Fresh Pickled Carrots & Radishes

A friend brought her pickled carrots to a meeting and we all asked for the recipe. I’ve been putting in a slice of onion and a bruised garlic clove in each jar instead of the dry onion powder and garlic.

Pickled Carrots & Radishes

I cut the carrots to fit the jar and quarter the upper part and halve the lower if they are large. The jar looks appealing as long as some of the carrot pieces are left long. The radishes are cut into quarters if they are large like a Champion  and if tiny Cherriette types could be left whole. These make a nice little house gift just remind friends these should be eaten within two weeks.

Pickled carrots radishes

Makes 8 servings.

3 cups cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

¼ cup kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed and quartered

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, garlic powder, onion powder. Bring to a simmer, stirring often until the slat and sugar are dissolved. Add the carrots and then bring to a boil and cook for an additional two minutes, then set aside to cool. This recipe works equally well with radishes but if combined the radish pigments will overwhelm the carrots so I cook the carrots first and reuse the vinegar spice solution to prepare the radishes.  Also I add two thin slices of fresh ginger to the radishes.

Once the vegetables are cool, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a jar or bowl. Ladle just enough of the liquid and spices over the vegetables to cover them. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Chiffon cake made with Magic Manna Flour Corn

Friends with celiac disease will enjoy a delicious cake now and then. IMG_2836copyKeeping track of all ingredients is a paramount health concern. Carol Deppe, artisan corn breeder has introduced us to her versatile and flavorful

Magic Manna flour corn. Wise in the ways of cooking for celiac disease she has developed the best corn we’ve tried for baking.

Manna Flour CornChiffon cake made with Magic Manna Flour Corn flour is an authentic, no fussing cake with a simple substitution of this delectible corn flour for wheat flour. Baked in an angel food tin it produces a light  cake with a delightful aroma and flavor from the Magic Manna corn flour. Bob’s Red Mill also offers Corn flour for baking. It is widely available and can be found throughout the west and through the mail.

This Chiffon cake has a fine texture and holds together perfectly when sliced. It is particularly convenient that home grown Magic Manna has soft kernels and can be ground in a coffee grinder, blender or a home style flour mill. Carol Deppe the breeder of this artisan flour corn recommends the “Whisper Mill”. After grinding freeze any extra corn flour in a well sealed heavy duty plastic bag to preserve qualtiy and retain the savory aromatics.

The following recipe is an adaptation of the classic Williams-Sonoma Orange Chiffon Cake.
2 1/4 cups Corn Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbs. baking flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup seed or nut oil
6 whole eggs, separated,  plus 2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Directions
Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat to 325 F.
Separate the eggs carefully as even a speck of yolk dropped in the whites will prevent them from fully expanding.
Mix Batter
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Into a large bowl whisk to combine the oil, 6 egg yolks, orange zest, and water until well blended. Set aside, you will shortly use a rubber spatula to gently combine this batter with the egg whites.
Beat the Egg Whites
In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium high speed, beat the 8 egg whites and the cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Using the rubber spatula, now gently fold one-half the egg whites into the batter until almost blender. Next gently fold in the remaining egg whites with your spatula just until combined. Pour batter into an ungreased 10- inch tube or angel food cake pan. Using your spatula creat a flat surface.
Bake the Cake
Bake approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a tooth inserted in the center has no batter clinging to it when removed. Remove from oven and invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool for one hour. Once fully cooled run a thin-bladed knoife around the edge of the pan and the center tube ind invert onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve. I find any leftover cake freezes eel when carefully wrapped in foil or plastic and will slice while still frozen.
Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma  Food Made Fast Series, by Lou Seibert Pappas.

Winter Salad with Prebiotics & Probiotics

8 cups mixed red & green cabbage, sliced

5 green onions(scallions sliced

5 fresh radishes, sliced

½ pound jicama julienned

1 crisp apple, quartered & sliced

parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

parsley ¼ cup chopped

juice of one lemon

teaspoon fennel seed

Dressing

Natural yogurt 1 cup

2 tablespoons olive or nut oil

salt or honey as needed

The post-Thanksgiving festivities have ended and time to think about the best foods we can eat. A refreshing salad is the center an evening meal. These vegetables are full of vitamins and also rich in prebiotics from jicama and probiotics from yogurt and the optional touch of honey. Both prebiotics and probiotics play roles in our health. To greatly simplify in this draft Prebiotics are non-absorbable vegetables that feed probiotic bacteria and I think of them as forming a scaffolding for the growth of beneficial probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that maintain a healthy digestive system. In any event this salad or one like is good for us all. Make substitutions, maybe add a few nuts, switch out dried cranberries for raisins, pears or oranges for apples but keep the jicama and yogurt.

