Winter Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Sugar Snap Peas

This is a wonderful winter salad.  Just add a chunk of bread for a delicious lunch.
Ingredients Mixed greens (lettuce, rocket, spinach, braising mix) 150 grams of Pumpkin 1/2 a Sweet Potato 1 med Beetroot 1 large Fennel Bulb 2 garlic cloves 100 grms Sugar Snap Peas Tamari 1/3 cup of pepita seeds 200 grams feta Dressing 2 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tbsp Dijon or seeded mustard 2 roasted garlic cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper fresh thyme or lemon thyme small dash of sugar Method 1. Preheat oven to 180C 2. Cut up an assortment of vegetables which roast well like pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot, fennel into bite size pieces. 3. Mix well with salt and olive oil, enough oil to well coat. Place on baking dish with two whole garlic cloves(for the dressing) and roast in the oven, turning after 15 minutes to ensure all sides are evenly brown. 4.  Place pepita seeds into a small cast iron fry pan. Add enough tamari to just cover seeds.  Put onto high heat, stirring frequently until all of the tamari has evaporated.  Remove from heat. 5.  Remove garlic from oven.  Mash into the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk. 6. Wash and break up greens and place in a bowl. 7. Remove the string from the sugar snap peas and cut each into two or three pieces. 8. Remove veggies from oven and toss them over the greens.  Add tamari pepitas. Coarsely crumble feta on top. Add the cut up peas.  Dress at the table.

Warm Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

This salad was inspired by Sprouted Kitchens Kale Bowl. Warm salad may sound bizarre but we have served this twice now for crew lunch and both times it was the perfect combination of flavours and perfect balance of proteins.  We did not want for anything more all afternoon!  Warm salads are perfect for Winter!

Ingredients A large chunk of pumpkin, skinned and seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes 1 large fennel bulb, reserving fronds for garnish Red or brown onion cut into chunks 5-6 garlic cloves 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 Tbsp. Grade B Maple Syrup 1 tsp. whole grain mustard 1/2 tsp. cayenne pinch of red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg salt (smoked or sea salt) + pepper 1 bunch purple kale, stems removed tamari roasted pepitas 15 almonds coarsely pounded in a mortar and pestle feta cheese

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 225C'. Arrange one oven rack in the upper third and one on the bottom third. 2. Peel, seed and cube the pumpkin. Slice the fennel down the center, cut out the tough core, slice into 1/2'' wedges. Peel and cut the onion into 1/8ths. Do not peel the garlic. Spread everything on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, maple, mustard, cayenne, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat everything, adding another drizzle of oil or maple if it seems too dry. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized, tossing the vegetables halfway through. 3. Rip the kale into large chunks, drizzle it with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread it on another baking sheet. At the 30 minute mark, move the squash tray to the lower rack and put the kale on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are crisp. 4. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin.  Gently toss everything together. Enjoy warm.

Roasted Fennel and White Bean Dip

We found this recipe on Food52... looking for fennel recipes.  This was different and raved about.  We made it for crew lunch with an Autumn Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Apple and Radish and toasted bread.  It was a delicious break from harvesting in the drizzle of early winter. The original recipe suggests a few steps which I combined trying to save time.  Roasting the fennel and garlic intensifies the flavour and brings out their natural sweetness.  I added extra fennel as we had some. I left out the step of simmering the beans in pressed garlic and olive oil...although it sounds lovely, this was lunch on our busiest day of the week. I doubled the garlic being roasted instead. Ingredients 2 large fennel bulb (reserve the fronds) 4 cloves garlic, in skins 2 Tbsp. olive oil salt and pepper 2 Tbsp. rosemary leaves

2 cups cooked Cannelinni beans, well drained 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200C. 2. Roughly dice the fennel. Spread onto baking tray and toss the fennel and garlic cloves in the olive oil with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing a few times. Add the rosemary when the fennel is almost finished. 3. In a food processor, combine the white beans, olive oil, lemon juice,  roasted fennel, garlic (pushing it out of its skin first) and parmesan.  Pulse everything together into a rough puree. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Turn the oven up to 225C. Transfer the dip to a baking dish and sprinkle the top generously with grated parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has browned. 4. Garnish with diced fennel fronds.  Serve warm with toasted flatbread or crackers.

