Crazy days and a cool veg

I do believe spring has finally arrived and it has ushered in a faster pace of life and a whole new level of craziness around here. The last snowman has been made…hopefully!

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Yard cleanup has commenced. Oh yes, my heroes!

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A new generation of gardener is in training…okay, maybe we’ll give this one another year or two!

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The greenhouse is full of beautiful little plants holding the promise of beauty and deliciousness.

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And daily, more tiny starts are moved from the depths of our basement up to the bright light of the greenhouse where they pause for a few days before being tucked into their final homes in the garden.

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Every year I eagerly await the first tasty morsels from our gardens and this year one of the first things that will be available is kale, which is the “cool” vegetable of the year. If you ever peruse recipes via blogs, magazines, or Pinterest, you may have noticed that kale is EVERYWHERE. We Americans like to latch onto trendy foods and it appears that this is the year for kale. I can’t think of a more deserving vegetable! It’s easy to grow, good for you and can be used in so many different ways. If you’ve every wondered what in the world to do with kale here’s a recipe to get you started. It’s main ingredient is quinoa, another cool food right now, so serving this dish should really elevate you in the culinary ranks.

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Quinoa and Kale Patties

1 c. quinoa rinsed, cooked with 2 c water and cooled to room temperature (2 1/2 c. cooked)

4 eggs whisked

1/3 c Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

3 spring onions, sliced thin

3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 t salt

1 c. steamed kale, drained and chopped

1 c bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients and let sit for a few minutes to absorb the moisture.

Heat 1 t olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Form small patties out of the mixture and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Serve with any of the following:

-avacado

-lemon juice

-cilantro

-sea salt

-salsa

Any leftovers can easily be reheated on the stove top.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Fennel Slaw

Everyone is always asking what to do with fennel and sometimes I have a hard time with it too so thought I should try something new with it. From Farm-Fresh Recipes by Janet Majure. This was GREAT!

 

Fennel Slaw

2 T cider vinegar

1/3 c mayonnaise (we used vegenaise)

1/2 t black pepper

2 t sugar

1 1/2 T chopped fresh dill

1/2 t grated lemon peel

salt to taste

1 1/2 # fennel bulb

Whisk vinegar, Mayonnaise, pepper, sugar, dill, lemon peel, and salt together. Cut off and discard fennel stalks (or put in a salad!). Halve fennel through root end; discard core and any discolored outer leaves. Thinly slice fennel. Toss fennel with enough dressing to coat. Serve.

Herbed Carrots and Fennel

We’ve got the most gorgeous carrots and fennel this week so thought this recipe would be the perfect thing for them. We just had it this evening and it was delicious! We hope you enjoy it also.

 

Herbed Carrots and Fennel

1 bunch carrots sliced lengthwise into 4 slices

2 fennel bulbs with tops removed and bulbs chopped into bite size chunks

1/2 cup sliced shallots or sweet onion

2 T each, olive oil and water

salt and pepper to taste

1 T fresh thyme or 1 t dried

Combine all ingredients and place on a shallow roasting pan. Roast at 425 covered for 15 minutes then for another 15 minutes uncovered.

Finely chop some of the fennel leaves and sprinkle over roasted vegetables before serving. Remaining fennel tops can be added to a salad.

Micro greens, spring lettuce and our favorite dressing recipes

We’ve been experimenting with micro greens this spring and WOW are they beautiful and delicious.

I love seeing peas sprout!

Combine the micros with some of the great lettuce that we’ve got this spring and you’ve got the makings for a beautiful salad.

 

 

And now that you have the perfect salad, here are three of our favorite dressing recipes to try.

Italian Dressing

1/2 c red wine vinegar

2 t minced or pressed garlic

2 t Italian seasoning

2 t fine ground sea salt

1 t black pepper

1 t ground mustard

3/4 c olive

Blend well and enjoy! Oh, and by the way, we use WAY more garlic then the recipe calls for.

 

Wild Greens Salad Dressing

4 cloves garlic

1/2 c balsamic vinegar

2 T Tamari

1/2 c nutritional yeast

2 T fresh thyme

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T honey

Blend all of this well and then add the following slowly while the blender is running.

1 c olive oil

1 c water

Enjoy on all kinds of mixed greens salads.

 

Sweet Salad Dressing (isn’t that an original name?! someone please help me come up with a better one)

1/4 c white grape juice concentrate

3 T white wine or cider vinegar

2 t olive oil

1/2 t salt

1/4 t onion powder

Put all in your dressing bottle and shake well.

 

Enjoy the tastes of spring!

 

 

 

Asparagus

Ah yes, it truly is spring when fresh asparagus is available in abundance.

If you are one of those lucky people who love asparagus, here is our favorite way to fix it.

The basic ingredients.

Roasted Asparagus Gremolata

Okay, first of all what is gremolata? For you culinary types maybe this isn’t a new word for you but I had to look it up. By definition on a Google search, it is simply a mixture of finely minced garlic, chopped parsley and grated lemon peel, which is what makes this dish taste really great. Of course, it’s got asparagus in it also so it’s gotta be good!

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

1 t grated fresh lemon peel

2 t minced fresh garlic

2# fresh asparagus trimmed

2 T olive oil

2 t salt (we used less)

Preheat oven to 450. Combine parsley, lemon peel and garlic. Set aside. Dry asparagus. Coat a 12×16 baking pan with the oil. Place asparagus in the pan and roll it around to coat it. Don’t crowd. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally so the asparagus browns evenly, for 8-10 minutes or until firm-tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with garlic mixture and salt. Makes 4-6 servings.

Ready for the oven.

Ready to eat!