Wrapping up the Season on the Farm

Standard share; week 20

Standard share; week 20

Wednesday morning harvest and afternoon packing crews.

Wednesday morning harvest and afternoon packing crews.

This was the final week of our summer CSA season.  It feels very strange not to be thinking about next week’s box and what needs to be done before that.  It also feels sad to think that all of our dedicated worker-shares are done for the season, too.  Next week, the farm will be quiet. Ugh.  We are going to miss everyone and we are eternally thankful to all of our members and workers for making another great season possible!

We have a new deadline for harvest now; the hard freeze.  We’ve had some frosty mornings, but nothing that a head of cabbage can’t stand…yet.  Last year, we still had some cabbage in the fields when the temps dipped to the teens and the cabbage looked like it was frozen beyond return.  A few upper 30 degree days were all it took to be restored.  What an amazing plant family those brassica’s are!  Last year, Matt and Casey were washing carrots outside when it was in the 30’s.  This year, we have a root tumbler to help with that. We also have a lot more carrots to wash!

Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, Romanesca, leeks and late potatoes are the big crops that we have left to harvest.  Most of that will occur in November after the storage areas have cooled down more.  After the fields are cleaned up and after the garlic is planted.  We will have all of these staples throughout the winter and available for anyone to stock up on.  Most of the greens that we have planted in the high tunnel and some of the less prolific cold-weather crops will be used for winter shares, but we may have some of those available from time to time, too.

Brussels sprouts in the field.

Brussels sprouts in the field.

If you would like us to send you an email when our winter farm market is “open” just sign up here:

Winter Produce 2014-2015

Thank you to all of our CSA members, farmers market friends and farm customers who have helped us to have a great season of produce!

If it looks like a melon and rolls like a melon…

20140822_130215Does that make it a melon? Well, that is debatable.

There was a little friendly finger pointing going on here as to how seed for ‘Citron’ melons were ordered last winter because they were not on the original seed order list.  Checking back to our planting records, it appears that they were a gift from a fellow seed saver.  They were planted none the less and we assumed they would be, well, melons…the kind that you could eat.

They are beautiful.  Eye-catching and intriguing and also nearly i20140928_091850mpenetrable with a regular knife and once inside, they are hard, white and um, not very tasty.  So why do people cultivate them and save the seeds?  That’s what we would like to know.  We are puzzled about this and also determined to find either a use for them or good homes for them.  Someone, somewhere is looking for these, unusual heirloom specialties, I just know it and I am here to help.

Research tells us that they are ancestors of the watermelon and native to the Kalahari Desert of Africa and that there are records of cultivation of this plant dating back 4,000 years.  They are loaded with pectin and 20140928_101403for that reason they are used for making preserves.  Other than that, we have not found many recipes or uses for ‘Citron’ melons although today, my husband Mike may have made a new and important discovery; grilled ‘Citron’ steaks.

It’s possible that someone else has already tried this, but I admit being somewhat amused and impressed by his Sunday morning grilling adventure.  I was also surprised to find out what an improvement in flavor there was after they were grilled.  Grilling actually brought out a little watermelon flavor (undetectable when raw) and they held up well to grilling.  The texture was good, too.  Lightly salting them is enough to enhance the flavor.  We tried a piece with sugar and another with olive oil, but simply salted was both of our favorite.

One more thing that is worth mentioning is that the seeds are beautiful.  They are bright red and very striking in the white fruit of the melon.  I have a feeling that we will have a few of these melons left at the end of the season and although I don’t expect that we’ll save many of the seeds for replanting, I am considering other possibilities; jewelry, mosaics, trivets…winters can be pretty long here.

10636190_644599048981296_7193498613925020513_nOne melon that we will definitely be replanting next year is these exceptionally delicious cantaloupes.  The warm weather has extended their season into the fall and they are incredible.  I have been enjoying melon smoothies with lime basil and yogurt.  The smoothies are also delicious with fresh ginger and lime.  I have been freezing melon cubes to snack on and to use for smoothies well into the winter.  Give us a call if you would like to stock up on melons (either kind) before the season ends.  (We have a just few seedless watermelons left, too)

Winter Shares at High Meadow Farm

It may be warm out now, but soon the wind and snow will be blowing and we will be back to daydreaming over seed catalogs while we are remembering and thankful for last summer’s bountiful garden. With the late season crops, those that hold well and become even more flavorful in storage and cold-hardy greens that are planted in our tunnels, we are able to continue to enjoy our garden’s bounty year-round and we are very grateful for that.

