oil that makes salads and stir-fry’s taste so delicious. From our Vermont mill we have begun producing specialty oils from organic or non-gmo sunflower and canola, with flaxseed, hempseed, soybeans, and more on the way. And we’re pleased to be able to offer many of you the fresh taste of unrefined, cold-pressed, chemical free, sun-ripened canola in a bottle.
 
We started Full Sun Company® to bring you fresh and delicious craft oils to use every day for cooking, sautéing, marinades & dressings. Our mill also produces a meal byproduct, which is used as an organic soil nutrient or protein rich animal feed. Also, some of our used cooking oils are converted to biodiesel that returns, full circle, as renewable fuel to the farms growing crops for Full Sun.
 
We’re supporting local food systems and helping family farms grow ~ purchasing only organic and non-gmo oil crops from Vermont and throughout the Northeast region, and delivering affordable, high energy foods, animal feed and sustainable ag solutions.
 
We’re Vermont’s new oil guys, and we really thank Pete, Amy and Tim and all the folks at Pete’s Greens who have helped us get our product to your kitchen table. Please let them (or us) know how you like our oils, or how we can improve in the future. You can also find out more about what’s pressing at Full Sun by visiting our website; www.fullsuncompany.com.
 
Thank you and enjoy!  -- Netaka and David, East Middlebury, Vermont
 
Below: A picture of a VT grown canola field in Alburgh


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Recipes

 
Stuffed Peppers
The beautiful Carmen peppers are an opportunity for a delightful dinner. No need for a recipe, just use your imagination. You won't go wrong.
 
Preheat oven to 400F.
 
Saute some onions and garlic.
 
Then add in some spices (you can go with some cumin, chili powder, and cilantro if going Mexican direction, or maybe some basil, thyme, oregano if going in mediterranean direction), stir and cook for a couple minutes til aromatic.  
 
Now you can add a bit of simple small diced veggies if you'd like (think broccoli, beans or chopped spinach this week).  
 
Then  then add cooked rice or quinoa or risotto (yum) or pearled barley, maybe some cooked beans (canned kidney beans come in handy here!).
 
Once everything is blended add some cheese (parm perhaps, or gruyere, or feta or goat) and remove from heat.
 
Spoon the filling into peppers that are cut in half and place peppers into an oiled baking dish.
Bake for 30 mins or more until peppers are softened and beginning to brown on some edges and filling is hot.
 
 
 
 
Tomatillo Chicken
Here's a fun delicious tomatillo recipe for you.
 
2 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), washed and halved
(can sub 1 lb tomatoes for 1 lb tomatillos)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (wings reserved for another use)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) hominy, drained (hominy is optional but you can find it at grocery store and it will be fun and more delicious)
1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
 
In a food processor, puree tomatillos; set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until browned on one side, 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
 
Add jalapenos and onion to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillo puree and hominy, if using; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in sauce. Cover pot; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
 
 
 
 
Couscous Summer Dinner
Tonight it's a quick summer dinner night.  Israeli couscouys (little round pasta balls) is great to have on hand especially in summer for a quick throw together meal.  I use it when I really want a mostly veggie dinner, but I want a little quick substance incorporated.  The below is a guideline ready for endless variation.
 
 
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or water and butter and a bit of salt)
 
Olive oil
1 shallot or onion, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 lb of any combo of beans , zucchini, broccoli, kohlrabi, peas, carrots, etc, sliced or chopped 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 sweet pepper chopped
1 tomato, chopped
couple generous handfuls of chopped fresh spinach, pac choi, arugula, mustard greens, chard
2 ounces (or more) of fresh mozz, goat cheese, 
 
Optional
small handful fresh herbs
Crumbled cooked sausage or diced chicken 
 
In a small pot, bring broth to a boil, add couscous, lower heat to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.  Then turn off and let rest til rest of dinner is done.
 
Heat a separate pan and add some olive oil
Saute the onion or shallot in olive oil til softened
Add the garlic and simmer some more being careful not to burn the garlic
Add in the veggies and saute carefully for a few minutes
Add in the crushed red pepper, sweet pepper, tomato and cook whole bunch more til it start to come together and veggies are just cooked.
Add fresh herbs and greens if desired and cook just a minute more til wilted
 
Now you are in home stretch.
Blend the veggies with the couscous which should now be plump and yummy, liquid mostly absorbed.  Add in cheese (and cooked meat if desired) and blend.  Serve it up!
 
