Early Garden Bounty

Oriental Noodle Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. pkg. Chinese noodles (steam fried, chow mein)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. good soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cups blanched broccoli
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage, (red, napa, or  savoy)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, julienne or thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

2 cups sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
(I use whatever vegetables are fresh and available, like cucumbers, zucchini, green or yellow beans, etc.)

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. grated ginger
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated finely
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes or 1 tbsp. finely chopped red chili. (use to taste, or eliminate if  you don’t like the heat)
  • 1/3 cup light oil (grapeseed, peanut, avocado,)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Chopped cashews (optional)

Directions:

  • Prepare noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain and toss with soy and sesame oil. Allow to cool.
  • Prepare vegetables and toss with some of the dressing.
  • Just before serving, add noodles, toss, taste and add dressing as necessary.
  • This salad is delicious with the addition of shrimp, chicken or fried tofu.

 

Lettuce wraps

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Using the vegetable mixture and dressing  above, add fruit such as chopped apple, pear, grapes, cherries (pitted) .Combine with chicken, shrimp, tofu and serve in lettuce leaves.

Buttermilk Biscuits

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter cut in small cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (approx..)

 

Directions:

  • Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Rub in butter with fingers or a pastry blender until it is about the consistency of small peas.
  • Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until a rough mixture forms.
  • Remove from bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple times.
  • Pat out dough to about ½ inch thickness.
  • Cut into desired shapes/sizes and bake on a parchment covered baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until biscuits are golden brown.
  • Remove and allow to cool until they are easy to touch.This recipe is easy to adapt to either sweet or savoury applications by adding a little extra sugar or grated cheese and/or chopped herbs.

 

Roasted Beet Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 medium red beets (other varieties work well, too)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, (if using canned, rinse well, drain)
  • 1 large, crisp apple, diced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

 

Dressing:
In a bowl or mason jar, combine:
Roasted garlic cloves, mashed
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1/3 cup light oil or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie tray.
  • Arrange beets, garlic and rosemary on foil. Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap the beets tightly and place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife.
  • Let them cool to room temperature. Using rubber gloves or a paper towel, slip off the skins. Rinse and dice.
  • Assembly: Toss beets with 2 tbsp. dressing. Add rest of ingredients and a little more dressing. Taste, adjust seasoning.

Strawberry Mousse with Shortbread Crust

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Ingredients:
Crust:

  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut in cubes
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and stemmed
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾  to 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2 pkg. of plain gelatin
  • 2 cups whipping cream

Directions:

  • Process ingredients in food processor, or by hand, using knife or pastry blender until butter is finely distributed, about the size of rice grains.
  • Pour mixture into a buttered pie plate or 9” square pan. Pat mixture firmly and evenly on sides of pie plate or just on bottom of square pan.  Using a fork, poke holes in bottom to prevent bubbling.
  • Line container with parchment paper and weight the paper with pie weights or dry beans or rice. (Keep the rice or beans for this purpose)
  • Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the weights and continue baking until crust is light golden brown.
  • Remove to a rack and cool completely.
  • Place strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in food processor or  blender (or use an immersion blender)
  • Pour water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Warm gently over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Add the gelatin to the strawberry mixture and blend until smooth.
  • Refrigerate the mixture in a bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until thick enough to mound on a spoon. It should be a little thicker than egg whites.
  • Whip the cream until peaks form. Gently fold the strawberry mixture into the cream. Mix gently but thoroughly and fill the shortbread crust.
  • Refrigerate for several hours or until firmly set.
  • Decorate as desired with fresh berries and serve.

Foil Roasted Potatoes

This is more of a technique than a recipe.
Choose fresh little new potatoes, scrub them well, and dry them.
Lay out a sheet of heavy-duty foil or a double layer of thinner foil. Spread about 1 tbsp. of butter on the foil.
Leave the smaller ones whole, cut the larger ones in half or four so they are all roughly  the same size.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil.
Place sprigs of woody herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, and if you like garlic scatter some slices over the potatoes. Wrap tightly and roast in a 400 degree oven or on the barbeque (not
over direct heat) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.
When they are done, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with parsley, chives, etc.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup garlic washed and chopped
  • 4 tbsp. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  • Process the scapes for a few seconds, and then add the sunflower seeds (or your nuts of choice)
  • Pulse until finely chopped and scrape sides of bowl.
  • Add oil and process until well combined
  • Add cheese and pulse for a few seconds, just until combined.
    (if you process it too long, the heat will begin to melt the cheese and make the mixture gummy)
  • Add basil and lemon juice and process for a few seconds.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Store in a glass jar or freeze in ice cube trays.
  • When storing pesto, increase the lifespan by covering the top surface with oil. This prevents the basil from oxidizing.