Category Archives: Farm Fresh Challenge

Farm Fresh Challenge: Fennel Stuffed Cabbage

Welcome to another edition of Farm Fresh Challenge! Today I’m combining a couple of boxes for CHOPPED PARKTON, because I had left overs from last week.

cabbage in the pot

FROM the Box:

  • TOMATOES 10 Yellow cherry Tomatoes cut in half
  • FENNEL 1 heart and frond diced (about 1 cup)
  • PAC CHOI 5 baby Pac Choi  chopped(about 1 cup)
  • TURNIP 5 medium to small  diced (about 1 cup)
  • NAPA CABBAGE

FROM the Fridge:

  • Onion chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Carrots (1 cup)
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of previously cooked protein finely chopped (I used left over ham and bacon)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place cabbage in a large bowl if very hot water.

2. Place olive oil in a large pan or wok. Cook veggies with soy sauce until they are softened and reduced in size . The turnips are a good gauge. About 20 min.

3. Add protein and cook an additional 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and let cool.

5. Roll about 2 tablespoons of vegetable filling in each leaf of cabbage.

on the plate


Farm Fresh Challenge: Tomato & Turkey Sauce with Ziti

This week's CSA box from Calverts Gift included: Green beans, tomatoes, french  fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, escarole, head lettuce, cherry tomatoes, rapini. I also picked up some purple sage from the extras box

This week’s CSA box from Calverts Gift included: Green beans, tomatoes, french fingerling potatoes, escarole, head lettuce, cherry tomatoes, rapini. I traded out the sweet peppers for extra potatoes.  I also picked up some purple basil from the extras box

Goin’ old school with the Farm Fresh Challenge today and keeping it simple with my recipe for Tomato Sauce.

INGREDIENTS from the  BOX:

  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Purple Basil
  • Rapini

INGREDIENTS from previous BOX:

  • 1 head of Garlic

INGREDIENTS from the PANTRY:

  • 1 Tbls butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 pound lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 pound Ziti
  • shredded Italian Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Peel the Garlic. Mince the cloves.

2. Heat the butter in a large pot on the stove. When the butter is melted add the Garlic and brown.

3. Add the Purple Sage and cook for 1 minute.

4.  Peel the large Tomatoes, chop into 1/2″ chunks and add to the Garlic. Cut the Cherry Tomatoes in half and add to the pot.

5. Stirring occasionally so the Tomato Sauce doesn’t stick to the pot cook until the Tomatoes are very soft. About 15 minutes.

6. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

7. Remove to a bowl.

8. Add the Olive Oil to the pot then add the Ground Turkey. Brown completely.

9. Add the Italian Bread Crumbs and cook a few minutes longer.

10. Put the Ground Turkey in with the Tomato Sauce and wipe out the pot.

11. Fill the pot with 4 to 6 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the Ziti and a dash of Olive Oil and cook for 14 minutes (or follow directions on package.) When Ziti is tender drain in a collider.

12. Combine the Ziti with the Tomato/Ground Turkey Sauce in the pot, cover and set aside.

RAPINI

Rapini is similar to Brocoli Rabe. Both the stems and leaves are edible. Today well eat the stems.

1. Trim the bottom 1/4″ from the Rapini stems and discard. Cut stems in 1/2″ pieces up to the leaves (which you can save for another meal.)

2. In a second, smaller pot heat 1/2″ of water to boiling. Add the Rapini stems when the water is ready and boil for 5 minutes.

3. Drain and plate with the Ziti.

Garnish with Shredded Italian Cheese.

Tomato Sauce

The great thing about Tomato Sauce is you can add a little of this or a little of that to suit your needs. Next week I’ll be in the kitchen with my nephew who started his own garden this year.  He’s got some Ground Venison in the freezer and I think we’ll try that instead of (or maybe in addition to) the Turkey. Or you could leave out the meat all together.  I also like Onion (but didn’t have any in the pantry. So I’d add that. Pepper is always a nice add in (if everybody can tolerate it. Mushrooms too.

What else to do you add to your Sauce?


