What I Made: Barley Salad with Fennel and Radish

There is no greater endorsement for this recipe than to say that I liked it so much, I made it for Thanksgiving.  I don’t normally stray too far from the basics, especially for traditional holiday meals, but I cannot get enough of the combination of chewy barley, rich roasted fennel, the sharp bite of radishes and the briny olives all covered in a herbed, tangy citrus vinaigrette. I made this twice, and I am certain I will make it again. YUM

Fennel is thinly sliced, tossed with olive oil, and roasted in the oven.  Barley is cooked, then spread out onto the baking dish with the fennel to absorb all the flavor. Then, the mixture is tossed with sliced radishes, quartered oil-cured olives (you only need a little, so I bought mine from the olive bar at the grocery story!), and chopped dill. The vinaigrette is an easy combination of olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, shallot, and dill. Serve room temperature in a bowl or on a platter, topped with additional radishes, olives, and dill, and served with extra vinaigrette on the side.

BarleySalad

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What I Made: Risotto with Leeks and Turnips

These vegetables have given me a chance to try lots of new things, but for this recipe I stepped way outside of my comfort zone and tried making risotto for the first time. It wasn’t my finest effort, but even imperfect risotto is still tasty, creamy rice and cheese. This one includes scarlet turnips, which gives the whole dish a pink tint, contrasting with the heaping addition of sautéed green leeks.

As the days got cooler, I really looked forward to these leftovers in my fridge.  I also greatly improved my risotto technique – it pays in off recipes to be posted later! However, in the meantime, here’s the first attempt.

Leeks, turnips, and garlic are sautéed in olive oil until tender.  Then, the rice is briefly toasted with the mixture. Next comes hard work and patience: broth is added 1/2 cup at a time and the mixture is stirred constantly. This will take about 45 minutes and if you’re as out of shape as I am, your shoulder and arm will be ACHING. Once the rice is cooked through and a creamy texture, stir in the cheese and serve! More detailed instructions are after the jump.

TurnipLeekRisotto

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What I Made: Gingered Green Beans

While my tried and true green bean recipe serves me quite well, I wanted to try a new flavor combination.  These gingered green beans have a little bit of a kick, but I didn’t find them too spicy. I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavor, but it is difficult to replace my favorite after all.

This recipe is no more complicated than the first. Blanch the green beans, then cook garlic until fragrant in a skillet with olive oil. Next, add ginger and red pepper flakes, then beans and cook until beans are tender.  Try it, I’d be interested to know what you think! GingerGreenBeans

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What I Made: Sautéed Bok Choy

I got a lot of bok choy and baby bok choy in my basket this year, which was great because it’s a green that is easy to use in stir fries and soups. In this recipe, I tried something new with baby bok choy and sautéed it whole.

Heat oil, and quickly stir fry garlic and green onions.  Separate the larger outside leaves from the inner “core”, which can be left whole, and add to the pan. Cover the pan and let the bok choy steam for about 3 minutes, then cook with the cover off for another minute or two to let any extra water boil off. Not only is this veggie ready in under 10 minutes, serving the whole bok choy looks like it took way more effort than was actually required. That’s all there is to it, but if you want more details, click to read more.

SteamedBokChoy

Sautéed bok choy, with fried tofu and cellphone noodles.

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What I Made: Sausage and Noodle Skillet with Banana Peppers

Although this recipe is a one pot meal, it does require a bit of preparation because of all the ingredients that need to be chopped.  The upside is that this recipe is widely customizable.  Got some vegetables you need to get rid of?  Toss them in!  Just don’t make the mistake that I did a try to use pre-cooked noodles.  This makes a soggy mess. Instead, cook them as part of the recipe. Click “Read More” to see full directions.

 

NoodleSkillet

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Time to Defrost

It’s been a particularly cold and snowy past week few weeks around these parts, which has me dreaming of warmer days. What better way to transport myself to a warmer season than by clearing the backlog I’ve made for myself here! While I’ve been lagging in writing blog posts, I haven’t stopped documenting all the great fruits and vegetables I got from my CSA during the late summer and fall.

 

The recipes may be a little less descriptive than usual, but I will try my best. I will also only try to post once a day – no one wants recipe overload.

 

Hope you enjoy the “season in review” these next few days. After all, there are only 10 more weeks until the Spring/Summer CSA season starts!