09 Jun

Chicken and Kale in Parmesan Cream Sauce

“Chicken and kale in a creamy and cheesy sauce makes a great topping for pasta.”


1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (3 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese


1. Combine kale, water, red wine vinegar, and sea salt in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving the liquid. Set the kale aside.
2. Combine the reserved liquid and the chicken in the saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the kale, cream, butter, and black pepper through the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture; cook and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.


01 Jun

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Serves: 6 servings

  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see note)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix into the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8×11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the topping, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

01 Apr

Kuchen Bars Recipe


1 c butter, melted
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients well and spread crust into a greased jelly-roll pan.


4 c rhubarb, chopped

Arrange on crust.


4 eggs
2 Tbls flour
1 ½ c sugar
1 ¾ c cream

Mix ingredients and pour over fruit on crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes or longer until filling is set…50 minutes if deep dish.


01 Feb

Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 3-4

1 lb. sugar snap peas
2 T soy sauce (can use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2-3 slices fresh ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Remove the strings from the each sugar snap pea by snapping the stem end and pulling the string down the side, then slice each one on the diagonal. (The sugar snap peas actually have a string on each side, but on most of them I only removed the string from one side.)

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the wok or heavy frying pan on the burner and preheat at least one minute. (It should feel very hot if you hold your hand above the wok.) When wok is hot, add the oil and let it heat until the oil is shimmering (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how hot your stove gets.) Add the sliced ginger root and garlic and stir-fry just long enough so that they become fragrant and season the oil, then remove. (Be careful not to brown the ginger and garlic or they will have a bitter taste.)

Add the sliced sugar snap peas and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the peas turn bright green and are just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just starts to coat the peas, about 1 minute more. (There will be some sauce in the bottom of the wok, but not much.) Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds or sesame seeds if desired.


13 Aug

Salad Primavera

Serving Size: 8


• 1 Cup Basmati Rice
• 8 oz Flavored Tofu, drained and diced
• 2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
• 4 Green Onions, chopped
• 1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
• 1 Cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
• 1 Yellow or Green Summer Squash, diced
• 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
• 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1. In a medium sauce pan bring two cups of water and the rice to boiling. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
2. Remove the rice from the heat. Cool and transfer to a large serving bowl.
3. Add tofu, tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and squash to the rice and stir to combine.
4. In a blender or small bowl with whisk, quickly blend together the vinegar, mustard and olive oil to create and emulsion dressing.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to combine.
6. Serve and Enjoy!


18 Jul

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta

Serves 4-6

1 garlic head, whole
3 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
12 slices baguette, 1/2-inch thick


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top 1/3 off of the garlic head, exposing cloves. Place on foil; drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the head of garlic and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Wrap with foil. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour or until tender. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomato, basil, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Squeeze garlic out of skins. Mix garlic, cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; set aside
4. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; spread garlic cream cheese mixture over one side of each slice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 12 minutes or until golden brown. Top with tomato mixture and remaining cheese.

01 Jul

Bow Tie Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, and Olives Recipe

With appealing Mediterranean flavorings, you’ll feel like you’re vacationing. For a non-veg variation, toss in some grilled shrimp or chicken breast.
Serves: 4

12 ounces bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomato
2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons sliced kalamata or other ripe olives (about 5 to 6 olives)
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, combine the oil and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Do not brown. Add the tomato and cook for about 4 minutes longer, or until the tomato starts to soften. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, for about 1 minute more, or until wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, olives, capers, pepper, and salt. Reduce the heat to low.
3. Add the tomato mixture to the reserved pasta and toss to coat. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, if needed, to moisten the pasta.
4. Serve sprinkled with cheese.


01 Mar

Stir-Fry It! The Anything Goes Meal!

Greens love the cool weather of spring. Here is a basic recipe for using a bunch of greens, usually the first items to appear in a CSA share, at the farmer’s market, and in your garden. Serve with rice or noodles.

Ingredients (or whatever other vegetables you have kicking around)

1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch green garlic tops, chopped
½ lb of carrots
1-2 cups of snow peas, sugar snap peas, or green beans
1-2 bunches of greens (think tat soi, Chinese cabbage, pac choi, or Swiss chard, beet tops or kale), coarsely chopped
Tofu or chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes

Sauté your tofu or chicken in oil and turn a few times, until golden and cooked through. Remove from pan. Sauté your carrots until mostly tender, then add the peas or beans, scallions, and garlic greens. Add the chopped up leafy greens and cover until they wilt down. Add your stir fry sauce, stir to coat the vegetables, and heat through for s few minutes. Spoon over noodles or rice.



