Farmers’ Market Corner for 5/9/15

The Black Cat Farm booth at the Boulder Farmers’ Market will include the following produce on May 9, 2015:

  • Baby fennel
  • Baby pak choi
  • Celery tops
  • Chard
  • Chrysanthemum greens
  • Cilantro
  • Escarole
  • Frisee
  • Mizuna
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Salad mix
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Sorrel
  • Swiss chard

Mulefoot pork cuts will also be available.

Note:  With the wet weather, we didn’t wash our produce as we usually do since doing so was of questionable value given the probability of post-washing mud.

Mulefoot pork is back!

After a long hiatus, our heritage Mulefoot pork is now available at the market.  Eric says that pork from Mulefoot pigs is the most delicious pork that he has sampled. NPR recently mentioned the Mulefoot in a piece on endangered farm animal breeds:

A few things to do with baby fennel

Last weekend, a lot of questions came up in conjunction with how to prepare our baby fennel.

Eric’s first piece of advice is to eat it raw because it’s so sweet and good. Other than chewing on the bulbs and stalks, you can remove the fronds, slice the bulbs and stalks on the diagonal into medium-sliced slices, and include them in a salad, both alone or with greens or other vegetables. You could also dice them and include the pieces in an omelet.

Eric also gave instructions for a butter-braised preparation.

Butter-braised fennel recipe

1. Wash and drain two bunches of baby fennel. Cut off the fronds and reserve. Slice the bulbs and stalks into uniform-sized pieces. Or use them whole, if desired.

2.  Place a skillet or other pan with a wide bottom on medium-low heat.  After the skillet has warmed, place two tablespoons of butter into it.

3. Add two tablespoons of water to the skillet (the idea is to use equal parts butter and water, if you want to scale up or down) and incorporate after the mixture settles.

4. Add the fennel to the skillet. After the butter has melted, add salt to taste, especially if you have used unsalted butter. Lower the burner setting to low and cover the skillet with a lid. Let the fennel pieces simmer until they are tender.

5. While the fennel pieces are braising, dry off and finely chop two or three fennel fronts and finely zest half of an orange.

6. After the fennel pieces are tender, add the chopped fennel fronds and orange zest to taste to the skillet.  Raise the heat to medium  and reduce the liquid just enough until it makes a thin sauce. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.

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