Posts Tagged ‘Fennel’

CSA2 Week #15 & 16

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 by virginia

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. Things have been a bit hectic for us recently and I haven’t found time to sit down at the computer and write anything substantial. We did get our CSA share last week but didn’t take any pictures of it because we were in NJ for Rosh Hashanah. Josh was able to volunteer at the distribution site and pick up our share earlier in the day before we headed to NJ. Last week our share contents included:

Squash – 1 lb
Butternut Squash – 1 each
Bok Choy – 1 each
Carrots – 1 lb
Mini Bells Peppers – 7 each or 0.33 lbs
Tomatoes – 0.75 lbs
Sweet Potatoes – 1 lb
Greens – 0.5 lbs
Radishes – 0.33 lbs

This week Josh is away on business so it was my turn to pick up the share. Fortunately it was a relatively light week, and I’m hoping that will give us a chance to catch up and clear out our fridge a bit. Between the holidays and various other commitments, we haven’t been doing much cooking lately, unfortunately. I’m hoping that we’ll have a chance to get everything organized this weekend. This week our share contents included:

Celery – 1 each
Carrots – 1 lb
Squash – 1 lb
Bok Choy – 1 each
Mini Bell Peppers – 0.3 lbs or 7 each
Radishes – 6 each
Greens – 0.5 lbs
Beans – 0.75 lbs
Fennel – 1 big or 2 small

Fennel, bok choy, carrots, squash, greens, peppers, string beans, radishes, celery

I guess tomato season is over since this was the first week in a long time that we didn’t get any tomatoes. I was happy to see fennel though, since we got it once earlier in the season and it’s one of Josh’s favorites. The last time we got one, he made a great salad with thinly sliced fennel, tomatoes, and chunks of watermelon. It was refreshing and pretty delicious.

Celery is a new item for us this season, though we did get some last year. Celery is definitely one of the items that you can taste the difference between farm fresh and supermarket varieties. The celery we get from the CSA is thinner, a bit tougher, and packs a huge amount of flavor. The celery leaves are slightly bitter but intense. This celery is nothing like the fat, watery sticks we pick up at the supermarket.

Radishes are definitely one of our favorite CSA items, and we’ve discovered a new way to eat them. Instead of using butter on slices of baguette, we used fresh ricotta cheese. The creaminess of the ricotta and the crunch of the radish was just heavenly, and the combination really can’t be beat. It might have also helped that we got the ricotta from Di Palo’s, where they have really excellent cheese.

I’m not sure what kind of greens we got this week. They kind of look like dandelion greens though, and I think they’ll need to be sauteed before they can be eaten since they’re a bit tough. As for the bok choy, I can’t wait to roast another batch. If you haven’t tried roasted bok choy yet, please do so – it’s pretty awesome.

CSA2 Week #5

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by virginia

Wednesday is upon us once again, which means it’s CSA time! This week, Josh and I picked up our share together, which made things go a bit more quickly. We were pretty excited that we got a few new items this time. Our share contents included:

Beets – 1 lb
Napa Cabbage – 1 each
Fennel – 1 each
Greens – 1 lb
Peppers – 3 each
Squash – 3 lbs
Cucumber – 1 lb
Broccoli – 3/4 lbs

Chard, peppers, cucumbers, fennel, napa, broccoli, squash, beets

I was a bit disappointed that we only had chard for our greens, as I was looking forward to getting some more kale. Nevertheless, the chard is gorgeous as usual, and I made a gratin last week using the chard stems. It was a big hit with Josh and a great way to use up the stems we would otherwise throw away.

For the squash, we picked out a big, round green squash and a flat UFO squash. I’ll probably end up roasting those and making a soup out of them. The beets will also be roasted, and perhaps the fennel.

I’m hoping to make a lion’s head meatball stew with the napa cabbage. I made some last year but never posted about it, and I think it’s a delicious recipe worth sharing. I know I keep saying that I want to post recipes, and I promise I’ll get around to it eventually!

CSA Week #19

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 by virginia

No, we haven’t given up on our CSA share. It’s been a while since I’ve written about it but we’re still getting tons of veggies and fruits. We managed to clean out a lot of our fridge before we left for Peru, and while we were away, Felipe and Silva picked up our shares for us. The first week we asked Silva to take some pictures of the share, cook up something, and blog about it. She took gorgeous pics, as always, and posted a few recipes on her blog, Postcards and Snapshots.

