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.

Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Mussels

Ingredients30 grams butter 6 cloves of garlic 1 onion (Brown onion,red onion or shallotts) 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley 4 stems of thyme 1.5 teaspoons lemon zest mussels (quantity depends on the catch but let's say this is around 1kg) 1 cup white wine 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Method (If you want to eat the mussels with spaghetti, cook the pasta just before beginning cooking the mussels. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and place a lid on top to keep it warm) 1. In a large heavy based pot with a lid, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion and garlic til onion is soft. 2. Add in wine, tomatoes, thyme and mussels, turn heat up to high and place lid on. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer until mussel shells open (about 6-8 minutes), discard any that don't open. 3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. 4. If you want to reduce the liquid you can remove the mussels once they open and turn the heat up to reduce the 'soup'. 5. To serve put the spaghetti in bowls, place mussels on top and then pour the mussel soup over the top of the spaghetti.

Photo: Nikki Fisher at Wholefood Mama

Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil & Parmesan

Ingredients2 medium-large zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 1 medium-large yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, cut into 1 cm thick slices 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 garlic cloves 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce) 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 150grms mixed greens (lettuce, baby perpetual gator, baby ruby red, mesclun, english spinach) Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, semi dried tomatoes (optional...for colour and taste)

Method 1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place zucchini and crookneck squash on large baking sheet; brush all over with 3 tablespoons oil infused with four smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool. 2. Prepare greens (wash, spin cut) and place into open salad bowl. 3. Cut zucchini diagonally into 2 cm wide pieces. Place onto greens. 4. Slice basil. Sprinkle on top. 5. Shave parmesan cheese on top. 6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add sliced cherry tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes. 7. Toss at the last minute to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Spring Lentil, Quinoa, Green Garlic and Coriander Salad

Ingredients1 cup cooked quinoa 1/2 cup cooked fine green lentils 3 baby carrots cut into skinny rounds 1 cup snow or sugar snap peas cut into bite size pieces 1 green garlic finely diced mixed greens - your choice, de-stemed, washed, spun 150 grams feta 1 bunch of coriander, dice the tops 2 limes - juiced and the zest from one 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar avocado

Method 1. Cook quinoa and lentils, in separate pots, and cool completely. (This step could be done in advance.) 2. Chop up coriander, juice and zest the lime, cut peas and carrot.  Dice green garlic.  Add all, including salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar to the quinoa and lentils. Mix well and adjust seasoning. 3. Top with crumbled feta and serve on top of mixed greens. 4. Serve avocado on the side.  The flavour complements extremely well!

Broad Bean Pasta

This is very simple recipe with a few ingredients.  I love recipes like this as they allow each ingredient to be tasted.  We have found that children like this as well.  If you want to be extra decadent, you can double pod the broad beans.  The broad beans we are harvesting are very fresh and young and we have not needed to do this extra step. Ingredients 500grams Broad Beans, podded zest from a lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon 2 green garlic cloves diced finely small bunch of mint or parsley, finely sliced Feta to crumble salt and pepper to taste olive oil 500 grams fettuccine

Method 1. Heat water and follow instructions for cooking the pasta. 2. Lightly steam podded broad beans for 3-5 minutes. Run under cool water and set aside. 3. Make a dressing with the lemon zest, lemon juice, green garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. 4. Drain pasta.  Mix with broad beans, dressing and herbs.  Adjust seasoning. Crumble feta over the top and serve.

Barley Gratin with Beet Greens and Green Garlic

This is a healthy and delicious meal for a chilly spring day. The earthy flavor of beet greens combine well with the nutty flavor of barley and the green garlic contributes a lovely tang (but you can also use silver beet). Make the dish gluten free by using brown rice instead of barley. Ingredients 1 generous bunch beet greens or silver beet; stemmed and washed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots or an onion 3 cloves green garlic peeled and sliced salt, to taste 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 3 eggs 1/2 cup milk pepper fresh ground 1 cup barley or brown rice cooked 1/2 cup cheese, type of choice; grated

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the beet greens for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. 3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. 4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from NY Times

Broad Bean and Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa salads.  Quinoa is a high protein seed, more closely related to the spinach and beet root family then other grains.  It contains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also delicious, light and easy to accessorize.

