Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel & Bacon

fennel

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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Why Organic Strawberries?

strawberries in pints

It’s that time again!

If you had to choose only one item to eat organic, the strawberry should be it. It is 91% water, which means it is absorbing moisture from every source it can as it grows. If that moisture also contains pesticides or herbicides, those toxins are being absorbed into the flesh of the berry right along with the water. This is true for other berries, and for things like celery and peppers with high water content.

But because strawberries are very susceptible to pest attacks, they are among the most sprayed items in the grocery store. Avoid conventional ones, and eat the organic ones to keep these toxins out of your body.

They go great with spinach. Check out our favorite salads and other strawberry recipes.

Strawberries are high in vitamins A, C, and some of the B-complex. They are a sweet source of fiber and are considered to be a spring tonic, nourishing and detoxifying to the spleen and pancreas.

They seem to have a tranquilizing effect! Maybe that’s just psychological, but this is why their scent is used for surgical gloves for dentists and masks for children’s anesthesia.

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About Camelina Oil

It’s easier than ever to eat local! Nash’s camelina oil is grown, pressed, and bottled right here on the farm.

Nash’s is producing a local and sustainable cooking oil. It is 100% organic camelina, unrefined, and grown and cold-pressed right in Dungeness!

Camelina seed (aka wild flax, German sesame, or Siberian oilseed) is a plant from the Cruciferae family, domesticated and used in Europe for several thousand years. The seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory fats considered beneficial for cardiovascular health. They are up to 45% Omega-3s, similar to the amount found in flax seed, and have additional plant chemicals that are anti-oxidants, including vitamin E.

You can use the oil for cooking (smoke point is 475F) so you can add a delicious nutty flavor to your vegetable sautés!

Explore camelina oil recipes on our recipes blog, and let us know what you think!

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About Asparagus

Asparagus is super rich in nutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B3, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.

This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

It’s one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.

Our asparagus in the Store comes from Alvarez Farms in Mabton, WA, one of the state’s premier organic farms, and good friends of Nash’s Farm.

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What is raab? And how do I eat it?

Introducing: raabs!

“I haven’t seen greens at the farmer’s market for weeks — and now suddenly all my favorite farmers are proclaiming the deliciousness of this raab stuff. But what is raab? And how to I eat it?”

First, what are raabs?

Raabs are harbingers of springtime in the Northwest. When the weather starts to warm, plants in the brassica family (which includes kales, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, etc.) send stalks of flowers up to the sky. These structures are called “raabs.”

Why should I love raabs?

Raabs are tender and sweet, because brassica plants produce sugar as anti-freeze during the winter.

Lacinato raab

Raabs are fully edible, flowers and all.

How can I eat raabs?

You can eat raabs raw or cooked, and every part is edible — that includes the stalks, the leaves, and the flowers too! Chop your raabs raw into salads, or lightly steam a handful to let the tender texture and the sweetness shine. Drizzle oil on them and briefly grill or broil them. Use them any way you might use kale or asparagus.

Why should I eat raabs immediately?

Raabs are only around for a short time in the spring. As soon as the raab flowers open, we must disk the plants into the ground so they don’t cross-pollinate with any of our seed crops. Also, we need to prep the soil as soon as we can for the next round of crops.

Raabs can be important to farmers because selling them provides the farm with income in the spring, when we have very little else to sell. At the same time, we have a lot of costs in the spring, as we prep our soil, start seeds, transplant seedlings, and repair broken equipment. We love raabs for many reasons!

Let’s take a look at some examples.

lacinato kale raab

Lacinato kale raab: Kale raabs tend to look like baby versions of their grownup counterparts. In this lacinato kale raab, the little leaves are bumpy and textured like normal lacinato kale. In this bunch, the flower heads are only just starting to emerge.

One bunch of green kale raab, against a background of Nash boxes

Green kale raab: the leaves and flowers are so tender, and the stalks are super-sweet.

red kale raab

Red kale raab: Here’s a raab that will add gorgeous color to a salad or side dish.

red russian kale raab

Red Russian kale raab: This tender kale produces delicate baby leaves with its flowering stalks.

Red cabbage raab

Red cabbage raab: Cabbage raab leaves tend to be rounded and spoon-shaped.

Green cabbage raab

Green cabbage raab: It can be hard to tell green cabbage raab apart from collard raab and Brussels sprout raab, but they’re all worth trying!

A jaunty bunch of savoy cabbage raab

Savoy cabbage raab: Its little round leaves look a bit like small collard leaves with a lacinato-like texture.

