March 22

Tricycle Gardens:

  • Collards

Sion House Farm:

  • Basil
  • Bok Choy

Albert's:

  • Fennel

Cavalier:

  • White sunchokes

Local Food Hub:

  • Pink Lady apples (Crown Orchard--Roseland, VA)
  • Green onions (Kirby Farm--Hanover County, VA)

 

From Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers cookbook by Janet Fletcher; modified for white sunchokes

 

Creamy White Sunchoke and Fennel Soup 

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 TBSP unsalted butter, plus more for serving

1/2 large yellow onion, thinly slice (Substitute with green onions for a fresh onion taste!)

1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (okay to include the core)

3/4 pound white sunchokes, peeled and cut into chunks

4 thyme sprigs (Substitute with fresh basil for a more intense flavor)

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (if canned, use equal parts broth and water)

1/4 TSP fennel seed, crushed in a mortar or spice grinder)

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, for garnish

 

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute until it softens and just begins to color, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the sliced fennel, sunchokes, and thyme and stir to coat with the butter. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. 

Remove the thyme sprigs. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor and process until smooth, working in batches as needed. Add just enough of the cooking liquid, adding just enough to make soup of a consistency that you like. You may not need all of it. Stir in the fennel seed and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Reheat to serve and divide among warm soup bowls. Garnish each portion with a sliver of butter and a sprinkle of cheese. 

 

From Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking cookbook; modified for bok choy and collards

 

Masoor dal aur band gobi (Red Split Lentils with Cabbage)

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

200 g (7 oz) split red lentils, picked over, washed and drained

1.2 L (2 pints) water

1/2 TSP ground turmeric

5 TBSP vegetable oil

1 TSP cumin seeds

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 

75 g (3 oz) onions, peeled and cut into fine slices (Green onions also a great substitute)

4 oz bok choy, finely chopped and end removed

4 oz collards, cut into thin strips and stems removed

1-2 fresh, hot green chillies, finely sliced (Jalapenos will work great as well!)

1 1/2 TSP salt

100 g (4 oz) tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 TSP peeled, finely grated, fresh ginger

 

Directions:

Put the lentils and water into a heavy pan and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that collects at the top. Add the turmeric and stir to mix. Cover, leaving the lid very slightly ajar, turn heat down to low and simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours. Stir in a few times during the last 30 minutes. 

While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a 20-23 cm (8-9 inches) frying-pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 3 to 4 seconds. Now put in the garlic. As soon as the garlic pieces begin to brown, put in the onions, bok choy, collards, and green chillies. Stir and fry the bok choy-collards mixture for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp. Stir in 1/4 TSP of the salt. Turn off the heat under the frying pan. 

When the lentils have cooked for 1 1/4 hours, add the remaining 1 1/4 TSP salt, the tomato, and ginger to the pan. Stir to mix. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add the bok choy-collards mixture and any remaining oil in the frying pan. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. 

Simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bok choy and collards are heated through.