Notes From the Farm
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Green Beans, Fennel, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Bunching Onions, Dock Leaves, Zucchini
New This Week
Store unwashed fresh beans pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days. Just prior to using the green beans, wash them under running water. Remove both ends of the beans by either snapping them off or cutting them with a knife. Green beans are a classic ingredient in Salad Nicoise, a French cold salad dish that combines steamed green beans with tuna fish and potatoes. Sautéd green beans are great with shiitake mushrooms. Or prepare the perennial favorite, green beans almondine, by sprinkling slivered almonds on healthy sautéed beans.
Small bulbs are best for salads since they are tender, while larger bulbs are best suited for braising and baking. Fennel makes an interesting substitute for celery, and it takes well to braising, sautéing, grilling, and eating raw in salads. The feathery greens can be used for garnish or for seasoning egg salad, potato salad, or seafood dishes. See the recipe below for a salad dressing using fennel greens. Since the stalks are stringy, they are best used in soup stocks or throw them on the BBQ for aromatic smoke, cut off the stalks just where they emerge from the bulb. Fennel has a core, which is visible once the bulb is cut in half. If the bulb is small it isn’t necessary to remove the core, but if the bulb is large the core will need to be removed with a paring knife. Fennel pairs well with olive oil, butter, thyme, orange, lemon, tomatoes, potatoes, olives, garlic, Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. If thinly sliced, the bulb makes a nice addition to an antipasti platter or goes well with pork.
Keep fennel refrigerated in a plastic bag, but try to use it sooner than later, as it tends to dry out quickly and the outer layers will brown.
As they sit, slicing cukes tend to soften, so they are best eaten fresh. Sliced thin, cucumbers are a treat on any sandwich or salad, served on a veggie platter or just eaten fresh with a sprinkling of salt. For a twist on a refreshing summer drink, add very thin slices of cucumber to sparkling water or as a garnish to gin and tonics. Cucumbers also make a refreshing, light salad or can be added to coleslaw.
Green Bean and Roasted Fennel Salad
- 2 medium bulbs fennel
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups green beans
- 1/3 cup parsley
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp capers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup flaked almonds toasted
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Cut the fennel bulbs into slices and place them in a baking dish. Drizzle the fennel with 1 tbsp olive oil and toss with your hands to ensure that they are evenly coated. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until tender and golden in colour.
- While the fennel is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the green beans for 3 minutes until slightly tender and then drain and rinse with cold water to stop them cooking further.
- In a food processor combine the parsley, lemon juice, capers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend until the parsley is broken into small bits.
- In a bowl combine the green beans, fennel and flaked almonds and toss in the parsley and caper dressing. Enjoy!
Source: Every Last Bite
Creamy Cucumber Fennel Frond Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup (packed) fennel fronds, snipped
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a mini food processor. Add salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle over salads, salmon, pork, chicken, potatoes or use as a dipping sauce for fries or veggies. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Source: Sumptuous Spoonfuls
30 Zucchini Recipes!
Source: Feasting at Home