Collard raab

Collard raab: If the leaves on your collard raab are large enough, they start to look like their grown-up versions, just smaller.

rutabaga raab

Rutabaga raab can be a little spicy when eaten raw, just like arugula raab — which are both excellent when chopped into salads.

Enjoy all the varieties of raabs before they’re gone!

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About Nash’s Flours

We think it’s pretty neat that we can grow and mill flour here in the Dungeness Valley. Growing many kinds of grains is a strategy that helps us in case one of the varieties doesn’t do well in any given year. For example, if the hard red wheat gets hit by disease, we still have several other wheat varieties to sell.

Nash's flour in two-pound bags

Which Nash’s flours have you tried? Which do you like best for bread, and which for pancakes? Let us know in the comments below!

So what’s the difference between all these flours? Recently crew member and marketeer Bre Krumpe made scones out of each kind of flour for our marketeers to taste test — and here are the results!

Hard Red Wheat Flour

A scone made with Nash's hard red wheat flour

A scone made with Nash’s hard red wheat flour

This is our go-to flour for bread. It is high in protein and high in gluten, so your bread rises well. It gives a hearty flavor and produces a crisp crust and a crumb with desirable irregular holes. As its name suggests, it gives your bread a slight reddish color. It is great for sourdough or yeasted breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins, cookies, pizza and pie crusts and for thickening stews and gravies.

Soft White Wheat Flour

A scone made with Nash's soft white wheat flour

A scone made with Nash’s soft white wheat flour

This flour is great for pastries and cakes, as well as croissants, pasta, shortbread, biscuits, pizza dough, pie crusts, and thickening stews and gravies. It has a sweet taste, and its protein and gluten content are lower than Hard Red, so your baked goods won’t rise as much.

Triticale

A scone made with Nash's triticale flour

A scone made with Nash’s triticale flour

Pronounced “trit-ah-KAY-lee,” this flour is a quiet superstar. The plant is a cross between wheat and rye, and gives a moist, hearty, nutty flavor with a slightly spongey texture. Most bakers like to mix triticale flour half-and-half with wheat flour for yeasted breads, or use triticale straight-up in non-yeasted baked goods, like scones, muffins, cookies, and pies. We recommend kneading your triticale dough gently (about 3-5 minutes) due to the lower content of its delicate gluten.

Rye Flour

A scone made with Nash's rye flour

A scone made with Nash’s rye flour

When you think of rye, you might imagine a strong caraway taste — but on its own, rye flour tastes just like any other flour, with a tangy, slightly sour flavor that works well in sourdough loaves.

Buckwheat Flour

A scone made with Nash's buckwheat flour

A scone made with Nash’s buckwheat flour

Buckwheat flour is famously used in hearty buckwheat pancakes — and for good reason! That earthy, nutty flavor shines through when you use this flour in other baked goods too. Buckwheat is gluten-free. (We process buckwheat on equipment that also processes wheat, so we can’t claim that our buckwheat flour is 100% gluten-free. However, the gluten content is small enough that most gluten-sensitive people can tolerate our buckwheat flour.)

Barley Flour

A scone made with Nash's barley flour

A scone made with Nash’s barley flour

Here is the newest addition to Nash’s flour line. It is a low-gluten flour with a mild, sweet, nutty flavor. Our barley is a mix of three varieties: one reddish, one yellowish, and one greenish. Bre’s barley scones developed a pretty purplish tint inside!

For the best results with any of these flours, keep it in your freezer in an airtight container, like a plastic bag. This prevents the flour from oxidizing and keeps it fresh.

What have you made out of Nash’s flour? Did you combine multiple flours, or are you a purist? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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About Collard Greens

Collard greensCollard greens offer a range of health benefits. One cup of boiled collard greens contains only 63 calories, but it provides over 250 percent of a person’s daily needs for vitamin A, over 50 percent of vitamin C, 26 percent of calcium, 1 percent of iron, and 10 percent of vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

Collard greens are also a rich source of vitamin K, for bone health. One cup of boiled collard greens provides well over 100 percent of the daily recommended intake.

It also contains folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, and potassium. A nutrient powerhouse!

Cancer Fighter

Since the 1980s, maintaining a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has consistently been associated with a lower risk of developing various types of cancer, including cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectum, breast, and kidney.

Cruciferous vegetables like collards have sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Studies have suggested that they can impede the cancer process at different stages of development for lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers, and possibly melanoma, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

One cup of boiled collard greens provides about 8 grams of fiber. This fiber helps to control diabetes and improve liver function and lower blood pressure.

