Tag Archives: recipes

ingredients

Savory Bread Pudding for Dinner

Savory bread pudding is a special occasion dish I use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The prep is time-consuming and the cooking time a tad long, 90 minutes, but the results are worth the effort. This is a dish my children ask for again and again. It’s also a great centerpiece to a brunch buffet for friends and family.

I typically use fresh garden vegetables, but, in the winter, frozen vegetables work fine too. Be sure to thaw and drain frozen veggies before using. Be creative and combine meats and vegetables you like. The recipe is forgiving as long as you don’t add too much liquid to the ingredients.

Savory Bread Pudding

Ingredients and instructions:

1 loaf crusty French bread (baguette), cubed

12 eggs

2 cups milk (Skim, 2%, Whole, or even Soy Milk will work)

Beat the eggs and milk together. Set aside.

The three ingredients above are essential. The list below can vary and I’ve offered suggestions.

1 lb Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled into small bits (or ham, chopped small or other sausage)

1 medium onion, chopped and cooked (cook with the meat)

4 cloves garlic, chopped fine and cooked with the meat and onion

1 bunch of Swiss Chard (or kale, or collard greens, or 3-4 cups of spinach) roughly chopped. If using kale or collard greens, remove the stems. With the Swiss chard, you can include the stems. Thinly slice the Swiss chard stem that extends below the leaf.

1 bunch asparagus, chopped (or 2 cups chopped fresh green beans)

1 zucchini (small to medium, the size usually in stores) seeded and chopped

Optional:  1-2 cups sliced Japanese eggplants, salted, rinsed, and drained

2 cups grated cheese (Swiss, cheddar, parmesan, or whatever you have on-hand)

Place Swiss chard, asparagus, and zucchini (and eggplant if using) in a large bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften but are not cooked all the way through.chard

1 cup fresh mixed herbs: sage, basil, dill, marjoram, oregano (or whatever you can find). Mince herbs together. Dill and sage will be strong flavors so only use a little of each. If you can’t find fresh herbs, just add 1 tablespoon of Italian herb mix or even a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash no-salt spice mix.ingredients

Add the minced herbs and 1 cup of the grated cheese to the microwaved vegetables and stir.ingredients-2

Mix vegetables, cheese and herbs with the meat and onions and the cubed bread and put in a large, buttered, baking dish (a lasagna pan is perfect). Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread mixture. The ingredients should be just covered by the eggs and milk. You may need to add more or even not use all the eggs and milk you mixed up.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and thirty minutes. Set your timer for 60 minutes. When the timer goes off, add the remaining 1 cup of cheese to the top of the pudding. Cook for another thirty minutes. The pudding is done when a knife stuck in the center comes out “clean” (meaning no wet egg/milk on the knife when you remove it). Depending on the size of your pan, the pudding may take longer to cook. If you don’t have a lasagna or a 9×12 cake pan, you can split the pudding into several smaller pans. If you bake in smaller pans or ramekins, your cooking time will decrease. The cooked pudding freezes and reheats well.finished-dishThis is a bountiful recipe that easily feeds 6 to 8 people.plated

Midsummer Madness: a recipe roundup

KateCooper2009 (2)August. It’s August. And not just the beginning — it’s mid August. Bittersweet: I think that is the word for this month. The slow letting go of lots of sun, swimming holes, and unstructured days. Deep breath.

But we don’t have to say goodbye to vegetables too soon — we are just hitting the peak. From now until mid to late September our gardens and farms will be plumping up, ripening and sweetening our vegetables for your tables. This summer has been relatively cool, so tomatoes and eggplants and peppers may be slow, but the rest of the high summer veggies are coming on strong.

So pack it in while you can, friends.

Here are 9 recipes that make the most out of our last month of summer.

Summer Chicken Stew from BBC Good Food

This recipe has two steps. Really. It’s that easy. Great for a weeknight, has lots of seasonal veggies.

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (AKA Chow Mein) from Manjulas Kitchen

Simple sauce and noodle base that allows you to build whatever veggies you can in there. This recipe happens to include only veggies you’ll find in your CSA.

Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous with roasted chickpeas from Andrea Bemis of The Kitchn

(hint: the cauliflower is riced, so it takes the place of the couscous — sneaky!).

Cauliflower couscous by The Kitchn.
Cauliflower couscous by The Kitchn.
Cauliflower Steaks from The Kitchn

Apparently, this is a thing. Popping up on restaurant menus all over the place. I didn’t know. But it sounds easy and amazing, so put it on your menu this week! Great for vegetarians and those looking to give the cauliflower main stage.

Zucchini with Chorizo and Lime from The Kitchn

An easy one pot meal. There’s a lot of parsley in my CSA, so I’d sub that in for the cilantro in this recipe, and maybe add a little coriander (since that’s the seed of the cilantro plant).

Green Bean Potato and Corn Salad from Love and Lemons
love and lemons green bean and potato salad
Love and Lemons’ green bean, potato & corn salad.

This could be a side, or add your favorite meat or seafood and make it dinner. It even has basil, which I have a lot of. Making this tonight!

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza from Love and Lemons

What a great way to use up veggies: grab a Le Petit crust, roll it out, and load on the veggies and herbs and a little tomato sauce or olive oil. Done and done. This one from Love and Lemons is a great mixture of seasonal veggies.

Darla’s Delicious Frittata from Epicurious

I’ve starting making a frittata over the weekend when I have a bit more time and serving it for breakfast (or dinner) throughout the week. I recently read a frittata recipe that, instead of listing what vegetables, just said “vegetables.” As in, as long as you have some veggies, cheese, and maybe a little cream or meat (totally optional, though I do argue bacon is always a good idea) along with eggs, you’ll be good to go.

Easiest Refrigerator Pickles from Smitten Kitchen
easiest-fridge-dill-pickles1
Easy refrigerator pickles by Smitten Kitchen.

And a little nod to what’s coming down the pike: storing veggies. Pickling! Cucumbers, they are great for snacking, salading, and some great Greek food. But when in doubt, pickle them!

We’ll be taking a break next week. Because #peasfarmparty. Hope you all will join us for our 20th anniversary get down Thursday, August 18th.

I’ll be writing about going back to school (gasp!) next time around. Until then, eat well.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

kamut salad

Kamut® Salad: the newest addition to the Farm Party lineup

The Farm Party is in a little over a week from now. If you haven’t been, it is a big old party up at the PEAS Farm celebrating this great community, and the harvest that abounds this time of year. We cook everyone a big meal, and host some live music (Shakewell and Local Yokel this year!). It’s really fun. This year, we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary, which means we’ll have cake and a photo booth and a few other fun things.

One of the longstanding traditions around this party (we’ve been doing the party for 14 years, so we’ve got some serious traditions going) is that Josh (PEAS Farm Director) and the PEAS Farm student crew make the food. They harvest it in the fields, truck it over the First Presbyterian Church’s commercial grade kitchen, and get to work. The party has gotten so big that UM Catering has now taken over cooking the burgers, so we can focus on what’s most important: the veggies.

Chopping onions for Farm Party
Chopping onions for the Farm Party Kamut Salad. Real chefs wear onion eye protection. Photo by Tom Bauer/The Missoulian

This wonderful group makes six salads (green salad, cole slaw, carrot, cuke, roasted beet, and Kamut Brand Khorasan Wheat). It’s a treat for them to show Missoula what they’ve been up to all summer. All their harvesting, weeding, moving pipe, tractoring, educating, more weeding, seeding and re-seeding, and harvesting again, and sweating and sometimes freezing — it all adds up to a rich and new experience. So it is a special thing to be able to invite all of you up to the farm to see a little piece of it in action.

In the spirit of sharing, I asked Kali, an EVST grad student who is one of the group’s leaders this year, if she’d share a recipe. She did some calculating (these recipes are sized for making food for around 1,000) to make it for around 6 servings, and gave me this year’s version of the Kamut® Salad recipe. Grain salads are great because you can stick all sorts of things in them and they taste great with a little dressing. This year, the crew is adding peaches (that’s right!) to the savory salad. It’s a great way tie many seasonal ingredients into one dish. Eat it as a meal, or as a hearty side. To make this gluten free, sub rice.

