overlooked veggies, esp at this time of year:
cucumbers, heirloom or english:
quick pickle cuc slices with spices (mint, roasted coriander, black sesame seed, dried chile pepper: the list goes on & experiment for days as all of the ingredients are cheap) & vinegar of choice (cider, asian rice, korean plum, mirin, etc); cucs juiced for soups and late summer drinks; cucs chopped & added into ice water; cucs chopped into fine dice for salsa with onions, citrus and pepper; cucs sliced into ribbons as a side dish for seafood, lightly seasoned; cucs added to cous-cous or any other grain/rice starch side.
fennel, bulbs and fronds:
sliced bulbs micro thin into a fresh salad with any combo of arugula, supremes of orange or grapefruit, thin red onions, chopped sardines, minced shallots, toasted capers, etc., best lightly dressed with olive oil, seasoned, and served as is or with shaved hard cheese.
braised bulb quarters in either olive oil and cracked pepper, touch of chix stock; or braised in orange juice & stock; baked au gratin style; or added to meats and porks in the cooking pan for a slow braise, served as a side. use the reserved fronds for garnish to reinforce the fennel flavor.
for soups: cook white beans, garlic, dried peppers, reserve. when ready to cook off, throw the beans in seasoned stock, chopped escarole, more fresh garlic, and fresh parsley, simmer until the escarole is al dente. season. do the same mix with cous-cous, bulgar wheat, or any other color bean you like.
as a roll: blanch whole escarole leaves in water or stock, cool and reserve. devise a cooked stuffing of choice: sauteed sausage & peppers; pine nuts, raisins & fresh herbs; minced chicken, sage, onion & cheese of choice. roll up the cooled fillings in the escarole leaves, warm through in an oven with broth and scattered cheese.