Browsed by
Tag: From the Garden

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

 

1 clove Garlic, sliced in fine slivers

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon fresh Dill, torn from stems

1/3 cup shelled peas

1-2 cups Mache lettuce

6 to 8 Nasturtium blossoms

 

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, dill and peas, sauté for 2 minutes. Toss in the Mache lettuce, sauté just until wilted.  Add Nasturtium blossoms and stir for about 10 seconds. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and serve immediately.

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves

 

Celery leaves are actually quite tasty and incredibly versatile.

 

Add celery leaves to salads: My aunt likes to cut up the leaves and add them to her green salads. I had never tried it myself until I went to her house for lunch one day. I was surprised to find that it can be a delicious addition to change up and add a burst of flavor to your raw greens. (I think that it especially pairs up well with salads with apple slices.) I think the best leaves for salads are the lighter green, younger leaves, but that is a matter or taste, of course.

 

Add celery leaves and stalk pieces to stocks and bone broths: I like to freeze some of the leaves, and the small, ugly stalk bits I cut from my snacking pieces, so I can have them handy whenever I make stock or bone broth. Celery is probably my favorite vegetable for adding to stocks and broths. Not only is it incredibly healthy, adding its vitamins and antioxidants to your already healthy broths, but it also adds delicious flavor. I also often blend celery leaves and stalk pieces, along with onions, into soups with an immersion blender to give them great flavor and a thicker consistency. (That was a tip I learned from another one of my aunts.)

 

Chop celery leaves and use them as an herb. Celery leaves make a great replacement for fresh parsley in many recipes. You can chop the fresh leaves and add them to salsa and homemade salad dressings, for example. You can also dry the leaves and crumble them, using them as you would dried parsley.

Make pesto sauce with celery leaves.

 

Make celery powder with leftover leaves and ugly stalk pieces. This is actually probably my favorite use of leftover celery leaves and bits and pieces. It’s simple enough to dehydrate the leftover pieces and grind them into a fine powder once they are fully dry. The nice thing about celery powder is that it doesn’t take up much space at all and it keeps very well. I like to add it to soups, sauces, and all sorts of other dishes to add flavor and nutrients.

 

Make celery salt. Celery salt is just a modified use of celery powder. It is often made with ground celery seed that is mixed with salt. Don’t have celery seeds? You can also make a wonderful celery salt using the leaves and other not-so-pretty celery bits. Celery salt is often asked for in recipes, but I like to use it in place of regular sauce in all sorts of recipes to add extra nutrients and flavor!

 

Save for chickens or compost. If you don’t want to use the celery leaves yourself, don’t throw them away! When I’m short on time (and my freezer is full, and I have an abundance of celery powder on hand already), I throw them to my hens and they seem to love them. You can also add them to your compost bin.

 

Celery Powder

 

Wash and dry celery leaves and other celery bits and pieces. (To reduce drying time, consider chopping stalks into smaller pieces.) Fully dry leaves and stalk pieces in a dehydrator or at the lowest heat and convection setting of your oven. (Check occasionally and remove dry, brittle pieces, leaving the rest of the celery pieces to continue drying until brittle.) Once they are fully dry, grind up the celery leaves and stalk pieces until you obtain a fine powder. Celery leaves can be easily pulverized with a mortar and pestle. If using stalk bits, though, I find it much easier to use a spice grinder of coffee grinder.   Store the homemade celery powder in a well-sealed container to keep moisture out, preferably out of direct sunlight.

 

 

Celery Salt

 

2 Tbsp celery powder

2 Tbsp salt

 

Mix together celery powder and salt. Store in a well closed container in a cool, dark place.

Green Tomato Relish

Green Tomato Relish

Green Tomato Relish

 

Slice:

One-half peck green tomatoes (about 8 lb)

12 bell peppers, about 1/3 red or as available

5 large onions (less if Spanish onions, which are larger)

1 large garlic bulb or about 8 cloves of garlic

 

In a crock: Layer these sliced vegetables with about 1/2 cup pickling salt; add scant teaspoon to finish as needed. Push  a clean plate down over the vegetables until brine covers them.  Cover the crock and set in cool corner overnight.   Drain and rinse after 12 hours (approximately).

