Tag Archives: garden

Brunch Menu for Four

victoria gloria photography

victoria gloria photography

Vegan Ranch Dip with Veggies
Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes
Deviled Eggs with Kalamata Olives
Gluten Free Maple Walnut Breakfast Muffins
(Fresh Fruit -watermelon and cherries)

Vegan Ranch Dip with Veggies

picked fresh from our garden

picked fresh from our garden

3/4 cup dry small white beans; cooked
(or 2 cups canned small white beans; drained and rinsed)
2 cloves garlic; crushed
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh basil (I used purple); finely minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley; finely minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano; finely minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 Tablespoon fresh dill; finely minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme; finely minced (or 1/8 teaspoon dried)

If using dry beans- soak in water overnight, drain, place in medium sized pot, cover with water 2 inches above the bean line, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook till soft (about 1 1/2 hours), rinse and drain.
If using canned beans- drain, rinse and drain.
Blend the beans, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, water, sea salt and pepper with a handheld blender/blender/food processor till smooth and creamy. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed for consistency. Place the bean mixture into a bowl. Add the herbs, stir well and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes
7 medium sized potatoes (I used yukon gold); peeled
4 garlic scapes; thinly sliced, tough/fibrous sections removed
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (I used Dijon style)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried dill weed

Place potatoes in a medium sized pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes till tender. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted; if it goes in easily they are done. Drain, pour cold water over potatoes to cool for 10 minutes, drain and repeat a few times then drain and place potatoes in the refrigerator to cool (at least an hour). Cut potatoes into bite-sized cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the garlic scapes. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over the potatoes and scapes, mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Deviled Eggs with Kalamata Olives
6 large eggs
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon salsa
6 Kalamata olives; pits removed and minced
cayenne pepper to taste

Hard boil the eggs and peel- place eggs in a small-medium sized pot, cover with water, bring to a boil with lid on, reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water, pour cold water over eggs to cool for 10 minutes, drain and repeat a few times then drain and peel eggs (gently tap eggs to crack shells and pick away then rinse any residual shell pieces).
Cut eggs in half, remove egg yolk with a teaspoon and place in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash together with a fork till well combined to make the filling.
Fill eggs. I use a teaspoon to scoop and butter knife to push the filling into the egg yolk hollow. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate.

Gluten Free Maple Walnut Breakfast Muffins
2 cups oat flour (I grind gluten free rolled oats in a coffee mill designated to grinding gluten free grains)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 egg
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup walnuts; crushed
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper baking cups. Mix first 6 (dry) ingredients by hand in a medium sized bowl. Add next 4 (wet) ingredients and mix just until combined. Add nuts and raisins and mix until just combined. Scoop into paper lined muffin tins to 3/4 full. Bake 20 -25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool until able to remove from pans and they are ready to serve. Tori recommended serving with jam- good idea!


Sauted Asian Greens, Snap Peas and Garlic Scapes

DSC_0012At the Farmers’ Market of Plainville I purchased Asian Greens from Dinebergs Farm. When I looked up “Asian Greens” on line I found many varieties of greens but after some digging I believe I purchased Purple Mizuna.DSC_0005

I picked the only items that were ready out of my garden; garlic scapes and snap peas which is how this recipe came to be. Cooking locally and seasonally is wonderful, everything is fresh and, in my mind, “as it should be” if we are trying to live as close to nature as possible.

1 cup brown rice; soaked, rinsed and cooked with 1 3/4 cup water till all the water is absorbed

1 Tablespoon canola oil (I use a gmo free product; either Trader Joe’s or Spectrum)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (found in the international section of a grocery store or at Asian markets)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon water
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground coriander

DSC_00071 bunch Purple Mizuna (or other Asian Green); washed, leaves cut to1″ and stems to 1/4-1/2″ sections
4 garlic scapes; the tender part of the stems sliced thin
2 cups snap (or sugar) peas; washed and “strings” removed
1 onion; halved and sliced thinDSC_0004

1 Tablespoon canola oil.

Cook the brown rice. (Refer to an early post, College Kitchen Questions.)
In the meantime mix together the oils, soy sauce, water and spices for the sauce in a small bowl.
Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan (I use a cast iron skillet that has a lid) over medium high heat.
Prepare the vegetables, pour 1 Tablespoon canola oil into the hot pan, add the onions and stir occasionally so they do not burn, sautéing for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, pour the sauce over top, reduce heat to medium and cover. Saute and stir occasionally for 2 minutes or until the greens (which are also purple) have wilted.
Serve over rice.

