I was unhappy two weeks ago when I figured out that my schedule was going to prevent me from going to the farmers market. This usually leads to pouting. My Saturday schedule revolves around my farmers market outing and it has become a cornerstone of my weekend. It’s also become a social outlet for me as I’ve met vendors and made friends. When I miss the farmers market, I am bummed out.
Luckily, that same week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Greenling
event at The Grove where I learned about their great local box service – a delivery of produce from local farms. Clearly, it was a sign that everything was going to be ok.
If you haven’t ordered from Greenling before, it’s a great service. You can either build your own
box, selecting the specific items you want including groceries and produce, or you can order a local box where they pick the freshest from the farms for you. I opted for the local box because I like surprises.
For each neighborhood, there is a specified delivery and cut-off date. I live in Hyde Park so I had to order by Sunday for Wednesday delivery. When you place the order, you get to pick your delivery time (morning or afternoon) so that the produce doesn’t sit out in the heat too long. I asked for afternoon delivery because I knew I wouldn’t get home until 7 pm.
When I rounded the corner from the stairwell, there it was! My Greenling box! If you are the kind of person who gets excited about
package deliveries, and I am, then you will love this. It’s like a present from Farmer Claus. I could not wait to open it and did so before I even
unlocked the door. (Yes, I am a dork.)
The box for that week included fennel, new potatoes, green beans, two types of onions, zucchini, cabbage, chives and mangoes. Yes, you
heard me, mangoes! There is a local farm growing mangoes. Now, that is exciting!
I immediately started thinking about dishes I wanted to make, and then I saw my welcome packet. They explain everything to you and give you a local grow chart so you know what kind of produce to expect. It also included a recipe for Baked Fennel with Parmesan. I think this is brilliant. Here’s a vegetable that maybe everyone isn’t comfortable cooking with so they give you a recipe for what to do with it. Perfect.
So, I’ve had this delightful experience and I think, “wow, that was really cool.” Little did I know that I wasn’t done yet. The next day, I received a call from Greenling just to make sure everything went ok and to give me a number if I had in questions. I LOVE great customer service.
Now, having said all that, I won’t order from Greenling every week (sorry Mason). As much as I love the service, the farmers market is a big part of my world. But, for those weeks when I just can’t make it and for all my friends who will not get out of bed on Saturday morning (and you know who you are), I highly recommend Greenling as an easy way to get fresh local produce. And it’s a present on your door step. How cool is that.
When I opened my Greenling delivery, I immediately envisioned a slaw with the cabbage, carrots and fennel. I made it tonight with some broiled salmon and it was delicious. I used one of the mangoes with the blueberries and peaches I bought at this week’s market to make a fruit salad for dessert.
Cabbage, Carrot & Fennel Slaw
I am not a big fan of cole slaw that is heavy on mayonnaise, so I use half mayo and half sour cream, and don’t use much. I also like a little bite in my slaw so I’ve been known to add jalapenos, hot sauce or hot curry powder. Tonight, I used the curry powder because I seasoned the salmon with curry powder. I also like the curry because it gives it a little sweetness. If you don’t like curry, you can add some
sweetness by adding a little sugar to the dressing.
1 head cabbage, thinly sliced
4-5 small carrots, peeled and grated
1 head fennel, finely chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped – I used a red onion to add some color
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsps curry powder
Combine the vegetables well in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream lemon juice and curry powder. Blend it well and adjust the season to taste.
Combine the vegetables and dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors set.
Honey and Mint Fruit Salad
1 mango, peeled and chopped
3 peaches, diced (I didn’t peel them, but you could)
2 small packages of blueberries, rinsed
1 tbsp honey
juice of 1 lemon
about 1 tbsp mint, chopped
Combine the fruit in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the honey and lemon juice and stir well until the honey dissolves in the juice (a whisk helps). Add the mint. Combine the fruit and the dressing.