 

Pickling mixture:   (Heat in resistant pan, enamel or stainless steel)

1 1/2 quarts cider vinegar

2 lb light brown sugar

1 T plus 1 t powdered ginger

1 T plus 1 t dry mustard

In infuser bag or wrapped in cheesecloth

2T whole cloves

2 sticks cinnamon

1 T celery seed

 

Add vegetables and simmer until translucent.  Try to avoid a heavy boil. Can these in pint jars for 15 minutes (hot water bath canning). Pickles can first be chopped in a food processor, taking care not to purée the relish. Allow pickles to mellow for 1 month before using.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

 

¹⁄³ cup fresh raspberries

¹⁄³ cup chopped shallots

¼ cup raspberry vinegar

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¹⁄³ cup mascarpone cheese

1 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

½ tsp. minced fresh thyme

12 fresh squash blossoms, pistils removed

Vegetable oil, for frying

½ cup all-purpose flour

 

Beer Batter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dark Mexican beer

 

Combine the raspberries, shallots, and vinegar in a blender or food processor, and process to form a coarse puree. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.  Mix the mascarpone, chipotle chiles and sauce, and thyme in a small bowl. Season the filling to taste with salt and pepper. Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Pipe the filling into each squash blossom and twist the blossom at the top to enclose it. Place a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add enough vegetable oil to reach one third of the way up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F. Dust the squash blossoms in the flour and then dip them into the beer batter. Working in batches, fry the squash blossoms for 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer them to paper towels to drain. Arrange the squash blossoms on a platter, drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette, and serve. Prep Beer Batter: Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add the beer while whisking. Set the batter aside and let it rest for 15 minutes before using. Tip: No pastry bag? No worries. Put the filling in a plastic bag and cut a 1/4-inch hole in one of the corners.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

 

A couple lb. of hard green tomatoes

½ cup pickling and canning salt

4 or 5 garlic cloves, crushed

Extra virgin olive oil

1 T. fennel seeds and/or chiles to taste

 

Core the tough stem-end of the tomatoes and cut them into easy-to-eat sized slices, about ½-inch thick. Mix tomato slices, garlic, any spices, and the salt in a bowl. Layer salted slices in a non-reactive container (a large ceramic crock, glass jar, or deep bowl). Place a round of parchment on top and press it down onto slices. Put a flat plate about the diameter of the container on top of the parchment. Weight the plate with something heavy (a gallon paint can, a pail of rocks, etc). Put the crock(s) in a cool place for two weeks (we use our unheated garage), covered with plastic trash bags. After the two-week ferment, the pickles will have flattened some. Rinse in a colander and remove the garlic. Pack the rinsed tomatoes in sterilized jars and cover with olive oil, use a clean chopstick to remove any air bubbles, and make sure everything is submerged in oil. They are ready to eat right away. Refrigerate for up to 3 months (we’ve had them last closer to a year).

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

 

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves

1/4 cup arugula, washed and spun dry

5 green tomatoes, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 T.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish

 

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 T. salt. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the mint, basil, parsley, arugula, 1 clove of garlic, Parmigiano and olive oil and pulse to form a chunky purée. Season aggressively with salt and pepper and set aside. In a sauté pan add 2 T. of olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes and garlic, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add full ladle of pesto into pan. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until just al dente. Drain the pasta and add to pan with tomatoes and pesto. Add some of the pasta water and toss to coat. Top with sprinkle with the Parmigiano and serve immediately.

Celeriac Soup with Seared Scallops & Lovage Oil

Celeriac Soup with Seared Scallops & Lovage Oil

Celeriac Soup with Seared Scallops & Lovage Oil

 

1 celeriac, diced

1 leek, pale parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

1 small parsnip, diced

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig Italian parsley

2 T. packed lovage leaves

¼ cup plus 3 T. extra virgin olive oil

12 large sea scallops (about 1 lb.), feet removed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp. celery seeds, ground

