Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Hot Tomato Sandwich

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

Are you looking for something to do with all those cherry tomatoes?  In addition to salsas, cobblers, pasta sauces, etc., how about a hot tomato sandwich?  This is a vegetarian version of your typical hot beef or hot turkey sandwich and just as satisfying.

Recipe:

1-2 T. Olive Oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (about 2 pounds)

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

Basil garnish – optional

Shredded parmesan cheese – optional

Whole grain bread slices, toasted

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Preheat cast iron pan on medium.  Add oil and garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.  This should keep the garlic from getting too brown or burning.  Add the prepared tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over your favorite toasted whole grain bread.  Top with fresh basil and/or shredded parmesan if you wish.  The open-faced sandwich is  pictured here with freshly picked steamed green (plus purple and yellow) beans.  Enjoy – we do!

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Cucumber Salad

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Need a quick cucumber salad for lunch or dinner that’s just a step up from plain sliced cucumbers?

Try this:

1-2 peeled cucumbers, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. white wine vinegar

Slice your cucumbers as thin as you can.  if you have a mandoline so much the better, and faster.  There’s something different about the slices when they’re thinner versus thicker.  Sprinkle with salt and lightly stir.  Let stand for 15-30 minutes.   Drain most of the liquid – no need to squeeze or dry the cucumbers.

Then kick those slices up a notch with a splash of white wine vinegar.  Gently and thoroughly mix it in.  Add more vinegar if you like but less is better.  This makes a simple but refreshing side salad.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

‘Tis the season for garden veggie meals.  We’ve been mixing the old and the new, i.e. some veggies from last year’s harvest and some fresh from this year’s crop.  It’s not always easy to come up with brand new recipes but by virtue of what’s available in the pantry and/or the garden, the dishes end up being different most of the time.

One of our many favorites is Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad.  I first posted the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

This time, I tried something different.  I didn’t have a prebaked and chilled sweet potato so I peeled a raw one (from last year’s harvest), cut it into 3/4″ chunks and steamed them for 10 minutes.  I let the chunks cool naturally in a bowl while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

The chopped red onion was also from last year’s crop.  Instead of a serrano pepper I sliced a banana pepper and threw in some parsley, pepper cress and lettuce from this year’s garden.  It was fine but I still love cilantro the best in this salad.  Unfortunately, unless you plant cilantro every 2 weeks or so (succession planting as they say) it never seems to be available when you really want it!

To accompany the sweet potato salad I made Kohlrabi Pancakes which I first posted here.   I followed the recipe using 2 kohlrabies about 3″ across.  When shredded they made just about the right amount – 2 cups – for the pancakes.  They were delicate and delicious.  I don’t think anyone would guess what was in them.

Let us know what you’re eating from your larder and garden these days.   Good appetite!

 

Snow Peas A’Plenty

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

This has been a great year for peas and we didn’t even have to share any with the roaming neighborhood deer.  (Noel will tell you about his new electronic deer detractors in another post.)  We have been eating snow peas and a couple varieties of sugar snap peas (edible pods) every day for the past 3 weeks.

We have served them plain right out of the garden, as an appetizer with a dollop of  soft feta/cream mix or hummus on one end, and with various stir fries, fried rice and salads.

Here’s a picture of my latest fried rice:

Snow Pea Fried Rice

Snow Pea Fried Rice

Here’s a picture of a sugar snap pea pod salad taken to a pot luck, followed by the recipe.

Sugar Pea Pod Salad

Sugar Pea Pod Salad

Recipe:

Sugar Snap Pea Pod Salad

4 cups sugar snap peas, cleaned and stringed

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 cup feta cheese, finely chopped or crumbled

2-4 cups garden lettuce

vinaigrette salad dressing

Blanch sugar snap peas (edible pods and all) for 1 minute in boiling water.  Drain and immediately chill in cold water to stop the cooking and keep the peas crunchy.  Gently dry with a towel.

Toss peas and shallots with 2 T. vinaigrette or Italian style dressing.  (May chill in refrigerator at this point.)  Arrange on a bed of lettuce and sprinkle with feta cheese.  Serve with freshly ground pepper and extra dressing on the side.

Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, squeezed or mashed with 1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. stone ground or Dijon mustard

2 T. white wine vinegar

4 T. extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

Mix mustard into the garlic mash.  Stir in vinegar and beat in olive oil with a small fork.  May double the recipe for a larger serving.

Have a pea pickin’ good day!

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
Mulched Brussels Sprouts

Mulched Brussels Sprouts

We still have Brussels sprouts growing in the garden. They can tolerate light freezes and even colder temperatures if covered with straw or leaves – which we have done. Most years I pick the sprouts before it gets super cold, then blanch and freeze them. This year the freezer was already at capacity so that was not an option.

