One of my favorite things about summer is having a CSA share. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically it means that we get a box of vegetables and eggs from a local farm every week, which we prepaid for in the springtime. It’s like a food subscription box! It’s awesome because we get to eat healthy, organic, local food all season without really thinking about it. From June to October we almost never have to buy vegetables from the grocery store. This time of the summer is when we get the most vegetables because it’s the beginning of harvest. Sometimes we get so many we don’t know what to do with them!

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Before we had the CSA, I had never eaten fennel. I had had fennel seeds, which are delicious, but I didn’t know anything about the plant itself. When it showed up in our CSA box, I was stumped. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, with a strong licorice flavor.

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In the past, we would just throw it into a stir fry because we didn’t know what else to do with it. Then I discovered this recipe! It’s from withfoodandlove.com, but I’ve made a couple changes since I don’t always have all the ingredients on hand. I call this “magic salad” because it magically uses all the vegetables in our CSA box (fennel, radishes, kale, and herbs)! You can take out or add ingredients to suit your taste. Though the recipe calls for 2TB of lemon juice, I add a little more because I like the tartness with the fennel. This salad is a perfect side dish with any meal!

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Lemony Fennel & Kale Salad

Adapted from With Food + Love

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch lacinato or curly kale (about 8 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups fennel, thinly sliced with fronds reserved
  • 5 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup feta crumbles or grated parmesan (optional)

Directions:

Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into thin strips. Place the strips in a large bowl and using your hands massage with the oil, about 30 seconds, until the leaves grow deep green, reduce in volume and take on a mellow sheen.
Slice the fennel stems into small pieces. Add the fennel and sliced radishes to the bowl of massaged kale.
Roughly chop the reserved fennel fronds, parsley and mint, and add them to the bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix with your hands or toss to combine. Add the feta or parmesan and toss gently to integrate. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed.

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