2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Combine the celeriac, leek, parsnip, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and 2 quarts water in a large, heavy pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the celeriac is tender. Meanwhile, combine the lovage and ¼ cup of the oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Gently pat the scallops dry with paper towels. Season them generously with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the celery seed, and set aside at room temperature for about half an hour. Strain the lovage oil through a fine mesh sieve. Heat a large, heavy sauté pan over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the remaining 3 T. of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the scallops and cook without disturbing for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they release from the pan and are crusty and brown. Using tongs, turn the scallops and continue to cook over high heat another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the desired doneness. Moisture will just begin to accumulate on the surface of the scallops when they are medium-rare. Remove the scallops to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf, thyme sprig, and parsley sprig from the soup, remove from the heat, and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the scallops in shallow individual bowls, divide the soup among them, being careful not to pour it directly over the scallops, and drizzle with the lovage oil. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. Celeriac is also known as celery root. Leeks tend to be very dirty, so rinse them thoroughly after you chop them. Celery leaves can be used if lovage leaves are unavailable. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender but remember: never fill a blender more than half way with hot liquid. This means you will need to blend the soup in batches and reheat it before serving.

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

 

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1 T. fresh lemon juice

½ pint grape tomatoes

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. dried mint

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese

 

Combine the chopped garlic and lemon juice in a medium bowl; let them hang out while you prep the tomatoes. (The lemon juice will tame the garlic’s bite.) Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and add them to the bowl. Stir in the salt, mint, and olive oil and let it sit for a minute or two. Divide the cheese between two bowls and spoon the tomato mixture on top.

Fennel And Jicama Salad

Fennel And Jicama Salad

Fennel And Jicama Salad

 

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp. flaky sea salt, or to taste

1 tsp. pink peppercorns, lightly crushed with your fingers, plus more for garnish

1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved

1 small jicama (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, halved and cut into thin matchsticks

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled

coarsely cracked black pepper

 

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add hot water to cover. Set aside for about 20 minutes, then drain and thinly slice them. Meanwhile, in a small, lidded jar, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pink peppercorns. Cover and shake until emulsified. Finely chop the fennel fronds to make ¼ cup and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, jicama, cucumber, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Stir in the fennel fronds and cheese, finish with a little salt, a couple of grinds of pepper, and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns lightly crushed between your fingers. Spoon into bowls and serve.

Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Open-Faced Watercress, Nasturtium, and Cucumber-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

 

40 unsprayed nasturtium flowers, washed and dried

1 large bunch of fresh watercress, washed, dried, and large stems removed

8 ounces cream cheese, softe3ned

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

6 slices of hearty whole-grain bread, such as rye, whole wheat, or multi-grain

 

Setting aside 12 nasturtium flowers for garnish, finely julienne the rest with a sharp knife. Setting aside 6 watercress sprigs for garnish, finely chop the remaining watercress. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with the chopped flowers, chopped watercress, cucumber, salt, and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend together. Remove the cream cheese mixture from the refrigerator half an hour before serving to allow it to soften slightly. With a sharp knife, finely julienne 6 of the reserved nasturtium flowers. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread slices. Top each slice with some red onion slices and a sprinkling of the julienned flowers. To serve, place 1 slice of the prepared bread on each plate, and top with a whole nasturtium flower and a watercress sprig.

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto

 

2 C. fresh basil

1 cup fragrant rose petals

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup pine nuts (or pistachios or walnuts)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. food grade rose water

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (don’t substitute bottled juice)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

Salt, optional

 

Peel and coarsely chop garlic, then add rose petals, basil, nuts and olive oil in food processor. Pulse blend until everything is well pulverized. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. This can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Marigolds and Tomatoes are great buddies in the garden.  They like similar growing conditions, and marigolds deter tomato worms in the soil.

12 Roma or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, seeds scooped out

1 small (4 oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.

1 sprig (about 4 inches long) Sweet Basil, stem removed

1/2 cup pecan halves

Petals from 2 French marigolds

In small food processor, put the pecans, marigold petals and basil and pulse-process until the material is chopped fine. Put in small bowl and combine with the cream cheese, then stuff each tomato half, rounding up like with deviled eggs. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Grilled Blue Cheese and Sorrel Sandwiches

Grilled Blue Cheese and Sorrel Sandwiches

Grilled Blue Cheese and Sorrel Sandwiches

 

For these sandwiches, I like to use Diamante bread from Essential Baking Co. – the salt crust and the rosemary leaves add a whole new dimension – or Macrina bakery’s potato bread, which has a particularly nice chewy, crisp texture when it’s grilled. I like to use Oregon Blue Cheese just because it’s somewhat local, but Gorgonzola or the quintessential Roquefort will make the sandwich at least as good, if not better.

