Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)


1. Kale: With the chard (no. 10) and some of the carrots (no. 8), this became delicious veggie burgers.

2. Slicing cucumber: Went into a green salad with the lettuce (no. 5) and more carrots (no. 8).

3. Asian eggplant: Grilled along with the tomatoes (no. 4) and the bell pepper (no. 7) then arranged on pizza—also grilled.

4. Tomatoes: See no. 3.

5. Red leaf lettuce: See no. 2.

6. Sweet corn: Eaten alongside the veggie burgers (see no. 1).

7. Bell pepper: See no. 3.

8. Carrots: See nos. 1 and 2.

9. Fennel: See this week’s featured recipe, below.

10. Swiss chard: See no. 1.

It’s still sunny and warm late into the evenings here in Massachusetts, but the days are getting shorter—a reminder to maximize hours spent outdoors rather than sweating over the stove.

So when a new cookbook, Root-to-Stalk Cooking, by the James Beard Award-winning food writer Tara Duggan, arrived at HOMEGROWN HQ recently, I flipped through with interest. In addition to giving some love to those bits—chard stems, anyone?—that often get tossed in the compost, Duggan also includes several no-cook recipes. (The cookbook, published by Ten Speed Press, is available now.) When I came across this raw dish, I knew I had found a use for my farm-share fennel. An inspired alternative to slaw alongside last night’s brisket in the backyard with friends, the salad was crisp, refreshing, and embarrassingly easy. And for folks who aren’t crazy about fennel’s anise undertone, the salty Parmesan provides the perfect balance. Serves 4.

» 2 fennel stalks, very thinly sliced on the diagonal, plus 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (because I wanted to stretch this dish a little further, I used all of the stalks on one bulb to no deleterious effect)
» Chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
» 2 Tbsp extravirgin olive oil
» 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
» Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
» Chopped fennel fronds

Place the shaved fennel stalks and bulb in a medium bowl. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan in thin shards over the fennel. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad gently then adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Shave more Parmesan on top, sprinkle with the fennel fronts, and serve immediately. Happy farm sharing!

CSA Cookoff is HOMEGROWN’s ongoing series devoted to putting all that farm share bounty to good use. What did you get this week? And what did you make with it? Post a comment and share the farm share love!

Recipe and book cover (photo by Clay McLachlan) reprinted with permission from Root-to-Stalk Cooking, by Tara Duggan, copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Comment by Kirsten Madaus on August 21, 2013 at 10:56am

Jennifer, that looks amazing.  I've got a fennel bulb in the garden and Asiago cheese that was marked down.

I'm a fan of chard stems, too (they're perfectly edible, why compost good stuff?) so I'll keep an eye out for this book.


Comment by Jennifer on September 2, 2013 at 10:01am

Kirsten: I'm really digging the book! (And nope, no one paid me to say that!) Some good ideas in there for shaved broccoli stems—something that would have never occurred to me in a million years.


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