20 Jan

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Servings: 6

Tender roasted cauliflower tossed in olive oil and garlic is topped with Parmesan cheese and broiled until golden brown.


2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.

Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.


01 Nov

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Roasted cauliflower florets are the crunchy centerpiece of this salad, which is dressed with a sprightly vinaigrette.

Serves 4


2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1/4 cup cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced radishes
4 cups watercress or you can substitute other tender greens
1/2 cup whole parsley leaves
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup Apple-Cider Vinaigrette


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place cauliflower in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and add cherries, almonds, olives, radishes, watercress, parsley, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with vinaigrette; toss to combine and serve.


22 Oct

Garden News – October 22, 2015

The final week for the CSA half shares is here.  The following subscribers will pick up their last box today, Thursday the 22nd.  Susan Baak, Jessie Browning, Annika Charter Williams, Steve Charter, David Duke, Pamela Gustafson, James Haney, Halcyon LaPoint, Paula & Tom Larsen, Vanessa McNeill, Nanette Kuhl.  If you cannot be here, please let me know ahead of time.

Your share this week will include red cabbage, beautiful peppers, beets, dry onions, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, eggplant, French pumpkin (Galeaux de Parisienne), winter squash (several choices) cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and a few cucumbers and summer squash.

Barb and I will be making sauerkraut today, too,  with the Late Dutch White cabbages that are still out in the gardens.  If any of you are wanting to make kraut or cabbage rolls this is the best cabbage to use.  These cabbages will be available to purchase over the next week or so as well as the late plantings of lettuces and oriental greens.   I have to harvest them before it get really cold.  I also have an abundant supply of eggplant and several varieties of peppers, from mild to hot, if you are wanting to make conserves, relishes, or casseroles to freeze.  Stuffed peppers anyone?

I am honored and excited to have been invited to provide my garden veggies for this upcoming harvest dinner at The Fieldhouse.   ‘http://www.thefieldhousemt.com/#!home/mainPage   The food and wine will be sensational.  I might even get to help out in the kitchen!  You  all know how I love to cook. Won’t you join us and show your support for a local restaurant that is doing it right!

I will be getting the garden ready for next year over the next few weeks.  Just brought in 9 yards of compost and will be hauling sheep manure from Barb’s farm.  The manure and compost along with dried leaves, grass clippings and feather meal will be layered over each bed and planting area and then lightly tilled in.   The 4 compost bins are filled to the tops with all of the garden waste that we have cleaned out of the beds.  They will slowly breakdown over the winter.  Once everything is done, I will be spending time getting my house back in order from the summer neglect, planning next years garden and maybe find time to read some good books!  My body is needing a break from all of the heavy garden work!

I will be sending out the information on next year’s CSA sometime after the first of the year.  I hope you will be joining us again.  I am always interested in your feedback regarding your experience with the CSA.  Not everyone is suited for the CSA business model.  It works for some…and not for others.  Your input will help me determine what needs to be improved and the ways to make the CSA work better for it’s members. Constructive critique is always good!

I am including some recipes using some of the veggies in your final box.

Walnut Raisin Pumpkin Bread

Two loaves….one to eat and one to share


4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 cup oil
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 can of pumpkin (15 oz.) or your own puree made from baked fresh pumpkin
I cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two loaf pans.

Step 2:  Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together.

Step 3:  In a separate bowl mix together eggs, sugar and oil.
Add vanilla.
Add pumpkin.
Then slowly add flour mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
Lastly, stir in raisins and walnuts.

Step 4:  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to an hour.

Let cool.  Then slice and serve.

Mediterranean Style Stuffed Peppers

Serves: 4-6


  • Good quality cooking oil or olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • salt + pepper
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
  • ½ cup chopped parsley, more for garnish
  • 1 cup short grain rice, soaked in water for 10-15 minutes, drained
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2¼ cup water
  • 6 bell peppers, any colors, tops removed, cored
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (or water)


  1. In a medium heavy pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Sauté the chopped onions until golden. Now add the meat and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned. Season with salt, pepper, allspice and garlic powder. Stir in the chickpeas and cook briefly.
  2. To the same pot, now add the parsley, rice, paprika and tomato sauce; stir to combine. Add the water and bring to a high simmer until liquid has reduced by one half.
  3. Turn the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and no longer hard nor too chewy.
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill the bell peppers for 10-15 minutes, covered. Be sure to turn the peppers occasionally so that all sides get charred. Remove from the grill and let cool briefly.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Assemble the bell peppers, open-side up, in a baking dish filled with ¾ cup broth or water. Spoon in the cooked rice mixture to stuff each of the peppers to the very top.
  7. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place it in the 350 degree F heated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley, if you like. Serve immediately with your favorite salad and a side of Greek yogurt.