 

4 slices rustic white bread

2 T. butter

4 ounces blue cheese

4 large leaves of sorrel

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Butter one side of each slice of bread and put the bread buttered-side-down on a griddle or in a skillet large enough to accommodate all four slices. Turn on the heat to medium or medium high and crumble the blue cheese over the surface of the bread. Stack the sorrel leaves with all the stems pointed in the same direction, and roll them, lengthwise, into a little bundle. Trim off the stem end and cut the bundle crosswise into -inch slices to make thin little ribbons of the leaves. (Incidentally, this is called a chiffonade.) Distribute the cut sorrel evenly over the surface of the cheese and grill the sandwiches open-faced until the cheese is melted and the buttered side of the bread is browned and crisp. Close the sandwiches and cut each one in half. Serve hot.

Radish Salad

Radish Salad

Radish Salad

 

About 12 radishes, thinly sliced

1 T. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. fresh lime juice

1 T. orange juice

Ground Urfa or other mild chilies to taste (optional)

2 T. chopped mint or cilantro

 

Combine radishes with salt, and cover with water in a bowl. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Meanwhile, stir together the pepper and fruit juices. Toss radishes with dressing and chilies. Taste. Add more salt, pepper or lime juice as needed. Garnish with herb and serve.

Garden Skillet with Sausage and Eggs

Garden Skillet with Sausage and Eggs

Garden Skillet with Sausage and Eggs

 

½ pound sausage,  bulk or removed from casings

Olive oil

1 medium (about 8 ounces) zucchini or summer squash, thickly grated or julienned

1 small bell pepper, julienned (color of choice or a mix)

1 large (~10-12 ounces) bunch kale, tough stems stripped away and sliced into thin strips or chopped (may mix and match dark leafy greens of choice)

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1-2 eggs per person, according to appetite

Optional for serving: Chopped avocado; cooked quinoa, rice, or grain of choice; freshly grated Parmesan, crumbled feta, or your favorite cheese; chopped nuts and/or seeds; crusty bread or roll

 

In a large, lightly oiled skillet (I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet), sauté the sausage over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, crumbling as you go. (Look for some nice golden color, but it doesn’t have to be cooked through yet.) Drizzle in a T. of olive oil (and a sprinkling of spice, if using – see notes), and add the zucchini and bell pepper. Spread into an even layer along with the sausage, and sear the mixture for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and spreading back out, or until cooked to your liking. (If your skillet becomes dry, add another drizzle of olive oil.) Season with a little salt and pepper, and then add the kale in batches, tossing gently to rotate the top layer down. As the kale wilts, add more until you have added it all to the pan. At this point I drizzle in another T. or so of olive oil and add another sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the mixture as you go, until the kale is wilted. Once the kale is tender, make an indentation for each egg, and crack an egg into each one. Cook until the eggs are set to your liking. If you prefer a firmer top, cover the pan for a minute or two or run briefly under the broiler, watching closely to avoid burning. Optionally, you could scramble the eggs into the vegetable mixture, if preferred. Remove the pan from the heat and serve as is or over optional cooked grain of choice. We often serve over quinoa and top with chopped avocado and salted pumpkin seeds. YUM!

Summer Nasturtium Soup

Summer Nasturtium Soup

Summer Nasturtium Soup

 

1 head of cos/romaine lettuce

1 oz. nasturtium flowers and leaves

1 oz. butter

1 stick celery chopped

1 small onion chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 pint vegetable or chicken stock

1 potato peeled and chopped

3 1/2 fl. oz. almond milk or other milk of choice

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra flowers and petals chopped finely to garnish

 

Chop the lettuce and nasturtiums and set aside. Melt butter in a pan and cook the onion and celery for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped lettuce, nasturtiums, potato and stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Whiz with a stick blender and add the milk and seasoning.

Serve either hot or cold and garnished with finely chopped nasturtium flowers and petals on top.