 
 
 
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
 
1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalapeño chile pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 cups water
 
Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.'
 
Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.  Taste.  Add salt or sugar to taste.
 
 
 
 
Dijon Vinaigrette
 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
 
 
 
 
 
Vinaigrette Formula
Not sure the dressing above is for you?  Here's a basic formula for making salad dressing with lots of variation so you can tweak it to go along with what you are making.
 
 
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or a more neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or balsamic, apple cider, rice, sherry, or other wine vinegar)
Pinch of kosher salt
A turn of freshly ground black pepper
 
Optional add-ins:
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs like dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, or thyme (dried herbs work, too, just use 1-2 teaspoons instead)
A finely minced garlic clove
2 teaspoons finely minced or grated ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots, scallions, or onion
2 tablespoons finely grated or crumbled Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, or feta
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon horseradish, or 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
 
 

Good Eats Newsletter - August 19, 2015


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun, Red Beets, Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Chard, Snap Beans, Fennel


And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes
Bunch of Basil


Localvore Offerings Include:
Cellars at Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese
Champlain Orchards Ginger Gold Apples
Pete's Zesty Sweet Dill Pickles
 



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:

Mesclun, Gold Beets, Onions, Chard
Snap Beans, Euro Cucumber

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes (marked for small share members)






Storage and Use Tips

Mesclun - Mesclun is back in your bags this week.  The word Mesclun comes from Southern France and literally means "mixture".  Without a specific ingredient list it can be a mixture of many types of greens. Our mesclun mix is constantly changing to reflect the seasons we are in, currently consisting of yound lettices, chards and brassicas.  Store sealed bags in the fridge from 3-7 days.

Beets - Gorgeous beets have been harvested from fields these past weeks and both shares will receive them. Half share/small bag members will receive gold beets and large bag members will receive red beets.  Red beets will add some of their red color to a dish you add them to (but who doesn't love a technicolor side?).  Gold beets are great because you can toss them in your salads without turning everything a uniform pink. Either way, gold or red, beets are delicious and packed full of nutrients.  Both may be eaten cooked or raw. Grated beets make a fabulous addition to salads and slaws. Grate some early in the week and place them in a tupperware and then sprinkle them into salads all week.  Roasted beets are extra delicious, roasting carmelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube beets and roast them in the oven with a drizzle of oil at 400F until they are tender and just browning at the edges. If you don't eat them all right away, cool and toss into a container and add these to salads.

Jalapenos - The little peppers in your bag this week are NOT lunch box peppers so don't let the kids be duped.  These are jalapenos and have a moderate amount of heat.  This summer my 9 year old daughter is slowly learning to embrace hot peppers.  Each time we go to the garden she picks one of ours and nibbles on it, a little here, a little there and soon she's down to half a pepper (and headed to the fridge for milk).  These will keep 7-10 days in the fridge, but they also freeze well.  If you won't use right away, if you don't know you will use right away, just put them in a freezer bag and toss in freezer.  When you pull them out frozen and chop a little into a dish you want notice a difference in your dish.

Swiss Chard for both shares this week.  Chard is a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C.  Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer.  It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side.  Chard is most often eaten cooked.  You can use it as a substitute for many recipes that call for spinach or other greens.  For a quick side dish, try braising it one of two ways.  Put a little olive oil or butter, 2 cloves of minced garlic & 1/4 to 1/2 of a minced onion in a saute pan and allow the garlic to cook a bit and soften.  Put in the chopped chard and cover tightly and let cook until wilted (if there's not enough moisture add a TB or so of water).  Once chard has just wilted, add a sprinkle of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic and black pepper and maybe a bit of salt and serve. Or, add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan.  Add the clove of minced garlic.  Then add the chopped chard and cover and let cook until wilted.  Then sprinkle with rice vinegar and a few drops of toasted sesame oil and maybe a teeny bit of soy if you want stronger flavor. 

