Tag Archives: Farm Fresh Challenge

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.]


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


  • 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


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 — 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


  • 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


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


  • 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)


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.)

Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Stir Up

It’s week three of the Community Service Agriculture Farm Fresh Challenge on ritaLOVEStoWRITE… aka…

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

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

As you can probably guess from the title of the blog, the box this week featured kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s the weirdest looking veggie out there, it’s kind of the space probe of the vegetable crisper. And the taste? Well, if Brocoli had a love child and  you were waiting for the paternity test to come back to tell you if Cabbage or Walnut was the father… THEN you’d (kind of) have an idea of what to expect with kohlrabi. It’s a bit brighter and tastier than momma brocoli and it is delightfully crispy.

Purple kohlrabl nestled in a wreath of garlic scrapes

Purple kohlrabl nestled in a wreath of garlic scrapes

From the CSA box:

1 bunch of Kohlrabi

1 bunch of Scallions

1 bunch of Garlic Scrapes

1 head of lettuce

1 egg

Kohlrabi, garlic tails, lettuce 1

From the ritaLOVEStoWRITE pantry/fridge:

1 tablespoon of Butter

4 Chicken Breast

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/4 cup Milk

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

Salt and Pepper

Cooking spray

Salad Dressing


The Chicken:

1. Heat a Foreman Grill to 350 degrees.

1. Clean the chicken breast under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Set up two low bowls. In the first bowl beat the Egg and mix in the Sour Cream and the Milk. In the second bowl place the Flour, Salt and Pepper and mix it through with a fork.

3. Dredge each Chicken Breast through the Egg batter and then into the Flour until it is well coated.

4. When the Foreman Grill is ready spray with the Cooking spray. Place the Chicken onto the hot surface and close the lid. Check every 5 minutes. Turning and reposition until the Chicken is complete done.

The Vegetables:

1. Wash all the vegetables and pat dry with a paper towel

2. Trim the leaves off the Kohlrabi. Carefully peel the skin and outer fibrous layer off the bulb. Cut into slices.

3. Cut the Scallions into 1/4 ” pieces. You’ll need 1/2 cup of scallions.

4. Cut the Garlic Scrapes into 1/4″ pieces. You’ll need 1/4 cup of the Garlic Scrapes

5. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and stir fry the vegetables until the Kohlrabi is semi translucent.

Kholbrabi in pan


Divide the Lettuce evenly among four plates. Top with the Chicken. Place the Kohlrabi stir-fry on the side and add a piece of fresh bread. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.

Kholrabi plate

ritaLOVEStoWRITE Related Posts:

Roasted Turnip Salad

Turnip and Ham Salad

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