Fennel Slaw (Fresh Food Fridays)

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The final product! Also try mixed into a plain salad, you wont need any dressing.

We’re a little off schedule with this week’s post, but here you are! Happy February composters! We have successfully made it through the first month of 2016, and you better believe the local veggies are still coming in droves this winter. The warm days dotting the calendar here and there are a beautiful indication to any urban gardener or local veggie lover, because they mean a couple of things. First of all, those of us with gardens are probably growing our small crops from seed inside or in a greenhouse to plant for the spring, yay! For those of us with larger scale operations, it’s about time for the seasonal spring turnover to prepare soils for new crops. Second, we’re discovering some lovely spring crops like bell peppers and strawberries sprouting up here and there, the latter being in very high demand at the Downtown Farmer’s Market this season. If you only eat these seasonally (which you should) you just can’t get enough once the first harvest hits the markets.

IMG_0397It’s easy to get excited for spring, one hot day and I’m planning recipes for veggies that haven’t made it more than two months past germinating in the garden. This New Year I started a Spring/Summer garden with tomatoes, beans, wild onions, peppers, and some wildflowers with the Forage Farm seeds I have collected from their incredible seed distributions. I just planted some from last year, and they are doing fantastic! Info about the next distributions can be found here: http://www.foragefarm.org/2016/01/13/spring-and-summer-seed-selections/. It’s never too late to start, feed your soul with food from your front yard, it’s definitely worth it. It never hurts to gain some experience growing food for yourself right?

Since we’re not quite there yet, we still have to munch down on hardy winter veggies like fennel and purple cabbage. Fennel is a mysterious vegetable, but I like think of it as a combination of celery, dill, and mint for those who need a flavor profile. These were in my CSA, and I made a delicious fennel version of slaw with them, and threw in carrots and bell peppers for a lasting crunch. If not just a simple, compostable, healthy, vegetarian side dish, add the slaw to a BBQ sandwich…and you’ll never want regular coleslaw again!

What you’ll need:
1 fennel bulb
½ head of purple cabbage (if your cabbage is small, use more!)
1 bell pepper, sliced thin (red or orange is good, but any kind will work.)
2-3 julienned carrots
3 green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup mayo (I used Ojai Lemonaise because it has a zesty citrus flavor, and is made with cage-free eggs.)
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. local honey or agave
Salt and pepper

Step 1: After washing veggies thoroughly, cut the fronds off, slice thin and set them aside. Cut the center of the bulb from the fennel, and slice the bulb layers thin, about ⅛-¼ inch (¼ for crunchier salad). Repeat this for the purple cabbage, and compost those cores!

Step 2: Slice the bell pepper thin and chop after removing the seeds and stem. Peel and julienne the carrots. Either keep the pepper seeds to dry and store for a garden, or compost them along with the other scrap gold you make from these.

Step 3: Toss together the sliced fennel bulb, fronds, purple cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, and green onion in a large mixing bowl.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix ¼ cup mayo, apple cider vinegar, honey or agave, and salt and pepper (and any other seasoning you like) to taste. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat the veggies. Let the flavor set for about 30 minutes in the fridge, and then serve!

To learn more about bike-powered food waste diversion in Gainesville, FL, click here.

Thanks for reading,
Krissy Olson

About the Author

Krissy studies Sustainability in the Built Environment at the University of Florida. Her love for organic gardening and support for local food systems grew through her studies and Community Supported Agriculture. Krissy is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Gainesville Compost.