Snap Beans - both shares will receive beans this week.  Though in the same family as dry beans, snaps trade starch and protein for more vitamins A and C. Snap beans are also known as string beans. Up until American botanists figured out how to breed out the tough string that ran along the sides, one always had to remove the "strings" when preparing beans. You may find purple and/or green snaps in your bag this week. Both taste just about the same. And, if you cook the purples thoroughly, they will turn green as well. Refrigerate beans unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Snap or snip off ends of beans before cooking.

Tomatoes A note about our tomato crop  - The excessive moisture we had in June was really tough on tomatoes and started some disease issues including blight.  We have been doing our best to support the plants but there is some disease in our fields now that is affecting our crop and we have lots of tomatoes with blemishes.  We very carefully sort tomatoes before they go in the brown CSA bags. Every tomato is handled, inspected and wiped down before packing. We separate out any with blemish and send them straight to our kitchen for processing.  But the problem with the blemishes is that they can travel across and into an individual fruit quickly.  So something that has invisible or negligible blemish at packing sometimes can look very different coming out of your bag. Please do let us know if your tomatoes aren't satisfactory and if they are bad please send us a photo if you can so we can see what is happening to them (really helpful).

Large share members tomatoes will be in the PLAIN brown bags.  
Small share member tomatoes will be in the STICKERED brown bag that say
"TOMATOES FOR YELLOW BAG MEMBERS".

Fennel - Fennel will be in large share bags this week.  Crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise (which is also the flavor of black licorice), fennel is delicious served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in soups and stews and sauces and is particularly at home with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. To prepare, cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer

Basil - is also back this week for large share members and will be OUT OF THE BAG!
  This marvelous herb is a member of the mint family. It is a staple in Mediterranean cooking as well as Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian. The herb is highly aromatic, or put another way, the oils in basil are highly volatile. Thus, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. Basil should be kept in a plastic bag or kept stems down in a glass of water with plastic over the leaves for about a week with regular water changing.  Keep your basil out of the extreme cold as it could damage the fragile leaves (basil abhores a cold fridge - it turns black).



Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore

This week we have Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill Farm.  This cheese won a Super Gold at the World Cheese Championships in 2014.  It's pretty special.  I love this review from The Paris Review: “It would be too simple to say this is any ordinary cheese with the blues—it’s dense with flavor, care and feeling. The Bayley Hazen has a balanced mix of flavors that range from buttered toast, to chocolate and hazelnuts, and even the dark bitterness of liquorice. This Stilton-like blue is a mix of narratives—the Mrs. Dalloway of cheeses, if you will. It’s a delicious modern classic. Its taste, and the moment you first fell in love with it, will permeate in your memory for years. Don’t let this one get away.”  Bayley Hazen Blue is named after a road running through the Northeast Kingdom built by and named after two Revolutionary War generals Bayley and Hazen.  The intent of building the road was to provide a means for an invasion of Quebec during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy the cheese, it's awesome.
 
Also this week we have some of the seasons first apple varieties Ginger Gold Apples from Champlain Orchards.  This is a green/gold apple, sometimes tinged with red, an offspring of a Golden Delicious. It's a great eating apple (a kid fave), a terrific baking and dessert apple.  This is just the start of the harvest and these may still be a bit tart (maybe).  If too tart for your liking, just put in your fridge for a week or so and they will sweeten up.  
 
 
 
 
 
Lastly this week we have Zesty Dill Freezer Pickles were made last week at the farm (and we are making more later this week).  These pickles are sweet and sour and yummy and are great eaten right out of the container or added to a sandwich.  They are a freezer pickle and we are sending them out frozen so you may need to thaw a bit more in order to enjoy or you can put right back in the freezer for a later date (use within 6 months).  Once open keep refrigerated and eat within 3 weeks.
 
 
 
 


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Recipes

 
 
Beet, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Earthy beets, bright crisp cucumbers, summer sweet tomatoes combine for a great summer salad.
 
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved or ripe tomato cut into pieces
4 medium beets, roasted 
1 large cucumber or up to 3 small to medium, peeled, seeded and sliced into half-moon slices approx. 1/4″ thick
1 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsps red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Toss vegetables with oil, vinegar and salt.  
*Optional and tasty - add crumbled good blue cheese or goat cheese on top.  And/or a few toasted walnuts.
 
