Famous Green Herb Sauce from Frankfurt, Germany

green herb

In Frankfurt, Germany they’ve long made a herb sauce of at least seven different herbs and wild greens. The cool uncooked sauce accompanies hard boiled eggs and hot young potatoes.

 

There are varied ingredients but the key seems to be seven greens or more, often consisting of borage, sorrel, parsley,dandelion, garden cress, chervil, and chives. Sometimes other freshly picked green herbs are used. Since my garden has several of these and I’ve wanted to try this dish I gave it a try. It’s simply too early  for several of these but my available fresh herbs as you’ll see in the photo from left to right, were lovage, parsley, tarragon,plantain, dandelion, fennel and chives. I removed roots, rinsed and coarsely chopped before dropping into the food processor. Sour cream seems to be the standby so I added a low fat version, creme fraiche, and non fat Greek yogurt. Whizzed it in the processor, tasted and added a hand full of spinach, a few drops of lemon juice, salt & pepper and gave it another whirl. Not truly knowing what to expect I was quite pleased and plan to make this again with different herbs as the gardening season moves along. green hwebs

The thoughts I’m having now is how many cuisines have a green sauce and am looking forward to working through more of them.

Mache Bistro Salad with Beets & Walnuts

When mache is ready to pick in January it is a cause for celebration. This little plant is tender, with a smooth texture and has a long season to harvest. We like the tender young plants and use them as we thin. Later we pick the larger leaves until mid spring. The first salad we make is this traditional salad of mache, beets and lightly toasted walnuts. FullSizeRender

Fresh mache, 2 cups, rinsed
Beets, roasted and sliced (4)
Walnuts, lightly toasted (10)
1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Butter lettuce or radicchio
olive oil

Serves 4

Build your salad on a small platter or individual plates. Layer with lettuce, radicchio or other tender greens. Slip skins from beets before slicing. I like to slice my beets in half and then cut vertically but if you are using a cylindra beet slice in rounds. Roast beets or cook in a pressure cooker. See below:
Toast walnut halves in a small skillet set low or in a 375 degree oven for five minutes. Sprinkle with a little sugar when they are toasted. As the nuts cool break these halves not 2-3 pieces. Place mache leaves over your beets and then
sprinkle with nuts. I sometimes toss a few green onion slices or chives over the
top, some people like to add a few pieces of goat cheese or feta. Drizzle with a
touch  of olive oil and a bit of salt. It is a classic French salad and I urge you to try this, it’s like the first bite of spring.

Pressure cooking beets. Add a perforated steamer and enough water to just come to the edge. This is fast but inconsistent and I’ve needed to cook these beets anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on size and maturity. So far they come out like roasted beets with their juices retained and tender. I usually cook enough for another salad as cooked beets last several days when refrigerated.

 

 

 

Kale Salad with Quinoa, and Black Kabuli Garbanzo Beans.

It seems we’ve moved into that time of year when a good selection of food from the garden becomes a bit scarce, what in olden times was called The Hungry Gap. Making a salad becomes a mix of what is in the house and garden. kale salad with garbanzosYesterday’s salad was based around the ever reliable kale. It’s getting a little tough but stripping it off the stem, tearing it into small pieces and then massaging with a small amount of olive oil renders it rather succulent.

We’re offering a new garbanzo this year, Organic Black Kabuli Beans. The skin is very dark, almost black. black Kabuli GarbonzosDecided to simmer it three minutes like we often do with any bean. Set it aside and tasted a bean that was nearly cooked, gave it another round of three minutes at a steady simmer and repeated. So all in all pretty impressed and it has a fine flavor.

So back to the salad, add some quinoa to the kale, some chopped apple and an orange. Add a bit of olive oil, lightly salt, sprinkle on a little chipotle pepper, some rice vinegar, You see it’s turning into a delicious melange that can’t ever be totally repeated but that’s what is nice about salads…we just make them. Take this mix and lay on a plate covered with arugula or lettuce leaves top with a good handful of Black kabuli chickpeas/garbanzos and crumble some feta over the top. Little of this and a little of that makes a good salad this time of year. Hope you are enjoying your garden as days grow just a little longer.

 

 

 

 

 

Sauerkraut Salad

Fresh sauerkraut salad is one our winter favorites and is fast and easy, once you have the sauerkraut of course. As many know, my husband Keane makes wonderful kraut. If you’d like to see this instructional YouTube  and learn to make sauerkraut in a gallon jar. Since we don’t want to destroy probiotics by cooking, a salad is our favorite way to use this. Don’t be afraid of changing some ingredients to reflect what you have on hand. As I write I’m eyeing a tray of Fuyu persimmons and may add a couple of those in a few days. The joy of a good fresh salad is each one is a bit different and indeed each bite is different.

Ingredients:sauerkraut pic
2 cups fresh sauerkraut, drained
1 apple, chopped & unpeeled
1 /2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons or more parsley
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation: Mix the above ingredients and it’s ready to serve. Any leftovers will keep one to two days under refrigeration. Don’t add salt until you have tasted as sauerkraut contains a good amount of salt.