Artichoke Hearts and Fennel

This is a wonderful base for a risotto and great as a side dish.  You can use other herbs, such as fresh thyme or tarragon – to taste, in place of the parsley. There are many internet sites explaining with pictures how to expose the heart of the artichoke.  I have described it below but pictures are helpful. Ingredients 3 to 4 prepared artichoke hearts 1 lemon bowl of cold water 1 to 2 baby fennel sliced about 2 tablespoons butter 3 green garlic "cloves" and stems, sliced like green onions freshly ground black pepper and salt 60 ml dry white wine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice zest from one lemon 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Method 1. Trim the tops and stems from the fennel. You can save some of the fronds for garnish. Cut fennel bulbs into 1cm-thick slices, cutting lengthwise through the root end to keep slices intact. 2. Preparing Artichokes - Pour the water into a deep bowl. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice into the water, then add the lemon half to the water. 3. Cut most of the stem off an artichoke, leaving about 3/4-inch (2 cm.).  Cut off most of the crown or leaves of the artichoke, about an inch (3 cm) from where the stem meets the base of the artichoke. 4. Pull off the tough leaves. Run a paring knife around the edge of the artichoke to remove any tough bits of skin and leaves. 5. Take a spoon and scoop out the fuzzy “choke” of the artichoke, inside. 6. Then use the paring knife to trim any last bits of skin on the stem. (If you’re not sure if something should be trimmed away or not – it will likely be tough, so get rid of it.) 7. Slide the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water, then repeat with the remaining artichokes. Artichokes turn brown immediately so do put them into the lemon water. 8. To cook - Put butter into an unheated sauté pan that has a cover. Heat the olive oil slowly. 9. At the same time, working relatively quickly, drain the artichokes, towel dry them, and slice them about 1 cm thick. 10. Add the artichoke and fennel slices to the heated butter, tossing them a few times to coat. Season with salt and  freshly ground black pepper. 11.Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add wine and lemon juice, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes or so, removing the lid and stirring a few times, until the artichokes are tender. They’re done when you can poke a paring knife into one and it meets no resistance. 12. Remove lid, turn up the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Cook for another minute or so to get rid of any excess liquid and allow the fennel and artichoke to brown.  You may need to add a bit more butter or olive oil.  When just about done, add the green garlic and cook for one minute more. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Parsley, Fennel and Spinach Soup

Ingredients125g parsley 1tbsp olive oil 2 Fennel bulbs, chopped (fronds reserved) 1 onion, chopped sea salt and freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves. crushed 3 cups chicken stock 200g spinach leaves grated zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of its juice 4 tbsp ricotta crushed dried chillies to serve

Method 1. Separate parsley leaves from the stalks.  Chop half the parsley stalks and discard the rest. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped fennel, onion and parsley stalks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. 3. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil then add parsley leaves and spinach.  Stir until wilted. 4. Blend with a hand held blender or bench top food processor. 5.  Return to pan and add the squeeze of lemon juice.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 6.  Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 tbsp ricotta, a grating of the lemon zest, reserved fennel fronds and a little dried chilli.


Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon

This is a recipe adapted from Adapted from River Cottage VEG.  It is lovely the way it is written.  Depending on what pasta you choose, you may just want to add a bit more liquid. Ingredients 1 large fennel bulb, fronds reserved 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil 2 large cloves garlic, minced 6 ounces pasta (papparadelle, linguine, spaghetti etc.) 1/4 cup creme fraiche, to taste zest of one large lemon, juice reserved 3-4 good handfuls of rocket 1/4 cup reserved pasta water sea salt and pepper parmesan or hard goats cheese, to finish

Method 1. Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. 2. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise. Remove the tough core and slice it into 1/4'' wedges. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the fennel, give it a stir and let it cook, undisturbed (that's how you get the nice brown bits) for 5 minutes. Give it a stir, turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, a pinch of salt and another splash of oil if the pan looks dry. Start cooking the pasta. 3. To the fennel, add the creme fraiche, lemon zest and stir to coat. Add the arugula and give it another toss. 4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the noodles to the creamy fennel pan and toss to coat, adding a pinch or two of salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon juice and pasta water as needed. 5. Serve each portion with a generous grate of the parmesan and a few fennel fronds.

Poached Vegetables with Caper Mayonnaise

This recipe is from the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Just-poached vegetables show off their natural attributes, and taste fresh and light in a way you never get with roasting or frying. Baby turnip or corn will work, too, as will broad beans, peas and green beans. Don't chop them up much and don't cook them very long. Serve warm with the broth and mayonnaise as a starter, or cold with the mayonnaise only.

I have reprinted the recipe exactly even though all of the vegetables are not in season right now.  We made this the other night though with carrots, zucchini, green beans and leeks and it was lovely.

