Friday Recipe Exchange: Raiding the Garden

jeffreyw sauted cherry tomatoes on pasta

From our Food Goddess, TaMara:

Back from my trip to Nebraska, where unlike Colorado, gardens are full of veggies to harvest. We had lots of fresh corn, peppers, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes with each meal. So I thought tonight we should raid the garden for recipes. If you don’t have a garden or it’s late to produce (I’m looking at you backyard garden), don’t forget your local farmer’s market or farm stand. I really like going to local farm stands, the prices are often more reasonable than a farmer’s market. Two of my local stands have Facebook pages where they list what’s fresh this week and even have coupon specials.

The lovely photo above from JeffreyW is what inspired the theme tonight. Here’s his simple solution for taking advantage of his prolific patio pots: Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes on Pasta (recipe here).

One of my favorite recipes during the summer is Grilled Sweet Peppers and Potatoes (click here).

And finally something a bit different and fun to do with all that zucchini and summer squash: Squash Confetti (recipe here).

And just a reminder, full menus are available on Mondays and this week the menu is all garden fresh (menu is here).

Well I’m off to the evening Art Walk, where my friends will be drumming and where the streets will be filled with local artists’ creations. Tomorrow is the RiverWalk – vendors, musicians, farmer’s market and lots of kids events along the St. Vrain river. What are your plans for the weekend? Planning anything fun on the grill? How is your garden coming along? Hit the comments and don’t forget to share some favorite garden recipes.

On to tonight’s featured recipes, Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter, Spinach-Raspberry Salad and Spicy Fruit Kabobs:

Green Beans w/ Yellow Pepper Butter

Last time I was at the farm stand, they had four different kinds of green beans and I used a mixture of all of them in this recipe.

2 tbsp butter
½ yellow sweet pepper, seeded & shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 oz chopped cashews
16 oz fresh green beans, trimmed & cut
½ yellow pepper, seeded, cut into thin strips
salt & pepper to taste
saucepan, steamer

Melt butter in saucepan, add shredded pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice & cashews, stir for 1 minute, remove & set aside. Add steamer to saucepan, add beans & just enough water to reach bottom of the steamer. Steam beans for 5 minutes, add strips of pepper and cook until beans are tender-crisp, additional 5-7 minutes. Remove steamer and drain water from saucepan. Add all ingredients into saucepan and heat 1 minute, tossing to coat with butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Spinach-Raspberry Salad

The easiest way to wash fresh from the garden spinach (and leaf lettuce) is to fill a sink with water and soak the spinach (swish it a couple of times). Pull it out and place it in a strainer, drain the sink and repeat. With the two soaks, all the dirt should sink to the bottom. Run through a salad spinner and you should have dirt free spinach.

8 oz fresh spinach leaves
½ pint fresh raspberries
4 oz chopped pecans
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
2 oz mild bleu cheese, crumbled
Serving bowl

Wash and thoroughly dry spinach & raspberries, add to serving bowl with pecans, toss with dressing and add crumbled bleu cheese.

Spicy Fruit Kabobs

You can substitute or add any fresh fruit you’d like in this recipe.

1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded
2 pears, cored
2 apples, cored
2 bananas, peeled & quartered
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water
½ cup warmed honey
½ cup warm water
¼ cup limejuice
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1 to 2 tsp chili paste
13×9 glass baking dish, blender

Cut fruit into large chunks, alternate fruit on skewers, ending with banana chunks to hold fruit in place. Place in baking dish. Blend together honey, water, lime, jalapeno & chili paste until smooth. Pour over fruit. Let set during dinner (approximately 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill over low coals 5-7 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve immediately.

See you next week.

16 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    I love the sound of that grilled peppers and potatoes recipe! I’m totally making that the next time I use the bbq grill. Not sure that’s happening tonight, as it’s been raining and everything is very wet.

  2. 2
    jamick6000 says:

    These “Friday Recipe Exchange” posts are nice, but they could use a zippier title. Something like, “The Dish.”

  3. 3
    tesslibrarian says:

    My version of the cherry tomato dish is done in the oven, so I pierce each tomato I drop into the roasting pan with some cloves of garlic, fresh thyme, olive oil, a splash of white wine, and about half a minced onion. Bake it at 350 for about 15 minutes, just until the tomatoes start to look wrinkled and exude juice.