How to incorporate collards into your diet

  • Don’t overcook collards! They will become sulfurous and also lose nutrients. Steaming collard greens for 10 minutes or less means they will still have their nutrients. Peppers, chopped onions, herbs, and spices can be used to season them.
  • They can be enjoyed raw in salads or on sandwiches or wraps, braised, boiled, sautéed, or added to soups and casseroles.
  • Another idea is to sauté fresh garlic and onions in extra-virgin olive oil until soft, then add collard greens and continue to sauté until they reach the desired tenderness.
  • Adding black-eyed peas and brown rice gives a healthier version of a southern favorite.
  • Collard green chips can be made by removing the ribs from the collard greens, tossing them in extra-virgin olive oil, and baking them at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes until they are crisp. They can be lightly sprinkled with a choice or a combination of cumin, curry powder, chili powder, roasted red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
  • A small handful of collard greens can be added to a favorite smoothie. This provides extra nutrients without changing the flavor significantly.

We thank MedicalNewsToday.com for these ideas.

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Kori’s Lacinato Kale & Fennel

lacinato kale1 cup bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package
Olive oil
2 cups lacinato kale, rinsed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 can (14 ounces) diced Italian-style tomatoes
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 fennel bulb, thinly-sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
1 cup (8 ounces) thick bacon or pork belly, cubed
Grated Parmesan, for garnish

In small saucepot, boil water and cook the bow tie pasta according to package directions. Drain after cooking and set aside.

In separate saucepan, cook the bacon. Once cooked, set aside over paper towel to absorb grease until ready to add to dish.

In large saucepot, drizzle olive oil over med-high heat. Add minced garlic; sauté for about 2 minutes. Add lacinato kale and fennel; sauté about 5 minutes until softened.

Add Italian tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until everything is softened and cooked.

Add the pasta to the large saucepot to create a 50/50 mix of pasta and veggies. Drizzle olive oil.

Lastly, add the bacon. Let warm over stove for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Served with fresh Parmesan.

We thank Ocean Mist Farms for this recipe.

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About Green Beans

Green beansLike most vegetables, green beans are low in calories (43 per cup) but pack lots of fiber and nutrients. A cup’s worth provides about 25 percent of your daily supply of vitamin K and 20 percent of vitamin C, as well as manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.

Some Ways to Use Green Beans

  • Toss freshly boiled or steamed green beans with soy sauce, sesame oil, extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, lemon juice, Italian dressing, or vinaigrette.
  • Munch raw beans with various dips. Kids like these as a finger food!
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs over steamed or boiled green beans; dill or mint are pleasant surprises with green beans.
  • Stir-fry or sauté green beans with a mixture of peanut or sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, chili paste, sugar, salt, and pepper for Szechuan-style beans.
  • Drop a handful into stir-fries at the last minute to add flavor and crunch. (This works best with young, tender beans.)
  • Serve salade niçoise, that hearty, traditional cold salad with tuna, hardboiled eggs, olives, and green beans. There’s nothing better for supper on a warm summer evening.
  • Prepare your green beans southern-style — cook them slowly in lots of water with a ham hock or piece of pork fatback, and finish off with a dose of vinegar and a dash of hot pepper sauce. But remember: the longer they are cooked, the less nutrients they have.
  • Add interest to cooked green beans by tossing them with a light vinaigrette and slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts.
  • Create a colorful vegetable julienne with green and yellow string beans, carrot strips, golden beets, and red or orange bell pepper strips steamed or boiled briefly.
  • Pickle green beans for a crunchy, juicy change from regular cuke pickles.
  • Green beans go well with just about every sort of nut and nut oil. Try ’em with walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamias. They’re also great with dried fruits like cranberries and cherries.

We thank Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe, for these ideas.

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About Romaine Lettuce

romaine lettuceIt’s the time of the season when the weather is getting hot and people are craving light salads over heartier meals. Often overlooked in the interest of hearty greens, romaine lettuce is a lighter green that packs a serious nutritional punch!

Romaine is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin A – important for eye health
  • Vitamin K – essential for blood clotting
  • Folate – critical for neuronal development and DNA synthesis

Romaine is a good source of:

  • Vitamin C – important for immune health
  • Potassium – protective against high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Copper – central to building strong tissue, maintaining blood volume, and producing energy in cells
  • Iron – enhances oxygen transport to all parts of the body

To add some fresh crunch to your summer days, chop up some romaine for a fresh salad, use the gorgeous large leaves as a bed for most any dish, or use the large crisp leaves to make spring rolls without the rice paper!

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