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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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.

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.

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.