Rhubarb from the Garden to the Dessert Table

DSC_0006The rhubarb that I divided in early spring is not mature so I carefully picked only enough stalks to make the amazing rhubarb upside-down cake using the recipe from Marth Stewart. Rhubarb is one of Xav’s favorites and it is in season, conveniently, for Father’s Day. There are a few adjustments I recommend from the original recipe.
Use a larger pan than the recipe calls for (I had too much batter and wound up with 9 mini muffins)

1 lb of rhubarb? I used 3 cups but could have gone to 4 if I had used a larger pan.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan then flip it onto the serving plate/platter.

Don’t have an orange? I substituted with lemon; 1/2 teaspoon  rind and 1/2 Tablespoon juice


Garden Pest or Beneficial Insect?

DSC_0094Last weekend during a walk about all was seemingly healthy in the garden. Tiny fruits growing, leaves fresh and green, new buds and flowers in bloom. So what happened in the span of a week?! I noticed that one of the beach plum bushes was looking a bit wilted. As I approached I saw in all of my horror an infestation. After going to the books and internet I believe I have figured out that nature will take care of this so I am glad that I didn’t go into a full panic and spray soapy insect spray all over the plant (that would have rid me of pests but the beneficial insects as well.
DSC_0091 DSC_0096
This “crazy” looking larvae that looks like an “alien sucking the life out of your plant” creature is actually the larvae of the ladybug aka ladybird. Not sure if it is the regular or Japanese variety but in either case this (now that it has been identified as friend) lovely insect is here in masses to destroy the black aphids, the true pests in this scenario. (see the black mass on the stem at the base of the leaves below)
Thankfully the ladybugs are busy making more to take care of the true cause of the sad and droopy leaves.

Planting Garlic in the Fall

DSC_0017The last task of the vegetable gardening season is planting garlic. Once the killing frost (mwahaha) has taken the remaining plants they are pulled up and piled into the compost, the earth is turned, compost soil and manure are mixed in and the rows for garlic are furrowed.
DSC_0015 DSC_0016This year I ordered 2 lbs of organic Music Garlic from Peaceful Valley which translates to 16 heads/88 cloves.  After separating the cloves (careful not to break the skins around the individual cloves) the task of placing them root side down and covering with soil is easy.
DSC_0018My rows are a foot apart but you can go as close as 8 inches, planting depth is 3-4 inches in CT and the cloves are spaced 5-6 inches apart. I  supplemented with 14 cloves from garlic purchased at the grocery store to finish off the third furrow. I know, poor planning, but this is the first year that I actually ordered garlic before it was sold out. Waiting until October in past years I was forced to use grocery store garlic if I was going to plant my own- which, by the way, works. Once all of the cloves have been placed in the furrows (assembly line for efficiency) cover with soil, compress and wait.
DSC_0019The only evidence of the garlic are the footprints from my clogs that compressed the soil. Xav always makes fun of my clogs but honestly, they are super versatile. He even used one of my clogs as a hammer recently.

Ratatouille; Stewed Eggplant and Garden Vegetables

DSC_00033 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; diced
1 Italian pepper; diced
5 plum tomatoes; diced
2 heirloom tomatoes; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 eggplant; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic; crushed
3 Tablespoons fresh basil; chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves; chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/3 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Heat a wide bottom cook pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, pepper, tomatoes and sea salt. Simmer with lid on while preparing the eggplant. Add the eggplant and garlic and continue to simmer with lid on. Prepare herbs and add to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes on low. Add black pepper, stir, remove from heat and serve.

DSC_0004Ratatouille can be served as a side dish (traditional) or over pasta as a meal. We made it into an easy meal with a side of Manchego cheese, a glass of red wine, Xav had it with sprouted organic whole grain bread and I had organic blue corn chips. After delivering Alma to college, picking, prepping and freezing 4 batches of peach pie filling I ran out of both time and energy. Normally I would have baked fresh bread, but…