"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Friday, July 8, 2011

Out of The Box

As you may be aware, food takes up a rather large part of my day, week...life, whatever.  Thinking about the next meal, reading cookbooks and blogs, preparing a healthy (and hopefully tasty) meal, and best of all, of course, eating.  And since we are just lucky enough to be taking part in Helsing Junction Farm's CSA program, that means I'm getting even more stoked on food these days.  For not only are we blessed to be eating delicious, organic food...we get to look forward to the box arriving every Tuesday.  It's like my birthday happening every week!  Who could ask for more than a surprise in a box each week?  And said surprise is of the food variety?!  Well, needless to say, this gal is fairly content.

Now, I'm not making any promises here.  I mean, I'm rather shockingly terrible on follow-through, people.  But, I will try my very best to post a recipe, all summer long, from Out of The Box.  (Everything in me screams against even mentioning such a commitment.  I shall try, though, that much I can promise you.)

So, this week, from Out of The Box:

It was a beaut, fine people, let me tell you.  Having been off to enjoy Whidbey Island for a couple of days with friends, I found myself, from the moment I awakened yesterday, looking forward to making dinner when we arrived home. 

Being a rather grim day, at least for summer, something warm and homey seemed in good order.  Fresh carrots, baby turnips, sugar snap peas, fresh garlic, green onions, bunches of herbs...and from my pantry, some new potatoes, onions, fennel, yellow pepper, and a lemon.  What's cooking, you ask?  Why, a Baby Vegetable Braise, of course!

Baby Vegetable Braise with Lemon and Fresh Herbs - serves 4

1 small bunch new carrots (about 6 or so carrots), scrubbed and cut in half
1 small bunch baby turnips (4 to 6 turnips), blanched for 5-7 minutes, then halved
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 head fennel, cored and sliced, fronds saved for garnish
6 new yellow potatoes, blanched for 10 minutes, then halved
half a medium onion, sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, or 3 regular cloves, sliced thinly
1 yellow pepper, sliced
juice from one lemon
4 Tbs unsalted butter
white wine, or chicken or vegetables stock, or a combination of the two

Herbs for Garnish
1 or 2 green onions, sliced thinly
small bunch of parsley or cilantro, chopped
fennel fronds, chopped

In a Dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pot, melt 2 Tbs butter over medium low to medium heat.  Add onion, fennel, and garlic and cook until translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, carrots, and turnips, a hefty splash of white wine (about 1/4 cup), and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Turn heat to the low side of medium low, and cover.  Cook until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork, but not over-soft, about 20 - 30 minutes, checking often to ensure the pan doesn't dry out.  If it does look dry, add another glug of white wine, or chicken or vegetable stock.

Add sugar snap peas and yellow pepper, check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.  The peas and pepper should still have a nice snap and retain their bright colors.  Squeeze the juice of a lemon over all the vegetables, add the remaining 2 Tbs of butter, and the fresh herbs.

Now that is one tasty dinner.  Bright, fresh, colorful...a feast for the eyes, and the belly.


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