Monday, May 6, 2013
Since it's been warm, I haven't been feeling much like cooking. This is a simple salad that's perfect for a warm day. I served it on a bed of freshly picked leaf lettuce.
Shaved Zucchini Salad
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 small lemon (about 2-3 Tbsp of juice)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 lb. medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1/2 c. basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
Parmesan cheese (optional - for sprinkling)
1) Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
2) Using a vegetable peeler (working from top to bottom of each zucchini), slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Place ribbons in a large bowl. Add basil and pine nuts. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3) Serve as is or top on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).
This weekend we had amazing weather. Highs have been in the low to mid-80's. On Wednesday night, we had a frost warning. Temperatures dipped to 32 degrees overnight. Luckily all my plants survived the freeze.
This week in the garden I picked more greens. My overwintered Swiss chard plants are starting to bolt. I picked most of the leaves but haven't had the heart to pull the plants yet. They'll likely have to go next week.
I planted my first crop of spinach in between my broccoli plants and they've given me a lot of spinach thus far, however they are quickly being squeezed out by the now fast growing broccoli. This maybe one of my last harvests until I can plant more spinach.
I also picked more leave lettuce. I love this Merlot variety. It's very pretty!!
This week's totals:
- Spinach = 0.19 lb
- Swiss Chard = 2.98 lb
- Lettuce = 0.57 lb
Monday, April 29, 2013
I have a lot of greens coming out of the garden this time of year. I'm always looking for new and exciting recipes to try them out in. This recipe is a tried and true with a twist. I love making lemon spaghetti. Usually I use fresh herbs such as basil and parsley to kick it up. However since those aren't in season, I decided to use some kale and spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil for a nice twist. The result was delicious perfection!
Simple Lemon Spaghetti with Kale and Spinach
1 lb. spaghetti
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil (for sauteing)
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into 1/2 inch ribbons
1/2 bunch spinach, torn into small pieces
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and drop pasta in the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender but still firm (about 9 minutes).
2) While the pasta cooks, whisk olive oil, lemon juice and 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3) Saute the garlic in some olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add kale and spinach and saute until greens are wilted.
4) Once the pasta is cooked, drain it. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the cooked greens. Add the lemon and olive oil sauce and toss well. Add about 1/4 c. of pasta cooking water at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, garnish with more Parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
This week's harvest was filled with greens galore. Early in the week I picked some Lacinato kale and some outer leaves of the gorgeous Merlot leaf lettuce. The lettuce went into salads this week.
Later in the week I picked more lettuce and some spinach leaves. I ended up with a lot of lettuce and shared some with the neighbors. The kale and spinach went into a quick and easy lemon pasta dish. You can find the recipe here.
Here I picked some Swiss chard plants that were starting to bolt. I also decided to pull out the radicchio to make room in the raised beds.
The Castlelfranco radicchio was beautiful with speckled leaves. It's my first success growing this as all the other years it usually bolts or the aphids get to it. This year this volunteer was successful.
I also picked more overwintered leeks to share with a friend.
This was a last minute harvest. These few stems of kale went into a delicious juice.
This week's harvest totals:- Kale = 0.49 lb
- Spinach = 0.22 lb
- Lettuce = 0.73 lb
- Radicchio = 0.2 lb
- Swiss chard = 0.33 lb
- Leeks = 0.85 lb
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I've seen recipes using quinoa as a breakfast porridge before and have always meant to try them out. I happened upon this recipe in the February issue of Bon Appetit. It sounded worth trying. I made some modifications. It turned out yummy and was a nice change from plain oatmeal. I love using the quinoa for an extra kick of protein!
You can either make this on the stove (cook time 25 minutes) or start it at night and leave it on the stove to be ready to go in the morning.
Quinoa and Steel Cut Oatmeal
Adapted from: Bon Appetit, February 2013
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. steel cut oatmeal
1/2 c. well rinsed quinoa
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
4 c. water
1/8 c. brown sugar
1) Bring cranberries, oatmeal, quinoa, salt, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, brown sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2) Cover and let sit off the heat overnight. Alternatively, bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally until grains are tender, 20-25 minutes.
3) Before serving, reheat cereal in saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding water or milk if needed, until warmed through, 5-8 minutes.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I found this recipe while looking for ideas on how to use up more leeks and Swiss chard from the garden. I altered the recipe a little. The original recipe used raisins. While I like raisins, I don't like them in my food. I know, weird right?? You can find the original recipe here.
To make this a heartier main dish, serve the greens over quinoa or cous cous. If you're opting for a meat entree, consider frying up some bacon, pancetta or prosciutto in the beginning and adding them to the greens later.
Swiss Chard with Leeks and Cranberries
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch of Swiss chard (about 3 cups), leaves only; deveined and cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
2 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
1) In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey and warm water and mix well. Add the cranberries and set aside to soak.
2) Saute the leeks in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until they are just beginning to brown. Salt and pepper leeks. Add garlic and saute for another 1 minute.
3) Add the Swiss chard to the pan and continue to cook until the leaves are wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Add mustard and cranberries with their liquid. Toss until combined and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.