Farm Fresh Challenge: Veggie Casserole

I am an unabashed lover of Maryland tomatoes. I could eat a nice firm slice of an heirloom tom with a tiny dash of salt and pepper and be the happiest girl this side of the Chesapeake. But after several weeks of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in the CSA box I’m starting to lose pace. The crisper bin in my fridge is full of round red things and my CHALLENGE today is to do something about it! My solution? Vegetable Casserole.

In this week's box from Calverts Gift CSA I found: Green beans, tomatoes, french  fingerling  potatoes, sweet peppers, spring mix cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, garlic

In this week’s box from Calverts Gift CSA I found: Green beans, tomatoes, french fingerling potatoes, sweet peppers, spring mix
cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, garlic

INGREDIENTS:

From the BOX:

  • 1 large Tomato cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 18 Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 Eggs

From the Pantry (and from previous boxes and trips to the farmers market)

  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Italian Cheese
  • 1 8 oz package of Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Summer Squash
  • 1/2 cup grated Beets
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • Cooking Spray

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9″ square oven safe glass pan.

2. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Bread Crumbs in the pan.

3. Put on a layer of Summer Squash.

Zucchini

4. Add 1/4 cup of the Italian Cheese.

5. Add the Tomatoes.

Tomatoes

6. Beat the Cream Cheese (warm in microwave is necessary to get it super creamy) and spoon on top of the Tomatoes.

7. Add the Onions

Onions

8. Add another 1/4 cup of Cheese.

9. Add another layer of Bread Crumbs.

10. Add the Beets.

11. Add 1/4 Cheese.

12. Add the Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Toms

13. Add the rest of the Bread Crumbs.

14. Add the rest of the Cheese.

15. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

Baked and crunchy

16. Let cool a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy.

On the plate

Do you have any tomato recipes you’d like to share? Please let me know.

Cheers, Rita


Farm Fresh Chllenge: Stuffed Squash Blossoms

We are half way through our  season of fresh vegetables from Calvert’s Gift Farm CSA. This week’s box held… Green beans, tomatoes, la ratte fingerling  potatoes, sweet peppers, arugula, apple pears, cherry tomatoes (green and purple) and garlic. Extras included: Flowers, purple basil, rosemary and squash blossoms.

From our CSA box from Calvert's Gift.

From our CSA box from Calvert’s Gift.

I decided to make Baked Squash Blossoms stuffed with mashed Potatoes and Bean and Tomato Succotash for this week’s edition of …

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

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

POTATO STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS==

INGREDIENTS:

In the Box:

  • 2 cups La Ratte Fingerling Potatoes
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 TBLS purple basil
  • Squash Blossoms

From the Pantry:

  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Skim Milk
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cut the Fingerling Potatoes into approximately 1/2″ pieces. Peal and thinly slice the garlic.

2. Add the Potatoes and Garlic in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until the potatoes are soft enough to mash. Remove from heat and drain.

3. Add the butter, salt  and Basil and mash.

4. Add the Milk, Half and Half and Parmesan stirring well after each edition. You want the Potato mixture to be as smooth as possible.

5. Put the Olive Oil in an oven safe dish. (I used a pie plate.

6. Filling the Blossoms — Fill a pastry bag with the potato mixture (if you don’t have a pastry bag you can cut the corner off a zip-loc bag and fill that). Carefully insert the tip of the bag into the blossom and fill it  with potato. Place the blossom in the oven safe dish. Add additional potato at the base of the blossom. Repeat with all blossoms.  Set aside until you are ready to bake.

Squash Blossoms for realz

7. Bake the blossoms until the Potatoes brown.

BEAN and TOMATO SUCCOTASH

From the Box:

  • 1 Cup of Green Beans
  • 1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes (green and purple)
  •  Three Sprigs Rosemary

From the Pantry

  • 1/2 tsp Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot heat water to boil and cook the Green Beans and Rosemary until the Green Beans are tender. Drain.

2. Cut Cherry Tomatoes in half.

3. Add the Olive Oil to the pot and put the Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans and Rosemary in.

4. Saute  on low heat  Squash is baking.

Beans and Toms

I finished our meal with a nice piece of Salmon (1 lb) which I placed in a separate pie plate and baked at the same time as the squash blossoms.

Here’s what the final dish looked like:

Final meal 2

The squash blossoms were delicious. I found the beans and tomatoes a bit sweet for my tastes (though others thought they were just right.)   Enjoy!


