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Off the Beet(en) Path

Off the Beet(en) Path

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Find more great recipes on Tod Dimmick's Powisset Farm recipe blog and at his own blog!

Tell us about your favorite off-the-beaten-track produce picks on our Facebook page.

Get more veggie love here!

Get a taste of Trustees farm-fresh veggies at our farm stands and market booths.

Buy local seven days a week at our dairy store at Appleton Farms!

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Special Places, The Trustees' member magazine. To subscribe, join The Trustees today.


The best part about summer? Farm-fresh local veggies, of course!

A Saturday morning wandering the stalls of your local farmers market can’t be beat, especially when you chance upon something a little different beyond the bins of tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and peas. Maybe it’s a veggie you’ve never tried before. Maybe it’s one that’s peaked your interest for weeks, but you’re just not sure what you’d do with it once you got it home.

To entice your culinary curiosity this summer, we enlisted the help of our Trustees farm managers who shared their favorite off-the-beaten track produce picks — and then asked Tod Dimmick, the recipe-maker extraordinaire behind our Powisset Farm recipe blog, for a delectable dish for you to try at home.

KOHLRABI

Picked by Lise Holdorf | Appleton Farms
Let’s face it, kohlrabi is just fun to say, but it’s also pretty tasty on your plate. Its name comes from kohl, German for “kale,” and rube/rapi, Swiss-German for “turnip,” which it resembles. While the leaves and thin stems are edible, it’s grown for its roundish bulb, which tastes just like a tender, sweet broccoli stem or cabbage core with a crunchy, light texture. High in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, this cool-weather crop grows in spring and fall, with green and purple varieties.

GRILLED KOHLRABI
Tender kohlrabi on the inside, grill flavor on the outside. This is a good use of large summer kohlrabi. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Serves: 4–6.
Ingredients
2 large kohlrabi, peeled, cut into 1/2” slices, and steamed until
tender crisp
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
Directions
While kohlrabi is steaming preheat the grill. Mix the garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. When kohlrabi is steamed, remove slices to a shallow dish and coat with the olive oil mixture, turning. Grill for 2 minutes per side. Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and topping with Parmesan cheese. Variation: Add chopped cooked chicken, pork, or sausage.

FENNEL

Picked by Gretta Anderson | Moraine Farm
With its feathery leaves and celery-like stalk atop a white bulb, fennel is related to parsley, carrots, dill, and cilantro. It’s slightly sweet, crunchy, and licorice-flavored — and the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds are all edible.

FENNEL, CUCUMBER & FRESH GREEN SALAD
This crunchy, savory salad is hard to stop eating. Prep time: 15 minutes. Serves: 2–4.
Ingredients
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
4 cups fresh spinach (or other greens)
1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cucumber, chopped into 1/4” pieces
1 small sweet onion, chopped into 1/4” pieces
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
2–3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Combine solid ingredients, and toss with lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

GARLIC SCAPES

Picked by Rory O’Dwyer | Weir River Farm
This tasty treat is actually the undeveloped flower bud and stalk of the garlic plant. Each spring, our farmers must snap off this lovely, slightly coiled, flower-to-be, so that the plant can send its growing energy into the garlic bulb underground (and not towards making flowers and seeds). You can use the entire garlic scape any way that you would use garlic – sauté it in oil or butter, add it to omelets, pasta, pesto, and so much more!

BROCCOLI & GARLIC SCAPE SLAW
Throw out broccoli stems? Nonsense! Quick work with a food processor yields a tasty slaw that can be used a number of ways. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Serves: 4.
Ingredients
3–4 broccoli stems*, bottom inch of the stem removed, scrubbed, and sliced into pieces narrow enough to fit in a food processor feed tube
4 garlic scapes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken stock (or 1 cup water and 1 bouillon cube)
Salt to taste (if using chicken stock; bouillon has lots of salt)
1 can (15 oz) Cannellini beans (optional)
Directions
Run the broccoli stems and the garlic scapes through a food processor equipped with the coarse shredding blade. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the shredded broccoli, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt (or the bouillon), cover, and cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Add the Cannellini beans if using, heat for another minute, and serve.
* Test the tenderness of your broccoli stems by taking a small bite. If they are crunchy, they’re good to use; tough and woody, not so much. Use those for compost.

BEET GREENS

Picked by Meryl LaTronica | Powisset Farm
You’ll find varieties of beets and their greens in your CSA share or farmers market throughout the growing season. For a more fanciful salad, look beyond the more common red beets for golden beets and the pink-and-white-ringed Chioggia beets. And, don’t just toss the greens when you store your beets — these greens are packed with vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and can be substituted in any dish calling for spinach or a cooked green. For a delicious start, try steaming or sautéing them with garlic and olive oil, then squeeze a touch of lemon juice on top.

JALAPEÑO BEET GREENS
Seasonal ingredients enable unusual — and delicious — combinations. Here, sweet caramelized onions and beet greens marry beautifully with the mild heat of Jalapeño peppers. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 25 minutes. Serves: 2–4 as a side dish.
Ingredients
2–3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, 1/4" dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 bunch beet greens, cleaned, stems separated and diced, leaves coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
4–5 leaves fresh sage, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, minced
1 sprig rosemary leaves (about 2 teaspoons fresh), minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions and beet stems for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the jalapeño, rosemary, and sage. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the beet greens, stir and cover, and cook for another 8–10 minutes, stirring a few times, or until the greens are wilted and stems are tender. Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

FAVA BEANS

Picked by Molly DellaRoman | Moose Hill Farm
Sometimes called “broad beans,” fava beans are well known in many parts of the world where they’ve been eaten for centuries, but are a newer addition to The Trustees’ CSAs and farmers markets. With a buttery-textured, slightly bitter, and nutty flavor, this member of the legume family makes a great addition to pasta dishes or salads.

PASTA WITH FAVA BEANS, CHARD, AND PARSLEY
There’s a kindred spirit between earthy, al dente whole-wheat pasta and the earthy, vibrant flavors of fresh chard and parsley. Layer in the richness of fava beans and sautéed onions, and this is a dish to make more than once. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Serves: 4–6 with leftovers.
Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 small bunch chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
1–2 cups prepared fava beans
1 bunch parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
1 lb whole-wheat pasta, your favorite
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
Heat water for the pasta. Sauté the onion for 5 mintues in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chard stems and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the chard leaves, cover, and cook for 3–5 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until leaves are wilted. Stir in the prepared fava beans and set aside. Cook the pasta, drain, and return pasta to the cooking pot. Stir in the vegetable mix from the skillet, and the chopped parsley. Distribute to serving plates, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and topping with Parmesan.