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

 

4 T. olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 cup frozen corn kernels (4 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 C. grated pepper jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining T. oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Baked Salmon with Sorrel and Cream

Baked Salmon with Sorrel and Cream

Baked Salmon with Sorrel and Cream

 

Six 7- to 8-ounce salmon fillets with skin Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 large sorrel leaves, cut into fine ribbons

1 tsp. chopped garlic

1 C. heavy cream

 

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange the salmon fillets, skin side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until congealed juices appear as white spots on the surface of the fish. While the salmon is baking, combine the sorrel, garlic, and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the sauce is boiling hard and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. With a long metal spatula, lift the fillets from the baking sheet, leaving the skin behind. Transfer to warm plates, top with sorrel sauce, and serve at once.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

 

4 C. grated zucchini I used about 3.5 medium zucchinis

½ tsp. salt

½ C. finely diced onion I like to use frozen diced onion as a shortcut

1 T. minced garlic

2 eggs

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese plus an additional 2 T.

1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

½ C. shredded cheddar cheese

½ C. Panko breadcrumbs

2 T. melted butter

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and set aside (I used a dish that was 8-in x 5-in, but an 8-inch square pan will also work). Place zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this will help draw out some of the water from the zucchini). After 10 minutes, squeeze out moisture from the zucchini. TIP: In order to make sure that I get most of the water out of the zucchini (and avoid a runny casserole), I like wrap the zucchini in a dish towel. Squeeze it and wring it out multiple times while it’s in the towel. In the prepared dish, combine zucchini, onion, garlic, eggs, ½ C. Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese. I like to use my hands to make sure that it’s all completely combined, and then gently press the mixture evenly into the prepared dish. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour melted butter over breadcrumbs and 2 T. of Parmesan cheese. Stir until completely combined. After 20 minutes, remove zucchini from the oven. Sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs over the zucchini and return the dish to the oven. Continue baking for about 5-10 more minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

 

1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove

Small handful basil leaves

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Stack basil leaves and slice into thin ribbons.  In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil for about 2 minutes, or until a foam forms. Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds, then turn down heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes have given off most of their liquid and caramelized slightly. Transfer warm tomatoes to a serving bowl, scatter basil ribbons over top, and serve immediately with a generous spoonful of pan juices.

Concia (Fried and Marinated Zucchini)

Concia (Fried and Marinated Zucchini)

Concia (Fried and Marinated Zucchini)

Concia is an Italian dish from the Jewish tradition in Rome.

 

2 clove garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)

¼ C. finely chopped mint leaves

2/3 C. white wine vinegar

neutral oil (as needed for frying)

6–7 zucchini (cut into ½‑inch rounds)

1 tsp. kosher salt

whole mint leaves (as needed for garnish)

extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

 

Combine garlic, mint, and vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside. Line a wire rack with paper towels. In a medium frying pan or cast-iron skillet, heat 2 inches of neutral oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the zucchini in small batches until golden brown or darker, if you wish, and transfer to rack to drain. Season with the salt. Add the zucchini to the vinegar marinade and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve garnished with whole mint leaves and drizzled with olive oil, on its own as a side dish or as a sandwich filling: Slice open bread, fill with concia, and drizzle with leftover marinade.

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

Rhubarb Chess Pie

single-crust pie pastry

2 C. (½‑inch thick) slices rhubarb

1 ¼ C. granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp. unsalted butter (at room temperature)

3–4 pinch kosher salt (divided)

4 large eggs (lightly beaten)

½ C. heavy cream

¼ C. melted unsalted butter

2 T. white vinegar

1 T. cornstarch

1 T. cornmeal

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Set oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch circle, a generous ⅛‑inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9‑inch pie plate and gently press it up the sides. Drape any excess crust over the edge, then fold under and crimp decoratively. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of the dough. Line the dough with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment or foil, then continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and pale colored. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Meanwhile, toss together sliced rhubarb, ¼ C. granulated sugar, butter, and a big pinch of salt on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Scrape the rhubarb, and any juices, evenly across the bottom of the prepared pie pastry. Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, remaining sugar, cream, melted butter, vinegar, cornstarch, cornmeal, vanilla and 2 or 3 big pinches of salt. Once well-combined pour the mixture over the rhubarb in the pie pastry. Place the pie, on the rimmed baking sheet, in the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes., or until the center of the pie is just set. If the crust get too brown lightly tent it with foil for the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire rack 2 hours. Cover and chill the pie at least 3 hours. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature 15 or 20 minutes before slicing.