Loaded Eggplant Rounds

Love loaded potato skins? Enjoy all that cheesy bacon flavor on top of these nutritious and delicious eggplant rounds!

Serves: 4Ingredients

1 large eggplant
Olive oil spray
Garlic salt
1 and ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese or Mozzarella
¾ cup real bacon crumbles
6 scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice eggplant into round discs, about ¼ – ½ inch thick (thinner rounds will get crispier).
Place the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet, spray both sides of each with a light coating of olive oil spray, and sprinkle with small amount of garlic salt.
Place the rounds in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until rounds are getting brown and crispy.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Top each round with the shredded cheese and the bacon crumbles.
Return the baking sheet to the over for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Sprinkle the scallions over the rounds and serve.

These could also be served as an appetizer for your next party!

I will be sending out newsletters throughout the winter when there are interesting things happening here at Kate’s Garden and Scents of Balance.  I know that some of you don’t really read my musings, so if you would prefer to not receive them, please let me know and I will remove you from my list.  I will, however, contact you next year when I determine the structure of the 2016 (Yikes!) CSA.  I have enjoyed visiting with you all during this veggie season and would love for you  to stay in touch.  I wish you well!

14 Oct

Garden News – October 14, 2015

The gardens are really slowing down now, with the cooler nights and shorter days.  The leaves are falling and some of the trees are already bare while others are slow to let go of their fall clothes!  As I walk around the yard there is a crunch where there once was soft grass.  I guess it is time for one last mowing and then the raking that will go on for several more weeks.

That wind last Sunday did some damage here.  Three sections of my cedar fence went down.  The  4X4 cedar posts snapped off at the ground.  John Pugrud, my savior, will be coming to fix everything this week.  I don’t know what I would  do without him.  Thank you, John!  Some of the wire fence for the tomatoes also blew down.   The tomatoes are so heavy right now, but I am not going to worry, as I will be harvesting them all soon, depending on whether it freezes of not.

My friends Steven and Robin Earles are also bringing me lots of leaves and grass clippings that I will be spreading over my gardens getting them ready for bed.  Thank you Robin and Steve!  The garden and I love you!  I am also bringing in manure.  A light tilling will then be done and the garden will be ready for winter sleep.  Rest and rejuvenation are important….for me too!

This is the final pick up for the following subscribers.  Virginia Bryan, John Pugrud, Charis Cravens, Sonya Whiteley, Lindsey James, Paula Larsen, Vanessa McNeill, Merita Murdock, Kat Pakora, Alicia Pettys, Kerry Sandelin, Sue Tanner, Carol Wardell, Jordan Westerholm, Nancy Wilkin,  Mike Williams.

These remaining subscribers will pick up their last share on October 22nd.  Susan Baak, Jessie Browning, Annika Charter Williams, Steve Charter, David Duke, Pamela Gustafson, James Haney, Halcyon LaPoint, Paula & Tom Larsen, Vanessa McNeill, Nanette Kuhl.

I am not quite sure what the selection will be in your share this week, but for sure there will be  winter squash, eggplant, bell peppers, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, dry onions, broccoli side shoots, red cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers.  With a possible frost and even a freeze looming just around the corner, I will be trying to time the harvest getting the more tender veggies out of the garden first. It is really dry out there and things are still growing, so I had to water with city water this week  as the water in the canal is too low to pump anymore.  The county empties the canal on the 15th of October.

With the crisp fall temperatures, its time to start thinking about those meals that feed the body and spirit….I like to call them “Soul Foods”.

Creamy Winter Greens Gratin

Serves four as a side dish.

You can make this gratin with your choice of spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or broccoli raab. You’ll need to boil the greens first, following the instructions below. You can also substitute any hard cheese for the Parmigiano.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2-1/2 oz. bacon (about 3 strips) or 1-1/2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
2 cups cooked winter greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or broccoli raab)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or a combination of Parmigiano and another hard cheese like Gruyère, Emmental, or aged Gouda

Prep and cook the greens:

To get the 2 cups of cooked greens you need for the gratin, be sure to start out with the amount of raw greens specified below.

Cut off and discard the tough stems (use a small, sharp paring knife and trim around the stem). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, submerge all the greens, and cook just until tender (see cooking times below). Drain well and then spread on a towel to absorb excess moisture. If the greens still seem very wet, squeeze them gently to remove excess liquid.

Start with 1 lb. mature spinach, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped to yield about 7 cups tightly packed (or 12 oz.); cook for 30 seconds, just until wilted.

Broccoli raab
Start with a 1-lb. bunch broccoli raab, tough lower stems removed (almost half the bunch), as well as any discolored leaves, and the rest very roughly chopped to yield about 6 heaping cups; cook for 2 min.

