Friday, June 24, 2011

Notes from Nikki-Beet and Fennel Salad and Green Smoothie

Two great recipe ideas from Nikki (I am late in posting the green smoothie recipe, but you can substitute other greens for the spinach):

Roasted Baby Beets and Fennel Salad
It's beet season, and I'm in heaven. The baby beets from this week's share are little bulbs of red deliciousness, and are the perfect accompaniment to the baby fennel we received as well. I hope you enjoy the recipe below. Another salad, I know. I promise my next recipe will be a bit more hearty. ;-)


4 thinly sliced baby fennel bulbs, plus a handful or so chopped fronds (or two larger bulbs)

3 shallots, thinly sliced and sautéed briefly in a splash of olive oil

8-10 baby beets, tops removed, bottoms trimmed, roasted in a 400 degree oven until tender

1/4 C good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1-2 T honey
1 T fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

1. Once the beets have cooled, slide the skins off and quarter them.
2. Put the olive oil, vinegar, honey, thyme, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth and emulsified. (You can also do this by hand with a wire whisk.) Taste and adjust to your liking.
3. Toss the beets, fennel, fronds, shallots, and as much dressing as you like together.
4. Lay this mixture on a bed of lightly dressed salad greens (optional, but very tasty :-)), garnish with a piece of frond, and serve.

Serves 4

Banana Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

What?! Spinach?! Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of disguising greens in things like smoothies and shakes. In fact, this is the first time I've ever even attempted to throw a bag of greens into the blender along with our usual smoothie suspects... yogurt, bananas, berries, honey, ice. But tonight was one of those nights when we came home exhausted after a long day, and it was already close to 8 pm, not enough time to put together a substantial meal. Not to mention the fact that we have way more greens than we even know what to do with right now. So, we threw together this rather homely, yet fine tasting concoction. Really delicious, totally satisfying, and full of all kinds of good-for-you stuff. Perfect! Feel free to substitute other berries or fruit for the blueberries. I imagine strawberries would make a nice substitute, as well as blackberries, raspberries, or even mango. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


1 pint of fresh blueberries (frozen is fine too)

2-3 fresh bananas (depending on size, we used 3 small ones)

1 C vanilla yogurt (plain is fine too, or your flavor of choice; we used Seven Stars Farm Original Vanilla yogurt)

5 oz. fresh spinach (kale, chard, and even romaine lettuce will all work as well; I encourage you to experiment)

1-2 Tbsp. honey, agave, or pure maple syrup (We used our favorite local honey, Guinea Hen Garden, Chocolate Mint... this honey doesn't really taste like chocolate, just a touch minty. It's made with chocolate mint flowers.)

A handful of mint leaves if not using minted honey

About a dozen cubes of ice

1. Put all the ingredients except for the ice in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.
2. Add the ice and blend again until smooth.
3. Pour into glasses and enjoy.

Serves 4

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