Recipe

Ingredients

Dressing
1/4 cup safflower oil or olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
A few sprigs of basil
1-2 tsp raw honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Salad
1 cup Kamut® berries, cooked and cooled (shorten the cooking time if you soak the berries overnight — see here for simple cooking instructions — mine cooked for almost 60 min)
3 – 5 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced small
1-2 peaches, chopped
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Prep all your ingredients.
Ingredients
Emulsify the dressing with an immersion blender.
immersion blender and dressing
Massage the chopped kale with a small amount of the dressing to tenderize it. Then combine all the ingredients in a bowl!
Combine together ingredients
We hope you’ll make this, and come to the Farm Party on August 18th, 5:30 pm at the PEAS Farm to try ours! Come find me and we’ll compare recipes, will you?
chopped veggies

Swiss Chard Rolls

When your garden produces an abundance of Swiss chard or you find beautiful rainbow chard at the farmer’s market, make Swiss Chard Rolls. Akin to cabbage rolls, Swiss Chard Rolls are a delicious way to utilize your summer garden bounty or farmer’s market produce.

What to do with summer's bounty...
What to do with summer’s bounty…

One:  Bring ½ cup raw quinoa, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon olive oil to boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes until cooked. Set aside.

Two: Core and coarsely chop 4 large paste tomatoes. Mince one garlic clove. Heat 1
tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, add chopped paste tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce heat to low. Add 1/3 cup red wine. Add 1 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs: basil, chives, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, or sage. Use a mixture of whatever herbs your garden provides or that you can find at the farmer’s market.  (Sage and dill should be used sparingly or they will overpower the sauce). Stir and let sauce simmer, covered, while you prepare the Swiss chard filling.

chopping

stewing

Three: Wash 6 large Swiss chard leaves, leaving some water drops on the leafy part. Cut the leaves in half to remove the stems through the main leaf – you will end up with 12 half leaves for rolling. Set the stem pieces aside to use in the filling (step four). Place the leaf halves on a plate or in a large bowl, cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 45 to 65 seconds. You want the leaves to be softened and pliable but not cooked all the way through. Set aside.

Four: Dice (1/2 inch pieces) the Swiss chard stems, 4 medium peeled carrots, 1 or 2 paste tomatoes, 1 medium onion (if using a fresh garden onion, use as much of the green top as you like). Seed and dice 1 small or ½ medium zucchini, keep the zucchini separate from other diced vegetables. Finely mince 1 large garlic clove. In a large sauté pan or a wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add the diced chard stems, carrots, tomato, onion, and minced garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until onion is translucent.

chopped veggies

When the onions are translucent, add the diced zucchini and the cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture.  Sauté for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes so it’s easier to handle. Turn off the heat to the tomato sauce (step 2) at this time.

Five: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 7×11 baking dish (or any 2 quart baking dish approximating that size). Place one Swiss chard leaf half on the counter or a large plate; heap 2-3 tablespoons of the quinoa vegetable mixture at one end of the leaf half. Roll the leaf half up much like you’d role a tortilla for a burrito. Place in the baking dish. Repeat with the other 11 leaf halves.

rollingpan

complete

3 rolls per serving for entrees, 1 roll per serving for appetizers.

Swiss chard rolls are gluten free, salt free, vegetarian, and vegan.

Note: Leftover quinoa-vegetable mixture makes a great breakfast re-heated and topped with a fried egg!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosemary. Photo by Sarah Johnson.

Herbs: Preserving the Bounty & Flavor of the Season!

Looking for some tips on growing, harvesting, and using herbs? This week we’re featuring a special guest blog by Northside Community Garden Leader and Mentor, Sarah Johnson. Sarah grew up in eastern Washington climbing trees and picking huckleberries. Her love of nature evolved into an agricultural journey that took her to farms in western Washington & south to Central America. From Guatemala she landed in North Idaho where a one season commitment on an off-grid organic farm quickly turned into five years! In 2014 she moved to Missoula with her soon-to-be husband and quickly became a fan of Garden City Harvest. This is Sarah’s second full year as a Northside gardener. When she’s not gardening Sarah works as a nurse at St. Patrick’s Hospital, enjoys cooking, basket-making, and exploring the great outdoors!  


