Cooking Tips (April 7th to April 12th)

We expect the following vegetables in our Fresh Picks Veg/Fruit Mini Boxes:

Spinach / Blue Moon Farm, Urbana, Illinois
Make a delicious, healthy spinach & artichoke dip. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop about 13 ounces  of artichoke hearts, 1 garlic clove, and 1/4 cup shallots. Combine in a medium bowl these ingredients with 1 bunch of spinach, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 light mayo, 2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, and 4 ounces mozzarella cheese. Bake in an oven-proof dish for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Fennel / Cal-Organic 
To make a quick and easy fennel salad, combine in a bowl 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced, 1/4 red onion thinly sliced, half the leaves of fennel bulb roughly chopped, 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt, pinch of fennel and pepper seeds, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Toss ingredients, garnish with fennel leaves, and serve immediately.

Romaine Lettuce / Cal-Organic 
A carb-free twist on the traditional BLT – bacon-lettuce-tomato: whisk together 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and ground sea salt and black pepper. Cook the bacon in skillet until crispy. Remove outer leaves of romaine lettuce and discard. Halve the heads lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes per side, until wilted with grill marks. To serve, place one romaine half on each plate. Drizzle with a small amount of dressing. Arrange 3 tomato slices over the lettuce. Crumble the bacon on each and dress with remaining dressing. Serve while warm.

Red Beets / Cal-Organic 
Juice beets without a juicer! Prepare 1 beet peeled and quartered, 1 apple cored and quartered, 1 tablespoon ginger peeled, 3 whole carrots peeled, and optional apple juice. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add apple juice or water as needed to help along blending. Strain blended ingredients through fine mesh strainer over large bowl. Press down on pulp and let stand 5 minutes to get the most juice. Discard pulp and pour juice into glasses. Drink immediately or chill for a minutes and enjoy.

Artichokes / Cal-Organic 
Fill pan with enough water to cover bottom of 2 whole artichokes. Bring to boil. While heating water, trim and discard stems and tough outer leaves of artichokes. Tuck slivers of butter and slices of garlic into artichoke leaves. When water is boiling, place steamer insert in pot and set artichokes in steamer, stem side down. Cover pot with lid and allow artichokes to steam for about 20 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool and serve with melted butter.

Dill, large / Cal-Organic 
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped, 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel finely grated, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt ground, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ground. Enjoy yogurt-dill dipping sauce with crackers, pita bread, or bite-sized fresh veggies such as carrots, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery sticks.