 

 

 

Kale Pizza with Garlic and Cheese

National Kale Day is October 7th, 2015.We are having kale for every dinner this week. Here is the most kale pizza scrumptious & nutritious pizza you may ever make. Pizza always seems a little self-indulgent but when you top it with about eight to ten cups cups of fresh kale, rinsed well then drained or dried you’ll enjoy it and it is so fast and easy everyone in the family will soon know how to make it.

Ingredients:
1 ball of fresh pizza dough 12 to 16 oz
Eight to ten cups of trimmed and chopped fresh kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
a dash of salt and black pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
8 oz. fresh asiago, fontina or parmesan cheese
cornmeal to sprinkle on heated stone

Turn oven to 500 degrees and place pizza stone in oven as it heats.

As you see the emphasis and goodness of this dish relies on fresh ingredients. If they are unavailable, use what you have and vow to try it again with the suggested ingredients. While the dough is rising, wash kale and remove stems. You can chop or tear it into bits as you wish. Massage the kale with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. We use a pizza stone but any large baking pan will do the job but you may need to allow more cooking time. Roll dough to fit your stone. Sprinkle stone with cornmeal, place dough on stone and lightly curl up the edges. Now quickly arrange cheeses on top of the dough. Close oven and bake 2-3 minutes . Edges of dough will begin to color and cheeses are semi-melted. Open oven, spread kale and garlic over the cheeses. Now place pizza in the oven. Change temperature setting from bake to broil for 2 minutes. The edges of your kale leaves will look slightly crisped and the rim of the crust is browned in spots, If your pizza is not browned place back in hot oven for one to two minutes with broiler turned off. Remove pizza from stone to a cutting board. Want to know more about National Kale Day just google it.

August Hodgepodge Soup

It’s a New Brunswick/Nova Scotia tradition Hodgepodge Soupusing bits and pieces of freshly harvested garden vegetable most often pepared in August. Such simple ingredients prove shockingly good with potatoes, carrots, garden beans, corn (1/2 ear per person person) peas, either sugar pod, shelled or both. The pot has enough water to half cover veggies, added step by step so none are over cooked. At the end stir in a generous dollop of cream. Since it is a hodgepodge several other ingredients are often added but we were more than pleased with this simple dish and the broth was amazing. This is an approximation of what we were served at a restaurant in New Brunswick on the Canadian U.S. border.
Ingredients:
6 small potatoes – well scrubbed or peeled
6 medium size potatoes (we used our Rainbow blend of two orange, two yellow and two red but excluded purple because it is too heavily pigmented. Each carrot cut into three pieces.
Two large handfuls whole green and yellow beans
Corn, i/2 ear per person
1.5 cups peas-I used Oregon Giant Sugar Pod
1/2 cup cream —set aside
salt & pepper to taste
Directions:
Fill a Dutch oven or other pot wider that’s wider than deep with water about half way full. Bring to a boil and add 1:Potatoes- Cook potatoes for 7 minutes
2:Carrots each cut into 3 pieces cook an additional 7 minutes
3:Corn and Beans add and cook additional 5 minutes
4:Peas add and cook for about 3 minutes

Pour off water allowing 2 to 2.5 cup to remain and add cream, salt and pepper to taste. As with any soup recipe make it this way once and then don’t be afraid to experiment with more or fewer ingredients. This recipe fed 3 hungry adults.

Garlic Scape Pesto

It’s always fun to try a new recipe. I cook with garlic garlic scapes

all the time. May through June we cut off the sinuous young garlic scapes from our rocambole garlic and stir-fry or grill them with a touch of olive oil. This last week my friend Signe introduced me to Garlic Scape Pesto. The last of our scapes had flower tips that were drying and stems were a little firm. Sigrid showed us how to peel way the outer skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. We discarded the flower heads and cut the stems into 1 inch lengths to run in the food processor. For one cup chopped scapes add 1/2 cup olive and run in process until it’s chunky and add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. It was shockingly good, It’s not unusual to add basil, nuts or sunflower seed. I’ve taken to adding fresh dill and spearmint. So far we’ve enjoyed this was grilled salmon and chicken couscous. The couscous was a real surprise on one of those rushed workday evenings when guests are coming and the rhythm is not quite right in the kitchen. I had not made harissa sauce, a spicy sweet pepper sauce usually accompanying a chicken/vegetable couscous. We served pesto and surprise, we all kept eating eating a bite of couscous and a dab of garlic scape pesto. so if you still have scapes in the garden clip them off and if they still have a bit of tenderness try this recipe. The scapes only occur on the hard neck rocambole garlic varieties. The flowers this garlic produces is invariably sterile. Scapes are lovely in flower arrangements.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup chopped garlic scapes-trimmed and peeled as necessary                                          1 half cup olive oil                                                                                                                        1 half cup Parmesan cheese, shreddedgarlic pesto

Place chopped scapes and garlic oil in food processor until coarsely chopped then add cheese and process only until well mixed. Pesto is good with the additions of herbs, spearmint, dill or basil. Blanched chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts or sunflower seeds are other possible additions. I no longer recommend pine nuts because there have problems with some nuts from China and the price is now exorbitant.

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