27 July 2008

Swiss Chard Recipes

Swiss Chard is one of our favorites here on the farm. They come in different varieties, or colors if you wish. There is White Swiss Chard, Red Swiss Chard and Yellow Swiss Chard. Rainbow Swiss Chard is a mixture of the different colors together in one bunch. Swiss Chard is high in nutrients such as iron, (as many leafy greens are) and vitamin C. If you are growing your own at home, just snap the outer stems away from the base of the plant when harvesting, and leave the center to continue growing. You can leave Swiss Chard in the garden well into the fall as it is a fairly tough plant, withstanding some snow and colder temperatures. We generally like to chop or tear the leaves, like you would with spinach, and chop the stems too, into 1 - 2 inches pieces after rinsing well. Then we steam the Swiss Chard in a large saucepan until wilted and the stems have softened. Drain the water (there should only be a small amount, if any), and add olive oil and chopped garlic...saute a couple of minutes and serve. One of my customers says she likes to microwave the leaves for about 20 seconds to soften them, and proceeds to use them as wraps, adding cooked ground beef or chopped chicken and other vegetables, such as tomatoes, olives, whatever you like, and then add dressing. Yum!

New Recipes

We began harvesting some other vegetables on the farm, so I figured I had better get you all some recipes to go with them! This week we began harvesting Swiss Chard, Cucumbers and Miniature Eggplant. Miniature Eggplants are great...they are very tender and sweeter than most other types of eggplant. We like to coarsely chop them, after peeling and removing the stems. Then saute them in garlic and olive oil and add to omelettes or other vegetable dishes, such as sauteing them with summer squash and tomatoes. They add a little bit of a buttery flavor to our omelettes, which I love! You can also slice them length-wise and brush with olive oil, season with Oregano and Garlic and roast them in the oven or grill them on the BBQ. Use a non-stick foil sheet on the grill so they are easy to remove. Another idea I love is to take the roasted or grilled eggplant along with red and yellow roasted peppers from the grill & grilled or sauteed onions, place them all in a vegetable wrap and add some Italian dressing. What a delicious and healthy way to eat!

17 July 2008

Italian Green Beans

Here's another of our favorite Green Bean recipes, Italian style! 1 QT Green Beans, rinsed and trimmed, 1 small Onion, sliced, 2 cloves Garlic, chopped, 4 or 5 New Red Potatoes, sliced, Tomato Sauce, Fresh Oregano and Rosemary, chopped, Olive Oil. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add green beans and potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes or so. If you like, you can add a little water to the skillet and place a lid over it to retain the heat and cook the potatoes more quickly. Add chopped fresh oregano and rosemary (1 small sprig), while cooking. During last few minutes of cooking, add tomato sauce, about 3/4 Cup, and stir through to heat sauce. You may season with salt and pepper to taste if you like. Hint: I like to use red potatoes in this recipe as they cook faster than the other varieties. I also use my own homemade tomato sauce, but that recipe is for another day! Also, I usually do not cook with salt as there is so much salt already in many of todays foods.

Our Favorite Green Bean Recipe

In the Greenhouse: Sale on All Annuals Perennials Ready for Sale Hardy Mums Growing for Fall Sales Notes: We still have a nice selection of great looking home-grown annuals including Marigolds, Angelonia, Salvia, Licorice, Browalia, Impatiens, Celosia & more. Many are now available in larger pots as well to help fill up those empty spaces in your garden more quickly. We recommend fertilizing your flower beds and pots regularly with a good triple 15 or triple 20 (IE: 15-15-15), or mix in a good slow-release fertilizer at time of planting. On the Farm: Now Picking Fresh Snap Beans and Cucumbers Still Growing: Tomatoes, Eggplant, Melons, Cauliflower, Lettuces, Herbs and some other surprises along the way! Our Favorite Green Bean Recipe: I’m Italian, and my mom always told me “Use your judgment,” whenever I asked for quantities in a recipe, so please pardon me for not including quantities in some places. Use your judgment! :-) 1 Medium Onion, sliced thinly, 2 cloves Garlic, chopped, 1 QT Green Beans, rinsed and trimmed, 8 -10 oz sliced, fresh Mushrooms, Fresh Rosemary, Olive Oil Saute Onion and Garlic in large skillet with Olive Oil. Add Green Beans and Mushrooms and cook until desired tenderness. While vegetables are cooking, add fresh Rosemary and if desired, salt and pepper to taste. Hint: When using fresh rosemary, easily remove leaves from the stem by holding the top end between your fingers of one hand and running your index finger and thumb from top of stem to bottom, against the direction of growth. The leaves will easily remove from the stem, and then chop the leaves to release more flavor. I like using fresh rosemary rather than dried as it is tender and not hard.