We hope that you will join us for another season of beautiful fresh greens and stored crops that were grown on the farm this year by our family, employees and farm friends that have worked hard to put these crops up for the winter.

Click here for more information.

Here are some examples of past winter share boxes:

Summer and the Height of the CSA Season

Tomato and cucumber salad

Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, onion and Bragg’s cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

We’ve had a few rainy days.  The first since July 1 and I love every second of it.  Although irrigation keeps the crops lush, the grass around the fields, the trees and wildflowers have all had their heads bowed for weeks.  There have been many insects, birds and amphibians finding an oasis at our irrigation headers when we are watering.  It had become the miniature Serengeti watering hole; a good place to view all of the local creatures.

I have been waiting for a rainy day to get caught up with paperwork, canning, cleaning and updating our blog.  I need more rainy days.  I need many of them.  I am starting with the blog.  When I am out in the fields, weeding, harvesting and spending time with the plants, I often think of things that I would love to tell everyone about them.  (I really can’t say I ever think that much about cleaning or paperwork, at least not when they are out of sight.)  Then I come inside to make dinner and ‘POOF’, the thoughts are gone.

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes

I do, however, manage to get excited about the armload of vegetables that I bring in for dinner each night.  Our meals are almost always later in the evening (much later than they should be) and the goal  is often to make something in a short time frame with a quick thought to what is needed the most that day; carbs, protein or something light?  Then I look at my husband and consider how much longer he can go without food; are we in an emergency situation?  (He is a hard worker, but sadly, not a chef.) If so, the solution usually involves eggs and/or tortillas or pulling some bacon out of the freezer for BLT’s and O’s (onions). If we have a little time to spare, a frittata, omelet or Quiche or a quick stir-fry, likely seasoned with ginger, soy sauce, chili and sesame oil.

I love to cook, but let’s be clear that I don’t make any claims to being a great cook.  I can’t say that I really ever measure ingredients, so if I think that a meal is worthy of writing down, doing so after the meal has been made is tricky.  I think adjusting recipes to suit one’s taste is the best way to cook unless you are unfamiliar with the spices that are called for.  I find that this principle rarely works when baking though.  A pinch of this and a handful of that usually ends poorly. Someone told me once that cooking is an art and baking is a science and that flipped the light switch on for me.  Now I have an excuse to avoid baking (too scientific) unless it involves free artistic license after the science project has been completed!

Quesadilla with purslane leaves

Quesadilla with purslane leaves

Before I pat myself on the back again for cooking though, I have to emphasize that it is hard to fail if you are working with the best and the freshest organic produce.  I think that the only way to ruin a meal that starts with fresh, organic vegetables is to overcook or burn it badly, spill the salt into it or mistake the cayenne pepper for paprika.  (Too many jalapenos might ruin it for some, too.) Once you learn what fresh, clean food tastes like and you become accustomed to eating it on a regular basis, your body will send out the “danger” signal when you eat processed foods.  The trick there is not ignoring that warning when you hear it and you will be adding years on to your life.

We are halfway through our CSA season.  School will be starting soon, days will be shorter and for many, time to cook will be challenging.  I am hoping that our members have been getting in the habit of putting great meals together from their CSA boxes each week and will continue to do that as the days shrink into the next seasons.

Here are a few of the quick meals and other things that we have made this summer:

A Farm Winter

2013-03-05 2013-03-05 001 003

We are often asked what we do in the winter months, “when nothing grows?”  Well, for one thing, we fantasize about doing all of the things we dream about doing in the summer; reading books, knitting, catching up with friends, painting the walls, skiing, vacationing, and outdoor activities, and we do manage to accomplish a few of those things, mostly in January.  (I did manage to make a few pairs of wool mittens and read a few books while Mike relentlessly loaded logs into our wood furnace.)  I also cook more, sometimes enthusiastically and sometimes not.  I have been baking sourdough bread and I made some wonderful soups this winter, and some that were very strange indeed, and this does not count the kettles-full of whole pie pumpkins and stale bread that I have cooked up for our chickens during the coldest spells. In reality, we end up doing things that are on a different, less appealing list, (rhymes with schmaxes) and a lot of farm planning, and paperwork for organic certification.  And then there is the planning for CSA season!

Checking in the seed orders as they come in.

Checking in the seed orders as they come in.