 

Blueberry Fool for April Fool’s Day

Fruit fools are old fashioned desserts made from on a handful of ingredients. As a gardener with a freezer I have food in the freezer to use before the bounty of summer is upon us. Blueberry FoolI’ve always thought recipes for fruit fool’s were too rich and have passed them by. In anticipation of April Fool’s Day and wanting an unbaked dessert with blueberries this seemed doable. I doubled the blue berries, replaced half the whipping cream with yogurt, cut the sugar to two tablespoons and added two tablespoons of Greek rose preserves. Another time I’ll try orange marmalade.

Recipe for 4

2 cups frozen Blueberries                                                                                                   1/2 cup heavy whipping cream                                                                                          2 tablespoons sugar                                                                                                             1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons rose petal preserves

BBFool setupSelect four glass containers for your dessert dishes. Coarsely chop frozen berries in a food processor and set aside a few whole berries to use as a topping. Whip cream in a cold mixing bowel and stir in sugar. Add preserves to yogurt. To setup this dessert alternate spoonfuls of berries, yogurt and whipped cream into each glass until all ingredients are used. Lightly run a table knife lightly through each dessert serving.

Dandelion Bud Omelet

First Day of Spring. Here it was beautiful and sunny though once again rain was predicted. I was out pulling dandelions today and remembered how much we love a dandelion bud omelet. Here’s my recipe from Basic Herb cookery. They remind me of artichokes.

dandelion bud omelet½ cup dandelion buds

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a 9-12” non-stick skillet on medium high. Saute rinsed and drained dandelion buds in butter until softened. Pour beaten eggs over buds and sprinkle choves over the eggs. Use a spatula to gently lift eggs in pan and let uncooked eggsrun under cooked portion. When bottom is golden and eggs have set on the outer edges, fold in half. Remove from heat and let firm up for about 30 seconds before serving.Two or three tablespoons Swiss or freshly shredded Parmesan cheese adds to the flavor.

Today I used a full cup of young buds and 6 eggs for three people. Our daughter gave us truffle salt so sprinkled that on…delicious, and with a bit of parmesan quite a delicious dinner. Garnished with a few blossoms and substituted fresh green onions for chives.

When pulling the dandelions I was struck by how many slugs were hanging around though I wasn’t seeing damaged buds, they obviously had been eating petals.

Winter Kale with Cranberries and Apples

Winter gardens are often brimming with kale sweetened from a few frosty days. There are many ways to serve this hyper nutritious vegetable. Young tender kale needs no special preparation other than removing stems thicker than a pencil. Over mature kale can be tough if the leaf veins are over developed. If so, remove the stem and most obvious veins, chop the kale and parboil six minutes. Strain, and braise in skillet following the recipe below. Parboiling is a traditional Mediterranean method and your kale will be more tender and milder in flavor.

Image

1 1/2 lbs kale, prepared following above directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste or 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white balsamic or cider vinegar
2 tart firm apples sliced vertically into ½” thick pieces Remove core but don’t peel

 Take a large skillet fitted with a lid and place on medium high heat; Add oil, and chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Now add coarsely chopped or parboiled kale and garlic. Cook ten minutes or until tender. Toss in a handful of dried cranberries, a touch of hot sauce and salt and turn with spatula. When kale is cooked add slender vertical slices of two unpeeled tart apples, Cover, let sit ten minutes and it’s ready to serve. The objective is to have tender kale and semi cooked apples.

Thanksgiving Dinner: Foods of the Americas with recipe links

thanksgiving-dinner4in.jpg

All of us at Nichols Garden Nursery wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Among several of our favorite recipes for Thanksgiving dinner are those which include foods specific to the Western Hemisphere prior to Columbus. Hope you’ll find useful recipes and menu ideas.   Also if you are looking for recipes for yacon we have developed several to offer. This plant of the Andes, our best selling plant, produces heavy yields of crunchy sweet tubers. They make a great low calorie snack, peeled, sliced, and sprinkled with a few drops of lime juice and a touch of salt.

Every Thanksgiving I set myself a little challenge of preparing foods of the Western Hemisphere for this quintessential US holiday. What I’ve learned is only a few of the foods we associate with this celebration actually originated in the US, cranberries, pecans, sunflowers and of course turkeys. Corn, squash, potatoes, chocolate, etc. all made their way north from Central and South American. But then we’ve always been a mixed lot so why not our foodstuffs.

Here in Oregon it feels like winter. It’s wet and windy. Stay cozy.

Here are recipe links featuring foods of the Americas. All of these are on the Gardeners Pantry.

Thanksgiving Recipe- Gluten Free Corn Sticks

Thanksgiving – Zesty Chocolate Pecan Pie

Thankgiving Baked Squash

Yacon Pineapple Slaw

Thanksgiving – Tomato Aspic

Achoca with Sweet Red Peppers

Thanksgiving-Cornbread and Sunflower Seed Stuffing

Easy “Mole” Sauce for Turkey

All America Thanksgiving Menu 2006

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