Charred Pole Beans with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

Charred Pole Beans with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

Charred Pole Beans with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

1 pound heirloom tomatoes (sliced)

¼ C. extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound pole beans (trimmed)

3 clove garlic (peeled and minced)

2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

kosher salt (as needed for seasoning)

2 C. whole fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)

 

Spread the sliced heirloom tomatoes across a serving platter and set aside. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch or larger cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet. Add the pole beans and cook them in as close to a single layer as possible, tossing occasionally, until the beans are nicely charred; about 4–5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Cook until the beans are just tender, while still retaining a bite, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the basil leaves until just wilted. Transfer to the platter of sliced heirlooms and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

2 pound heirloom tomatoes in different sizes, colors and textures

very good olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper

2 tablespoon lemon basil leaves left whole

 

Choose a great variety of tomatoes for this recipe. Variable tastes and textures will add a lot of interest to this salad. Start by slicing the tomatoes between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Again vary the thicknesses slightly to get a more interesting texture. Very small tomatoes may be halved or quartered. There is no “right way”. Arrange the slices attractively on a platter. Season them generously with salt and pepper, drizzle the olive oil over the top. Be generous because the oil combines with the juices to make a delicious dressing. Tuck the whole lemon basil in attractively here and there over the top of the tomatoes. Let this stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes.

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

1 pound zucchini or yellow summer squash

2 tablespoon shallots, minced

2 tablespoon olive oil

juice of one lemon

2 teaspoon lemon zest

salt and pepper, to taste

parmesan cheese, to taste

½ C. pistachios, chopped

2 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped

 

Getting the long thin “linguini” like strands of zucchini is vital to the success of this recipe. The thin threads are served raw and the acid in the dressing cooks the “pasta”. You may use a peeler with a julienne blade, or also a mandoline. If you have good knife skills you may even use a chef’s knife. Whatever process you use just make sure the strands are as long and thin as you can reasonably achieve. To make the dressing mix the shallots, olive oil, lemon juice and zest together with some salt and pepper. Shake or whisk well to emulsify. Pour this mixture over the zucchini threads and toss well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Shave long thin strips of Parmesan cheese over the zucchini, followed by the pistachios and mint. Serve immediately.

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

 

1 organic or free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

11 oz rhubarb

1/4 C. raw organic sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cut the rhubarb into pieces and mix it with the sugar in a bowl. Take the chicken out of the oven, place the rhubarb under the chicken, put it back in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes more.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

When fresh rhubarb is not available, frozen can be used in its place. Also, keep in mind, rhubarb stalks range in color, from a light green to a stunning red. The lighter stalks will create a less vivid red syrup. Adding a few cranberries during the cooking process will enhance the color of the simple syrup.

 

4 cups fresh Rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups Water

1 1/2 cups organic granulated Sugar

 

Add the water, sugar and rhubarb to a heavy bottom pot. On medium heat bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, cooking until rhubarb has softened and is breaking apart. Set mixture aside until it has cooled. Using a fine mesh strainer, reserve the syrup. Allow mixture to strain naturally without pushing down on the rhubarb. Doing so will leave sediments in the syrup.  Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Reserve the cooked rhubarb to be used in cakes, muffins, breads, as well as to top ice-cream.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka & Cocktails

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka & Cocktails

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

 

4 C. rhubarb  (the pale pink, thin-stemmed kind), cut into short lengths

8-12 ripe strawberries, halved

1.5 C. Granulated sugar

2 thin slices fresh ginger

2 pints vodka

Optional, vanilla bean, halved

 

Put all the ingredients in a large clip top mason jar and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Leave in a cool place and shake 2-3 times a week for 3-4 weeks until the liquid is a rich pink color. Set a large sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with muslin. Strain the vodka though the sieve, then transfer to a jug and pour carefully into clean, dry bottles. Seal and label the bottles. The vodka is now ready to drink, or will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Serve over ice or neat in chilled shot glasses or make into a long drink topped with soda or fizz, adding half a strawberry just before serving.

 

Rhubarb & Strawberry Martini

2 oz. Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

1 oz. Triple Sec

1 oz. Lemonade

4 Crushed Strawberries

Squeeze of Lemon Juice

 

Shake all ingredients together and pour into martini glass.  Garnish with strawberry if you like.

 

Sunburnt Greyhound

 

304 Mint Leaves

2 oz. Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

6oz. Grapefruit Juice

Juice of half a Lime

 

Add ingredients to muddler and muddle the mint. Shake with ice and pour into glass.

