From the Land 3.27

announcements

Beef shares will be distributed on April 3 (yes, that’s next week!) They are distributed during regular distribution hours, 12:30-5:45pm. Please make sure you come during the regular hours, as we do not have space to store frozen beef shares! Have you signed up for a share? Since this is our second beef share this year, let’s avoid confusion and I’ll just tell you who has signed up so far! Check this list for your name, and contact me if you have a question or want to sign up.

Julia
Andy
Nancy x 2
Susan
Delisa x 2
Sierra
Amanda
Lois x 2
DJ
Abby
Joseph
Kat
Bill
Nic

food for thought

full share: cabbage, valencia oranges, choice of salad mix or spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, joaquin wheat flour, hakurei turnips!

partial share: cabbage, valencia oranges, choice of salad mix or spinach, and collard greens!

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veg of the week

collard greensBrassica oleracea

Collards (from “colewort” – cabbage plant) are a loose-leafed relative of broccoli and cabbage commonly grown in the southern US, Brazil, Portugal, and many parts of Africa.

Uses: The thick, slightly bitter leaves are a staple of southern US cuisine, and are often flavored with smoked, salted meats, diced onions, vinegar, salt and pepper. A traditional New Year’s dish is steamed collards, cornbread, and black-eyed peas – said to ensure wealth in the coming year because the collards resemble money! The collards can also be sliced thin and fermented as a “collard kraut”.

Nutrition: Collards are a good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber, and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and sulforaphane.

To store: Collards can be easily stored for 10 days when kept just above freezing at high humidity. Put in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

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In case you’re keeping track, yes, I have included a couple of these recipes in previous newsletters! I am someone who is always looking for new and exciting ways to eat vegetables, and most recipes for collard greens are some variation of boiling the collards with bacon or hamhock, adding salt and a dash of vinegar, and serving them with cornbread. Granted, as someone about to move to Virginia, I know I will soon be inundated with this style of collards offered on the side of every dish I order in a restaurant – and I’m not saying I don’t like collards cooking in this traditional way! But the recipes below are unique and offer a variation on the “standard”.

collard sushi with red pepper and cucumber
adapted from vegan magazine
makes 4 rolls

  • 4 leaves collards
  • 8 T hummus
  • 2 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut in thin strips
  • 1/4 small cucumber, cut in thin strips
  • 1/4 C shredded carrots
  • 1/2 -1 lemon and zest

*these ingredients are mere suggestion: use whatever fresh produce you have on hand!

Put about 2 inches of water in a large frying pan and bring to a boil.

Lay the collard green leaves flat, cut off the thick stem at the point where the leaf begins, then pile them on top of each other in the boiling water. Cover and cook for about 30 seconds.

Drain, then lay the leaves flat on a board or counter with the thick part of the stem facing up.

Down the center spine of each collard leaf place a row of about 2 tablespoons hummus, sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and shredded carrots, and place thin red pepper strips and cucumber strips on top (or whatever veggies you are using). Sprinkle generously with lemon juice and lemon zest.

Flip the ends in and gently roll into a sausage shape. With a sharp knife, cut into as many small pieces as possible, or eat roll whole. Voila!

creamed collard greens
adapted from the nourished kitchen
serves 4

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 bunches collard greens, stems removed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • unrefined sea salt, to taste

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high until it froths, then toss in sliced yellow onion, stirring until fragrant and a bit caramelized around the edges. Add chopped collard greens to the skillet, stirring until slightly wilted, about two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in one cup heavy cream and simmer for about five to six minutes, until the cream is largely reduced. Season with freshly grated nutmeg and unrefined sea salt, serve hot.

marinated collard green salad
adapted from urban organic gardener

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 lemon or a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • a few slices of onion or scallions
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t raw honey
  • 1 t olive oil
  • dash of paprika

Dice the onions and put into a small bowl. Squeeze the entire lemon over the onions or cover with apple cider vinegar. Chop up the garlic clove and add to onions. Let it sit on the side for the onions to soak in the lemon/vinegar.

Cut up your collards by placing the leaves on top of each other, roll them up tightly and cut across into ribbons. Place into salad bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Massage down the collards by hand until they start to wilt down. Put to the side.

Back to the onion/lemon juice: add few drops of olive oil, add 1 teaspoon honey and mix or shake well. Pour marinade over the collards and work it in. Sprinkle on paprika. The collards will start to have a “sauteed-like” texture.