Swiss chard
Start with 1-3/4 lb. chard, stems cut away and reserved for another use (slice, freeze, and add to your next vegetable soup) and leaves roughly chopped to yield about 9-1/2 cups (or 12 oz.); cook for 1 min.

Start with 1-1/4 pounds kale, tough stems trimmed away, leaves roughly chopped to yield 6 cups tightly packed; cook for 8 min.
Assemble and bake the gratin:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Have ready a shallow 4-cup ceramic gratin dish or casserole dish (any shape is fine as long as it’s shallow). Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter and toss it in a small bowl with the breadcrumbs and a pinch of kosher salt and a little ground pepper; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and garlic to a boil over medium-high heat (watch that it doesn’t boil over), immediately lower the heat, and simmer vigorously until the cream reduces to about 3/4 cup, 4 to 8 min. (Don’t over-reduce.) Take the pan off the heat and remove and discard the garlic cloves. Let the cream cool slightly, stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming. Season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon or pancetta over medium heat until crisped and browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, and carefully pour off most of the excess fat in the skillet (but don’t wipe it clean). Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter to the skillet and let it melt. Add the cooked greens, season with 1/4 tsp. salt if using bacon (omit the salt if using pancetta), and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min. Transfer the greens to the gratin dish and spread them evenly.

Crumble the bacon or pancetta over the greens. Sprinkle on the cheese. Pour the seasoned cream over all, and top with the buttered breadcrumbs. Bake until the gratin is brown and bubbly, about 25 min. Let rest for 10 to 15 min. before serving.

For a change, serve these gratins individually. Just divide ingredients among four small gratin dishes and bake as directed above.

Emeril’s Favorite Cabbage

8 to 10 servings

  • 1/2 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head green or white cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer

Cook the bacon in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until browned and slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, salt, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir to mix well. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage just begins to wilt or soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the beer. Stir to mix.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Thai Squash Soup

Refreshing and earthy, this recipe puts a Thai twist on winter squash soup.

Serves: 4

  • 6 shallots, unpeeled
  • 1 can (13 1/2 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro + 1 tablespoon chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, green parts only
  • ground black pepper

1. Preheat the broiler. Spray a sheet of heavy foil with organic cooking spray and place the shallots on top. When the broiler is ready, broil the shallots, turning occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened and blackened. Remove from the broiler, let cool, then peel and halve them lengthwise.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the shallots, coconut milk, broth, squash, and the 1/w cup of cilantro. Cook just until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat, add the salt, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Stir in the fish sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
3. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of the minced scallion greens and the chopped cilantro and season with pepper to taste.
Recipe Tips
To make an edible soup bowl, cut a thin slice from the bottom of a small pumpkin or squash. Cut off the top and scoop out the insides, leaving at least 1/2″ of shell intact. The bowl may be cooked or served raw if it’s cooked, you can eat it when you’ve finished the soup!

***This is important!  Be sure and let me know if you are coming to pick up your share.  I know  it might be confusing with this last pick up because of the half shares.  It is confusing to me, too!  Just give me a call, or send an email to confirm that you are  coming, or if you have questions.

08 Oct

Garden News – October 8, 2015

It has been so enjoyable working out in the garden this week.  The weather has been fantastic…not too hot, not to cold.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will continue for the next couple of weeks so things have a chance to ripen up before the first hard frost.  Looking good so far!

I am trying to decide what I want to plant in the greenhouse for the winter.  The restaurant sales continue to increase, but I only have so much room.  I don’t know if I had mentioned to you that I have applied for a grant through NRDC for a high tunnel.  I will know whether I am approved in early spring, which doesn’t help  me for this season, but it will allow me to extend my growing later into the fall/winter next year, and even grow some winter greens when the cold weather hits. I would then be able to offer early CSA shares for Spring, and late shares for Fall.   It will certainly be a learning experience, but I am really looking forward to being able to provide more food.

We are coming to a close for this season.  There will be one more week for those of you who have full shares and those who purchased half shares that started on week one.  I am hoping that the weather stays nice which will allow those with half shares that started on week two to come on the 22nd, otherwise everyone will have to come on the 15th.  I will let you know….it all depends on whether we get a freeze or not.  There will be a plethora of veggies for your last share.  All of the heavy veggies…winter squash, cabbage, root veggies and whatever else needs to be brought in.   Anyway….there will be lots!

This week take advantage of the tomatoes as there will be boxes full. The herbs like basil are not liking the cold nights, so this weeks harvest is small and will be the last picking.  I will have sage and parsley  for you the last week….that way you will have some herbs for your holiday turkey.

