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Jul 1, 2013 07:12 PM

CSA box item uses

I did a search, but there was nothing ongoing, so I figured I'd start a new thread.

I'm going to be eating a LOT of veggies these next few days. The CSA was overflowing today. My portion (I split a full share with two other coworkers):

5 large leaves of Swiss chard
2 large garlic scapes
3/4 lb. sugar snap peas (and I never ate any from y share last week!)
medium-sized bag of spinach
2 medium-sized spring turnips and their greens
3 very large green onions
entire bunch of curly kale
1 medium-large zucchini
1 small fennel bulb and fronds

The Swiss chard can be sauteed; so can the spinach. The sugar snap peas can be steamed or sauteed or eaten raw. The zucchini can be sauteed. The kale will go into soup. The green onions can go into sautés or into scrambled eggs.

It's the spring turnips and fennel where I'm at a loss. I've tried fennel once before and found it a bit overwhelming. Is there a way to temper the very licoricy flavor, or is that just the way it is?

And how to use the spring turnips?

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  1. For the turnips, make mashed potatoes out of them.

    Roast them, then combine them with some boiled potatoes, and mash them together. I also like to add some roasted garlic into the mix, but that's optional.

    As for the fennel, roasting them takes the bite out of them and in fact makes them wonderfully sweet.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Mashed potatoes and turnips. Got it. I will have to wait until it cools down a bit with our weather.

      And roasting - again - that I can do. Once the weather cools down. Or....I could use my convection toaster oven. Will have to see how they fit in with what I'm cooking. What do you usually serve roasted fennel with - it sounds like it might work with pork?

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Yes, that would work.

        Instead of roasting (indoors) maybe grill (outdoors)? Perfect for a 4th of July get-together, no?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Not allowed a gas or charcoal grill at my townhouse complex. Electric grill only. Grrrrr.......

          Although - I suppose I could grill it indoors on my grill pan, yes?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Well, I *do* have a ceiling fan in the kitchen that helps.

              We'll see. I wrote everything down that got shoved into the fridge last night. We'll see how I'm able to plow through everything through the holiday week/end. :-)

        2. re: LindaWhit

          I serve roasted fennel with pork or chicken. It goes great with sausages as well, and would work nicely with a stronger fish, like salmon.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. You can make quick pickles out of the turnips.

          If it's young fennel, slice very thinly (use a mandolin to make it go faster) and turn into a salad to serve with grilled shrimp.

          1. I adore fennel every which way, but it is a lot mellower cooked than raw. Sliced and slowly sauteed in olive oil (or a combo of butter and olive oil) until it's softened and a bit caramelized, it won't knock you over if you're sensitive to anise flavors and will have some sweetness.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Caitlin, this sounds like the way for me to try fennel again. I do have a mandoline, so that will help get the bulb sliced really thin. Do you use any herbs with it or just sauté the sliced fennel by itself?

              1. re: LindaWhit

                I like it on its own, with plenty of S+P, but you can also add any green herb that appeals (like a bit of thyme). Another way to amp the contrast with the anise flavor and emphasize the sweet is to saute some sliced onion along with it. I don't slice it super-duper thin to cook it, though, just for raw salads. You'll find that a knife will do the job because the layers of the bulb will tend to come apart as you slice, especially once you excise the hard core at the base (similar to an onion).

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Got it. And I like the idea of sauteéing it with onion. Some good ideas here - thanks, everyone!

            2. The spring turnips are good raw. I found them a bit watery and uninspiring cooked.