So I had dinner last night with some friends.  Preface:  I share a box of produce that I get weekly from the fine people at Gathering Together Farm.  With that box comes a short newsletter containing a few recipes using ingredients from the box.  So last night, we made two of them as part of a larger dinner, and the results were pretty amazing.  Here’s the menu from last night (the first two recipes are from GTF):

Tatsoi with Garam Masala
4 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 lbs tatsoi, washed and trimmed, cut cross-wise into 1/2 inch strips
1 fresh hot chile, finely chopped
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c water
1/4 tsp garam masala

Warm the oil over med-high heat. Add the onions and stir for 3 min. Add the sliced tatsoi, chile, ginger, salt, and sugar, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover tightly and turn the heat down to low, cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove the lid and boil away some extra liquid. Sprinkle garam masala over the top and stir.

Pasta with Golden Fennel
1 large fennel bulb, including the greens
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb fettuccine
Parmigiano-Reggiano or Dry Monterey Jack cheese

Peel or discard, if badly bruised, the tough outer layer of the fennel, then quarter and thinly slice the bulbs. Set aside the greens. Heat a large pot of water for pasta. Melt half the butte with olive oil in a wide skillet. Add fennel and saute over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in places, 7-10 minutes. Season with 1 tsp salt. Toss with lemon juice, then add 1 c water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another 1/2 c water and continue cooking until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. Chop a handful of fennel greens (about 1/3 c) with garlic and lemon zest. Set aside. Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pann with the fennel and the chopped greens. Taste and season. Serve with cheese grated on top.

Corn on the Cob

Heat water.  Boil corn for 90-120 seconds.  Wait a minute to let it cool.  Slather in butter and salt – or not – and eat.

Garden Salad

Green leaf lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced red onion, diced purple carrots, homemade dressing (the ingredients of which I can’t remember except that it included mustard and was really good).

Bread with Olive Tapanade

The bread and tapanade were the only things that we didn’t make.  And the focus here is really on the first two items – the Tatsoi was good, but the fennel pasta was AMAZING.  Let me repeat that:  AMAZING.  Kudos to whoever came up with that recipe and whoever decided to put it in the newsletter.

Oh, and there was some nice white and red wine as well – thanks to K & P for bringing those over, and thanks to S for hosting.  All in all, a very bourgeoisie tasty dinner!

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3 Comments on “Dinner”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thomas Kinkade would be proud!

  2. almost anonymous Says:

    I made the fennel/pasta recipe for my (picky, leary of new things)family tonight. I got raves and was encouraged to make it again. I never told them what was in it (they wouldn’t know anyway) and they thought it was great. Thanks for the fabulous recipe. I love trying new things for dinner. I may even try to grow fennel next year in my garden.

  3. Dennis Says:

    aa – I have to admit to being a bit skeptical of the fennel pasta as well, but I’m clearly a convert. And fresh fennel to chew on is fun =)

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