Monday, September 1, 2014

Garden fresh recipes

Here are a few of my favorite garden fresh recipes:

Blake's fresh salsa

Combine the following and chill covered for 1/2 hour.
2-3 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (when canning salsa, its best to blanch and de-skin the tomatoes. This is not necessary for fresh salsa.)

½ cup red onion
½ cup green pepper
1 Jalapeno, 1 green chili and 1 Poblano or whatever you can find, (Use one Jalapeno pepper per two tomatoes, more or less.)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
¾ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. white vinegar or lime or lemon juice
2 pinches finely chopped cilantro

Roasted root vegetables

1 pound potato
1 pound rutabaga or parsnips
1 pound sweet potato
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. dried rosemary or other herb
2 cloves garlic

Preheat the oven to 425F°. Peel and cut vegetables into approximately 3/4 inch cubes. Use some of the olive oil to oil the pans. Mix the rest with the garlic, finely minced or pressed, and the rosemary. Using your hands, rub oil mixture all over the vegetable pieces. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared pans. Salt lightly and place in preheated oven.

Turn once, after 20 to 25 minutes (pull pan out of oven to do this) and continue roasting until done, a total of about 45 minutes. Vegetables can be roasted at a lower temperature for a longer time, if necessary to accomodate other food being roasted.

Swiss Chard

olive oil to coat pan
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. dried crushed red pepper, to taste
1 bunch of Swiss chard, washed and chopped
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar or water
salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onion, garlic and red pepper in olive oil. (You can use a large saucepan or large skillet.) Then add the rest of the ingredients and heat on medium heat for 10 minutes. As a variation, substitute 1 tablespoon of water for vinegar and add smoked turkey or ham pieces.


1/2 c bulgar, cover with boiling water for 30 minutes, then strain very well.
1 1/2 cup of chopped parsley, maybe more
1/2 cup diced green onion
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, optional
Mix ingredients and serve or refrigerate.

Hummus is easy to make and is often served with tabouleh. Empty a can of garbanzo beans in a food processor, along with 1/4 cup of the juice, add 2 cloves garlic, pressed, dash of salt, 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. lemon juice and process to a pulp. If you have tahini, add 1-1/2 Tbs. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like.

Thai basil eggplant skillet

1 tablespoon oil
2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound chicken strips, (optional) 2 green onions
2 chile peppers finely chopped or other hot peppers
1 big or 2 small eggplant, cut irregular
1 tablespoon sugar or brown sugar2 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce

1 bunch basil, washed and stems removed Cut eggplant into uniform irregular shapes. Heat oil in pan and saute chicken, then add garlic and peppers and onion until lightly browned. Add eggplant, 1/2 cup water cover and simmer 5 minutes, until eggplant becomes translucent. Add more water as needed. Stir in sugar and fish sauce or soy sauce. Turn off the heat and add the basil, stirring gently. Serve with rice.

Zucchini Bread

½ cup canola oil
½ cup applesauce
3 eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped nuts

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or pour into muffin tins (makes 24).

Rhubarb cheesecake

¼ cup corn starch
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup water
2-1/2 cups rhubarb, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 unbaked pie crust, regular or graham cracker

1 package 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar

In a saucepan, combine 1rst 3 ingredients, then the water and rhubarb. Bring to boil, stirring often until mixture thickens. Pour into pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Protect edges of crust with aluminum foil. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Meanwhile beat topping ingredients until smooth. Pour on top of pie. Bake for 35 minutes in 325 oven or until set. Chill and garnish with whipped cream, and sliced almonds or strawberries. 

Rhubarb Bars

3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¼ cup water
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1 ½ cup rolled oats
1 ½ cup rolled flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
½ cup nuts

Combine rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, cornstarch and water. Cook on stove until thick, cool slightly. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, soda, butter and nuts. Mix until crumbly. Put ¾ of mixture into 15 1/3 x 10 ½ jelly roll pan. Spread rhubarb mixture on top. Cover with remaining crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

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