CSA Week 7: Fennel, Squash and Chard

Summer has unofficially hit North Carolina and with it came the heat and humidity that I dread all winter.

Sure, I was one of those people bitching and moaning about it being cold, but that doesn’t mean I want to be uncomfortably hot. It’s not even like we get a real break from the cold anyway. My office building is kept at arctic temperatures, which means I have my heater going while the AC is blasting just so I can keep my hands from hurting. It hurts my granola hippy heart to waste energy so needlessly.

The heat also means that leafy greens are starting to wilt or flower and we’re getting fewer of them in our CSA share. In exchange, we’re seeing more summer vegetables like squash and cucumber.

For week 7, we got:

  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • turnips
  • chard
  • fennel
  • squash

I was pretty bad with taking pictures this week so I apologize for the lack of mediocre iPhone photography you’ve come to expect from this blog.

We’re still getting quite a bit of lettuce and honestly, I won’t miss it once it’s gone. We’ve been doing a ton of salads and I’m really tired of them. I have this odd quirk where I like salads if they’re made by someone else. Salads I make myself are less than exciting and it’s easy to get sick of them after a couple of days. The turnips and cucumbers, though, have made nice additions to our salads.

 

// After the Knot

// After the Knot

 

I’m trying to add more beans to my diet and I had an idea to make a chick pea and fennel salad for lunch for the week. I’m happy to say that it was a successful experiment. Along with chick peas and fennel, I added green onions, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. The same salad is on tap for this week, but I swapped feta for parmesan cheese.

Another experiment included fried swiss chard stalks. Every Christmas Eve my family makes cardoni. Cardoni, or cardoon as it is known in English, is a bitter perennial that looks like flattened celery. It’s boiled then battered and deep fried, and while it can be a little tough to find, it’s been a Christmas Eve staple for as long as I can remember.

 

// After the Knot

// After the Knot

 

I decided to try and make the swiss chard stalks in much the same way. I boiled them until they were tender, battered them in Italian style breadcrumbs and fried them until golden brown. A bit crunchy and a bit bitter, they came out great. Next time I’ll try baking them to cut back on the oil.

 

// After the Knot

// After the Knot

 

One of my favorite things to do with zucchini is make zucchini patties. I mix shredded zucchini, bread crumbs, one egg, green onion, pressed garlic, and any fresh herbs I have growing outside including basil, sage, and oregano. I scoop out a handful, flatten into a patty and fry until golden brown. I used the same recipe for the yellow squash.

 

// After the Knot

// After the Knot

 

Strawberry season is unfortunately over, but I did get an extra week out of the strawberries from my backyard garden. I’ll miss having them for breakfast each morning. But, peach season is coming soon and I’m sure those will be just as delightful.

 

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