The second week, they also picked up our share for us and left the goodies with our doorman. Lisa put them in the fridge for us so that when we got home on Sunday, we had fresh food on hand. We cooked up a feast in honor of Lisa’s birthday that week, using a lot of our CSA items. I didn’t take any pictures but everything turned out so well that we’ll probably make each dish again sometime in the future. As a pre-dinner snack, we served up heirloom tomato bruschetta on slices of baguette from Amy’s Bread. We noshed on this while drinking some Pisco sours that I whipped up using Pisco that I brought home from Peru.

The first course was a creamy zucchini soup, followed by a roasted beet salad with arugula and radishes tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. The main course was chicken that Josh butterflied and brined before roasting in the oven. The skin was crisp and the meat was tender and juicy. As for sides, we roasted potatoes underneath the chicken so that they basted in the juices and fat that ran off – yum! We also made a rustic ratatouille with zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper. Finally, for dessert, I made a buttery apple tart that paired perfectly with Josh’s homemade vanilla ice cream. We had prepped most things the night before so the dinner was relaxing for all of us, and we were able to enjoy our company.

Going back to the CSA shares, Josh picked up our produce last week before he and Lisa went to the Roger Waters concert at MSG, but I was too lazy to take pictures and post. I had met them for dinner before the show, and then afterward I went home to pack since we left for San Francisco the next day. Now that we’re back, with no travel planned for another month, I hope to get back on track with everything.

This week Josh and I met up to get our share together, which was good because even though the veggie side was a bit light, we got a ton of fruit. This week our vegetable share contents included:

Radishes – 5 each
Broccoli – 1 each
Greens  Р1 lb
Fennel – 1 each
Squash – 2 lbs
Turnips – 5 each

Radishes, kale, turnips, squash, broccoli, fennel

The original list also said onions, but we didn’t see any at the pickup site. For the greens, we got kale, which we absolutely love. I made a huge batch of kale chips last night and we gobbled them right up. The secret is to make sure you salt them liberally before putting them into the oven. For the squash, we picked up a large zucchini because those are heartier and last longer in the fridge. The broccoli is a new item for us, and although it’s quite small, I can’t wait to see how it tastes.

For the fruit, we’ve just been getting tons of apples and our fridge is totally packed. I see a lot of apple pies, apple tarts, and apple chips in our future. This week our fruit share contents included:

Macoun Apples – 4 3/4 lbs
Seckle Pears – 1 quart
Honey Crisps Apples – 2 lbs

Apples and little pears

We now also have tons of these little pears, and a few quarts of plums as well leftover from previous weeks. Anyone know of any good recipes I could try?

Summer Restaurant Week 2010 – Tribeca Grill

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 by virginia

For Jess’ birthday, we made a reservation at the Tribeca Grill because it was the only restaurant we called that would seat 10 people without forcing us to explore “private dining” options. We’ve eaten there before and the food was pretty good – it was straightforward, hearty, American fare. We found out when we got there that in addition to the regular menu, they were offering their Restaurant Week menu for dinner on Sundays. The Restaurant Week offerings sounded pretty good, and I liked that the options came directly from the regular menu, something we don’t see too often on Restaurant Week menus. Our waiter assured us that the Restaurant Week dishes were the same portion sizes as the regular menu, and considering that most of the a la carte entrees cost close to $30, the $35 three course menu seemed like quite a bargain.

The Restaurant Week menu online was different than the one we received so I’m not sure if the offerings change from day to day, but here is the menu we got:

First Course
Heirloom tomato & goat cheese salad ~ Sweet corn sauce and opal basil vinegar
Braised artichoke & fennel salad ~ Marcona almonds, green olives & manchego cheese
Warm asparagus salad ~ Morels, cipollini onions & lardons, fig essence

Second Course
Goat cheese ravioli ~ Artichokes, favas, cherry tomatoes & spinach
Pan roasted Atlantic salmon ~ Sunchokes, caramelized beet & apple chutney
Grilled Berkshire pork chop ~ Cassoulet of summer beans, chive dumplings & ramp salsa verde
Roasted red snapper ~ Summer squash, Tunisian couscous, pea shoots & warm tomato vinaigrette

Third Course
Chocolate truffle cheesecake ~ Espresso anglaise
Vanilla & grenadine flan ~ Market berries
Morello cherry financier ~ Yogurt sorbet

While we were deciding on what to order, we munched on the bread offering, which was a round, hard roll with a chewy interior. It didn’t have much flavor to it but I was hungry so I just slathered on lots of butter, which made it a bit more palatable.