Lately I’ve been roasting the sprouts. There are lots of variations on the theme but basically the vegetables are tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven until “done”. I use “done” loosely because your version of done may be different than mine. Timing can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, depending upon the size of the sprouts and your definition of done. Some people like them just barely cooked and some like them browned and crispy.  Use some caution, overcooking can make them mushy inside.

Sprouts on Parchment

Sprouts on Parchment

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1-2 pounds Brussels sprouts

2-4 T. olive oil

1 clove squeezed garlic mashed with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Clean and trim Brussels sprouts. If they are very large you may want to cut them in half or cut an X in the stem end. Mix garlic/salt mixture with olive oil and toss with the sprouts. Grind pepper over all. Place on a greased broiler pan or use parchment paper. Bake until just done or until browned and crispy – your choice! The sprouts pictured were small, about the size of a nickel, and were roasted for 25 minutes.

We served them with a red wine/tamari seared portobello mushroom, buttered potatoes and pureed Red Kuri squash. Yum!

Portobello Harvest Dinner

Portobello Harvest Dinner

Roasted Butternut Squash Medallions with Sage Garnish

Monday, November 16th, 2015
Butternut Squash with Sage

Butternut Squash with Sage

You may have read about our harvest of smaller squash in a previous post by Noel.  The trellised squash yielded about 35 winter squash. We hadn’t even started counting the large varieties which included a 37 pound Boston Marrow, four Hubbards, several Red Kuris, large pumpkins, small pie pumpkins and some unknowns.

So this is the year to get creative with squash. It’s very filling and a little goes a long way. It’s good just roasted and it works in soups, stews, cakes, breads and smoothies, to name a few.

Here’s a recipe I tried last night. I don’t remember where I read about the concept but the oven temperature and timing stuck in my brain so here’s what I did.

1 or 2 Butternut Squash – depending upon how many servings needed

2-3 T. Butter or Olive Oil or oil of your choice – coconut oil? sesame oil?

Fresh sage leaves – one for each medallion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the solid neck only of the butternut into 1/2″ slices and peel. Brush the slices with melted butter and place on a well greased baking pan. I used parchment paper for a liner instead of greasing.  Bake for 15 minutes on one side. Turn the squash over, place one fresh sage leave on top, brush again with butter and bake for another 15 minutes. The squash should pierce easily with a fork. If it’s still firm bake a little longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Yum!

Notes:  Use the remaining bulbous part of the squash for another dish. If you have no fresh sage leaves just use some dried sage mixed with the butter.

 

Fermented Cabbage the Kraut Source Way

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
Sauerkraut Fermenting

Sauerkraut Fermenting

Above is a picture of the purple sauerkraut I started a couple of days ago with cabbage, ginger, dill and hot pepper.

We had about ten  cabbages of four different varieties in this year’s garden.  Since we don’t have a great way to store them fresh for any length of time I went on a fermentation binge.

Three years ago when I made my first successful ferment I wrote about the method used here.

While that’s a perfectly fine method I was introduced to Kraut Source by an e-mail note from my daughter – she knows where my interests lay!  They ‘kraut sourced’ their new ‘gizmo’ and I was intrigued.  It has a spring-action top to keep the veggies submerged below the liquid and a moat ‘water filled’ top with a loose cone-shaped cover so the ferment burps itself.  The only thing you need to do while the fermentation is doing its thing is to keep the moat filled with water which keeps the air out.

Here’s a picture of the three quarts I made a couple of weeks ago – fermented for ten days.  From left to right:  Dilly Kraut with Carrots, Purple Kraut with Apples, Raisins & Cinnamon and Kraut with Onion, Cilantro, Ginger, Cumin Seeds & Hot Pepper

Three Quarts of Finished Kraut

Three Quarts of Finished Kraut

Ferments can be done in as little as 4-5 days depending on how sour you like your kraut.  Salt quantity can vary according to your taste.  I used 2 teaspoons per quart.

The heat process involved in canning sauerkraut destroys the bacteria and probiotics that help digestion.  We just refrigerate it when we deem it done.

Grilled Zucchini

Saturday, August 15th, 2015
Zukes and Summer Squash

Zukes and Summer Squash

Noel outdid himself with the squash plantings in this year’s garden. Barring any complications with squash bugs, squash vine borers, and other varmints that come along we should be up to our eyeballs in squash of all kinds. This includes a wide variety of winter squash as well as at least five kinds of summer types – three different zukes and two different yellow summer squash.

Last year I made pureed zucchini onion and yellow summer squash soups for the freezer. I also roasted and froze zucchini and tomatoes. This year, besides sharing the wealth, I will be drying 1/4″ slices of zucchini. They’re a great addition when added to lasagna. They don’t need to be re-hydrated – they soak up the extra liquid in the sauce.