 

It’s that wonderful time of year when the garden is starting to fill in and long gone are the first cold days of spring. It’s the time of year when the parsley you planted starts to produce, the basil begins to bud, and the spring arugula begins to go to seed. Buying bunches of fresh herbs at the farmer’s market is practically irresistible! With just a little effort you can keep them fresh for up to a week or longer or you can use different methods to freeze or dry your herbs keeping summer flavors available throughout the year.

Stunningly unusual basil found by Sarah while working at Killarney Farm. Photo by Sarah Johnson.
Stunningly unusual basil found by Sarah while working at Killarney Farm. Photo by Sarah Johnson.

How to keep herbs fresh:

Whether your herbs are freshly harvested or purchased, trim the ends and place them in a glass of water. Most herbs will keep on the counter for several days. To keep them fresh longer place a plastic bag over the herbs and place them in the fridge; some herbs will keep up to a week or more this way. Rinse your herbs if they appear wilted or muddy before trimming ends and placing in water.

Keeping herbs fresh. Photo by Sarah Johnson.
Keeping herbs fresh. Photo by Sarah Johnson.

Drying herbs:

There are multiple ways to dry herbs. Some herbs have higher water content than others and respond better to one method of drying versus another. Low water content, woody herbs like oregano and rosemary dry well tied into little bundles and hung upside-down in an out-of-the-way place. The herbs may be placed inside a paper bag while hanging to catch any fallen leaves. Cutting holes into the side of the bag increases the ventilation for the drying herbs.

Herbs with higher water content such as basil, mint, or tarragon can mold easily and dry better with plenty of air circulation accomplished by spreading the leaves out flat and not overlapping. An old window screen set in an area with good air circulation and out of direct sunlight makes an excellent drying surface. They can also be dried on the lowest oven temperature spread out on a cookie sheet or dried on a low setting in a food dehydrator.

Freshly dried herbs should be stored in an airtight container such as a re-purposed glass jar or a plastic Ziplock bag. Dried herbs can be kept for up to 2-3 years but are best used within one year as the intensity of the flavor decreases over time.

Rosemary. Photo by Sarah Johnson.
Rosemary. Photo by Sarah Johnson.

Freezing Herbs:

This method works well for small amounts of leftover herbs. Simply chop the herbs with a knife or food processor, press them into an ice cube tray and cover with water or an oil of your preference. Place into the freezer and once frozen transfer from the ice cube tray to a plastic bag or jar to help avoid freezer burn on your frozen herb cubes. They make great additions to sauces, soups, and more in the middle of winter!

Larger amounts of herbs may be processed as pesto! Traditionally thought of as an Italian sauce made of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, the basic ingredients can be substituted to create a pesto alternative of your choice.

I typically fill my food processor with my chosen herb, drizzle with a generous amount of oil and then pulse until the herbs are chopped. I then add the nuts/seeds, garlic, cheese, and any other addition that I fancy. Blend until the desired consistency is reached, adding in more oil as needed. Salt to taste.

Once the desired consistency is reached, use a spatula to transfer the pesto into containers or plastic freezer bags. Frozen pesto keeps well for a year or longer if kept in an airtight container. Labeling your pesto with the type & year is always recommended!

Pesto Components:

Herbs: Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Basil, Mint…… Etc.

Nuts/seeds: any nuts or seeds, most often sunflower seeds, or neither

Oil: any oil will do!

Garlic: As little or as much as one desires, may be omitted

Cheese: Parmesean or any appealing hard cheese; may also be omitted entirely

*other additions may be added such as salt, hot peppers, honey, lemon juice, etc.

I tend to make my pesto according to taste and available ingredients without using a recipe, however there are endless recipes available online or in standard cookbooks to use as a guide when creating your own pesto variation.

Making pesto. Photo by Sarah Johnson.
Making pesto. Photo by Sarah Johnson.

For more information on the care of your herb plants throughout the season I invite you to attend the Herb Workshop on Tuesday, July 12th at the Providence Hospital Garden (Map) from 5:30-6:30pm.

Got Toast?