Creamed Cucumbers

Creamed Cucumbers

Creamed Cucumbers

2 med. cucumbers

1/2 c. sweet cream

1/3 c. vinegar

2 T., sugar

1 med. (sweet) onion thinly sliced

Salt, Pepper, Dill or other seasonings to taste.

 

Peel and slice cucumbers and onions. Soak in saltwater for 1/2 hour. Drain, rinse, and squeeze out excess water. Mix other ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

1 pound small sweet peppers, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

3 large shallots, sliced into rings

1 1⁄2 C. white wine vinegar

1⁄2 C. water

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1⁄4 C. plus 1 T. sugar

1 T. plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 

Divide peppers and shallot evenly between jars. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, 1⁄2 C. water, garlic, sugar, salt, and red pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; discard garlic. Divide vinegar mixture evenly between jars. Seal jars, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 24 hours or up to 1 month.

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

6 C. rhubarb, chopped into 1” slices

zest and juice 2 medium orange

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 2/3 C.  self-rising flour

6 T. butter, cut into pieces

2/3 C. milk

 

2 T. flaked almond

Mascarpone or crème fraîche, to serve

 

Heat oven to 350. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the orange juice and 2/4 C. of the sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then cover and cook for a few mins until the rhubarb is softened but still holding its shape, about 5 mins. Tip into a 1.5 quart gratin dish.

 

Put the flour, orange zest and remaining sugar in a bowl, add the butter, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Drop 8 spoonfuls of mixture over the rhubarb and scatter with the almonds. Bake for 25-30 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve warm with mascarpone or crème fraîche.

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

¼ C. EVOO

3 T. Shelled, Roasted Pistachios

2 T. Balsamic Vinegar or White Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

12 Basil Leaves, roughly chopped

2 Springs Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 clove Garlic, grated

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Kosher Salt

2 1.1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved

2 Nectarines, cut into wedges

2 balls Burrata Cheese, roughly torn

2 T. snipped fresh Chives for serving

Flaky Sea Salt for serving

 

In a food processor, combine the olive oil, pistachios, vinegar, honey, basil, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and nectarines. Add the pistachio puree, tossing to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes or covered with plastic wrap overnight in the fridge. To serve, divide the salad evenly among six bowls and top each with some torn burrata, chives, and a pinch of flaky salt.

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

4 small or 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into very thin ribbons

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

6 ounces goat cheese (or ricotta if you prefer)

1 T. fresh thyme, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons honey, plus more for serving

Zest of ½ lemon

¼ C. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped

¼ C. fresh basil leaves, chopped

10 thin slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini ribbons with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, thyme, honey, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Working with one at a time, lay out a zucchini ribbon on a clean work surface. Spoon 1 T. of the cheese mixture onto one end and roll up the ribbon. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the zucchini to secure. Place the rolls seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini ribbons. Bake until the prosciutto is crisp, 20-25 minutes.  They will ooze a bit, this is ok!  Let them set up on the baking sheet for 6 or so minutes before sprinkling with thresh thyme and drizzled with honey.

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

1 pound strawberries

1 pound rhubarb stalks

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons rose flower water

 

Wash the strawberries and rhubarb well. Hull the berries and dice them into small pieces. Chop the rhubarb into segments approximately 1/2 inch in size. Place the chopped fruit in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with sugar. Stir to combine and cover. Let the fruit sit for at least an hour, until the juices are flowing. I often pop the bowl into the refrigerator at this point and cook the jam the following day. When you’re ready to cook the jam, prepare a small boiling water bath canner and three half pint jars and bring it to a boil. Place three new canning jar lids in a small pot and bring them to a bare simmer. Pour the fruit and all the liquid into your jam pot and place it over high heat. For these small batches, I like to use a 12-inch, stainless steel skillet, but any low, wide, non-reactive pan will do. Bring the fruit to a rapid boil and stir regularly. Over high heat, this jam should take 8 to 12 minutes to cook. It is done when it is quite thick. You can tell that it’s ready when you draw your spoon or spatula through the jam, and it doesn’t immediately rush in to fill that space. It will also make a vigorous sizzling noise when stirred when it is finished. When the jam appears to be finished, stir in the rose flower water. Stir until it is incorporated and cook for an additional 30 seconds. The flower water is added at this point so you don’t evaporate all the fragrance during cooking. Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into the prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start your timer when the water returns to a boil, not the moment the jars go into the water bath). When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the rings and test the seals by grasping the edges of the lid and lifting the jar an inch or so from the countertop. If the lid holds fast, the jars are sealed. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

