I have not published a recipe in a long time so tonight’s dinner will get the spotlight. Under all these vegetables is a whole chicken. This recipe is simple because there are few rules. Put one chicken in the pan. Rub a bit of olive oil on the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken inside and out and stuff the chicken cavity with fresh oregano, thyme, parsley and a cut up orange or two. Surround it with the vegetables you have. In this case I have beets, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and oyster mushrooms. Pour a half cup of white wine over it all and top the chicken with about 20 extremely ripe native persimmons cut in half. The persimmons will keep the chicken moist. Bake at 450˚ for about 1 hour until the internal temperature reaches 165˚ in the thigh. Eat and enjoy. Grow your own dinner.
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
1 to 3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
Pulse in a food processor or blender.
Preserve by freezing in an ice cube tray and transferring to a zip lock bag.
Fruit cobbler–easy as pie
Four cups of fruit/ I have used blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, persimmons, etc
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Melt the butter in the baking dish. (an iron skillet is a good choice).
Lightly mash the fruit with a potato masher to release juices. If the fruit is tart add some sugar.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Mix in the milk, melted butter and vanilla.
Pour the mixture in the baking dish and pour the fruit and their juices into the center.
Bake at 350˚ for about one hour.
Eat some before the rest of the people find it.
Super bowl nachos
Saute fresh spinach from the garden in olive oil with garlic. Cook black beans, mash them with a fork and combine with the spinach. Take organic corn chip, spoon the spinach/bean mixture on individual chips and top that with local chevre. Add pickled jalapenos from the summer harvest or pickled green tomatoes if you are not a jalapeno kind of person. Heat in the microwave or broiler.
*it is important to use organic chips because they are the only ones guaranteed to be GMO free.
Greens and cheese pie–a takeoff on spanakopita
I used to make spanakopita by a recipe and have adapted it throughout the years. I now use a variety of greens and gave up on the filo dough because it takes so long and I cannot buy it at my local store. So I bake it in a pie pastry. I use Martha Stewart’s recipe but you can always just buy a frozen one at the store. I often make it without a crust, so I guess it is then not a pie.
1 pound greens–I prefer spinach, chard, kale, broccoli raab, and napa cabbage. Whatever happens to be growing in the garden. A few mustards will add some zing when combined with milder greens.
5 to 6 green onions or equal amount of chives chopped
1/4 cup parsley minced
a sprig of dill
1/2 pounds feta
1/4 pounds white cheese–ok often I use cheddar because it is what I have handy and you might try riccota
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 eggs beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tbs olive oil
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and dump into a pie pastry, an iron skillet, or a parchment liked baking dish. Bake at 375˚ for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Greens grow year around but the parsley and dill die out in our 100˚ summers so I just leave them out or experiment with other herbs.
I make a vinaigrette from local supplies using the herbs in my garden. The recipe varies a bit depending on the season but this is pretty much the basic plan.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (nothing local, even the ones who say they are)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I use Texas Hill Country Olive Company)
1 1/2 tablespoons of dijon mustard (so far no local source)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
one teaspoon of each chopped finely:
4 cups of fuyu persimmons that are barely beginning to get soft
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 unbaked pie shell (I use Martha Stewart’s)
2 tbls flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Toss persimmons with spices and place them in the pie shell. Combine eggs, sugar, butter and flour and pour over the persimmons.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes and turn the temperature down to 300˚ and bake for about 45 more minutes. It should be bubbly and the crust brown.
We grow watercress 12 months a year. We mostly eat it raw but we do love this soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups milk or coconut milk
1 pound watercress
1/2 cup watercress leaves for garnish
This is a good soup to add kale, collards, spinach etc.
Heat oil medium hot in a large saucepan. Add the potato and onion–stir. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and the milk, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the watercress and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Put the soup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Garnish with watercress leaves.
Kale and bok choy recipes
Just a few ideas for using kale and bok choy (also mustard, chard and collards)
Greens with sweet potaoto
peel and chop one sweetpotato
one cup vegetable broth
8 oz kale or bok choy
1 garlic clove
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 cups cooked rice
brown the sweetpotato in a skillet with oil, add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and cook until soft –about five minutes. Turn heat to high, add more oil, and add all other ingredients and saute for three minutes
Serve over rice
Season with fish sauce and soy sauce.
Try adding some good spicey peppers
Sauté kale or bok choy with fresh garlic in olive oil.
Serve over rice with soy sauce or pasta with parmesan
Saute chopped kale or bok choy with apples. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped nuts.
Combine uncooked chopped kale or bok choy, pine nuts and feta cheese with hot pasta drizzled with olive oil.
Use kale tossed in olive oil as a pizza topping. It will become crispy
Kale, collard or mustard chips–wash, dry, remove the stem and cut greens into large chip size pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt, spices, maybe parmesan or whatever. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at 300˚ until crisp–about 30 minutes
Or make these green chips in the dehydrator
What will I do with all these broccoli flowers?
Broccoli flowers are nutritious and tasty.
I most often use them in a salad,
They taste and look great sprinkled over the top of black bean soup or gazpacho.
Try adding them to a stir fry at the last minute or as a garnish for grilled fish.
Of course, make sure your broccoli is organically grown.