Posted on

How to Eat Your BOX! (9/17/2017)

D’Anjou Pears:
The d’Anjou is a truly an all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartletts, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Fennel:
Known for its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor, fennel is best used within 5 days. Keep fennel bulbs wrapped in the fridge to keep out air that will lessen its flavor. Fennel is wonderful braised, roasted, or grilled where its it brings flavor reminiscent of pine nuts to the table, or, sautéed, or used raw in salads, where it is crunchy and sweet.

Beets:
In the cooking world, beets are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin” for their incredible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although beets can be cooked in a variety of ways (including as a secret ingredient for deep dark chocolate cake-Google it!), roasting beets is one of the easiest and most delicious. Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their skin tender and easy to peel off. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads or just as a complementing side dish. Check out the recipe below for easy Roasted Beets.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
“The good news: Beets are packed with folate and potassium, and the red ones deliver lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.” – Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (~1 1/2 pounds)
2 thyme sprigs or 2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or balsamic

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.
2. Meanwhile, in a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.
3. Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Recipe adapted from: foodandwine.com

Posted on

How To Eat Your BOX! (Week of 2/19/17)

D’Anjou Pears:

The d’Anjou is a truly all-purpose pear. They are juicy when ripe, and their subtle sweetness hints at a refreshing lemon-lime flavor. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack. The most important thing to know about d’Anjou pears is that they do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartlett pears, whose skin color changes to yellow during ripening. Check the neck for ripeness by gently pressing your thumb near the stem end of the pear. When it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.

Mushrooms:

These edible fungi are great raw on salads but they are absolutely fabulous when sautéed. There really isn’t a better ingredient around that works just as well in a breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. To sauté, heat oil or butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Clean and slice mushrooms in half inch pieces. When oil is hot add them to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to sauté mine with onion and or garlic. Season with salt pepper to taste.

Artichokes:

Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, baked or grilled. I’ve had to play around with these to find how I like to cook them best. Boiling them whole is fast and easy in the beginning but can be messier to prep afterwards while they’re hot and soft. Plus, I’m always impatient and don’t want to wait around for them to cool off. My preferred method is to get them all prepped first and then bake them. That way they’re ready to eat as soon as I take them out of the oven.

To prepare, first have a lemon handy. Cut about an inch off the stem and top of the artichoke. Then cut in half and remove the fuzzy part in the center with a spoon. Rub the cut side with a half a lemon, squeezing some juice into the fold and the middle. Drizzle with olive oil, trying to get it between the folds, sprinkle with salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 425°. Mayonnaise mixed with a little balsamic vinegar is commonly used for a dip, or try using some olive oil or salad dressing mixed with mustard and balsamic vinegar. Play around with it. Your pantry is the limit!

RECIPE

Fresh Spring Rolls

If you’ve had this fancy Thai appetizer before, you may be surprised how easy they are to make at home. Try it out and see what you think!

Ingredients: (Put whatever veggies you’d like in these)

½ cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

1 carrot, Julienned

1 avocado, sliced

½ bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 green onions, diced

Lettuce, cut small

Cilantro, chopped(optional)

Rice paper, 8+ inch rounds

A protein (I like using grilled chicken but seafood is often used here)

Dipping sauce:

Mix 1 part crunchy peanut butter with 2 parts hoisin sauce, or store bought Asian dipping sauce.

Directions:

Preparation: 20-30 min

1. Cut up all the veggies and put in bowls or separate piles for easy access.

2. Fill a large salad bowl with hot water from the faucet. Place a single piece of rice paper under the water for a couple seconds. As soon as it becomes soft and pliable (about 5 seconds) remove from the bowl and place on a smooth plastic cutting board.

3. Arrange some of each ingredient on the rice paper in a row close to the center.

4. Roll rice paper by folding the shorter piece over first then wrapping the top and bottom down ends down. Finish by rolling the remainder from the middle out, keeping as tight as possible. Repeat