Farm Fresh Challenge: Summer Sausage Scampi

box shot

Box shot: Starting at the 6:00 position and moving clockwise around the picture we have heirloom tomatoes, garlic, fennel, purple basil, mini carrots, baby beets, more carrots, scallions, and arugala. In the center are some of the shallots  and potatoes..

Nothing says summer more than a big juicy tomato, right?  — Well, except, maybe four big juicy tomatoes…that’s what I found in my box this week.  There were so many culinary  possibilities with this box from our CSA (Calvert’s Gift Community Support Agriculture farm north of Baltimore, Maryland) that it was hard to choose what to make. But when I saw the Roaming GastroGnomes weekly blog on Paella something clicked. No… I didn’t have the chicken, or green beans, or saffron of the right kind of rice… but maybe I could make something akin to the amazing dish he’d shared.

My goal, as usual, was to use what was on hand along with the treasures I found in my CSA box for …

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

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

FROM THE BOX:

  •  1 Garlic
  • 1 Tomatoes
  • 1 Shallots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 cup Carrots

FROM THE PANTRY & FRIDGE:

  • 1 lb Fresh Sweet Italian Sausage
  • Basmati Rice (prepared — I used 2 packs of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice )
  • 1/2 cup of whole Almonds
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Tumeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cumin

DIRECTIONS

1. Form Sausage into 1 1/2″ meatballs and place into a large, hot, frying pan. Brown on all sides, cooking the meatballs through.

browned Sausage balls

These sausage meatballs have one more turn to go.

2. Turn down the heat. Add two cups of water and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Prepare the vegetables. Chop the Carrots  and Tomatoes into 1/2″ pieces. Dice the Onions and Shallots into 1/4″ pieces. Finely mince the Garlic.

4. When the meatballs are done remove them to a medium bowl and set aside. Put the Carrots int he hot water (do not change the water) and cook for 5 minutes.

5. Transfer the carrots and and any water remaining in the pan to meatball bowl. Put the Olive Oil into the hot pan and add the Garlic, Onions and Shallots. Increase heat and brown the vegetables until Onions are translucent.

6. Put the Meat, Carrots and water back in the frying pan and stir. Add the Tomatoes, remaining one cup of water and stir.

7. Add the Basmati Rice and the spices and mix. DON’T STIR AGAIN until your serve. Sprinkle with the almonds.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. REDUCE heat to simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes. Move the pan around the heat source to distribute the heat evenly.

Note the crisping rice at the edges. This is almost done cooking.

Note the crisping rice at the edges. This is almost done cooking.

8. Plate and serve. This is delicious as is… but I think the next time I make it I’ll add raisins for a touch of sweetness. I’ll also pump up the volume with an extra tomato.

On the plate and ready to eat.

On the plate and ready to eat.

(for more Farm Fresh Challenge recipes type “Farm Fresh” in the search field at the top of the blog.

More recipes I want to try:


Farm Fresh Challenge: Hot Potato Salad Entree

Taking a little mid-month break from the July Creative Challenge to revisit the weekly Farm Fresh Challenge.  This week’s box from Calvert’s Gift Farm was, once again chuck full of amazing produce.

Our box came bursting with: Spring mix, Garlic, squash, tomatoes, basil, sweet onions, and red potatoes. (There were "pardon peppers" too, but I swapped those out for more potatoes. --Another great thing about our CSA is the flexibility.)

Our box came bursting with: Spring mix, Garlic, squash, tomatoes, basil, sweet onions, and red potatoes. (There were “pardon peppers” too, but I swapped those out for more potatoes. –Another great thing about our CSA is their flexibility.) It is our week for eggs, so I’m showing those too.  The Spring Onions and Bok Choi were from the EXTRAs bin.

I couldn’t wait to get cooking for this edition of…

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

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

I decided to make a Hot Potato Salad with cheese and hard-cooked eggs.

