Navy Beans and Tatsoi with Roasted Fennel

Photo by Johnny Autry of Ashville accompanied a recipe similar to mine at Cooking Light.


 The October 27 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include salad mix, fennel, butternut squash, tatsoi and green peppers. 

Fennel is a  perennial bulb with a feathery top, a relative of the carrot.  You can use the fronds in salads or as a garnish. 

The bulb and younger stems are firm and crunchy and taste mildly of anise. You can serve them raw and thinly sliced in salads and slaws.  I especially like raw fennel in combination with tart fruits such peaches and tomatoes, granny smith apples or oranges.  You can also cook the bulb until tender to  bring out the anise flavor, either as part of a roasted squash or  root vegetable medley or braised with chicken

Fennel seeds (not included this week) are used to flavor stews, breads and cookies.


Serves 8

1.  The night or at least a couple of hours before you plan to eat, bring one pound of dried  navy beans (about 2 cups) to a boil in a lidded heavy- bottomed saucepan with four cups of cold water.  Simmer five minutes. Rinse, cover again with water plus two cups, add a couple of bay leaves and bring back to boil. Turn off the stove and soak at least an hour or overnight. Rinse well and drain. Cover with colder water plus an inch and start to simmer. (Add water as necessary to keep the beans barely covered).  When the beans are tender, rinse, drain and set aside.  (You can cook the beans ahead of time and refrigerate in a lidded jar.)

2.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (or you can use a counter top convection oven to roast the fennel.  Wash fennel and tatsoi  in cold water and rinse and wash a second time.  Trim fronds and stems of the fennel and reserve for another use. Thinly slice the bulb.  If the stems of the tatsoi are tough, tear the leaves off and reserve the stems for a vegetable stock.   Smash, peel and mince two or more cloves of fresh garlic. Peel and thinly slice one onion.

3.  Combine fennel, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.  red pepper, and garlic in a large bowl; toss to coat fennel. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet or on the racks in the convection oven.

4.  Roast for ten minutes or more until brown.

5.  Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with  with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Add the onions and saute until tender and then add the  beans and cook together another 2 minutes.  Add fennel mixture and the tatsoi and cook until the tatsoi is wilted.

6.  Serve warm.  I like this recipe over cooked whole wheat pasta or rice and sprinkled with grated Asiago cheese.


Tri-Color Gnocchi (Potato, Beet and Ricotta, and Winter Squash)

Montage made from photographs from three food blogs(l. to r. by Suzie CastelloNealey Dozier Thompson and  Cooking with Manuela.) *

The October 20 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include beets (without tops), gold potatoes, delicata squash, sweet peppers, bok choy and garlic. 

The potatoes made me decide to make gnocchi, the Italian version of a dumpling.  Doing some research, I learned that the squash and beets would be suitable, too.  I decided to make all three for a lovely tri-colored plate of pasta, sauteed in sage butter and topped with grated cheese . 

If you like you could try the same idea with spƤtzle (recipes for potato, beets and squash) the German version, a softer dumpling, which is quicker and easier, since you push the dough through a colander or large-holed grater, rather than form the dumplings individually.  The latter are traditionally sauteed in butter and topped with parsley.  Or they're delicious tossed with sauteed greens and topped with goat cheese, the way Bryan Picard makes his at the Bite House Restaurant on Cape Breton Island (that's the beet recipe I included at the link.)

It would also be fun to do three types of ravioli. (recipes for potato, beets and pumpkin, which could substitute winter squash).


1.  The night before, drain one pound of whole milk ricotta in a colander lined in cheese cloth over a bowl.

2.  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Scrub the potatoes and 2 small or 1 medium beet and wash the delicata squash.  Cut the delicata squash in half and scoop out the seeds, which you can roast and salt.  Place veggies on a parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet, with the squash cut side down.  Roast the veggies until soft.  You can also roast the veggies in a countertop convection oven.

3.  Slip the peel off the potatoes and beets.  In separate bowls, pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater, washing the utensil between uses to keep the colors separate. Scoop the squash from its skin and do the same.  The squash has more moisture, so you may want to drain the results through a clean tea towel in the colander.

4.  For the beet dough, add the drained ricotta, 1 egg and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and salt and freshly ground black pepper to the beets. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add 2/3 cup of white whole wheat flour flour to the ricotta mixture and whisk together to mix. Set the mixture aside for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator.  After it is chilled you will form the dough into  balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Roll the ball into a bowl of flour, carefully turning to lightly coat all sides, tapping off any excess. Lay each dumpling on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue forming the gnocchi until all the mixture is gone.

5.  For the squash dough, the proportion is 1.5 cups of the flour to 2.5 cups of the squash and 1 egg.  If you have less, adjust the flour and egg accordingly.  Mix the squash with 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, the eggs and a little bit of salt. Add the flour a bit at at the time, until you find the right consistency. 

6.  To make the potato dough, the ratio is 2 cup of white whole wheat flour to 3 pounds of potatoes  and 1 egg.  Make well in center of the potatoes in the first bowl and sprinkle all over with flour.  Place egg and a pinch of salt in center of well and using a fork, stir into flour and vegetable, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch. Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into 3/4-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces.   Roll into balls if you want the shape to match the other gnocchi.  Or for the traditional shape, just flick the 1-inch long pieces off of  a fork.