Eat the salad immediately or let it sit to marinate until the flavors are to your taste (the longer it sits the stronger the flavor).

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From the Land 3.20

food for thought

full share: sweet potatoes, pinto beans and wheatberries from Crooked Sky; spinach and carrots from Whipstone; onions from Chino Valley; choice of salad mix or chard from Collier; and sprouted beans from Maxwell!

partial share: sweet potatoes, pinto beans, wheatberries, and spinach!

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veg of the week

sonoran white wheat

 

This ancient wheatberry is a remnant from a time before the Green Revolution, before the intense effort on crops to produce more, faster, and resistant to pests and drought. Instead, it is supple, nutritious The glutinous white flour is perfect for making large tortillas, traditional in this part of the country. And despite the market’s preference for processed hybrid varieties, recent efforts on the part of Native Seed SEARCH (where this picture was taken), Hayden Mills, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, and others (like Crooked Sky Farm, who grew the wheat we’re receiving today) are bringing this ancient grain back. Read more about the history of Sonoran White Wheat and grain mills in the Southwest here and here.

In addition, most of us are used to receiving our wheat in its milled form! Did you know you can also eat the wheatberry cooked like rice or other whole grains? Sally Fallon recommends soaking the grain overnight, and then cooking it like any other grain. Our wheatberries from Crooked Sky tend to have some chaff remaining on them, so this is also a good time to stir with your hand and get the floaty bits off, and also to check for any small hard bits. Jeanine from Love and Lemons (my new favorite food blog!) recommends this cooking technique:

I cook these like pasta, not like rice, so the ratio of water doesn’t matter, you just need to make sure the water covers them. Fill a pot with water, salt the water, add the wheatberries. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour (sometimes longer). About halfway through check to make sure there is still water covering the wheatberries. If most of your water has been absorbed but your wheatberries are still crunchy, add more water and continue simmering. They are done when they have a soft but still have a firm, not mushy, bite.

You can use the cooked wheatberries in place of any grain, like rice or barley. They make a tasty and hearty addition to salads, stews or stuffed squash!

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Foreign Edibles
By Alex Deck and Erin Lingo

Over spring break I stayed with some friends who are very into eating foreign and exotic fruits. My friends hunt down grocery stores that import a variety of imported fruits, mostly from the tropics. As I was eating these fruits, the thought occurred to me that these tastes are what candy is trying to replicate. Only this fruit was so much better than candy!
Here is a short list of foreign fruit that makes eating healthy and raw more exiting than chocolate syrup on ice-cream.
Chocolate Vine- From Japan. Smells like chocolate, tastes like tapioca pudding.
 
 
Buddhas Hand- From India and China. Citrus fruit used as zest.
Dragon Fruit- From Mexico. Similar to Kiwi in taste.
Okinawan Sweet Purple Potato- From Japan. Light sweet taste.
Spiky Kiwano Melon- From Africa. Tastes like a cucumber.

 

 

 

 

We all know the benefits of eating locally, such as freshness, supporting local small-scale farmers, and lower transportation costs; we support the effort to buy and eat locally-grown and produced items whenever possible. Still no one can deny the allure of tastes like tropical fruits that, regardless of how hard we try, cannot be grown in our climate! So unless we all pack up and move to the tropics, it’s worth exploring how we can ethically incorporate non-local items into our diets to take advantage of the nutrition, colors and tastes that are otherwise unavailable here. Though we may not know the producer personally when we purchase these specialty foods, we still have the opportunity and responsibility to check out their growing practices and treatment of their workers. The best and more consistent way we can do this is to buy organic and fair trade, labeling practices that take the guesswork out of food purchasing.