Ingrid Estell, Northside Community Garden Mentor, is kicking off the first installment of her monthly recipe blog for the Real Dirt, which will be published every third Wednesday. Her recipes focus on creative alternatives and uses for garden-grown goods. 


Toast has come into its own. Once the side-kick to eggs or the solace for a sour stomach, toast can now be found as a main menu item at restaurants. In some establishments, toast is the sole culinary.

Being a longtime fan of home-toasted bread, I’ve created my own toast meals featuring fresh ingredients from the garden and beyond. Who needs to go out for toast when you can make delicious, and inexpensive, toast in your own kitchen? Have toast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

First, select your bread. I prefer Dave’s Killer Bread, Organic, 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. The toast recipes below do require bread that will support a few layers of ingredients.

Asparagus Toast (Serves 1)

1 slice toasted bread

4-5 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed. Cut in half or to fit bread. Wash, cover with wax paper, and microwave for one minute.

2-3 tablespoons brie, softened

Sprinkle of salt-free seasoning such as Mrs. Dash’s Original

For extra fancy asparagus toast: thinly sliced 2-3 strawberries

Directions: Spread brie over toast, add microwaved asparagus, sprinkle with seasoning, and, if using, top with strawberry slices.

20160610_102024_resized

20160609_204844_resized  20160609_204638_resized

Swiss Chard Toast (Serves 1)

1 slice toasted bread

2 large Swiss chard leaves and stems, washed and finely chopped.

2-3 drops balsamic vinegar

2-4 slices, thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese (enough slices to cover bread)

2-4 slices crisp cooked bacon

Directions: Cover the toast with sliced cheese. Place Swiss Chard in bowl and add 2-3 drops/sprinkles of balsamic vinegar. Microwave until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the cheese. Place bacon on the Swiss chard, either crumbled or in slices.

20160610_102015_resized

Chard  Swiss Chard Toast

Taco Toast (Serves 2)

2 slices toasted bread

1 small to medium onion.  Halved, peeled, and sliced thin.

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

4 tablespoons cooked black beans

1 avocado, sliced

4 tablespoons cojita cheese

2 tablespoons chipotle salsa or salsa of your choice

Squeeze of lime

Directions: Cook onion and garlic in oil until caramelized, 10 minutes or so over medium/low heat. If you are using fresh green onions, chop the tops and throw them in the pan for the last few minutes of cooking. Once cooked, add to toast as the base layer. Next, add per toast: 2 tablespoons black beans, ½ of the avocado slices, 2 tablespoons cojita cheese.

Once the cheese is added, place toast under the broiler for 2-3 minutes and brown/soften the cheese. Remove from the broiler and add 1 tablespoon salsa and a squeeze of lime to each toast.

Taco Toast

The last toast suggestion is a carrot salad topping. The carrot salad makes 4 servings and I often eat it as a side salad for dinner and then use the leftovers for a toast breakfast the next morning.

Carrot Salad (2 servings as salad, 2 servings as toast topper)

1 cup grated carrots. With fresh garden carrots – leave peel on when grating. Store carrots, peel before grating.

1 orange.  Peeled, sectioned, and chopped.

1/3 cup raisins (or dried cherries or cranberries)

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon vinegar. I prefer cranberry vinegar but balsamic, rice, and cider vinegars work well too.

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy as a side salad, saving enough for toast.

Carrot Salad Toast (Serves 2)

2 slices toast

6 tablespoons Carrot Salad

4 tablespoons goat cheese

Directions: Spread each slice of toast with 2 tablespoons goat cheese. Top with 3 tablespoons carrot salad.

20160610_183637_resized

Apricot – Beet Toast (Serves 1)

1 slice toast

1 fresh apricot, pitted and slices

1 small/medium beet, cooked, peeled, and sliced

2-3 tablespoons peppered cashews

2 tablespoons goat cheese

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

Directions: spread goat cheese on the toast. Layer beets and apricot slices on the cheese and sprinkle with the cashews. Drizzle honey and balsamic vinegar over everything.

20160611_093030_resized

Do note:  all the topping mixtures can be served in flour or corn tortillas or even on large crackers. Also, adding bacon crumbles to any of the toppings makes for excellent eating.