7.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. To make the squash gnocchi, use two teaspoons to drop small amounts of the mixture into the simmering water. You probably will need to do this in three or four batches, depending on how big is your pot.  Put few enough in at a time so that they have space to move and don't stick to each other.  when they float to the surface,  cook for another 2 minutes.   Remove them to a plate covered in a paper towel to remove and extra moisture.

8.  You will cook the beet gnocchi the same way.  Using a slotted spoon, remove them to a plate covered in a paper towel to remove and extra moisture.

9.  To cook the potato gnocchi, pepare an ice bath to cool them.  Drop a small amount into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). Meanwhile, continue with remaining dough.  For these, as soon as the gnocchi float to top of the boiling water, remove them to ice bath. Continue until all have been cooled off. Let sit several minutes in bath and drain from ice and water.

10.  Melt butter in a skillet with fresh sage leaves. Let the butter lightly brown and the sage leaves become nice and crispy, about 10 minutes.  Toss in the gnocchi to warm and then serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.


Lima, Mushroom, Squash and Kale Stew

Photo  from Martha Stewart Whole Living, December 2010 (no photographer credit)

The October 13 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include sweet peppers, radishes, buttercup squash, salad mix (lettuce mix plus baby kale and baby tatsoi), garlic and a. bunch of kale.  Here's a hearty stew that uses the squash, garlic and kale plus mushrooms and dried lima beans.

Or if you'd prefer, I like to combine the radishes and squash with beets to make this Moroccan stew.


Serves 8

1.  At least several hours before you make the soup, cover 2 cups of dried lima beans with water and bring to  to a boil in a stainless steel pot with a fitted lid and heavy bottom.  Rinse well.  Cover again with four cups of water and bring to a boil a second time.  Turn down and let simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off heat and soak for an hour or overnight.

2.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut a butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  (You can removed the pulp from them and roast, as you would pumpkin seeds.)  Place cut side down on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and roast until soft.  You can do the same in a countertop convection oven.

3.  While squash is roasting, drain and rinse limas and cover with 4 cups of water in a large covered soup pot.  Add 2 bay leaves  and bring back to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  

4.  Rinse and peel 1 large onion and coarsely chop.  Smash, peel and thinly slice 8 cloves of fresh garlic.  Saute onions in a heated cast iron skillet coated in extra virgin olive oil until the onions are soft and fragrant.  Add garlic and cook for another minute or so and transfer both to the soup pot. 

5.  Rinse and pat dry 1 pound of mushrooms (white, crimini, and/or shitaki).  Thinly slice and saute in the same skillet, one layer at a time until golden brown and transfer to the soup pot.

6.  Rinse 6 stalks of celery and thinly slice on the diagonal.  Saute in the skillet until slightly softened and add to the soup pot.  Take a few spoonfuls of the broth from the pot and add to the skillet to deglaze and re-add to the soup pot.

7.  When squash is soft, peel skin and chop into cubes and add to the soup pot.

8.  Rinse kale.  Remove stems and reserve for other use, such as a soup stock.  Thinly slice leaves.  When beans are tender, stir in kale and cook until tender, about five minutes more.  Season with freshly ground pepper and 8 tablespoons of  miso, stirring well.  Serve warm in Serve in individual bowls.  To make this a main dish you can serve it over cooked grain such as barley or over cooked whole wheat, buckwheat or corn pasta.


Salad of Tatsoi, Carrots, Radishes and Cilantro Toasted Peanuts and Citrus Avocado Puree

from Alayna Tucker is from a salad she ate at Billy and Kristin Allin's restaurant Cakes & Ale  in Decatur, Georgia.

Tucker doesn't provide a recipe, but she lists the ingredients as tatsoi, carrot, radish, fresh cilantro and peanuts, served with a citrus avocado puree.  Since the October 6 farmshare from Glade Road Growing  is slated to  tat soi, radish and carrot (as well as include lettuce mix, bunch arugula and delicata squash) I used this photograph as inspiration for today's recipe.  Tatsoi, like its more famous cousin bok choy is an Asian green in the mustard family.


Serves 4

1.  Rinse and drain tatsoi, radish, carrot and cilantro.  (If the radish comes with the greens remove them and use for a savory salad green with the arugula and lettuce mix.  If you're not making this recipe today, go ahead and separate the leaves from the bulbs of the radish, as both will keep better separately.)  Thinly slice the radishes and carrots into round slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline.  Separate the tatsoi leaves.  If the tat soi leaves are large, tear into several pieces.  Pull the leaves off the stems of the cilantro.  Store any extra cilantro in a lidded glass jar inverted in the refrigerator.

2.  To make the dressing, halve, peel and de-pit one ripe avocado. Smash, peel and mince one clove of garlic. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. In a blender or food processor, puree puree the avocado, garlic, orange juice, and lime juice. Season with 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and a dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. With the machine on, gradually blend in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.

3.  Dress the tatsoi and vegetables but keep separate.  Divide the tatsoi among four plates or bowls.  Arrange the radish and carrot slices on top of each serving.  Garnish with cilantro and toasted peanuts and serve immediately.   If you'd like this to be a main coarse, rather than a side, you can add cook beans or chopped cooked chicken.


While I'm at here's another recipe for the squash and radishes, a jewel-toned Moroccan stew I really like. You can use the tatsoi as a cooked green with tempeh or in a stew with tempeh or tofu and the squash, rather than sweet potatoes.  The arugula is yummy served wilted in a salad with pears and cheese or tossed with whole wheat pasta, walnuts and asiago cheese.