Hard bread roll

Our appetizers arrived right away, and 8 out of 10 people at the table ordered the same thing – the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad. It looked beautiful on the plate, with many different kinds of tomatoes in assorted shapes and colors. The sweet corn vinaigrette was really interesting, and the dish was both sweet and tangy at the same time. The tomatoes were intensely flavorful and paired well with the micro basil scattered on top. My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough goat cheese for my liking, just a small dollop. But the dish was wonderfully light and refreshing, and huge hit at the table.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad with sweet corn and opal basil vinegar

In addition to splitting the tomato and goat cheese salad, Josh and I selected the braised artichoke and fennel salad as our other appetizer. The salad was a tall tower piled high with the ingredients. There was I think frisee mixed in, which added a slight bitterness, and a tangy dressing that added a nice acidity to round out the flavors. The artichoke and fennel were very tender and worked well together with the olives and manchego. I just wasn’t a fan of the almonds, as I thought they overpowered everything else, but Josh enjoyed them.

Braised artichoke and fennel salad with marcona almonds, green olives, and manchego cheese

View from the side so you can see how tall it was and all the layers of ingredients

For our main course, Josh and I chose the grilled Berkshire pork chop and the roasted red snapper. The pork chop was huge and cooked perfectly, so that it was still tender and juicy. It was nicely seasoned and there was a sweet smokey flavor to it that we later found out was maple syrup. It was served on a mix of summer beans that were fresh and seasonal. There were two small chive dumplings that were like chewy gnocchi and didn’t really serve much purpose. There was also a ramp salsa verde that I think was on top of the pork chop, but I didn’t detect much ramp flavor. Still, it was a well constructed dish and another favorite at the table.

Grilled Berkshire pork chop with summer beans, chive dumplings, and ramp salsa verde

The roasted red snapper had a crispy skin that was nicely seasoned but unfortunately, the fish itself was overcooked and bland. It had a rubbery texture to it that made it a bit hard to eat. I ended up breaking it up as best as I could with my fork, then mixing it in with the accompanying couscous and squash. The couscous was light and fluffy, and the squash was tender but still had a nice bite to it. The tomato vinaigrette tied the whole dish together and provided the acidity that the fish badly needed.

Roasted red snapper with couscous, squash, and tomato vinaigrette

For dessert, we had the chocolate truffle cheesecake and vanilla and grenadine flan. The chocolate cheesecake really didn’t taste much like cheesecake but that was ok. I like chocolate better than cheesecake anyway. It had a chocolate cookie crust that tasted like an Oreo cookie, and I liked the espresso anglaise that was drizzled underneath.

Chocolate truffle cheesecake with espresso anglaise

The vanilla and grenadine flan wasn’t as silky as I would have liked but it had a nice vanilla flavor to it. The grenadine was slightly sour, which cut through the sweetness of the dessert, and the market berries were plump and fresh. Texture aside, it was a very tasty summer treat.

Vanilla and grenadine flan with market berries

Overall we were all pretty impressed by the meal we had at the Tribeca Grill. The Restaurant Week menu proved to be a good value, and we left the restaurant full and satisfied. Service was good but they did pace our meal pretty quickly, giving us the impression that they were rushing us out. We did end up lingering a bit over coffee and dessert but all of our courses were served at quick intervals.¬† The restaurant was packed though, especially for a Sunday night, which might have contributed to the frenetic pacing. We were still pretty pleased with our experience regardless, because the food exceeded our expectations. As for the decor, it’s a pretty restaurant with tall ceilings and a loft-like feel, and the ambiance is upbeat but intimate. While I think the a la carte menu is a bit pricey, I would still recommend the restaurant for a special occasion.

Tribeca Grill
375 Greenwich St. at Franklin St.
New York, NY