This week’s share will include, beautiful peppers, leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, the last of the green beans, eggplant (finally!), and Swiss chard.

I am including some great recipes to use some of the produce in this week’s share.  I hope you enjoy them.

Grilled Eggplant with Tomato-Caper Salsa

These thick slices of eggplant double as delicious grilled steaks. Combined with the tomato-caper salsa, this is a unique meal with bright flavors that are sure to please any pallet.

Serving Size: 6


  • 6  Eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus a little extra
  • 2 lbs. Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Sherry Vinegar


  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
  2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into steaks and brush with olive oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, shallots, capers and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Grill the eggplant steaks for five minutes on each side; they should be fork tender with dark score marks.
  5. Arrange on a plate and top with tomato-caper salsa!

I make lots of Ratatouille every year and freeze it!  It’s a great way to use up all of those “last out of the garden” veggies.  I use it in lots of ways…over pasta, added to soups, in omelets.  You are only limited by your imagination!


Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 pound eggplant, sliced in rounds
1 pound zucchini, sliced in rounds
1 pound bell peppers, sliced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Bay leaf
Thyme sprig
Salt and pepper


Wash and slice all of the vegetables. To peel the tomatoes drop them in boiling water for about 10 seconds and use a sharp paring knife to help slip off the peel.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced eggplant and cook, turning occasionally for five minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove the eggplant from the skillet.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the zucchini slices. Cook for about five minutes, turning occasionally, then season with salt and pepper and remove from the skillet.
Repeat the procedure for the bell peppers.
Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the pre-cooked vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers. Stir to combine and then add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Add the garlic and salt and pepper if needed and cook covered for another 10 minutes.

Green Beans and Carrots Parmesan

Serves: 4


4 carrots, cut into 3″ matchstick
8-10 ounces fresh green beans
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place a steamer basket in a large pot with 2″ of water.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Place the carrots and green beans in the basket and steam for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
4. Drain and toss with the oil.
5. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese.

30 Sep

Garden News – September 30, 2015

The weather these last few days has been absolutely incredible, hasn’t it?  Such a difference from the 90 degrees we had last week.  I know this will be coming to a screaming halt within the next couple of weeks, as fall is here.  Did you get to watch the eclipse/blood moon on Sunday?  The clouds parted just in time for me to see the full eclipse.  It was beautiful and so very powerful.

Last week I was fortunate enough be invited to attend the 100 mile dinner at “Ten” in the Northern Hotel.  Tim, the executive chef, featured veggies grown here at Kate’s Garden, as well as beef from White Deer Ranch out of Fishtail, buffalo from Ted Turner’s ranch out of Livingston, coffee from Rock Creek Coffee Roasters, and a different beer was featured at each course (all 7 of them) from Uberbrew.  The food was over the top and as we all sat at long tables there was much lively conversation going on.  Such fun, and I was certainly honored and delighted to be included.  Tim is really wanting to work with local producers, so I hope the community supports him in his endeavors.

The nights have been quite chilly, which is prompting the tomatoes to ripen at an unbelievable pace.  I have so many that I am over-run!  There will be help yourself boxes full of gorgeous heirlooms, cherries and saladettes for you to take.  The summer squash are done, but the cucumbers are still producing.  Take advantage of the bounty, as when the season is over, you will have to purchase at the grocers again, and  the quality, flavor and prices will not be the same.

A word on the winter squash.  Winter squash need a light frost to gain sweetness in it’s flavor.  I do not harvest my squash until after we have that frost.  There are certain other crops that do well in a colder environment, too.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Beets, Radish, Carrots, Lettuce, Spinach and the other greens can take a frost….just not a hard freeze.  I an in a conundrum …I really don’t want it to frost, as it will kill everything else in the garden, but I think we are all a little tired of tomatoes and cucumbers, right?  But the peppers and eggplants are just needing more heat and time to get bigger fruit and ripen and the winter squash need a frost!  What to do???  I guess I will just have to let Mother Nature take care of it for me.  Whatever happens, I am not in control.

There are only  two more share days after this week.  Because the majority of you are half shares, we would need to run an extra week for those half share subscribers, but we will have to see what the weather is like that final week.  I may have to have all of you, (both the full shares and the half shares) come on October 15th.  I will let you  all know how it will work out.

This weeks share will include the last of the radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, braising greens, beets, swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes.  I am including these tomato recipes so that you have some ideas for using them up.  The soup freezes well.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

Yield: 2 tarts sliced into 8 pieces

Serving Size: 2 slices

A gorgeous side or appetizer for any meal. Heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and flaky puff pastry all drizzled with balsamic reduction.


