In your box
- Berries: Gooseberries, red currants or white currants
- Escarole Endive
- Red Onions
- Summer squash
I can’t talk about the weather without complaining, and I think everyone’s had enough of that out of me already this year. Have I mentioned that it’s hot and dry?
This week’s box
Many of our gooseberries are starting to ripen, so I was able to harvest some of them for today’s box. Only a few of our young plants are producing, unfortunately, so if you don’t get gooseberries we have the last of our red and white currants available.
We also have a great crop of cabbage this week. We grow a small red cabbage as well as a larger, triangular green cabbage called “Caraflex.” The taste and usage are similar between them. Enjoy cabbage grated for a cole slaw, finely chopped as a salad, or lightly wilted over water or oil.
We should have more head lettuce next week, but for this week we have our hot-weather stand-in, Escarole Endive. This large head of greens is closely related to dandelions, chicory, and radicchio, but this is my favorite member of the family. Escarole can be eaten raw in a salad, but most folks find it a little strong and you might prefer lightly wilting it or cooking it down for just a couple minutes so it becomes tender and less bitter. Escarole keeps in the fridge for a week to ten days and prefers a plastic bag to keep it fresh.
Fennel is a close relative of carrots and celery, and it has a strong taste of licorice. Both the leafy fronds and the central bulb can be eaten, and are tasty either raw or cooked. The fronds tend to wilt quickly, so they should be kept in a plastic bag or container and used within a few days. The bulbs are a bit heartier and should last 7-10 days. The fronds are best chopped fine and added to salads, while the bulbs are great as a crunchy, flavorful addition to a stir fry.
Roasted Sausage with Broccoli and Fennel
- 12 ounces (about 3 or 4 links) good-quality pork sausage, removed from casings and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Non-meat alternatives work great too.
- 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- Finely grated zest and one 1 teaspoon of juice from 1 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or a lesser amount of red pepper flakes or cayenne (omit if you’re using spicy sausage)
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Combine broccoli florets and sliced fennel in a shallow casserole or baking dish. You want them to fit snugly in a single, even layer. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, whole-grain mustard, lemon juice and zest, and Aleppo pepper. Add to broccoli and fennel and toss well to coat evenly. Nestle the pieces of sausage among the broccoli and fennel.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli and fennel are tender and the sausage is no longer pink. For extra security, you can toss about halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
- Optional but highly recommended: Heat broiler, and place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp the sausage and slightly char the broccoli and fennel in spots.
- Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Next week we are expecting parsley, scallions, broccoli, head lettuce, potatoes, summer squash, cucumber, and cabbage. Maybe tomatoes?