Ingredients 1 cup quinoa 1 lemon 800 grams broad beans, podded 200 grams feta 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped 1 Spring garlic clove finely diced (This is an immature garlic clove with its greens still green) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar salt and pepper

Method 1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer until water runs clear.  Place in medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until almost all of the water has been absorbed.  Remove from heat. 2. Break feta into 1cm*1cm pieces.  Zest the lemon over it and add olive oil, vinegar, juice from 1/2 the lemon, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Allow to marinate. 3. Steam podded broad beans for about two minutes - until the beans are just tender.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water. Pop the beans from their inner pods. 4.  Add the cooled quinoa to the feta and broad beans.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Add extra olive oil if necessary.

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.

Tatsoi and Cabbage Stir Fry

This is a versatile stir fry that you can make with any vegetables.  I add in broccoli, zucchini and red peppers when we have them.  The carrots replace the red peppers in the winter and spring adding the sweet counterpart to the whole flavour of the stir fry.  Tatsoi is a delicate green.  I chop the stems into pieces and add them with the cabbage. But the tops, I leave whole and add right before serving so that they are only slightly braised.  I have included chicken in the recipe. This can be omitted. Ingredients olive oil 750 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips 2 egg whites, lightly beaten ½ cup cornflour 3 cloves garlic, chopped or put through a press 2 onions, thinly sliced or 1 large leek or a bunch of green onions 4 medium sized carrots and/or 1 red sweet capsicum, cut into match sticks 2 heads of Tatsoi, remove tops and set aside, dice stems into 1 cm pieces 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp sherry 1 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tbsp sesame seeds

 

Method 1. Heat the wok until very hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the side. Dip a quarter of the chicken strips into the egg white and then into the cornflour. Add to the wok and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining chicken, reheating the wok and adding a little more oil each time. 2. Reheat the wok, add 1 tbsp of the oil and stir-fry the onion, carrot and/or capsicum and garlic over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened slightly. If using green onions, wait and add with the cabbage.  Add cabbage and tatsoi stems, continuing to stir. Increase the heat to high and add the soy sauce, sherry and oyster sauce. Toss the vegetables well. If you like more sauce, just add soy, sherry and oyster sauce (double the amount of soy and sherry to the amount of oyster sauce). 3. Return the chicken to the wok and toss over high heat for 1-2 minutes to heat the chicken and make sure it is entirely cooked through. Add sesame seeds. Toss the Tatsoi leaves through the chicken mixture, and serve immediately over rice or udon noodles.

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.

Thai Salad Dressing

I love the simplicity of ingredients that create a very fresh and exciting Thai salad.  You can use this dressing over mesclun with red onion and cucumber or lettuce with carrots, red capsicum, and cucumber cut into matchsticks or cabbage and green onions.  Eat as a side or use the salad as a base for fried calamari, chicken fingers or a noodle dish. Ingredients 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil 2 tsps fish sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoon palm sugar (you can substitute brown sugar) 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1/2 garlic clove, finely sliced 1 red chile, seeded and finely sliced 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped 2 tablespoons basil, chopped

You can add more of any of these ingredients, to taste!

Method 1. Prepare dressing by dissolving palm sugar in lime juice and fish sauce. 2. Add freshly ground black pepper to season and whisk in soy. 3. Finally add oil, ginger, garlic and chili. Shake well to blend. 4. Add herbs and shake again. Let sit to marry 10 minutes.

 

Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic

Seems almost silly to write this one - as it is so simple...and so very delicious! You taste every piece of this recipe so use high quality oil, fresh, yummy bread, fresh biodynamic tomatoes, just picked basil and sea salt.
Ingredients
chunky baguette sliced on the diagonal
tomatoes
basil
4 cloves garlic
extra virgin olive oil
salt/pepper -optional
Method
1. Press garlic into 1/2 cup of olive oil. Stir and let sit.
2. Slice basil and arrange on plate. Slide a basil leaf in between the slices.
3. Drizzle garlic infused olive oil over the top.
4. Serve with bread to soak up any juices left in the plate!