1 package frozen puff pastry dough, defrosted and rolled out, then cut in 2.
Heirloom tomatoes
Marinated Mozzarella
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar


In a small sauce pan over medium high heat cook the balsamic vinegar until reduced by 1/2, about 3-5 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to thicken.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice (not going all the way through the dough!) a border about 1/4-1/2″ around the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and lightly press down the middle to make it flat and even. Sprinkle with a little of the olive oil marinade from the mozzarella, mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

Simple Roast Tomato Soup

This one has big tomato flavor with smoky notes and hints of fragrant herbs. It’s exactly what you want to be eating as the first leaves of fall flutter by.

4 large tomatoes, halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (I am partial to white peppercorns)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, or you can also use chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop the seeds out of the halved tomatoes with your finger. Tuck the garlic into the tomatoes, and lay them, and the onions, out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and turn everything to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 30 – 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbly and the edges are brown.
Combine the broth, roasted tomatoes and onions in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the herbs. Puree with an immersion blender or regular blender so that you maintain some of the texture. Add the balsamic, check salt and acid levels, and serve with an herb garnish and a piece of toast slathered with goat cheese.

Tomato Chips

Tomatoes (Can use others)
Kosher or Sea Salt
Dried Basil


  1. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on dehydrator trays.
  2. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and basil.
  3. Dry on vegetable setting for 8-12 hours, or until crispy.

Cauliflower & Broccoli Salad


1 head of broccoli cut into small florets
1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
1 small red onion finely diced
1 cup of dried raisins
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of real bacon bits


