Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel & Bacon


What can you do with fennel? Add bacon!

1 lb sliced bacon
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. Nash’s soft white flour
3.5 cups milk
½ tsp. white pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2.5 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 lb. yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
7 leaves fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp. dried

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Fry bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain on paper towels. Chop or crumble, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and starting to bubble. Gradually whisk in milk while stirring constantly so that no lumps form. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with white pepper, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth, adding a handful at a time. Set aside.

Use 1/3 of the potatoes to make a layer in the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the fennel, 1/3 of the bacon and 1/3 of the basil. Pour about 1/3 of the cheese sauce over everything. Repeat layers two more times or until you run out of room. Cover the dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover during the last 30 minutes to allow the top to brown if desired.

We thank AllRecipes.com for this recipe.

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Fingerling Potato & Smoked Salmon Salad

Serves 8 people as an appetizer

For the Dressing
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
6 tablespoons Pacifica canola oil
Zest from half an orange
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt

In medium non-reactive mixing bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in Pacifica canola oil. Add the orange zest and tarragon. Adjust to taste.

For the Salad
2 pounds fingerling potatoes
2 ounces smoked salmon, broken up
1 bulb fennel, diced
Salt & pepper
1 shallot, finely minced

Wash the potatoes well. Place them whole in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add enough salt to the water to make it salty like the ocean. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then turn down and summer until spuds are tender. You can check this by inserting a paring knife though one of the potatoes. if it offers no resistance, the potato is done.

Drain the spuds. While they are hot, cut them into quarters and place them in large bowl. Sprinkle with two teaspoons kosher salt and a quarter teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Toss them in the bowl to coat well with salt and pepper. let the potatoes cool for about 15 minutes.

Add the fennel, shallot and smoked salmon. Add enough of the dressing to coast the salad ingredients well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Optional: Because of the canola oil’s nutty flavor, toasted hazelnuts or almonds are a nice addition to top the salad right before serving.

We thank Allium Restaurant and Lisa K Nakamura for this recipe.

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Roasted Celery Soup


Nash’s celery, planted in spring, is finally ready to harvest, and it makes a wonderful soup — perfect for October’s cooler weather.

8 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut small
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Celery leaves/fennel fronds

Place the cut celery, fennel and cloves of garlic in a 9 x 13 inch roasting pan. Add the salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to coat everything. Roast in a 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the edges of the vegetables just begin to brown.

While the vegetables are cooking, cook the potatoes in the chicken broth until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool.

When the vegetables have finished roasting, add them to the potatoes and broth. Let everything cool. In a blender puree the soup in batches. Strain the soup through a mesh strainer. Once pureed, return the soup to the pot and bring up to the boil. Stir in the cream and the lemon juice. Re-season if needed and garnish each bowl with celery leaves and fennel fronds.

We thank food52.com for this recipe.

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Poached Halibut with Cauliflower and Fennel


Fresh fish with fresh local vegetables!

1 1/2 lbs halibut, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon + 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium sized onion, cut in half and sliced medium thick
1 large carrot, turned into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into quarters
1 medium sized fennel bulb, sliced medium thick
5 medium cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Brown rice, cooked
Chopped fennel green tops for garnish

Slice onion and chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health-promoting properties. Rub halibut with lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon broth in a skillet. Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rest of the broth and carrots. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, covered. Add cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. Place halibut steaks on top and continue to cook, covered, for about 6 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve halibut with vegetables and broth on brown rice. Sprinkle with chopped fennel greens.

We thank WHFoods.com for this recipe.

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