Bountiful…

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As you all probably know by now, my cooking skills are limited, and I can safely say the kitchen is not my favourite room.  I do, however,  love to garden.  A couple years ago I had two raised vegetable beds made.  Since then I’ve been growing vegetables and herbs.  My favourite way of eating these delicate, baby vegetables is straight out of the garden…just rubbed clean with my hands and a  little dirt left on for good measure.   Although this year hasn’t yielded the bumper crops of previous years, I’ve still managed to devour all the long French radishes…I can’t get enough of these delectables!  The lettuce is ready and the snow peas are not far behind.  The carrots are a few weeks away and the tomatoes are looking particularly dismal…just a couple of tomatoes on each plant.

I’ve been checking recipes on Pinterest and thought I would share some with you.

These two ideas for freezing herbs look good and I’m going to give them a try.  This way I’m not wasting the freshness that just picked offers.

*Jayme Henderson’s article on, “Herb Gardening 101” wrote this article on basil cubes.

*Faith Durand’s article in, “Tips for the Kitchen”, wrote this article on freezing herbs in oil.

The Best Ways to Preserve Basil: The Kitchen

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 8.03.13 PMBasil cubes: The most efficient way to freeze basil is by making basil cubes. I affectionately refer to these as “flavour bombs,” and toss them into soups just before serving to give a herbaceous, last-minute aromatic punch. It is the next best thing to having freshly picked basil on hand. Simply chop basil in a food processor or with a knife and add enough oil or water to coat the leaves. You’re looking for the consistency of a thick paste. I aim for a four-to-one ratio of basil to oil. Spoon the herbal mixture into ice cube trays, freeze, and then transfer to well-sealed freezer bags.

Tips from the kitchen: Freeze and Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

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8 Steps for Freezing Herbs in Oil
  1. Choose firm, fresh herbs, ideally from the market or your own garden.
  2. If you wish, you can chop them finely. Or leave them in larger sprigs and leaves. Here I froze a combination of finely-chopped and whole herbs such as rosemary, fennel stalk, sage, and oregano.
  3. Pack the wells of ice cube trays about 2/3 full of herbs.
  4. You can mix up the herbs, too; think about freezing a bouquet garni of sage, thyme, and rosemary to add to winter roast chickens and potatoes!
  5. Pour extra-virgin olive oil or melted, unsalted butter over the herbs.
  6. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  7. Remove the frozen cubes and store in freezer containers or small bags.
  8. Don’t forget to label each container or bag with the type of herb (and oil) inside!

 

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As I mentioned above,  the fresh from the garden radishes rarely find their way to the kitchen sink.

 

 

 

 

 

I have never cooked radishes before but have seen recipes online that suggest to:

  • melt butter in a skillet over low heat
  • add radishes cut side down and season with salt and pepper
  • stir occasionally until the radishes are browned and soft about 10 minutes

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It’s almost a shame to cook baby carrots but I do roast mine leaving about an inch of the green stem on (just for looks!).  I just lay them on a cooking sheet (lined with parchment paper), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. It takes about 12-14 minutes in a 400F degrees oven.

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Georgeanne Brennan’s cookbook titled, La Vie Rustic has a recipe for a “Tomato Tart with Whole Roasted Garlic Cloves”.

 

This year I won’t have enough tomatoes to make even one of these tarts but maybe next year.  It looks so good and I’m sure smells like heaven!

 

 

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 I’ve made this herbed potatoes recipe often. It’s a recipe found in Ina Garten’s cookbook, “Barefoot in Paris”. Simple and delicious.Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 8.05.00 PM

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.33.50 PMApple Crisp is an old-fashioned dessert that you won’t find on the menu of a trendy restaurant but it brings back many great, childhood memories.  Unlike the tomato crop, the apples are abundant this year.  I have three espaliered apple trees on a tall brick fence (wall) facing west…seemingly the perfect growing conditions.  I’m looking forward to the apples ripening and baking this all-time favourite.  This is a recipe found on Pinterest by cincyshopper.com.

 

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Is your kitchen smelling heavenly with the bounty of your garden?

xxx Judy

 

 

 

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