Archive for July, 2014

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To start the day right,  a quick stir fry of fresh veggies and herbs from the garden and fresh organic eggs from Babbling Brook Farm makes a super charged breakfast that can keep us satistied till late in the afternoon.

 

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Harvested whatever was ready in the garden: basil, parsley, zucchini flowers, chives, garlic, garlic scapes and a few edible weeds.

 

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Also added a handful of chopped kale from Herbivor Farm. Everything is very tender, so there is no need to cook for very long. Just enough to absorb all the flavors from the herbs is sufficient.

 

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grilled okra


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This side dish of grilled okra is not only easy, fast and delicious but also nutritious and low in calories.

Pick up a few at your farmer’s market, wash and thread them onto a few skewers alone or with other veggies.  Season them with your favorite spices, drizzle them with lemon, or dip them in different sauces. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and have some fun with this amazing veggie.


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Washed and ready to be seasoned and grilled.

 

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Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and a little paprika.

Cook until the skin of the okra begins to caramelize and then flip to cook the other side. Enjoy!

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garlic scapes

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Garlic scapes are the wild and curly shoots that spring from the tops of garlic plants. They’re bright green, can be thick, thin, or curved and, they can be cut long or very long. They’ve got a mild garlic fragrance and a mellow garlic flavor. It’s got a freshness that garlic loses as it develops.

Cutting the scapes from the garlic plant strengthens the bulbs that are growing underground. This produces great garlic and at the same time a delicacy for us. It is not necessary to cook scapes but if you do cook them, cook them lightly.

Scapes store very well. They can be wrapped in a towel in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Flowering tips can be removed for easy handling. Trim tough ends if they are woody.

 

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Scapes are entirely edible, although  in a stir fry I cut off a few inches from both sides so that I am left with the most tender part.  However, if I’m making pesto, I discard the bulb and use the rest.

 

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Add whole or cut garlic scapes in boiling water and enjoy like green beans.

Blanch quickly before using in the frying pan, on pizza, or in an omelet.

Garlic scapes can be baked, roasted, fried or boiled just like a vegetable. They can also be minced like a green onion and added to salads, pizza, risottos or any pasta dish. Most important of all scapes make a great pesto.

Unfortunately, they are available for a short period of time so stock up and freeze them for later use. Happy scaping!

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garlicscapepizza   garlicscapepizza2   garlicscapepizza3   garlicscapepizza4This is the first time I use whole garlic scapes on pizza. Very tasty!  The garlic scapes and the kale make a great looking pizza!

Prepare your homemade dough in advance.

Prepare a stir fry of onions, garlic, green & red peppers, cherry tomatoes and other favorite veggies.

Use only the tender part of the scapes, so cut both ends. Blanch them in salted water and set aside.

Wash kale and dry leaves very well.

Tear kale by hand into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on an oiled pizza pan, spread the stir fry, add garlic scapes, kale and cheese (on mine I sprinkled parmesan cheese and placed slices of provolone on top).

Dot the pizza with a little more olive oil and bake in a very hot 475* oven for 8 to 15 minutes.

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garlic scape pesto

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July will be a garlic scape month for sure. This year I planted  a lot more garlic bulbs in my garden and these are the first scapes I harvested.

They are such a treat that I will plant more garlic next year just to have more scapes. I don’t have enough to make a batch of pesto so I was lucky to get some from Lisa at Herbivor Farm. I added some fresh basil, parsley, and chives from the garden along with 1/2 cup of hemp seeds and olive oil. Place everything in a food processor or blender and mix until creamy and smooth.

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If you like rice and lasagna, you will love this combination.  I picked up some fresh ricotta yesterday, so I added spoonfuls to the top for a nice cheesy crust.

Preheat oven to 350*

You will need some pesto to flavor the rice, so if you don’t have some already prepared this is an easy pesto recipe that won’t take long to make.

Cook the rice halfway and set aside.

Roast your favorite veggies.

Make a super delicious tomato sauce (not thick, more watery because the rice will soak it up)

Cut a few slices of zucchini, sweet potato, or any other favorite vegetable, for the middle of the lasagna.

You can even add a layer of spinach, arugula, swiss chard or rapini.

Cut slices of provolone or other cheese.

Grated parmesan cheese.

Mix the cooked rice with some olive oil, pesto, parmesan cheese, roasted vegetables and tomato sauce.

Mix the zucchini slices & sweet potato slices (or whatever you choose as your next layer) with pesto and a little olive oil.

Salt and pepper everything to taste.

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Spread half the rice mixture in a baking dish, followed by slices of zucchini and sweet potato mixture.

Add a layer of cheese and sprinkle top with pesto and olive oil.

Repeat layers. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, add slices of cheese amd more tomato sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

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wood sorrel salad

IMG_6831I found a nice patch of wood sorrel in my garden this morning, so I picked enough for this salad. Added a tomato and half a yellow pepper, sprinkled olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious and very refreshing.

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Wood sorrel, also called oxalis can be mistaken for clover, though true clovers (while edible) don’t have nearly the flavor of wood sorrel.

The shape of the leaf  is heart shaped with a line (fold) through the middle. Sorrel is one of the most common weeds out there. It has no poisonous look-alikes and is quite easy to identify.

Next time you run across some, have a taste. It’s like a burst of lemon and tart berry in your mouth. It’s an incredible thirst quencher and very refreshing to eat. The leaves, flowers, and immature green seed pods are all edible having a mild sour flavour that resemble lemons.

Wood sorrel can be added to salads, used in soups, sauces and it can also be used as a seasoning. Wood sorrel tea when cooled can make a refreshing beverage especially when sweetened with honey.

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