This week we are harvesting our garlic! We're so excited we're sharing some of the harvest with you as "green" garlic. Green garlic means that it is fresh from the ground without having been cured. After harvest we let the stalks and skin dry. The process essentially seals the the garlic up for storage in the fall.
This week's share:
Head Lettuce, Green Garlic, Fennel, Carrots, Kale, Basil, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Green Beans
This week's harvest lends itself to so many great combinations.
Green Beans with Garlic Vinaigrette: One of my favorite ways to eat green beans. cut the stems off the ends, blanch them (cook in boiling salted water until tender then drain them and submerge in cold running water until cool). When cool pat dry with a towel (so your dressing isn't watery). Dress with the following: Smash a clove of garlic and add a spoonful of grainy dijon mustard, some chopped dill, parsley or tarragon, some sherry vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Fennel - Is new to the share this week. This crunchy anise flavored vegetable is one of my all time favorites. I love it slow cooked until carmelized or raw in any number of salads. Fennel can be a bit of a bugger to clean with soil hiding in the pockets between stalks so I usually choose recipes where I am slicing it thin. Then I put the lot into a big bowl of water and after a few swishes around most of the dirt will come out of the nooks.
Fennel & Eggplant Caponata: There are so many variations on caponata. It is a very easy dish to adapt to what you have on hand. The basic starting point is eggplant with sweet and salty flavors. With this week's share I'll saute some fresh garlic, add roughly chopped fennel and eggplant. When the eggplant starts to soften I'll add a handful of raisins, a tablespoon of capers, some chopped kalamata olives and some halved cherry tomatoes and cook until the juices from the tomatoes reduce a bit. I'll also season with a splash of balsamic vinegar and handful of chopped basil. Celery, carrots, parsley, pine nuts and sweet red peppers are also welcome additions!
Kale & Carrot Salad: Another dish that is totally adaptable. Tear up your kale into bite size pieces and give a good turn through your salad spinner. Add a handful of coarsely grated carrots, chopped toasted almonds. and thinly sliced fennel. Toasted cumin, coriander and sesame seeds are nice too. Dress with olive oil, lemon and season with salt and pepper. Simple, delicious. This salad improves if you let it sit around for a while. I tend to be a morning person so I might even whip this up while having my morning cuppa and leave it in the fridge until dinner time.
Dinner with Green Beans with Garlic Vinaigrette, Red Cross Head Lettuce, Fennel & Eggplant Caponata with Herb Chicken Paillards.