Box Flyer

Digital Flyer, April 22nd-Bay Area

Here’s my description of the contents of your box, and some suggestions on how to prepare them.

This week:

Mesclun/salad mix: Just so you know, mesclun is French for mixed salad. Sounds fancy, but it’s just salad mix. It needs to be washed and spun. It has arugula, frilly red mustard, tango and green romaine lettuces.  The other half of your salad bag is green little gems.

The bag of cooking greens is half filled with broccoli di cicco, and the other half is green chard or bull’s blood beet tops. 

You have two heads fennel, and 3 navel oranges, providing you with the opportunity to make a classic Italian shaved fennel and orange salad. This is a very easy recipe. Shave the fennel, and cut all the skin off the orange, and mix together with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. To shave the fennel, best to use a mandolin. If you don’t have one, a potato peeler will do just fine. You can slice very thinly with a sharp knife, but it will never be as thin as a potato peeler. With the orange, I suggest you use a serrated knife, unless you are a serious knife person, and you can sharpen your knife for this task.  Cut the two ends off the orange, taking off the skin and just a little flesh.  With the orange on the cutting board with one cut side down and the other up, use your knife to cut off the skin from top to bottom. Then slice your naked orange in quarter inch slices. You can cut those slices into smaller pieces, or leave them whole. Feel free to shave some of your spring onion into this dish, as well as add or garnish with some of the fennel fronds. Kalamata olives are often added, and any olive, torn off it’s pit and thrown in, will be great. You should also consider making a vegetable broth with the spring onion greens and the fennel tops that you don’t otherwise use. If you don’t make  shaved fennel salad from all of the two heads, you can caramelize some by frying in a saucepan. 

You will also get a bunch of baby white turnips, or a bunch of mixed carrots, and a bunch of French breakfast radishes, or 1/2lb. of watermelon radishes. These are a storage radish that looks like a beet with off white to green skin. It’s all about what’s inside. Shave with a mandolin, or cut in half and cut thin slices with a knife. Very colorful, with a nice flavor and crunch. 

If you have any desire to roast a whole chicken, I suggest using green garlic from last week’s box to put under the skin, and to put around the chicken chopped fennel, white turnips, or mixed carrots from last week’s box. Those vegetables cooked in chicken fat and juice are wonderful. 

The mixed citrus is red grapefruit, oro blanco grapefruit, navel oranges, tangelos, blood oranges, lemons, meyer lemons, gold nugget mandarins, hass avocado. All grown by Bernard Ranch in Riverside. He does not wax or otherwise polish his citrus, and since it’s also not coated with a fungicide, like almost all citrus you might otherwise buy, it is quicker to spoil, despite the fact that it’s picked each week, and is thus fresher than what you’d otherwise buy.