FROM THE BOX:

  • 3 medium red potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 a soft neck garlic.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 cups of mixed salad greens
A line up of the usual suspects... Red Potatoes, Onion, Egg, and Garlic... wait to be transformed

A line up of the usual suspects… Red Potatoes, Onion, Egg, and Garlic… wait to be transformed

FROM THE FRIDGE:

  • 6 small mozzarella balls (1-inch)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil mayonnaise
  • 1  1/2 cups left over Steak (or other protein )
  • 4 cups of water
Mr. Tomato and the Mozzarella Ball gang

Mr. Tomato and the Mozzarella Ball gang

DIRECTIONS:

Hard cook the egg

Dice the potatoes, onion, garlic.

Boil the water in a two-quart pan. When the water comes to a rolling boil add the potatoes, onion and garlic. Let boil for seven to ten minute, or until potatoes are soft.

Peel the hard-cooked egg and cut lengthwise into quarters.
Reheat the meat in the microwave,taking care not to over cook it.
Dice up the tomato
Clean the salad greens, pat dry with a paper towel and break. Rip into bite sized  pieces with your hands.

The mixed Greens are cleaned and prepped.

The Mixed Greens are cleaned, prepped and ready for plating.

When the potatoes are soft remove the pot from the heat and drain the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Add mayonnaise and toss.

Add  mozzarella balls, tomato and egg and gently fold in.

Plate over salad greens with the meat on the side.

The plated dish is ready to eat.

The plated dish is ready to eat.

I thought this was just right with a shake of salt and pepper, but my husband wanted a bit more kick and added a little Italian salad dressing.

Either way both our plates were cleaned by the end of the meal.

No left overs.

No left overs.

The only one who didn’t like the meal was the dog as there were no left over bits for her bowl. 😦

No begging at the table. There's nothing left.

Not even this cutie-pie face could earn her a scrap. There’s nothing left. Poor puppy had to be happy with an ice cube and her real dog food. Sorry, baby.

• Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Stir Up

Roasted Turnip Salad

Turnip and Ham Salad


Farm Fresh Challenge: Fava Flavor

Yes! Fava Beans were featured in this week’s CSA box from Calvert’s Gift Farm.  They are a little labor intensive, but the taste factor is worth it.

box shot

Bounty from the box. This today I’ll used zucchini (far left), basil (leff), fava beans (top), onion (bottom), garlic (2:00). We also got broccoli, cukes, lettuce and eggs.

Welcome to another edition of Farm Fresh Challenge / Chopped Parkton.

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

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

FROM THE BOX:

2 lb Fava Beans

1 Large Zucchini (or 3 small Zucchini)

1 medium Onion

1 Garlic

Basil

FROM THE PANTRY:

Olive Oil

S&P

Garlic Salt

Lemon

Paper Towels

FROM THE FRIDGE:

Grated Italian Cheese

1lb Beef Cubes

Directions:

1. Fava Beans are kind of a pain to prepare, so stick with me. First bring a large pot of water to boil. Shell the outer pod of the Favas and discard the husk. Put the beans in the hot water to par boil them for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until they are cool enough to handle.

Fava bean with par boiled shell still in place.

Fava bean with par boiled shell still in place.

You aren’t done yet. Peal off the outer shell to reveal the inner bean. This lighter green Fava Bean is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Top -- Fava good Bottom -- Fava bad (well Fava still in the outer shell, and it will TASTE bad if you eat it.)

Top — Fava good
Bottom — Fava bad (well Fava still in the outer shell, and it will TASTE bad if you eat it.)

2. Dry out the pot and add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Heat to hight.

3. Dice Onion and mince Garlic. Add to the Olive Oil. When the Onions are translucent toss in the Fava Beans. Sautée for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer all the ingredients to a bowl lined with a paper towel.

4. Mash and squeeze in the juice of a half a lemon and mix. Cover to keep in heat.

Sautéed Zucchini

1. Cut the Zucchini into strips 4″  x 1/2″ x 1/2″. Add to the already hot oil in the pan (add more oil if necessary.) Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Garlic Salt. Cook each side of the Zucchini Strips for 3 minutes.

zucchini sauteing

Transfer to paper towel lined plate and pat with additional paper towels to remove excess oil. Transfer to a bowl and top with Italian Cheese. Repeat with all but 1 cup of remaining Zucchini. Cover bowl to retain heat.

2. Set remaining Zucchini aside to serve uncooked.

Sautéed Beef

1. Carefully place the Beef Cubes into the hot oil. Sautée for a few minutes on each side until brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and pat dry to remove excess oil.

