Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Farm Share Week 5

Hello Everyone,

This week you will find in your shares:

Wed. June 24
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Summer Squash *(Regular share only this week)
Sat. June 27 (EDITED 6/25, out of lettuce for the week)
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Summer Squash (*Regular share only this week)

Down by a little path I fond
 Of mintes full and fennell greene,
 - Chaucer

Fennel has a history measurable in millennia, but does not occupy a prominent place in the hierarchy of foods unfortunately.  In Italy it is considered a vegetable, with emphasis on the bulbs.  But in France it is viewed as an herb.  But actually all parts of Fennel are edible, including stems, flowers and seeds.  The flavor is that of "anise."  Which can also be described as licorice.  The two plants are different, although they belong to the same family (Apiaceae, the carrot/parsley/celery/cilantro family!).

The French put fresh leaves in salads.  The use of fennel as a fish flavorer had found favor in England at least by Elizabethan times, Shakespeare talked of it.

Fennel is found in the Ethiopian seasoning, berbere sauce.  In Greek mythologyPrometheus used the stalk of a fennel plant to steal fire from the demigods.

A manuscript, which dates to around 800 and is in Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale, contains the following medicinal recipe: Mix the gall of a vulture “with sugar of fennel & horehound & with oil of balsam & Attic honey.” Apply the mixture to hurting eyes each morning “to drive away pain.”

Recipe Ideas
Here is a very simple recipe for caramelizing fennel.

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