Farm Fresh Challenge — Fennel meet Orange


I’m inspired by a recipe on Fox and Fawn Farm’s blog for the muffin half of today’s post. Fox & Farm is a CSA near Minneapolis, MN that’s run by Red and Nina Kirkman. I found the recipe (which I adapted here) through a Google search on ‘what the heck am I going to do with Fennel?’ (really I search for ‘Fennel Muffins’).  If you are looking for some additional farm fresh recipes give their site a look. It is well organized and equally well stocked with recipes and ideas.

Here’s what I took home from my fabulous CSA — Calvert’s Gift — today:

The box was bountiful this week. Carrots, turnips, beets, fennel, zucchini, garlic scrapes. romaine lettuce, mixed greens, eggs

The box was bountiful again this week. My haul included:  Carrots, turnips, beets, fennel, zucchini, garlic scrapes. romaine lettuce, mixed greens, spring onions, green and purple basil and eggs. (Items in bold face are used in today’s Farm Fresh recipe.)

I knew right away that I wanted to make a twist on a Caesar Salad and I wanted to find a muffin recipe for those lovely fennel bulbs. So here we go…

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

Week Four [Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

Round One: Fennel Orange Cherry Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil (I used Peanut Oil)
  • 3/4 cup Brow Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup grated Fennel Bulb (save the Fennel Tops for the salad)
  • 1/2 cup grated Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated Carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced Cherries
Zucchini, Carrots, Cherries and Fennel.

Zucchini, Carrots, Cherries and Fennel prepped and ready to go.

  • 2 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced Almonds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep muffin cups with spray.

2. Grate the Zucchini, Carrots, Fennel. Dice the Cherries.

3. Put the Orange Juice, Eggs, Oil, Brown Sugar, and Vanilla in a large bowl and combine. Add the Zucchini, Carrots, Cherries an Fennel.

Isn't that a festive bowl of liquid ingredients?

Isn’t that a festive bowl of liquid ingredients?

4 Add the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt all at once to the liquid and fold in.

5. Divide evenly into 12 muffin cups (I had some left over… so BONUS MUFFIN !) Top with Almonds.

6. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes. (It took the full 35 minutes for me) until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and muffins look golden brown.

Finished muffin

Finished muffin

Round Two: Orange Caesar Salad w/Veal Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 cups assorted Spring Mix
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 1/4 cup Garlic Scrapes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fennel Tops, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, finely minced
  • 5 leaves of Purple Basil, chopped
  • 2 slices of Bread, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Eggs, coddled
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound Weisswurst (Veal Sausage)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Whisk together the Olive Oil and Garlic in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the EGGS and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes to coddle. Remove eggs from water and set aside. Refresh water and bring to a boil.

Eggs Coddled

I’m not big on adding raw eggs to a salad, which is traditional for a Caesar. I found a recipe that recommended Coddling the eggs so they are par cooked. You still get the lovely velvety-runny yolk, but it isn’t 100% raw. **

3. Clean the Lettuce/Spring Mix and pat dry with a paper towel. Break up the Romaine into  1″ to 2″ pieces. Chop the Spring Onion, Fennel tops, Purple Basil and Garlic Scrapes. Cut up the Bread.

4. Toss all the veggies and bread*  into the Olive Oil.

All the veggies in the salad before mixing or dressing

All the veggies  and bread in the salad before mixing or dressing

5. Put the Weisswurst in the boiling water to cook. When the skin breaks on the sausage it is ready.

6. In a medium bowl whisk the Orange Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Coddled Eggs, Parmesan Cheese and a dash of Salt and Pepper together.  Pour the dressing over the greens and toss gently but well.

7. Plate the salad topped with sliced Weisswurst with a muffin on the side. Garnish with an additional sprig of Fennel top. Enjoy.

Plated meal.

Plated meal.

I liked the brightness that the orange juice brought to the Caesar Salad, and I’m digging the Orange / Fennel combo. The muffins were just sweet enough. The Cherry / Orange / Fennel combo worked well there too. They are moist and you’ll probably want to keep them in the fridge on these summery days.

 

Previously on Farm Fresh Challenge / Parkton Chopped:

• Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Stir Up

Roasted Turnip Salad

Turnip and Ham Salad

*Maggie suggest adding the bread later.

**(If a par cooked, runny egg still leaves you running for the hills, then hard cook the eggs. Chop up hard boiled eggs and use a garnish. — But add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to the dressing to act as a binder.)

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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