Preparing the Slices

Preparing the Slices

Noel has been grilling the squash slices basted with a vinaigrette dressing. They only take about 10-20 minutes to cook and are delicious.

Try to pick the squash when they’re smaller and more tender – around 7″-8″ long and about 1 1/2″ wide. Slice them lengthwise into 1/4″ pieces. We have a perforated metal grid to lay over the grill slats. There is too much of a chance for the sliced squash to fall through or stick to the wider slats of the grill. Noel has been using sunflower oil to grease the grid and it’s been working very well both to keep the slices from sticking and imparting some nutty flavor.

Basting With Herbed Vinaigrette

Basting With Herbed Vinaigrette

Brush squash pieces with your favorite vinaigrette or just olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until they are done the way you like them. I happen to like them a little softer.

Grilling  Squash

Grilling Squash

Here’s the marinade that we use:

1-2 garlic cloves, mashed

1 tsp. stone ground mustard

2 T. white wine vinegar

4 T. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

a few grinds of fresh pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Squeeze the garlic and mash with the salt. Mix in the mustard, vinegar and beat in the oil using a fork. Add the pepper and stir in the parsley.

Coat the squash pieces with the marinade and cook on grill preheated to high. Turn down to medium high if it seems too hot. Turn every 5 minutes, basting if necessary with extra marinade, until done.   Obviously, thicker pieces will take a little longer. Yummy!

Garden to Table

Garden to Table

 

 

Snow Pea Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Snow Pea Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry

Snow Pea Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry

Pea pods or snow peas are in – just in time to take over the green aspect in the kitchen from the dwindling asparagus patch. The young and tender pods are great eaten right off the vine. They’re good raw and also make a crunchy addition to a stir fry as long as you don’t overcook them.

Here’s what I came up with for dinner a couple of nights ago:

 Snow Pea Mushroom Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

2 T. olive oil or your favorite stir fry oil

1/2 cup raw almonds (or walnuts or cashews)

1 small sliced onion

1/2 pound tofu, diced

1 T. nutritional yeast

1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced

2 cups pea pods

1 cup veggie broth

3 T. tamari

2 T. arrowroot or cornstarch

1/2 tsp. maple syrup or sugar

Preheat wok or cast iron frying pan to medium high. Add 1 T. oil and add nuts, stirring constantly for 45 seconds to 1 minute until browned but not burned. Remove nuts from pan and set aside. Add onions to pan, stir for 1 minute and remove from pan. Add the other tablespoon of oil to pan. Add tofu and stir fry for 2 minutes until it starts to brown. Sprinkle in the nutritional yeast and brown for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the onions back to the pan along with mushrooms, pea pods and veggie broth. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Mix tamari, arrowroot and maple syrup in a small cup until thoroughly combined. Stir into veggies for about a minute to thicken the juice. Sprinkle the almonds on top and serve over rice.  We had black forbidden rice which has a nice nutty flavor and texture to complement the vegetables.

Sautéed Almonds

Sautéed Almonds

Sautéed Onions

Sautéed Onions

Sautéed Tofu

Sautéed Tofu

Fresh Crimini Mushrooms

Fresh Crimini Mushrooms

Fresh Snow Peas

Fresh Snow Peas

Veggie Broth

Veggie Broth

Arrowroot, Tamari Sauce and Maple Syrup

Arrowroot, Tamari Sauce and Maple Syrup

Radish and Pea Pod Sauté

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Radish and Pea Pod Sauté

Radish and Pea Pod Sauté

With the abundance of radishes in the garden this year I’m trying something new. We’ve always eaten our radishes raw, right out of the garden, or sliced in our salads. I had heard of cooking radishes but never tried it myself. Noel keeps bringing in radish thinnings (some not so thin) from the plantings used as row markers for the carrots, beets and turnips. The first handful of pea pods were a beautiful and vigorous snow pea called Giant Swiss that we bought from the folks at Fruition Seeds while we were walking the Chicago Flower Show this past March.

Peas and radishes hitting the kitchen at the same time turned on the light bulb and a new dish, at least for us, came about.

Here’s my recipe that serves 2 people:

2-3 t. olive oil

1 cup quartered radishes, if small just halve them

1 cup pea pods

2-3 t. water

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pat of butter, optional

Sautéing Radishes

Sautéing Radishes

Preheat cast iron frying pan to medium heat. Add oil and radishes and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add pea pods and water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a little bit of butter for extra flavor, if desired. The cooked radishes have a mellower flavor – a little like turnips – without the raw radish bite. The dish was interesting and tasty – something we will put in our repertoire!

Radishes and Peas in the Pan

Radishes and Peas in the Pan

Giant Swiss Snow Pea

Giant Swiss Snow Pea

Radish Thinnings

Radish Thinnings