2 stalks of green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

1 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1/4 C. chopped dill

Kosher salt

Pepper

1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed, some chopped and some left whole

6 white button mushrooms, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise

1/4 C. torn mint or small mint leaves

 

In a small saucepan, combine the green garlic and olive oil and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the garlic is very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely. Strain the oil into a small bowl; transfer the green garlic to a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and dill and slowly whisk in the reserved oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss the snap peas with 3/4 C. of the vinaigrette. Transfer to a platter and scatter the mushrooms on top. Garnish with the mint and serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

5 pounds or approximately 12 cups of tomatoes

1 tablespoon sea salt

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup basil, chopped

 

Wash and slice cherry tomatoes, or chop large tomatoes. Toss and massage with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to let juices from tomato flow out. Sterilize your jars and lids in hot water while you wait.

Discard the juice, and dump strained tomatoes into a large, wide, shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer with lid off on medium-low heat. Check and stir occasionally. Once tomatoes start to thicken, watch and stir more often that it doesn’t burn. When it’s thick to your liking, anywhere to between a syrup or jam consistency (I like mine thicker), remove from heat and stir in the basil. Spoon into sterilized jars, wiping brims of any jam residue before applying lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. You will hear the lids pop as they seal vacuum tight. Any jars that don’t seal properly can be stored in the fridge and used first. The rest will last a year or more stored in a dark cool place.

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

2 c. dandelion flowers (harvested from pesticide free location)

4 c. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 T. powdered pectin

2 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Rinse dandelions in a colander and remove stems by snipping them off with a pair of kitchen scissors. Place dandelions in a bowl and cover them with 4 C. of boiling water. You are essentially going to make “dandelion tea.”  After the water cools off, place the bowl of water and dandelions in the refrigerator until the next day. It was two days until I got back to mine, but it was just fine. The next day, run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pieces of dandelion. You should end up with a clear liquid. If not, try pouring it through the strainer again. Measure the tea, adding a little water if necessary to get exactly 4 C. of liquid. Pour liquid into a large stock pot. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle the pectin on top of the juice and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the pinch of butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch head space, and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. Lids will make a pinging noise when they seal. If a jar does not seal, place it in the refrigerator and eat in the next couple of weeks. Cooled sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for several years.

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

4 pounds green tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds net)

4 1/3 C. superfine sugar

Juice (and zest) of two small lemons

 

Rinse tomatoes in cold water. Dry them with towel. Cut in wedges and remove juice, seeds and the white center parts. Dice tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the tomato pieces, sugar and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and let macerate overnight. The next day, pour this mixture into a preserving pan (large bottomed large surface area copper pot/pan). Bring to a boil and on low heat cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour back into the bowl. cover with plastic wrap and again refrigerate overnight. The third day, bring the mixture to a boil, skim if necessary and continue cooking in low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the set and cook a bit more if needed. Put the jam into jars immediately and seal (or for small batches, just refrigerate).

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

12 C. Sliced Rhubarb

1 ½ C. Sugar

 

In a large pot combine the rhubarb and sugar, mixing well. Cover and let stand until juice begins to release from the fruit. While the fruit stands, get the boiling water canner going and get jars, lids, and rings ready. Once some water has started to release from the rhubarb, bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle the stewed rhubarb into hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Clean rims; put on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.

 

Notes: Scale the recipe up or down by figuring 1/2 C. sugar for every 4 C. of chopped rhubarb

 

These beautiful jars are a simple addition to many meals in winter:

 

  • Use as a pancake / waffle topping instead of syrups
  • Mix in with oatmeal and other hot cereals for a flavorful, fruity punch
  • Top ice cream, poundcake, or sweet shortcake biscuits for an easy dessert
  • Dumplings! Put a jar or two into a pot and heat, add dumpling batter and cook until the dumplings are cooked and fluffy.
  • Stir into homemade yogurt
  • Pour a jar or two into the bottom of a pie plate and top with oats and melted butter for a crisp-style dessert.