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Recipes, Fresh From the Garden

Here are the recipes I promised. To read the story about the dinner and the meal, visit my garden adventures blog:
Chilled Romaine Soup  
Chilled Romaine Lettuce Soup

3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, sliced
salt & pepper
2 large heads romaine lettuce, cut into “ribbons”
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
Shredded lettuce and thinly sliced radishes for garnish

Saute onions in butter, about 3 min. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the of lettuce to the pan, cooking until it wilts. Add stock, bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook until soft, about 5 min.

Process in blender with until smooth. Refrigerate for an hour. Add half and half, adjust the salt and pepper and top with finely chopped lettuce for garnish. Makes 6 cup-sized servings.

Bruchetta Salad

Bruchetta Salad
(I used Brandywine and red pear tomatoes for this; Romas work well, too)

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (or 6-7 Romas), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped (or 2-3 tablespoons chopped sweet onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly-chopped oregano
1/4 cup rumbled feta cheese
Olives for garnish
salt & pepper, optional

Several thin slices freshly-toasted French bread, brushed with olive oil on side

Combine first 6 ingredients, mixing well. Let sit on the kitchen counter or in refrigerator, for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. Drain well, lay 1 to 3 thin slices of the toast on plates, then top with bruchetta. Sprinkle on crumbled feta and add olives for garnish.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, Corn Pudding, Long Beans and Carrots.
Fresh Corn Pudding
6 ears of sweet corn, shucked, silks removed
1 cup half and half
2 teaspoons sugar or Truvia
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, lightly melted
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Oil the insides of 6 ramekins and set aside.

Into a large bowl, coarsely grate corn (it's easy to slice it off with a knife, just don't slice into the cob). With the back of a knife, scrape each cob to get the remaining liquid from the corn. You should have about 2 cups.

Whisk together in a bowl the remaining ingredients and stir into the corn until combined. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and set those in a shallow baking dish. Pour boiling water in the baking dish until it is about half way up the sides of the ramekins. (At this point I often put it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to heat everything and speed up the cooking time in the oven, and if you do that, you can reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes). Otherwise, bake the puddings about 45-50 minutes. Remove ramekins from the water and let cool about 5 minutes to set up. Run a knife around the edges and invert each pudding onto plates. Makes 6 puddings.
Green and red long beans with Ginger Carrots

Marinated Long Beans
I grow Thai Red-Seeded Long Beans, but any long bean will work. Pick the beans when they are about the diameter of a small drinking straw. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and drop in the beans (I figured 3 long beans per plate). Let simmer for 5 minutes, take out and let cool. Coil 2-3 beans in a circle like a wreath, tucking parts in and out until they will hold together.

Saute 1 slice of bacon, chopped in small pieces and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion, with a scant tablespoon of olive oil. As soon as the bacon and onion are cooked, turn off the heat and pour that over the coiled green beans in a dish.

Fresh Ginger Orange Carrots
This is intended to be a garnish with the beans rather than a side dish but you could increase the amounts and use it as a side dish.

2 medium to large carrots, cut in half, each half cut into spears, lengthwise
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon butter

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the carrots and cook for 6-7 minutes or until just barely tender. Drain.
In the same saucepan, combine the ginger, orange juice concentrate and butter and heat just enough to melt the butter. Stir then add the carrots, tossing to coat. Set aside to marinate for at least an hour. These can be served hot or cold. I stuck 2 carrot spears through each green bean "wreath," the beans were hot, the carrots were room temperature.

More recipes to come.


Recipes from 50th Anniversary MN Herb Society

Just part of the food from the Shady Acres Herb Farm barbecue.
If you'd like to read the story of why I was speaking at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and who the other (famous) speakers were, read the post here. Since there wasn't room for the recipes, I'm posting them here. First was the homemade Sage Cheese Ball, made by one of the members. It was delicious and went fast. You might like to make it, and serve with one of my homemade crackers from my book, Easy Homemade Crackers Using Herbs.

Sage Cheese Ball with homemade cheese.
Sage Cheese Ball
8 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk

Combine the cream and buttermilk, cover with a cloth and let sit out on the kitchen counter for 24-36 hours. Pour that into a sieve or strainer that's lined with cheesecloth, cover, and let it drain for about 3 days. That's it, your cheese is ready to use (and refrigerate). Chop about a dozen fresh sage leaves very fine and mix into the cheese. Press into a mold or pan and let the sage flavors mix into the cheese for about a day. That's it, the cheese ball is ready to eat!

Shady Acres Herb Farm's Gift Shop.
The ladies from the MN Herb Society presented, "Ten Herbs in One Hour" and it was well organized and gave a lot of information in a short period of time. Theresa Miesler, of Shady Acres Herb Farm (who was my home-host while I was there) gave her presentation on mint and mojitos. We all had a few Mojitos the following evening, too!
A perfect Mojito.
Mojitos for 6, Theresa Mieseler
9 ounces rum
2 handfuls spearmint
3 limes, squeezed
1/3 liter club soda
12 ounces simple syrup (2 parts sugar in 3 parts hot water, dissolve then chill)

Muddle the mint in the pitcher with a spoon, add the limes and the juice from them, then add the rum and club soda. Pour over ice in glasses and garnish with more mint.

You could also use stevia (it's correctly pronounced "stev - ia" with a short e, unlike what most of us have been calling it (as if it were spelled steeeevia). Use a simple stevia syrup in the above recipe in place of simple syrup.
Stevia plant, zero calories, lots of sweet.
Stevia Syrup, Vernoica Malone
4 cups water
1 cup of stevia powder or dry crushed stevia leaves

Bring the water to a boil, add the stevia and mix until dissolved, cover with a lid and let steep until cooled. Strain and refrigerate until ready to use.
The Sherried Rosemary Almonds look ordinary - the aren't!
Eleanor Wagner's Sherried Rosemary Almonds
(This works just as well with peanuts, cashews or other nuts; they were so good, 
they were being eaten about as fast as they were put on the tables!)

1 1/2 cups blanched or unblanched whole almonds (or other nuts)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Bring brown sugar, sherry and water to a boil in a small saucepan and continue simmering for 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Add almonds to syrup and stir to coat. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Spread almonds on baking sheet separating them with a fork so they don't stick together. Cool, then store in an airtight container. Makes 1 1/2 cups so you may want to double the recipe.