We spend quite a bit of time putting together our seed order and deciding what plants did well last year, which ones were member favorites and what vegetables were requested by members for the next season.  Our seed order takes about a week to put together.  We order organic seed from a few different suppliers and if the seed that we are looking for is not available as organic we try to find it elsewhere or order certifier approved, untreated seed if we can’t find what we are looking for.  We put the finishing touches on our crop plan and planting schedule for the next season, too.  Everything gets planted on a schedule whether it is started indoors or direct seeded outside. The planting schedule starts with spring share vegetables and goes through the season until we plant the last greens for our winter shares.  Winter is also the best time for us to get our organic paperwork compiled and filled out so that we can be scheduled for our annual inspection.

We’ve been talking to many people about the CSA and hanging flyers in some locations and we have been getting really excited about the memberships that have been coming in!  We have added a delivery site to the East side of Madison and are working out details for an Oconomowoc site.

Winter blues-busters; popping out of their soil today!

Winter blues-busters; popping out of their soil today!

And here we are in February already. It is time to order chicks and make plans for putting up new fencing for livestock.  As soon as the frost is out of the ground is the best time to sink posts for this.  We are hoping to add a few more grazing animals to the farm and are planning on moving our current pastures to our newly organic certified pasture areas.  I have started several trays of micro-greens, but in the next few weeks, we will be starting our indoor seeding program, seeding mouth-watering greens and onions into flats for early deliveries.

Next week is our 5th winter share delivery.  I was really hoping to have some nice fresh salad and greens in the boxes next week, and I am not giving up hope entirely, but I am not holding my breath either.  We’ll see.  We still have sweet carrots, cabbage, beets, onions and other root crops and fabulous potatoes!  The final winter share delivery (#6) at the end of the month should have lots of nice greens ready in it, though. (It just has to be above 0° by then!) The plants just haven’t been doing much growing lately, but now that the days are at least longer, some of the greens are swelling a bit, but I don’t want to stay out there to watch them closer while the temperatures in the evening have been dipping into the 10’ and 20’s below zero for around 6 weeks now.  Let’s just say that they are growing slowly, if at all.

What goes on in the fields while our shades are pulled tight; the tracks of deer, fox, coyote and rabbit, all in the freshly fallen snow.

What goes on in the fields while our shades are pulled tight; the tracks of deer, fox, coyote and rabbit, all in the freshly fallen snow.

As far as the weather goes…it sure looks pretty outside on these bright, sunny days, doesn’t it?  And all of the snow that we’ve been having is keeping it all nice and fresh!  And, we are quickly getting rid of that big woodpile that was taking up so much space outside.  I hope that everyone else is managing the cold, snowy winter as well.  Spring will come.  It just has to!

#1 Most Feared: The Gentle Giant, Kohlrabi

'Kossak' kohlrabi; 8 lbs. of deliciousness!

‘Kossak’ kohlrabi; 8 lbs. of deliciousness!

What is it about kohlrabi that is so intimidating to so many people?  I know that it is the single most feared vegetable among our members (survey says!), but everyone that actually tastes it finds themselves very pleasantly surprised!

Kohlrabi are very patient.  They will wait in your refrigerator in fine condition, changing very little as the months drag on, for you to work up the courage to peek inside and be…pleasantly surprised.  Just yesterday, we had a visit from a winter share member, who upon seeing me with a large kohlrabi in hand on its way to the chopping block, confessed that he recalled seeing one somewhere in his home recently; fridge or garage perhaps, that he had received in his last winter share delivery box.  “What do you do with those?”  he asked.

“Well, you could try the recipes in your newsletter, or, here,” (I sliced off a nice piece and removed the skin) “just try this”.  I was happy to hear him say that it had a similar effect to eating a piece of watermelon in summer.  “Cool, juicy and refreshing!”

It’s true.  They are like cutting into a waterfall, (okay, not quite), but they are juicy.  They are very mild tasting, and every bit as satisfying to nibble on as raw carrots can be!  If you like to have raw fresh veggies as a snack, kohlrabi should not be overlooked.  If ever there was a case for not “judging a book by its cover”, kohlrabi is at the top of the stack. We only grow and send these out for our winter CSA shares and winter markets.

It is a common assumption with many people that the huge kohlrabi’s that shows up at fall farmers market stands are “woody” on the inside and therefore inedible.  The large kohlrabi is really just a variety that is intended to grow to that size.  There are the smaller green or purple varieties that you see most often in the supermarkets and then there are the storage varieties that you don’t see in the supermarkets.   Our favorite is ‘Kossak’, a storage variety that can grow to sizes as big as 8 lbs, as the one in the picture did, without losing any of its quality.  The storage varieties are one of the best vegetables to just have on hand and slice off what you need for raw snacking, salad, or as an addition to a cooked meal and then wrap what remains of it for future use. You can also do this with cabbage, celeriac, and Daikon.  And with a large kohlrabi, you can be sure that you have enough to create most kohlrabi recipes!