Serve immediately.
 
 
 
Braised Tomatoes and Greens Beans
This one is adapted from an Eating Well recipe and it's one I cook a variation of often in summer
 
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 bulb of fennel, sliced 1/4 inch thin
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 TB fennel seeds (if you have them)
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
 
Optional ...
*Have less tomato than you need?  Saute an onion on low for more moisture at beginning.  Or onion and pepper.
*Add a sliced zucchini
*Add a jalapeno diced for extra zip
 
Cook green beans in boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water.
 
Heat oil in a large nonreactive saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds or until becoming fragrant.   Add onion and fennel bulb slices  (if using) and saute until the veggies are just starting to beome a little tender, 3 mins or so.  Add tomatoes and the green beans.  Cover and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes form a sauce and the beans are soft, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
 
 
 
Beet & Apple Salad with Blue Cheese & Walnuts
 
2-3 raw beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks or skinny slices
1 sweet/tart apples cut into matchsticks
Arugula or mixed salad greens
4 oz blue cheese or goat or feta cheese, crumbled
Toasted walnuts
4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (you can also use white balsamic, apple cider vinegar, or you favorite mixed citrus juice)
2 tablespoons of best-quality extra virgin olive oil
A little fleur de sel (if you are using goat cheese; no salt, if you’re using feta or blue)
Directions:
 
Wash, peel and cut your beets and apples. Reserve in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, make your citrus vinaigrette by adding lemon juice, olive oil, and fleur de sel. Whisk together, taste and adjust to your liking. If you want a sweeter flavor, use less citrus and more olive oil. Drizzle over beets and apples and toss with pair of tongs.
Plate individually by making a bed of salad greens, top with pile of beet mixture, and garnish with cheese and walnuts.
 
Also great with a maple balsamic.
 
 
 
Braised Onions, Fennel and Swiss Chard
 
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 small spring onions, julienned
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 bunch white Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2-inch lengths, leaves cut into 1-inch lengths, leaves and stems reserved separately
Kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Meyer lemon, zested on a microplane and juiced, zest and juice reserved separately
 
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil. Toss in the smashed garlic and crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium heat. When the garlic becomes golden brown and very aromatic, remove it from the pan and discard it. It has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the onions, fennel and Swiss chard stems, stir to coat with the oil and season with salt, to taste. Stir in the white wine and the lemon zest and juice. Cover and cook over medium heat until the veggies have become soft and wilted but still maintain some texture, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until most of the liquid has reduced, another 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the Swiss chard leaves, stir to combine and season with salt, to taste. When the leaves have wilted but still look vibrantly green, taste for seasoning. Reseason if needed (it probably will). Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
 
 
 
 
Beet and Fennel Salad
A delightful salad for this week pairing pretty veggies.  I like the citrus vinaigrette combo but another light sweet dressing works great.  In my house, a maple balsamic vinaigrette is the staple dressing on hand, and I don't often have oranges and lemons hanging around.  But it you do, great, it will be lovely.

4 beets
1 head fennel
Juice of one orange
Juice of two lemons
Zest of one orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/4 cup walnuts
4-6 cups mixed greens – lettuces, arugula
2-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons minced chopped fennel fronds (or chives, parsley, or mint)
 

Cut the greens off the top of the beets and reserve for later use. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler. Using a slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the beets. Stacking a few slices, use a chef’s knife to cut the beets into narrow strips. Or grate in a food processor. Place in a medium bowl.
Remove the fennel fronds. Remove the tough outer layers and cut in half lengthwise (from the top, where the fronds were, through the core end.) Remove the triangular shaped core at the base. Using the slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the fennel. Rinse the slices, dry with a paper towel, and slice into narrow strips, just as with the beets. Add to the bowl with the beet strips.

For the vinaigrette, place the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest and olive oil in a small, sealable container. Shake vigorously. Season with salt.
 
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add walnuts to skillet. Toast until fragrant and starting to color, then remove from heat.  Allow to cool, and coarsely chop.
 
Place the mixed greens in a large bowl with fennel and beets. Dress with vinaigrette. Taste, season with salt if needed or more vinaigrette. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts, and minced fennel fronds (or other herb choices).