Ingredients Mayonnaise ½ garlic clove, crushed 1 egg yolk 1½ tsp white-wine vinegar ½ tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp salt Juice and zest of ½ lemon 75ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped

Poaching liquor 600ml white wine 200ml olive oil 150ml lemon juice 2 bay leaves ½ onion 2 celery sticks, cut into batons 1 tsp salt

The vegetables 100g baby fennel 200g baby carrot 150g fine asparagus 100g baby courgette 150g baby leek 2 tbsp chopped dill

Method 1. First make the mayo. Put the garlic, egg, vinegar, mustard, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Start blending, and then, with the motor going, very slowly dribble in the oil until you get a thick mayonnaise. Fold in the capers and lemon zest and set aside. 2. Wash the vegetables but don't trim them too much, so you're left with some stalks or leaves. Depending on their size, cut the vegetables lengthways in halves or quarters, trying to get them a similar size. 3. Put the wine in a wide pan and boil for two to three minutes. Add all the other poaching liquor ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the fennel and carrot, then, after three minutes, the asparagus, courgette and leek, and cook for another three minutes. The vegetables should be cooked but still crunchy. Lift them from the broth and divide between four wide bowls. 4. Place a ladle of liquid around the vegetables, top with a dollop of mayonnaise and sprinkle with dill. Chill any leftover broth for later use.


Crunchy Salad

Here is a recipe adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe...which he prefaces by saying that it is a very adaptable salad..."One of the things I love about a good crunchy salad is that you can simply change it according to where you live  and what fresh ingredients are available to you."  So have a go at inventing your own crunchy salad - be inventive with how you slice, chop, shave your ingredients.  Explore texture and flavours and revel in a truly seasonal compliment to any meal! Ingredients 1 cucumber 1 red onion, peeled and shaved 3 small carrots 1 fennel bulbs outer leaves peeled back, quartered lengthways 1 zucchini ribbon sliced 6 radishes, quartered 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 heaped tsp castor sugar 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil small bunch of fresh dill or thyme small bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped

Method 1. Chop, shred  and/or ribbon slice all of your vegetables. 2. Mix olive oil, vinegar and castor sugar in a small jar.  Shake until well blended. 3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix by hand with the herbs.  Serve.

Photo credit and recipe suggestion - Emma Travers

Roasted Baby Carrots and Garlic Scapes

Ingredients1 bunch of baby carrots 1 bunch of garlic scapes 2 tbsp olive oil Fresh thyme Sea salt Fresh ground black pepper

Method 1. Preheat oven to 225C 2. Clean baby carrots with a green scrubby or vegetable brush. Place on cooking tray and toss with oil (Drizzle oil over and mix with your hands - Jamie Oliver style). 3. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, salt and cracked pepper. 4. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. Remove, toss around and add garlic scapes. 5. Cook for another 10 minutes or so. Watch as you do not want to burn the scapes - These are tender and young. 6. Serve hot.

Variation (Pictured Above) Fennel makes a wonderful addition to this recipe! Method 1. Clean the fennel bulb to remove any dirt. 2. Slice the bulb in half.  Put flat side down and cut in half again and again. 3. Add to the carrots. 4. It may take the fennel and carrots 20 minutes to cook before you add the garlic scapes.

Fennel Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe, like many salad recipes, is surprisingly simple.  It makes me think of a play...with distinct characters, probably young and innocent(pure).  When they come together, they create an explosion of vibrancy!

Ingredients Lime Vinaigrette 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil...don't skimp on the quality of olive oil...simple ingredients mean "The Best" ingredients 1 tsp light vinegar (white wine or apple cider) juice of one fresh lime 1 fennel bulb parmesan cheese

 Method 1. Cut off the long, leafy fronds at the top of the fennel bulb. 2. Throughly wash the bulb in warm water, scrubbing off any dirt. If the outer layer is too bruised or brown, remove it and do not use. 3. Cut the fennel bulb in half.  You can cut it in half again and then thinly slice each half about 3mm thick. Transfer the chopped fennel to a salad bowl. 4. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, make strips of parmesan into the salad. You want about fifteen to twenty. 5. Assemble the dressing in a small bowl or ramekin by combining vinegar, olive oil, lime, sale and cracked white pepper. 6. Pour the dressing over the fennel and parmesan. Toss to coat.


Fennel and Radish Salad

This is a Jamie Oliver super quick, easy and delicious recipe.  The bite of the radish is lovely with the licorice of the fennel.  Serve with pasta, grilled meat and chicken. Ingredients 1 fennel bulb 4-5 radishes 1 lemon extra virgin olive oil

Method 1. Trim and quarter the fennel. Trim excess leaves from the radishes. 2. Put the fennel and radish into the food processor and shred.  Tip into a large bowl 3. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon, 1 lug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then toss and scrunch with your hands to get the juices to mingle. 4. Season to taste.