1 cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad.
Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and poor over the salad.
Toss until blended.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

~~~This is a gentle reminder to please let me know if you are not going to be able to pick up your share.  Just call me and if I do not answer the phone, leave a message.  There is hardly a week that goes by that I do not have shares that have not been picked up.  I understand that sometimes things happen, but I can always leave your box out in front if you are going to be late, and if I know ahead of time,  I can leave it in the front on Friday morning.  Otherwise I have to find new homes for the shares.  Thank you for your consideration.

10 Sep

Garden News – September 10, 2015

The garden has really  been coming on strong.  With the cooler nights, the plants are wanting to finish their growing cycle of production because they know fall is coming!  What that means for us is that we are harvesting, harvesting, harvesting! Any special projects that we have planned, like weeding and preparing for winter are just having to wait.  We can barely keep up!  Cooler space is at a premium, too!  That is why it is so important for everyone to get here to pick up your shares, as there is not enough room to store anything extra.

We are hoping that the lettuces, spinach and other greens that we seeded a few weeks ago are liking this cooler weather.  They seem is be up and growing well, which means that we can start harvesting some for you in another week or two.  I don’t  know about you,  but I miss not being able to have  a nice green salad during the heat of the summer.  I love cabbage slaw, braised kale and chard, but lets face it….they are not the same as spring lettuce.  I could live on salad!

I have lots of tomatoes for you this week, so take advantage….recipe for a great roasted tomato pasta is listed below. The smaller early  tomatoes are great for this recipe.  As long as you are at it, make extra and freeze.  Those tomatoes that are going to be in the markets during the long winter season taste like cardboard and are not fit for eating!

The cauliflower has been picked over the  course of the last week and a half.  I wish it would all be ready at the same time, but unfortunately,  that is not the case.  Each head is different and not all are perfect.  They are still good.  When I find a little brown spot, I just scrape it off, or rub with a lemon.  One of my favorite ways to cook it is to roast it, as cauliflower is kind of bland on its own.  Roasting brings out the flavor and the addition of slivered garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar and Parmesan or Romano cheese is over the top.

I will have extra cucumbers out for you  to take, too!  They have been going crazy!  Anything that is not used this week is going to the food bank, as I don’t  have enough room to store them all.

This weeks share will include the beloved zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, beets, bell pepper, tomatoes and herbs…Pineapple Sage to try  in the recipe below.   If I find anything else out there that that I have time to  harvest, it will be added to your share.

Enjoy this beautiful weather while you can and see you later today.  If you can remember to bring back those clam shells that would be great.  Tomatoes are hard to package,especially when they are picked ripe!

Here are some great recipes for you to try.

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ cup honey (light wildflower or sage preferred)
5 eggs
2 T chopped pineapple sage leaves (small, new leaves have the most flavor)
3 T chopped pineapple sage flowers (optional)
1 t grated lemon peel
4 T well-squeezed, chopped pineapple
1 t baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat one minute after each addition. Beat in sage leaves, flowers and lemon peel. Stir dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Fold these together gently until just blended. Pour into 4 mini loaf pans (6”x3”x2”). Bake at 350oF for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Paccheri Pasta with Cauliflower and Spinach

8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (best quality), for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach (about 3 cups)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (best quality)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, with 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound paccheri pasta (large tube) approximately 2.5-inches long by 2-inches wide
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves


Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil over medium heat, then add in the salt and the cauliflower. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan, and saute the garlic and red pepper flakes for 1 minute. Remove the cauliflower from water with a large strainer or spider and add it to the pan with the garlic-red pepper mixture. Saute briefly until starting to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, add in the spinach, cover and let wilt for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and capers with juice and reduce the heat. Remove the cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Return the cauliflower water to boil, adding more water, if necessary, to cook the pasta. Add the pasta add cook to al dente. Remove the pasta from the water and add it to the pan with the sauce, adding a little pasta water, if needed. Stir gently to combine, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Garnish with the parsley and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Serve immediately with remaining cheese on the side.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta

This pesto is bursting with seasonal flavors and nutrients. Hello lycopene! It’s also quite low in oil thanks to the roasted tomatoes adding body and flavor. I left the almonds chopped and it added a nice texture that was great mixed into pasta or spread on a toasted sandwich. I suggest making some and freezing it for a later date.

Yield: 1 cup pesto


  • 9 large roma, heirloom or any tomato, sliced in half lengthwise – if really large, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts, almonds or walnuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Your desired amount of cooked Pasta

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 minutes s at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.
2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast nuts for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. I prefer mine a bit chunky for texture. Remove and set aside.
3. With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.
4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted nuts. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining nuts and chiffonade the basil.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

9 servings

  • 2 (17-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 9 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
  • 3/4 pound cooked large shrimp, halved
  • Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
  • Fresh dill, for garnish


In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, half-and-half, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill.

Cream of Zucchini and Anise Soup

Serve this soup either hot or cold.

Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
6 cups chopped zucchini (from about 6 medium zucchini)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups water
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or whipping cream
2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur

Additional olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped zucchini and chopped onion and sauté
 until onion is translucent, about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups water, chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds and thyme sprig. Stir in 2 tablespoons crème fraîche and 2 tablespoons Pernod. Simmer soup uncovered 20 minutes. Remove thyme sprig from soup.
Working in batches, purée soup in processor until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Return to saucepan and rewarm over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

19 Aug

Garden News – August 19, 2015

Interesting weather again this week.  We had to wear warm jackets and rain gear on Tuesday because we were out harvesting most of the day.  I finally moved into the shop to finish bundling the herbs in the late afternoon, as my hands were stiffening up from the cold.

