STRAWBERRIES: Disclaimer! These are the kind of strawberries you should just eat right away (I guess what berries aren't that kind of berry?) Because of the rain we sort through them the best we can but if their skins get moist they go bad more easily. If you are going to store and use later definitely put them in your fridge in a single layer!
GEM ROMAINE LETTUCE: Green or red little cuties. Add this to a salad or put into some sandwiches. Gems are known to be tender and full of flavor. The green is a little bit more of a butter-romaine while the red has those gorgeous green veins and is absolutely delicious.
FENNEL: Some of you might be groaning, some might be cheering. Hurray for fennel, our frondly feathered friend. Fennel hails from the Mediterranean and has been European mainstay in the culinary world for some time. It is fairly knew to North America although many are familiar with it. It is related to dill, carrots and anise and definitely has a sweet, anise-like flavor. If you aren't a fan of that strong flavor there are ways to soften the blow. Fennel can be stored in the fridge for some time, just make sure it doesn't dry out as the flavor will lessen and the texture will become inferior. Fennel can be shaved fresh, roasted (seems weather appropriate), pickled, caramelized, sautéd...I could go on. Some of my favorite ways to use it are in a gratin (aka covered in cheese), roasted with a bunch of other roots, in a citrus salad or a simple pasta. To roast (concentrates and carmelizes the natural sugars): cut wedges, toss with oil and desired seasonings, cover and bake at 400ºF for about 20 minutes. Uncover and roast another 10 to 20 mins.
CHARD: Rainbow and the Italian Verde da Taglia. Chard, like many of the farm greens, is great cooked. I recommend adding it to a dish (ala spinach) like lasagna or enchiladas or just sautéing it with some onions, garlic and a little bit of oil and maybe some lemon at the end. You can also throw it in fresh pasta, add it to a soup...really the options are endless. I often de-stem the chard, dice the colorful stems and use them in a different dish (delicious in a little olive oil and seasoning alone).
RADISHES (Large Only): Pink beauty radishes. Finally, we have them back for the fall! Crispy and mildly spicy, you can use the greens as well (try pesto). With this cozy weather a traditional French breakfast (toasted bread, butter, sliced radishes and salt) sounds perfect.
SHISHITOS (Large Only): These great lil' peppers again. Hopefully you just can't get enough of them. Toss them in olive oil and cook them in a pan until they skin starts to blister. Once off heat, sprinkle some fancy salt and pop em in your mouth.
LEEK (Large Only): Woooaahh! A taste of the real fall, these are the first leeks of the season! A member of the allium family (onions, garlic) leeks are fantastic! These King Richard leeks have green leaves and a beautiful blanche. Leeks can be used for soups, grilling, baking, sautéing and so much more! I love to to sauté the leeks in butter and then put on top of french bread with a poached egg, yum! Or throw the same sautéd guys on pizza.
MELON (Large Only): The last of the Sivan cantaloupe, enjoy! If they are a bit muddy, sorry, blame it on that pesky rain! Also, if you want your melon to ripen fast, leave it out at room temperature, otherwise you can store in the fridge.
GREEN BEANS (Large Only): These green beans are better for cooking than just fresh eating. Sautéed with pretty much anything does the trick. You can steam them too!