So what DO you do with them besides eating them raw? You can add them to just about anything.  (Maybe not desert.)  Not just to do something with them, but because they are very tasty.  Use them as a substitute for, or along with broccoli or cauliflower in stir-fry’s or soups.  Their flavor and texture is similar, but a little milder flavored. Cut them into cubes, slices or matchsticks. They are delicious cut into small cubes for an ingredient in a pasta salad or my favorite: tabbouleh.  Their crisp juiciness makes them a good substitute for diced cucumber in that dish! You can even pickle or ferment them as you would cucumbers.

As for last night’s melon-sized kohlrabi, I had no plan to start with, really.  It grew from my husband suggesting that we make something with the nice bacon that a friend had brought over for us.  He was probably thinking of something more on the lines of a BLT, or something equally mouth-watering, but I had a hankering for kohlrabi, since I had just returned from delivering some to a local restaurant.  Yes, bacon and kohlrabi it would be.

Parsnips, kohlrabi, and carrots, cut for stir-fry

Parsnips, kohlrabi, and carrots, cut for stir-fry

I had grabbed a few other vegetables from storage on my way into the house and laid them all out on the counter, and then a fairly quick meal was born.  It was not too bad!  It made a fine meal for the 2 of us and the leftovers were good for lunch the next day.  I only used ¼ of the kohlrabi, and part of that was even saved for snacking on the next day with some carrot sticks.  I loosely wrapped the remainder and put it in the fridge for another day.   You get a LOT of mileage out of these large kohlrabis!

Note: If I make this dish again, I might leave out the parsnips, mainly because the texture is so unlike the other vegetables, and their flavor was a little too bold for this dish, but if you love parsnips, by all means, use them! The bacon was good, but omitting it would not really affect the dish that much. (Oh, I suggest that matchstick veggies should be smaller than they are in the picture.)

Sautéed Winter Vegetables with Pasta,  Gorgonzola and Bacon

1 med. onion, cut into vertical strips2 cloves garlic, minced1 med. Delicata squash

2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks

¼ (or 2 cups) large Kohlrabi, trimmed and cut into matchsticks

2 parsnips, cut into matchsticks

4 slices nitrate-free bacon, cooked until crispy

Pinch nutmeg½ tsp ground gingerDash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

2 Tbs. tamari

2 Tbs. olive oil

¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

½ lb. good quality, flat egg noodles, cooked

Prepare vegetables.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Cut in half crosswise and then cut sections into matchstick strips.  In a heavy skillet, sauté the onion in oil over low heat until clear.  Add garlic and sauté for a minute or 2.  Add spices and stir.  Add squash and stir into onions.  Cover and let the squash cook and steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is almost fork tender.  You may need to add a few Tablespoons of water to prevent them from burning.  Add remaining vegetables and tamari.  Cover and cook, adding more water if necessary, until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from heat and toss with noodles, crumbled bacon, and cheese.  Serve.

Dreaming About Next Year’s Seeds

Gift certificates are available for the holidays or for any occasion.

Gift certificates are available for the holidays or for any occasion.

As the temps are dipping well below zero f., we are looking out the window and imagining rows of lush, green vegetable plants and  fruit trees loaded with apples and pears!  (I know, I shouldn’t write about farming before dinner.)

We are accepting memberships for 2014 and if you sign up before January 1, you can take advantage of our early-bird discount!  We also have some very nice gift certificates that can be used for an entire share for a loved one or for any amount towards one.  Gift certificates can also be used towards any produce purchase at farmers markets in 2014.

We look forward to starting seeds, planting and delivering fresh and delicious, certified organic produce to you again soon!