    In the mean time, enjoy your own glass of wine, cook the linguine, and cut small cubes of mozzarella (whole milk is best, obviously, but I’ve even sliced a stick of string cheese if that’s all I had). When the sauce is done, toss with the pasta, add the cheese, toss again, pour more wine, serve.

    It really tastes light and summery, and is so quick and easy. By tomorrow afternoon, I should have enough Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes from our own yard to have it for dinner. I usually do a pinot grigio or prosecco with it.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    @tesslibrarian: Oh, Matt’s Wild Cherry! Those are my favorite cherry tomatoes. So prolific and so yummy. I couldn’t find a seedling of them this year, so I don’t have any. Maybe for fall tomatoes.

  5. 5
    Yatsuno says:

    I am loving me some Asian eggplant lately. I chop it up along with some bacon, potatoes, red pepper, onion, tomatoes, a splash of wine, and sliced garlic. The eggplant, starch in the potato, and tomato all make a nice glue that makes the hash cohere together. I still have a big soft spot for full-sized eggplants, but the Asian ones are also really nifty to keep around. Plus I can get them really cheap.

  6. 6
    Josie says:

    @Yatsuno: What do your Asian eggplants look like? I recently started seedlings for some Thai round green ones and Thai long green. I have no idea what they will taste like, but eggplants are one of the few vegies that I can grow in our horrible hot weather.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @Yatsuno: Do you just stir-fry all that or what?

  8. 8
    Yatsuno says:

    @Josie: These look like long skinny purple eggplants. If you have an Asian grocery store nearby they will have them. They can be called Chinese or Japanese eggplants but those are basically the same thing. The green eggplants are native to India IIRC.

    @Violet: I’ll refine the recipe some more when I get home from work tonight. I cook the bacon first, then remove the bacon grease and cook the rest in olive oil, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

  9. 9
    tesslibrarian says:

    @Violet: I had monster ones in 2009, grew way, way, way outside the raised bed where I planted it. For the next few years, we had volunteers show up, and those were often more prolific than the ones I’d purchased.

    A friend fed them to her toddler grandson, who wouldn’t eat tomatoes, but called them “grapes.” They are my absolute favorite tomato.

  10. 10
    Josie says:

    @Yatsuno: Ok – I have seen the long purple ones in the grocery store, but I never have bought them. I’ll be interested to see your recipe.
    By the way, at some point you recommended An Introduction to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey (I think it was you). I bought it and have had more fun learning about Indian cooking from her. Great recipes and yummy food. Thanks for that!

  11. 11
    Aji says:

    Well, the original plan was to grill marinated pork chops, but rain seems to be looming, so that may have to wait.

    The garden is finally taking off – we got it (well, technically, them, since we have three gardens) in late this year, but with monsoon season starting early, the beans are having a field day.

    I did do something a bit different for breakfast yesterday, dicing and julienning vegetables – carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, garlic, onion, and spinach – and sauteing them in olive oil and herbs, crumbling bacon into the mix, and topping with a fried egg. Apparently, it was a great success.

  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @Josie: I would bet that was kitteh of Schroedinger, since I don’t have much experience with Indian cooking. I am, however, working on my own garam masala plus I got a big jar of turmeric a few weeks back.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    No garden for us with our miniature balcony. Slender Kitchen’s menus are still working for me — I didn’t follow them this week and I had no lunches at work (her menus are set up so you cook dinner and then have that dinner for at least one or two lunches the rest of the week). It was very disconcerting.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, upon reading this post, I realized that we had some leftover grape tomatoes, so I whipped up the pasta. I somehow managed to run out of onions (I know, I know), so I used frozen leeks from Trader Joe’s instead. It was delish.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    I did end up making those grilled potatoes and peppers. They were great. I added asparagus to it because I had some in the fridge. Worked well.

    I think I might try one with just potatoes and onions next time. The peppers are good, but I think I like them separate from the other flavors.

  16. 16
    Petorado says:

    Might be time for a “north-of-Denver” Colorado BJ meet up. It would be the only one with a food goddess-in-residence attending. We’d eat better than the folks at the other ones. Anyone in?

Comments are closed.