More on organic certification and fair trade another day…

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pinto bean sweet potato chili
adapted from epicurious
serves 4

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 t chili powder
  • 2 C vegetable broth 
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potato, cut into 3/4-inch  cubes
  • 2 cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 2 C pinto beans, cooked and drained
  • 6 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 t grated orange peel

Heat olive oil in heavy medium sauce-pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and stir 1 minute. Add broth and sweet potato. Cover pan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and pinto beans. Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in cilantro and orange peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

wheatberry spinach salad
adapted from stahlbush farms
serves 4

  • 1/2 bag wheatberries, soaked overnight and cooked until soft but chewy
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 orange
  • 3 finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add spinach, finely chopped carrots, and peeled, bite size pieces of orange to a large bowl. In a measuring cup combine the olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Add wheatberries to salad. Top with olive oil dressing. Serve immediately.

roasted sweet potato and wheatberry salad
adapted from love and lemons
serves 2 as main dish, 4 as side

  • 1.5 C cooked wheat berries (about 3/4 cup uncooked – see above for cooking info)
  • 2 C of mixed greens (spinach, salad mix, arugula, etc.)
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1/3 C crumbled feta
  • 1/4 C toasted pumpkin seeds (toast on a small skillet for 30 seconds or so)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

dressing:

  • 2 T  olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 t honey
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 4 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper

roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop the sweet potato into bite sized cubes. Drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until they start to edges start to turn darker and roasty.

assemble the salad:
Stir the dressing ingredients together, set aside.

Place greens in a large bowl. Place the warm wheat berries and hot sweet potatoes over them so they wilt slightly from the heat. Add the dressing, as much or little as you like. Toss. Add in the rest of the ingredients, gently toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings.

From the Land 3.13

announcements

The CSA is still operating during normal hours during spring break. Students: only some of you have signed up for this week. If you are unsure please email or call us.

Also, please remember your reusable and/or plastic bags this week. We’re completely out of plastic bags, and would love some donations from your collection!

job posting: The Prescott Farmers Market is currently seeking a Managing Director. If you’re interested, you can see the job posting here: http://prescottfarmersmarket.org/20130223141/hiring.html. Resumes are due this Friday.

food for thought

full share: DeCiccio broccoli, hakurei turnips, red potatoes, salad mix, Quelites, radishes, Toscano kale, and dill – all from Crooked Sky Farm.

partial share: DeCiccio broccoli, hakurei turnips, red potatoes, and salad mix!

veg of the week

Quelites: Chenopodium album

Quelites is a general term that refers to any wild native Mexican green, but despite their popularity are not commonly found in grocery stores. The Quelites we are receiving today are also known as lambs-quarters. They resemble spinach and can be cooked in the same way. They differ from spinach in that they aren’t quite as fuzzy, are very nutritious, and don’t break down as fast or completely as spinach. They are very popular in Mexican and South American cuisine, and rural New Mexican children are commonly sent out to gather them from the sides of roads and ditches.

Uses: You can use Quelites in any dish you would use spinach. Put them fresh in a salad or add them to eggs – in a quiche, omelette or scrambled eggs.

To store: Store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper bin. The greens will lose crispness after the first week, but are still edible for a few weeks after that.

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Crooked Sky Farm
By Alexander Deck

crookdsky2

Frank Martin has always enjoyed farming. In 1999 when he started the farm business, he was driving around and turned onto a road called Crooked Sky Road. When he asked how the road got its name, he was told that the natives in that land called that area “crooked sky” because of how the mountains made the sky look against the horizon.

Today, Crooked Sky Farms is broken up between property in Duncan, Virden, and four different urban locations in Phoenix ranging between 10 to 40 acres. One of the reasons Frank farms in the city is that there is not a lot of farmland available around Phoenix, but the biggest reason is to preserve existing farmland.

Crooked Sky sells at the many different farmers markets in Phoenix, has several of their own CSAs around the valley and in Flagstaff and Tucson, as well as contributing to our PCCSA. You can find out more about the CSA and farm here.

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sauteed quelites
adapted from The Food Network
serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bag quelites, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the onions and jalapeno. Cook for 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the greens. Cook for 5 minutes until greens are wilted and tender. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

lamb’s quarters with beans: quelites con frijoles
adapted from mexconnect
serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chile seeds (from ancho, guajillo or any mild dried red chile)
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 ½ pounds quelites
  • salt to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chile seeds and cook until the onion is just beginning to wilt.

Add the pinto beans and quelites and continue cooking until the greens have wilted. Add salt to taste.

