Fennel Infused Oil

fennel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fennel isn’t something I use often but when I do, it is typically just the bulb. However, the stalks and fronds are a huge part of the plant and I hate to just throw them in the compost – there is a lot of flavor in there! Always looking for ways to use every last part of my produce, I decided to chop the stalks and fronds and cook them slowly in olive oil to extract their flavor. I added in orange zest, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, which is a classic Italian flavor combination.

 

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Garam Masala Apple Quick Bread

garam_masala_apple_quick_bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s apple season (and has been for a while) here in southern Tennessee. My son and I went apple picking a couple week ago at Wheeler’s Orchard and came home with at least 20 pounds. We have eaten a lot of them raw but I turned some into an apple crisp, homemade applesauce, fermented apple & fennel relish and now this quick bread.

 

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Pear Bourbon Butter

Pears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Fruit Butter
Fruit butter is simply pureed fruit that is cooked down to a spreadable consistency. Unlike jams and jelly, it does not contain pectin or other thickeners and relies on a long cooking time for it’s thickness. You are probably most familiar with apple butter, which is delicious, but other fruits, and even vegetables, can be used as well. Pumpkin butter, anyone? I am looking forward to trying that next.

 

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Peach Leaf Ice Cream

Peach Leaf Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our local peach season has come and gone already but you can still make use of your (or a local farmers) peach tree. Did you know you can steep the leaves and get a lovely almond extract type flavor? I am continuously surprised by mother nature (you old sneaky beast, you). Simply warm whatever it is you wish to flavor and steep for 5 minutes; any longer and the flavor will be quite bitter. I steeped the leaves in cream and milk for this recipe but have also thought of steeping them in melted butter and using it to make an almond cookie or cake. Look for that recipe soon 🙂

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Pawpaw & Coconut Popsicles

pawpaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pawpaws are a finicky fruit.  You have to pick them at peak ripeness (they don’t ripen well afterwards), they bruise easily, don’t store well, and are a pain peel, seed and eat. So why even bother? One bite and you realize the flavor is unlike anything you have had before. It is like a mango and banana had a beautiful love child. The limited season and lack of commercial success mean that you only get to savor them for a few brief weeks a year, making them the epitome of seasonal eating.

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Zucchine Sott’olio: Zucchini Preserved in Oil

Zucchini Preserved in Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preserving food in olive oil is an Italian tradition. If you have had the pleasure of perusing an Italian deli (visit this one if you are ever in Boston!), you probably noticed jars of eggplant, mushrooms, chiles, sweet peppers, artichokes and/or zucchini covered in oil lining the shelves. Since most of us don’t have the pleasure of living close to an authentic deli, we just gotta do it ourselves. I’ll admit, the multiple steps made me leery, but I promise, it is easy and well worth it! And no, you can’t simply pour olive oil over any random piece of produce. Follow the simple steps below to ensure your preserves last.

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“Salvaged Tomato” Tomato Stock

Salvaged Tomato Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our community garden planted rows of tomatoes this summer. The plants are huge and look really healthy but unfortunately, most of the fruit has blossom-end rot. This shows up in my picture as the black spots on the end of the tomatoes. It can be caused by various factors (chemical imbalance, uneven watering, acidic soil) and can happen to peppers, cucumbers and melon as well. A quick internet search provides one with several remedies but when I was discussing this problem with other gardeners this summer, I heard Epsom salt mentioned repeatedly. Epsom salt provides magnesium to depleted soil so this is something we will have to test for before next summer.

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Fresh Apple & Thyme Vinaigrette

Fresh Apple & Thyme Vinaigrette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with numerous apple trees in the park that are ready to harvest right now (and I won’t let them go to waste, so stock up fellow JH neighbors!). I don’t know the variety but they are really crisp and tart, similar to a Granny Smith. I plan on experimenting with them a lot over the next couple of weeks but I wanted to update this recipe first. My friend, Jamie Stoneham, made this years ago when I was helping her with a cooking class and it’s one I come back to over and over. Her recipe didn’t include thyme but I love the slight herbal element it brings.

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No-Cook Garam Masala Peach Freezer Jam

No-Cook Garam Masala Peach Jam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello!

 

There is so much beautiful fruit at the farmers market these days and what better way to capture the flavor than making jam. The only problem? It is a pain in the ass to cook fruit down to the right consistency on top of the whole canning process, and I just don’t have the time or patience. If you share this feeling, then you can understand why I was so happy to learn of this no-cook freezer jam process. Seems simple enough – lightly crush your fruit of choice, mix in sugar and other flavorings, and stir in pectin. After making 4 batches, I learned it was a bit more nuanced.

 

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Spring Onion Soup

Fresh Onion Soup

Hello!

 

This soup was created when I harvested a large globe onion from our community garden, with all the beautiful greens still attached. Most onions purchased at the grocery store have had the greens removed and are then cured for long term storage. While you could use a storage onion along with scallion greens, using a spring onion shows what #RoottoFruit cooking should be.

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