2. Plate quickly before he beef gets cold.

mealThe final dish has Zucchini two ways (Sautéed with Italian Cheese and raw), Sautéed Beef, and Fava Mash.

This was delicious, but frankly I’ll never cook Zucchini this way again. Too much trouble and too much oil for me. The Beef with the Fava Bean was fabulous.


Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Coleslaw and Polenta Lasagna

Greetings fresh food lovers. We had another amazing box from Calvert’s Gift Farm CSA this week, and farmer Jack, who knows I love Kohlrabi, surprised me with a special gift of the sputnik shaped veggie in my box! Thanks Jack!

Here’s a shot of what I’ll be working with for the Farm Fresh Challenge. (We had more in the box but this is what I chose to use last night.)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

I decided to make a three part challenge today, a drink, side dish and main dish. All part of…

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

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

Round One: Cream Mint Tea

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of Mint leaves, stripped from the stem

1 Red Bush (de-caf) Tea Bag

4 cups Boiling Water

3 cups Almond Milk

3 cups Ice Cubes

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the water to a boil

2. Brew the Mint Leaves and the Tea Bag for 20 minutes

3. Remove the Tea Bag and Leaves. In batches, place  1/3 of the tea, 1 cup of Almond Milk, and 1 cup of Ice Cubes into a blender and process until smooth. Repeat twice more until the tea is complete.

4. Keep chilled. If Tea flattens, pop it back into the blender for a few seconds to froth it up.

Bubble Tea

Round Two: Kohlrabi Coleslaw

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium Kohlrabi

1 bunch of Beets

1 bunch of Spring Onions

1 bunch Radish

1 Fennel Bulb

3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 lemon

Salt and Pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grate  the Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onions, Radish and Fennel (use a large whole grater).

2. In a small bowl mix the Mayonnaise, Olive Oil and the juice of the 1/2 Lemon.

3. Toss the grated vegetables with the Lemony Mayonnaise.

4. Salt and Pepper to taste.

5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is an excellent Crisper buster. I not only used the super fresh ingredients from the box (Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion) but I used up some ingredients that I hadn’t had a chance to use from last week (Fennel, Radish). If I had celery or carrots they would have made it into the slaw as well. I think some raisins and or nuts would be an excellent add in. 

BONUS to Baltimore readers: The Beets give this a certain RAVENS purple, so its perfect for a picnic if you want to celebrate our Super Bowl Champs… Just sayin’.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

Round Three: Polenta Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:

1 pre-cooked Polenta “sausage” (my market has this with the rolls in front of the deli counter. It is not refrigerated.)

Polenta

Cooking Spray

1/4 cup of fresh Sage Leaves

1 whole Garlic

1 bunch of spring Onion

4 medium Yellow Squash

4 slices of Provolone Cheese

Grated Italian Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pre-Heat Foreman Grill to 350 degrees. (You could also use a frying pan)

2. Cut up the Polenta into  1/3″ slices (Warning the Polenta is packed in water…which tends to squirt out when you pierce the plastic wrap.) (Ideally you’ll want to get 15 slices out of the slices — think slice and bake cookies)

3. Spray the surface of the Grill (or pan) and heat the Polenta slices for 5 minutes.

4. Separate the Garlic into cloves.

5. Cut up the Onion and Squash into same size slices.

6. When Polenta is finished cooking remove from grill and set aside. Place the Garlic, Onion and Squash on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Spray a square glass pan (like a cake pan) and arrange the Polenta. Top with Sage Leaves.
You should be able to fit two row of three slices and a third row of half slices. Put the rest of the Polenta to the side.

8. When the Garlic, Onion and Squash is cooked arrange it in a layer over the Polenta. Top with slices of Provolone.

9. Add a second layer of Polenta. Add extra Sage Leaves, Salt and Pepper and grated Italian Cheese.

Polenta Lasagna

Polenta Lasagna

10. Keep in refrigerator until a few minutes before plating then pop in the Microwave for a few minutes to reheat.

Since you can make this ahead of time it makes for a nice Summer dish. The Polenta Lasagna feeds 3 or 4 adults.

Polenta dinner


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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