For a vegetarian meal, serve with white rice. Leftover diced pork is a good addition for meat eaters.

peanut mole enchiladas with braised quelites and potatoes
adapted from food and wine

SMOKY PEANUT MOLE

  • 2 medium (about 1 ounce) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus a few tablespoons chopped for garnish
  • 2 slices firm bread (or 1/2 dry Mexican bolillo roll), torn into pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
  • About 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fruity red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, depending on the saltiness of the broth
  • Sugar, about 1 tablespoon

Tear the ancho chiles into flat pieces, then toast a few at a time in a dry skillet over medium heat: flatten with a metal spatula for a few seconds, until they crackle and change color slightly, then flip and press again. (If they give off more than the slightest wisp of smoke, they are burning and will add a bitter element to the sauce.) In a small bowl, soak the chiles in hot water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and discard the water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium (4-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and cook, stirring regularly, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a blender jar. Set the pan aside.

Preheat the broiler. Broil the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4-inches from the heat source until blackened, about 5 minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Let cool, then peel, collecting all the juices from the tomato. Add the tomato to the blender, along with 1 cup of the peanuts, the bread, chipotles, drained anchos, allspice and cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth and blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down the sides of the blender jar; add more liquid if needed. Press the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer set over a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the pot over medium high, until shimmering. Add the puree all at once. Stir as the nutty-smelling mixture thickens and darkens for about 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar and bay leaves. Partially cover and let gently simmer over medium-low heat for roughly 45 minutes, stirring regularly for the flavors to harmonize. If necessary, thin the sauce with a little more broth to keep it the consistency of a cream soup. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the sugar. Cover and keep warm if using immediately. Mole can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks.

FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 cups loosely packed, sliced quelites
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice and blanch in salted water until tender
  • Salt

ENCHILADAS

  • 8 corn tortillas (plus a few extra in case some break)
  • 2 1/2 cups Smoky Peanut Mole
  • A few tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • A few sprigs of parsley, for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced greens and potatoes, cover and cook about 3 minutes (just to wilt the quelites). Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender and the mixture dry, about 5 minutes longer. Taste and season with salt. Remove from the heat. (If not completing the enchiladas immediately, spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and cool completely; return to pan before continuing.)

Set up a steamer (a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan filled with 1-inch of water works well); heat to a boil. Wrap the tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel and lay them in the steamer; cover tightly. Boil 1 minute, turn off the heat and let stand without opening the steamer for about 15 minutes.

While the tortillas are standing, bring the mole to a simmer in a medium-size saucepan (if not already warm). Taste and season with additional salt if necessary; thin with additional water or broth to the consistency of a medium cream soup. Warm the filling over medium-low heat.

When ready to serve, make enchiladas a portion at a time: Lay 2 tortillas on a warm dinner plate, roll a portion of the filling into each one, lay the enchiladas seam-side down on the plate and ladle a portion of the mole over the top—cover the tortilla completely; be generous with the sauce. Sprinkle with peanuts and parsley leaves. Serve immediately.

From the Land 3/6

announcements

As many of you know, I will be leaving Prescott College in June. I have spent almost every day for the past 7 1/2 years at the college for both school and work, and – though I am excited for my move to the east coast – I will be sad to leave this amazing community. The CSA is something I have worked very hard on, and be assured that it will continue once I’m gone!

The CSA is not yet accepting applications, but the Prescott Farmers Market is currently seeking a Managing Director. If you’re interested, you can see the job posting here: http://prescottfarmersmarket.org/20130223141/hiring.html.

food for thought

full share: spinach from Whipstone, grapefruit from the Hawkins’ trees in Phoenix, navel oranges, “siamese dragon” microgreens, red potatoes, fennel, swiss chard, and curly mustard greens!

partial share: spinach, navel oranges, “siamese dragon” microgreens, and red potatoes!

veg of the week

fennel: Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel is an extremely versatile vegetable – it can be eaten raw or cooked, and the fronds, bulb, seeds and flowers are edible and vary in taste. It is highly aromatic with a slight licorice taste which lessens when cooked. It also – as you will read below – has great medicinal qualities.

Uses: Slice the bulb and add to salad or stews. Roast it. Braise it (recipe below). Blanch, marinate, or cook with risotto. Chop the fronds and add to salads or soups, and dry the extra for future use.

To store: Fennel loses its flavor as it is stores, so eat soon. Store in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

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Lactofermentation update

Make sure you try our fermented radishes this week! They’ve now been fermenting for 2 weeks, and are a great example of how easy adding fermented vegetables to your diet can be!

You can also sample some fermented sauerkraut and beets today. They are from Homesteader’s Supply and have been fermenting for 8 days; though they’re not quite done, they are a great example of developing tastes and the different needs of different vegetables.

