Category Archives: Recipes

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

In celebration of Halloween check out what arguably may be one of the best pumpkin soup recipes ever. One can also substitute any winter squash (i.e butternut squash) for pumpkin.

Pumkin Soup with Fennel and Orange

To bake a fresh 6 to 7 pound pumpkin, halve the pumpkin crosswise and scoop out the seeds and fiber. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375, for approximately 60 minutes.

When finished let cool and scoop out flesh.
(Approximately 3 cups)

In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons oil and sauté the
following: 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves
and the zest of 1 orange.

Cook for about 10 min until onions start to brown.

Stir in 3 large, chopped and cored fennel bulbs and
cook for about 15 min. Season with salt and pepper.

(Optional – add 2-3 ounces cognac, brandy or orange liquor and stir.)

When alcohol is burned off add 2 cups chicken stock.

Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add cooked squash, mix thoroughly, and season with
salt and pepper.

Puree in blender at high speed.
Add just enough extra chicken broth (1-2 cups) to
ensure the soup turns smoothly in the blender.
Season to taste.

Summer Bounty Recipes

May not be many students around over the summer, but that hasn’t stopped our school gardens from performing. Corn is high, tomatoes are plump, cucumbers are fat, peppers are turning color, pole beans are still producing, and zucchinis are abundant.

cherokee purple tomato
cherokee purple tomato

Two recipes to utilize all this goodness are included below.

1) Black Bean and Quinoa Salad is courtesy of the Los Angeles County Nutrition Program. Be sure to check out their healthy recipes/cookbooks page and their onsite cookbook of healthy, low-fat, easy to prepare, ethnically inspired recipes (in both spanish and english.)

Ingredients:
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup corn
2 scallions chopped
½ cup tomatoes
½ cup green peppers (or red)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs cilantro chopped
salt and pepper to taste

optional:
1 cup chopped zucchini
Grilled Shrimp chopped
Grilled Chicken chopped

Soak quinoa for five minutes then drain. Bring water to boil and add quinoa. Lower flame to barely simmer, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed (20-30 minutes). Let cool. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. (Note: bulgar can easily be substituted for quinoa).

2) California Tabboulleh is a variation on traditional tabbouleh.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bulgar (medium size)
1 cup stock or boiling water
1 lb tomatoes
1/2 cup green onion
1 can black beans
1 cup corn
2-3 cups cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers diced (rib and seeds removed)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt if using water
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup citrus (lemon, lime and orange combination)
1/4 cup olive oil

optional:
Queso Fresco or mild Feta Cheese
Avocado
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper

Pour 1 cup boiling water over bulgar and allow bulgar to soften while you prepare the other ingredients. Chop tomatoes and leave in a colander to drain. Chop onion, cilantro and pepper. Rinse black beans. Drain and discard excess liquid from bulgar.

Toss bulgar, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, corn and beans. Dress with citrus juice and olive oil. Season to taste. It’s best prepared a couple of hours or more ahead of serving to allow flavors to develop. (Note: quinoa can easily be substituted for bulgar).

Feel free to alter ingredients and measures according to taste and harvest.

Green Bean Harvest

Green beans (aka string beans or snap beans) are one of our earliest spring harvests.  Seed to table is usually about 60 days.

snap_beans

We are currently harvesting both bush beans and pole beans.  The difference between the two being: bush beans mature all at once while pole beans mature over a longer period of time. Additionally, bush bean plants are usually no more than 18” tall, while pole beans grow as a vine and can reach heights of 10-12 feet (hence the name, the pole is used for support, all pole beans should be grown on a trellis.)

green_bean_trellis

For those with year round gardens think about doing at least two or three  plantings, stagger the sowing, and you’ll have fresh green beans all summer.

To collect green beans seeds for next year allow some of your green beans to
stay on the vine till they appear dry and brittle . Collect the seeds and then store in a cool dry place.

dried-bean

One of my favorite ways of preparing green beans is the roasting method. See Roasted Green Beans recipe from kidscooking.about.com

For more green bean recipes please see the following:
1) GreenBeansNMore.com

2) 4 Fresh Recipes for Green Beans from Eating Well.com

3) 4080 ways to cook green beans from Cooks.com

Artichokes

Good news ‘choke fans, artichoke season is upon us. These edible buds are grown as perennials in our mild winter garden zone which means for those of us with year-round school gardens the time to enjoy them is now.

artihoke01
Artichokes should be picked while the buds are still tight. The edible parts consist primarily of the fleshy lower portion of the bracts as well as the base, which is known as the “heart.” The immature florets in the center of the bud are inedible in older larger flowers and are usually removed.

See this video on how to clean artichokes for boiling and be sure to visit the California Artichoke Advisory Board (CAAB) for artichoke and artichoke dip recipes.

One note of caution, artichokes, being a member of the thistle family, have outer leaves that can develop into sharp points, gloves are recommend for harvesting.

artichoke_flower

Lastly, consider allowing one or two buds to open, flower, and go to seed. The purple florets are a treat for the eyes and the feeling of running your fingers over them is a wondrous joy to the sense of touch.

Sorrel

sorrelI love the sour taste of Sorrel. Its great raw in mixed green salads or as the main ingredient in the French classic, Sorrel Soup or the Eastern European classic, Schav.

Sorrel is a perennial in the Polygonaceae family along with such relatives as buckwheat and rhubarb. The reason I mention it now is that after 3 seasons ours has just bolted.

Sorrel_Bolting

Enjoy it while you can.

Sorrel Soup Recipes
1) Recipezaar.com
2) JaquesandCompany.com

Schav Recipes
1) Recipesource.com
2) NYTimes.com

Kohlrabi – Info and Recipes

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi was harvested recently and like other uncommon vegetables the question most asked was, what do we do with it? First, a little information; Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. Its name is derived from the German Kohl (cabbage) and Rube or Rabi (turnip) because the swollen stem looks like a turnip.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi is similar to broccoli stems or cabbage hearts but milder and sweeter. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Small kohlrabi do not need to be skinned, but the larger ones definitely do.

Of kohlrabi’s two varieties the purple globe is sweeter and tastier than the apple-green.

Nutritionally, kohlarabi is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. See complete Kohlrabi Nutritional Values from nutritiondata.com.

The following are some recipes I found featuring kohlrabi:

1) Pickled Kohlrabi

2) Kohlrabi-Mushroom Soup

3) Freezing Kohlrabi

4) German-Style Stuffed Kohlrabi

5) Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash

6) Spicy Kohlrabi

7) Avocado and Kohlrabi Salad

8) Creamy Kohlrabi Salad

9) Braised Kohlrabi

10) Mashed Kohlrabi

The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

From the New York Times,
The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

We got 3 of these growing in our school gardens (4 if we knew how to dry plums.)