Wednesday, August 31, 2011

fennel and napa slaw; aubergine and green tomato fritters

Hi folks - sorry it's been a while, but we were away on holiday (and thought it unwise to announce that fact on the internet until we got home). So we gave our boxes to a friend, and had a lovely time in Ontario in the heart of Mennonite territory - lots of fresh corn and tomatoes and peaches.

We're back, though, just in time for a bonanza haul from Taproot (especially all the fruit! I love it.) and from the garden.

Last night I sent Kenneth to pick a few beans for supper and he returned with mounds of beans, peas, and tomatoes. We didn't have the energy to do anything interesting with them (ie: canning, pickling) so we just blanched the beans and peas and froze them for winter. For dinner we had fresh garden lettuce salad with Taproot and home tomatoes, beans, peas and carrots - tasty.

For lunch today Kenneth had his favourite meal - toasted tomato sandwiches - and I had mine - tomato basil mozzarella and balsamic vinegar salad - but we also decided we'd better do something about the napa cabbage and fennel from two weeks ago that our house-sitter didn't manage to eat. (It says something about how long grocery-store produce must sit there, when Taproot food can still taste good after being in the fridge so long!) I adapted a Jamie Oliver salad to make a kind of coleslaw:

Fennel coleslaw
fennel, sliced thinly
napa cabbage, sliced thinly
1-2 carrots, julienned
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1 T each fresh marjoram, Italian parsley, basil
3 T red wine vinegar
5 T olive oil
salt and pepper

I think this will taste even better tomorrow, when the flavours have the chance to meld a bit.

Tonight I broke two of my cardinal rules for corn: 1) we didn't eat it the day we got it but had it tonight instead; and 2) I changed the menu a little. It was a good meal - but I stand by my rules!

With the corn we made barbecued fritters of eggplant/aubergine and green windfall tomatoes from the garden. Neither is in the box, I know, but I think it would work equally well with ripe tomatoes - and we did get eggplant last year, so we might again. The recipe is simple: mix an egg with about 1/3 c milk in a shallow bowl, and put cornmeal in another shallow bowl (stir in salt, chilis or herbs if you like). Slice the eggplant and green tomatoes about 1 cm thick, dip each slice in the egg then in the cornmeal, and spray both sides with olive or canola oil. Barbecue at medium until the coating is crispy. Serve with salsa, garlic aioli, or whatever other topping you like.

The plums, cherries and blueberries are disappearing rapidly into breakfasts and snacks, and Kenneth is promising peach pie. We're also musing about that duck - Kenneth had a bad experience cooking one once, so we'll have to find a proper recipe. Any suggestions you have would be welcome!


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