We also have the Pickle Pro (airlock) for sale in the CSA. They are the easiest way to ferment any vegetable without having to worry about mold. Pick one up for $9.95 or 3 for $29.95. Have fun experimenting!

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Health Benefits of Aniseed, Cumin and Fennel
By Alexander Deck

In Ayurvedic medicine, common home spices are used to combat illness and keep the body healthy. Everyone is naturally drawn towards eating flavorfully spiced food. Imagine grating aspirin on your curry. That won’t make it taste any better, but cumin will! In addition, adding cumin will act as a preventative medicine by acting as a digestive aid and reducing flatulence.

Here are some common household spices and their medicinal benefits*

  • Aniseed helps as a digestive aid and to relieve menstrual cramps
  • Cumin also helps as a digestive aid, reducing flatulence and as an appetite stimulant.
  • Fennel seeds work just as well as a digestive aid. In most restaurants in India it is offered with sugar after a meal.

These three spices can be taken after meal all together. Roast the aniseed, cumin and fennel, then take a half teaspoon of each altogether. Chew well then swallow with a glass of warm water. This will greatly reduce gas issues and flatulence.

Suggested cooking uses for a less intense flavor:

  • A fun use of aniseed is as a substitute for chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies. Grind seeds before adding.
  • To make Indian dal, cook one cup lentils with a teaspoon salt. In a separate pan simmer 3 TBSP oil or coconut oil with 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp fennel seeds, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for 3 minutes, then add to lentils.

*Information from http://www.indianexpress.com/news/three-spices-that-aid-digestion/242736

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braised fennel
adapted from orangette
serves 4

  • 3-4 fennel bulbs, trimmed of stems and fronds
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • About ½ C dry white wine
  • About ½ C chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt, preferably a good, flaky variety

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the fennel into 1- to 1 ½-inch wedges. Warm about 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Lay fennel wedges in one crowded layer in the pan, and cook them until they are golden on the bottom, about 5-10 minutes, and then flip them to gild the other side. Salt them lightly. As the fennel finishes browning, remove the wedges to a flameproof baking dish. You may need to brown the fennel in batches, adding oil as needed, until all of it is browned.

Arrange the fennel in a single, crowded layer in the baking dish. Add the wine and chicken broth in equal parts to reach a depth of ½ inch. Place the dish over medium heat, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Transfer the dish to the oven, and bake until the fennel is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve, with additional salt for sprinkling.

arugula, fennel and orange salad
adapted from william sonoma
serves 8-10

For the citrus vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

FOR THE salad

  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 4 cups arugula, mizuna, or other small-leafed salad green

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, olive oil, canola oil, mustard, tarragon and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulb and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough core parts. Cut the bulb halves crosswise into slices 3/8 inch thick and then cut the slices into 1-inch lengths.

Working with 1 orange at a time, and using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of the orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright on a cutting board and thickly slice off the peel and pith in strips, following the contour of the fruit. Cut the orange in half crosswise, place each half cut side down, and thinly slice vertically to create half-moons. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

Place the fennel and arugula in a large serving bowl, add half of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Arrange the orange slices in a pinwheel or other design on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.

spinach, chard, potato and herb stew
adapted from diane kochilas
serves 4-6 as a main course, 8-12 as a side or “meze”

  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8-10 small potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped, reserving their juices
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh (or 1 dried) bay leaves
  • 1 bag spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch chard, chopped separately
  • 1/2 C snipped fresh dill
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C snipped fennel fronds
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • feta cheese for garnish

Heat 1/4 C of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion, chard stems, and fennel bulb until tender, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the potatoes and stir to coat in the oil. Pour in the grated tomatoes and add the salt and pepper to taste and the bay leave(s). Cover and simmer over low heat until the tomato mixture is thick, about 20 minutes.

Add the spinach to the tomato sauce, in batches, and cook, covered, until the spinach and chard have lost most of their volume and is wilted. Add the dill and fennel fronds. Toss gently to combine, being careful not to break up the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper and sprinkle in a little nutmeg. Cook, covered, until most of the liquid from the spinach has cooked off, the contents of the pot are thick, and the potatoes tender.

Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Pour in the remaining 1/4 C of olive oil and serve.

To serve: Plate the stewed greens in a shallow soup dish and sprinkle, if desired, with crumbled feta, and  with the lemon wedges.