 

So Many Ways to Love a Pumpkin

20131117_122052 - CopyI think that pumpkin may be one of my favorite things ever.  I love the word “pumpkin”, I love how they look, feel and taste, right down to the seeds.  They are also so diverse; you can use them for a meal, a soup, or for deserts and they are perfect for stuffing with their big, hollow middle! We had a bumper crop of these beauties this year; both Sugar Pie pumpkins, with their sugary-looking netting covering the pumpkin, and the Heirloom ‘Long Pie’, a.k.a; ‘Nantucket’ pie pumpkin.  The Long Pie are new for us this year and one that we have been enjoying a lot. Right now, they are stacked like a pile of logs in our squash storage.  They were turning orange when we picked them, but now they are bright, pumpkin orange and they are lovely and flavorful! The slow, steady ripening is one of their attributes and charms.  They are also easier to scoop the seeds out of because they don’t have the same stringy membrane that attaches to the meat of the pumpkin and they are the first choice for many bakers for making delicious pumpkin pies.

20131112_120730On those chilly, rainy days of fall, when the weather keeps me indoors, I love to fill a roasting pan with pumpkins and cook them in the oven.  When they cool a bit, I scoop out the soft flesh, puree and bag the puree in 2 cup portions to be used well beyond pumpkin season for baking, soups and pancakes!

Here are a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes, and there are a few more in the recipe section:

New Season, New Shares; Winter Vegetable Shares Available

A December Produce Share

A December 2012 Produce Share

I do remember long winters with no fresh produce…I mean really fresh, that is, but not for several years.  Growing winter hardy greens in our tunnels has us completely spoiled now.  Starting with a basic low-tunnel that we have moved annually and now our large high tunnel, that I think will be staying put for a while, we have been enjoying fresh greens year-round!   Salad, spinach and a large assortment of greens with their life energy still in them along with the crops that we keep in cool storage; winter squash, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and other root crops make winter something that I actually look forward to.  Knowing that our members will also be eating an abundance of fresh produce throughout the season adds another comfort.

November 2012 Winter Share delivery

November 2012 Winter Share delivery

The variability of Wisconsin winters make it hard to predict exactly how many days of harvest are possible, but even in extreme cold, sunny days will bring the heat up in our tunnels enough to inspire the sweetest spinach leaves that you have ever tasted to reach for the sky! Although I am not someone who loves the cold, it is very rewarding to be harvesting greens in a sun-warmed tunnel when it is only 15 degrees outdoors.  However, if the short winter days bring limited sun or loads of snow or ice, a veggie delivery day may need to be rescheduled around the weather, so for this reason, our winter-share members must be willing to be somewhat flexible on deliveries during the early months of the new year.

A February 2013 produce share

A February 2013 produce share

We know that not everyone has the ability to manage a large quantity of produce delivered in 2 large deliveries, so our winter produce shares are delivered over several weeks of the winter; all are “weather permitting”.  Winter share boxes have all of the produce that was in our past storage shares only delivered over several weeks throughout the winter with fresh greens in each box.  We plan on 4 deliveries November – December and 2 after the New Year.  (A warm winter may bring a bonus week, too!) As with every other CSA season, there are risks; we are growing a semi-outdoor crop under plastic and damage to that structure could affect that, but those risks are very small.

In addition to our produce share, we are offering a limited number of egg shares and we are also offering an opportunity to our hard-working farm employee Aly Wheeler to pursue her talents in creating pottery that adds another dimension to eating beautiful, organically grown food; beautiful tableware to present it on!  Aly is offering a community supported pottery (CSP) program that would help her find the funding to invest in materials to create her lovely art.  For more about Aly and the new CSP program, click here.

A February 2013 Produce share

A February 2013 Produce share

Because of the need for a heated location to deliver the produce to, we are limited in the number of delivery sites. Veggie pick-ups will be at the farm, at Café Carpe in Fort Atkinson and at the Health Nut in Watertown.

These are our proposed delivery dates.  I don’t expect many changes to the 2013 deliveries unless there is a snowstorm, but there may be changes in delivery dates or additions to the number of deliveries in 2014 as the weather dictates.

2013 Wednesday delivery dates (weather permitting)are:

Nov. 20 and Nov., 27

Dec. 4 and Dec. 18

2014 proposed dates are subject to change per conditions:

Feb. 12

Feb. 26

A Few Summer Vegetable Recipes

2013-07-13 2013-08-02 001 015I am really stuck on the fact that it is August already!  I haven’t yet had a chance to remember all of the fun things I wanted to do this summer, much less do them!  As far as the farm goes, though, we are having another unusual summer.  I am enjoying it a bit more than last summer’s frantic heat and drought, but I think the tomatoes and peppers were a little more in their element with the heat.  The cool weather seems to have really slowed the ripening of all of our nightshades and although the lettuce would be happy if it had stuck around for a week longer, the brief hot spell that we had a few weeks ago sent a few lettuce plantings packing.  The insects have really not been too bad this year; both the plant eating kind and the stinging kind, but the weeds are certainly thriving.  There has been a lot of weeding to do this season.

