Fennel Citrus Salad with Sesame Dressing

This is a nice way to use fennel. The more the merrier on the citrus types. You can make this ahead and let it sit for an hour or so to kinda marinate it.

For Salad:

2 large heads of fennel sliced thinly (white part at base of stalk only)
2 oranges peeled, seeded, and sliced into chunks
2 small or 1 large grapefruit peeled, seeded and sliced into chunks
1 Tangelo peeled, seeded and sliced into chunks

For Dressing:

2 Tbl. Sesame oil (toasted is best)
2 Tbl. Rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Salt
Juice of one medium or two small lemons (watch the seeds)

1 tsp. chile flakes (optional)

For Garnish:

2 Tbl. Black sesame seeds
1/4 cup of green fronds from the fennel

Cut and combine the fruits and vegetables in a bowl mixing well. Make the dressing in a separate container. Shake well and add to salad. Mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and fennel fronds just before serving.

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Summer veggies (corn, peppers and cherry tomatoes) on pasta

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Cabbage with Onions and Butter

This is a very simple side dish that can be made with any kind of cabbage. I like the white Savoy type myself.

1 large onion sliced into slivers (substitute leeks if that is your preference)

1 medium head of cabbage cored, rinsed and thinly sliced

2-3 Tbls of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a skillet on medium high. Add the butter and when it has melted add the onion. Cook, while stirring frequently until translucent. Add the cabbage and cook until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. (For a twist add some white wine when you add the cabbage. In western Pennsylvania they eat this with egg noddles for a main dish).

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Cilantro Chutney

This is a southern India condiment my friend Bapu learned from his grandma. It has variable levels of hot depending on which peppers you use and how many. I usually double the recipe.

2 cups packed of well washed, fresh cilantro leaves

1 – 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded coconut

Juice of many limes (I’d say a minimum of a half a cup of juice. The small, Mexican-type limes are best).

Three to five cloves garlic

Two to four fresh peppers (Jalapenos are good but use whatever. I also have sort of re-hydrated peppers by soaking them in hot water and used those).

1/2 – 1 cup water

Salt to taste

Blend the peppers and garlic in a electric blender with 1/2 cup water. Add the cilantro a bit at a time and blend that well. Squeeze in the lime juice with the cilantro, tasting along the way. Also add more water if the cilantro isn’t breaking up.  When it is limey enough, pour out the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the shredded coconut. It should be the thickness of thick tomato sauce. Strong enough to hold up a spoon. Stir in salt to taste. It is better if you make it and let it sit for some hours or overnight. Use with rice and dahl to add flavor and heat. Or eat with nan (or pita) bread. Or any Indian dishes.

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Fennel, Rice, Broccoli Chaparral

I adapted this from the namesake recipe in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. It’s very similar but with fennel you get that anise element. Still tastes yummy and is more local-ish to Cali with the chaparral name.

2 cups cooked and fluffed brown rice

1 cup cheese grated (swiss, cheddar, gouda are good, something melty)

1 Tbsp butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Pinch each of salt and pepper

2 eggs

1 large or 3 small heads of fennel, chopped fine

1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of broccoli

juice of one lemon

Cut broccoli into native shrubs. I.e. stalks with a small trunk at the bottom. Steam very lightly. Saute the onion, garlic, and fennel in the butter on medium. When fennel is soft and onions are translucent, add the rice and mix well. Add the beaten eggs with the salt in pepper and mix this well too. Spread the rice mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish. Plant the broccoli shrubs in the rice by making little holes. Squeeze lemon over the top of the broccoli chaparral. Sprinkle the whole hillside with cheese and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve by scooping out a bit of rice and a few broccoli bushes. This is a fun and kinda funny food.

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Oatmeal with Dried Apricots and Walnuts

This is a winter breakfast staple. I use almond butter instead of walnuts sometimes. (And you can use fresh apricots in the summer but they need to go into the pot later. Also good with apricot jam as well).

1 cup water

1/2-3/4 cup rolled oats or steel cut oats

1/3 cup dried apricots cut in half or quartered

pinch of salt

brown sugar and milk of some sort to taste

Add cut apricots to salt and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling cook for 2 minutes and add the oats. Cook to the thickness of pudding (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and add sugar, nuts and milk. Stir and enjoy. Eat with a half a oro blanco grapefruit or a tangelo for a complete breakfast.

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Soba with Leeks, Butternut squash, and Mizuna

I love soba (the more buckwheat-y the better) with squash. And the greens add a little kick to this.

12-16 oz Soba noodles (I have these big boxes where they noddles come in little bundles and I usually use two of them).

2 large leeks cleaned and cut into round slices about 2 centimeters thick.

1 medium butternut squash cooked firm and cubed (oven roasting is the best way but steaming it after peeling also works).

1 bunch mizuna washes and chopped

2 Tbls oil (I use sesame)

1 tsp Asian hot sauce

1 Tbls soy sauce

 

Cook the noodles to al dente. Heat the oil and saute the leeks until soft. Add the hot sauce and butternut and cook for a couple minutes (just enough time to get the oil and leeks mixed with the squash). Add the mizuna and cook until the leaves are slightly wilted. Add the soy sauce. Put the vegetable mixture over the pasta and mix well. Serve warm.

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