Barb and I were talking today about the fact that we have hardly had any bugs this year, with the exception of the dreaded flea beetle and, of course, the grasshoppers.  We usually have to contend with aphids, especially on the kale and tomatoes.  Not this year!  Of course, we are so happy about that, as it sure saves us time because we don’t have to spray the natural botanicals and soaps that we usually use.  Still disappointed in the tomato production, but they are coming along.  We harvested some beautiful heirloom slicers this week.

Saturday and Sundays are the days that I work alone in the garden.  I don’t have to be on any kind of a schedule, or direct my helpers.  I have the opportunity then to really enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrance of what nature has gifted me in this little sanctuary of Kate’s Garden. I feel at peace.   As I was picking the first of the Italian Romano beans (pictured above),  I was taken back to a time in my childhood when my Grandfather and I were in his garden picking his Italian beans that were from seed that he had brought back from his homeland in Italy.  It was a very special memory…a much simpler time.  Our family was close and our gatherings always centered around food.  We were always cooking, eating, drinking homemade wine and experiencing lively conversations.  Food brought us together in a tight, loving unit. I miss those times. This is why I continue to share my love of gardening and food with you.   It is my hope that on some level you will experience a sense of peace and fulfillment when enjoying your CSA share.  After all, when food is grown and shared with love, it is bound to have a  positive benefit on your physical as well as your spiritual well-being.

There were only a small handful of the Romano beans to harvest this week, but you will be getting some  soon.  In the meantime we harvested colored carrots that will be in your share this week, along with more golden and green zucchinis, broccoli, bunching onions, cucumbers, kale, braising greens, heirloom tomatoes and herbs.

Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette

Servings: 4


  • 1 pound carrot, peeled and cut into ¾” thick diagonal pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • ½ teaspoon roasted sesame oil


Roast the carrots until just tender but slightly crunchy at 375F for 15-18 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Toss with the cooked carrots.

 Ponzu Sauce, Authentic

The magic of Ponzu is possible in your own kitchen – Fresh is the secret; don’t settle for the bottled stuff. Ponzu sauce is great with all kinds of fish, seafood, meats, and vegetables too. It’s also used as a dipping sauce for appetizers and such – Your imagination is your limit.


  • 1/4 cup orange juice, and zest
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Zest your orange (this is most easily and effectively done with a Micro-Plane grater – if you’ve not discovered how great these are, you must get one!) – Now juice it. You need ¼ cup; make a screwdriver with the rest.

Put orange juice, zest, sake, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and cayenne into a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer, and reduce sauce by half for about 3 minutes.
Mix together the water and corn starch, add to the simmering sauce, and stir until thickened.
Allow to cook for another minute or two, add sesame oil and stir.

…and don’t throw away those carrot tops.  Make a delicious, versatile salsa with it!  You can use it as a dip for veggies, chips and bread, a marinade for meats and veggies, or a drizzle for omelets or roasts.

Carrot Top Salsa

  • 2 cups minced carrot greens (leaves and tender stems only)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 to 1 ¼ cups olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.  You can adjust the oil to make it a thinner or chunkier sauce.  Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight while the flavors intermingle.  This salsa only gets better with age, so you’ll know when it’s good when the tops have turned a muted shade of army green.  Decant the salsa into a jar and refrigerate.  The oil may congeal in the cold temperature, but it will not affect the flavor.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Until next week, enjoy your CSA share!  And don’t forget to bring back those clamshells for recycling.  I can always use them.

08 Aug

Chard Stalk Hummus

Chard Stalk HummusChard Stalk Hummus is a traditional Lebanese dish that resembles baba ghanoush in flavor and texture.  It uses chard stalks in place of the chickpeas to make a rustic dip for raw veggies and pita.  You can use any color of chard stalk.  Each will add its own tint to the dip.

Makes 1 cup

2 cups chopped chard stalks
2 garlic cloves
¼ c tahini
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon

Swirl of extra virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add the chard stalks and boil for 5-10 minutes depending and how thick they are, until they are very soft.

Drain well squeezing out any excess water, and add the stalks to a food processor, along with the garlic, tahini, salt and lemon juice. Pulse continuously until the dip is slightly chunky and still has some bite to it, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Serve with a generous swirl of oil on top and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

07 Aug

Balsamic Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Fresh green beans cut in half, tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, seasonings and aged balsamic vinegar then quick roasted in the oven til tender, slightly caramelized and crispy around the edges.

Serves: 3


3/4 lb. of green beans, ends trimmed
2-3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt, to taste (I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic)
Homemade lemon pepper seasoning (or cracked black pepper), to taste
Granulated garlic, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2-3 teaspoons of good quality, aged balsamic vinegar


Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash, dry and trim the ends off the green beans. Line a large baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the green beans in a pile in the middle. Pour the olive oil over the beans and mix them around so they’re evenly coated. Season to taste with the salt, lemon pepper (or cracked black pepper), granulated garlic and crushed red pepper. Spread the beans out across the pan giving as much space between the individual beans as possible. Shake or measure out the balsamic vinegar over the beans. Bake for 10 minutes, stir the beans and then bake for another 5-10 minutes. If you like your beans more crisp tender, you’ll probably want to pull them out after 15 minutes. I cooked mine for 20 so they would carmelize more.

Notes & Tips
If you prefer fresh ingredients, toss in sliced onion and diced garlic with the beans.

I hope you are enjoying your CSA share. I always welcome your input and suggestions, so please don’t be shy about offering them. If you have any favorite recipes that you would like to share with the CSA members, please send them to me and I will include them in my newsletter.

See you soon, and don’t forget to call if you are not coming to pick up your share.

03 Aug

Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta

A zesty one-pot shrimp and pasta dish is complete after tossing with capers, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice. Serve with focaccia or crusty baguette.

4 servings

3 quarts water
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons drained capers

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups baby spinach


Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done and pasta is al dente. Drain. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Stir in basil and next 4 ingredients (through salt). Place 1/2 cup spinach on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture.

02 Aug

Basil-Nut Pesto Cubes

Serving Size: 3 Cups

  • 1 1/3 Cup Walnut or Pecan Pieces
  • 12 Cups Basil Leaves, loosely packed
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice


  1. In a food processor pulse the nuts, basil and garlic until nuts are crumbled and mixture is uniformly green.
  2. Set food processor to blend and steadily stream in olive oil to create an emulsion.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and lemon juice and puree until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into 1/2 cup ice cube molds and press plastic wrap over the surface of the mixture to seal out any air. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight and then transfer to freezer bags for long term storage!
  6. Defrost and use in place of store-bought pesto all year round!

…and here is a great, easy kale salad recipe.  The lacinato kale you received in your share today is great, however, you can use any type of kale.