2013-07-19 2013-08-02 001 002The chickens have been enjoying the cooler weather and green grass, too.  Just keeping the grass mowed in their areas so the fence doesn’t short out and the birds can get through the tall stuff is once again a weekly chore.  Last year, we really never had to mow the grass more than once! It has been a good year for our berries and the orchard, too.  Our pear trees and older apples are loaded and starting to get nice color on the fruit and we had a great crop of raspberries earlier in the summer.

During the growing months on this farm, meal planning is not the first thing on our minds and generally when we first realize that we are very hungry, it is as the sun is going down and we still have chores to finish.  That is about the time that I start doing a mental inventory of the fields and of things that we have recently harvested.  Usually, the actual meal planning occurs between when I take a bag and a knife into the field and when I carry a bag full of vegetables up to the house.  As I quickly shower before making dinner, I wonder how farmers managed in the old days to come in to a nice, healthy meal and I remember that many had wives and large families that made these things part of their daily chores and I am envious. I’m sure my husband probably is, too.

I also imagine that mealtime often involved a slowly cooked roast or stew with meat and here, during vegetable season, meat is not often thought of (or defrosted) in our meal “planning”, especially if I am looking for a quick meal.  With an  arm load of vegetables and herbs, sometimes just the sampling, the fragrances and the textures create the meal.

Here are a few of the recipe creations from the past week that we really enjoyed using some of the vegetables that we have sent out over the past 2 weeks that really only take 30 minutes at best to prepare!

Cauliflower-vegetable Curry

Cauliflower-vegetable Curry

These vegetables all work well with curry seasonings and the combination of them is perfect!  The tender baby carrots gave a perfect sweetness with the turmeric and the new (I used ‘Norland’) potatoes were cooked to “melt in your mouth” perfection!

I confess that the seasoning measurments are only estimates because I am not a the measuring type of cook (I am a terrible baker!) but they are probably fairly close.  If you had a little cilantro to top the dish with, it would probably be a nice touch.  Dismayed at the condition of my “fresh” gingerroot, I used powdered and I didn’t feel like going out to the barn to get fresh garlic and it was still very good- I’d probably use fresh next time, though.

Fresh Cauliflower – Vegetable Curry

  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 1 med. sweet white onion, chopped
  • 2 medium-large sized red potatoes, diced ¼” dice
  • 1 ½ cups baby rainbow carrots, sliced ¼” – ½” slices
  • 1 med. head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 med. heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (or fresh)
  • ½ tsp ground garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt

Heat oil over med. heat and add onion and potatoes.  Stir.  Add ginger, garlic and salt.  Stir until potatoes are coated.  Add a few Tbs. water if it is sticking to the pan.  Cover and let the potatoes steam for a few minutes.  Add carrots and cover (add a bit more water if necessary). Add cauliflower, cumin and turmeric.  Add ½ tsp. salt.  Stir, cover and let steam for a few minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Stir and let steam until tomatoes have softened but not become mushy.

Serve over rice.

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(The fennel bulb gave this dish a refreshing sweetness and was perfect with the coconut milk sauce.)

Whole fennel bulb

Whole fennel bulb

Fennel-Vegetable Medley with Lemon Basil Coconut Cream Sauce

(Served over linguini pasta)

  • 1 Fennel bulb, cored and diced
  • 1 med or ½ large white onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • Quartared fennel bulb, core removed.  (This bulb was young and didn't need much cut out.)

    Quartered fennel bulb, core removed. (This bulb was young and didn’t need much cut out.)

    1 small (1 cup) summer squash or zucchini, cubed

  • 1 handful lemon basil, rinsed and chopped
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Butter or oil for cooking

Coconut cream sauce

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • Coconut milk (lite)
  • Milk to thin if necessary

Linguini pasta

8 oz., cooked per package directions

Sauté onion in butter for a few minutes on low heat and add fennel.  Continue to sauté over med-low heat until they begin to soften.  Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute to soften garlic.  Add broccoli and a little water if necessary to steam-cook until broccoli is tender and season with salt and white pepper.  Cover and let simmer over low heat while making the sauce.  When broccoli is almost done, add squash, stir-fry for a minute or so until squash is heated and starting to cook.  (Don’t over-cook the squash!)  Add sauce and simmer over low heat until flavors are blended.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Serve over the linguini.