Pasta with Broccoli and Fennel
Fennel is a tough one around here. It definitely ranks at the top of the ‘love it or hate it list’. I’ve won people over after suggesting to pair it with pasta and so here we go again. Adding some Italian sausage in here would be amazing. The fennel seeds in most Italian sausage melds well with the anise flavor of the fresh fennel. Next time you make pizza, saute some thinly sliced fennel to add as a topping as well!
1 fennel bulb
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, slivered
8 oz pasta, tagliatelle, pappardelle or whatever you have on hand
2 C. chopped broccoli
Zest of 1 lemon
5 tbsp crème fraiche or fromage blanc or whole milk yogurt
Salt and pepper
Parmesan, or romano or a hard goat cheese, grated.
Put a large saucepan of well salted water on to boil so that you’re ready to cook the pasta as the sauce comes together.
Trim the fennel, removing any tough outer layers then slice thinly. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel and saute until the fennel is tender, about 10 minutes.
When the fennel is almost cooked, and your water has come to a boil, add the pasta to the water and cook according to package instructions. In the last minute of cooking, add the chopped broccoli to the pot of cooking pasta. Drain pasta and broccoli well.
Add the lemon zest and crème fraiche to the fennel and stir till everything is coated and it resembles a sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss drained pasta and broccoli into the pan with the fennel and combine till the sauce coats the pasta. Serve with grated parmesan.
Adapted from ‘River Cottage VEG’
Turnip Salad with Yogurt, Herbs and Poppy Seeds
A refreshing little salad with a fun little crunch courtesy of a good amount of poppy seeds. Still not 100% on board with these little Japanese salad turnips? They are night and day when compared to the fall storage turnips. These guys are tender and sweet and thanks to a high water content, crispy as ever!
1 bunch salad turnips, trimmed so there’s a good ½ in. of green stems left.
1 lemon, halved
½ tsp dried chile flake
Salt and pepper
½ C plain whole milk yogurt
1 C mixed herbs (mint, parsley, chives)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ C poppy seeds
Couple handfuls lettuce mix
Slice the turnips lengthwise as thin as you can. If you have a mandoline, use it here. Otherwise a sharp knife will suffice. Soak the sliced turnips in ice water for 15-20 minutes then drain very well.
Rinse, dry and rough chop the turnip greens. If they’re not in great shape, give them a quick saute in a small amount of olive oil. Put the turnips in a bowl and squeeze in about half the lemon. Add the chile flakes, ½ tsp salt and a good sprinkling of black pepper, toss to blend. Add the yogurt and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the herbs, scallions and ¼ C olive oil.
Scatter half the poppy seeds on a large platter or individual serving dishes. Place a bed of mixed lettuces and those rough chopped turnip greens on the plate. Top with the turnip salad and the remaining poppy seeds.
Adapted from ‘Six Seasons’
Marinated Summer Squash and Mozzarella
A perfect dish for casual dinners (read: lazy). Lightly marinated squash teams up with fresh mozz and a good slice of bread for the easiest of dinners. Cooking for a crowd? Easily doubled, tripled whatever and served on a big platter for a help yourself kind of meal. Plus you can make it ahead of time and serve it at room temp!
3 zucchini (about 1 pound), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced or coarsely torn
Good loaf of bread for serving
Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill or broil the zucchini, turning once, until tender and golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Put the zucchini back in the bowl.
Toss the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil, pinch of salt, vinegar, garlic, and parsley. Let cool.
Place squash slices on a plate and strew the mozzarella amongst it. Season plate lightly with salt and pepper. Serve with good bread, being sure to mop up any extraneous juices on the plate.