Big “Dill” Salads

 

Dill Chicken Salad

With spring here and summer just around the corner, we’re getting ready for outdoor brunches and barbeques. Dill can be whipped into a dressing for chicken salad served in croissants or pitas, or poured over fork-tender, boiled potatoes for a side dish at your next summer event. It’s (just about) the same recipe, too!

INGREDIENTS for chicken salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded chicken

INGREDIENTS for potato salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fork-tender boiled fingerling potatoes

DIRECTIONS:
Whisk all the dressing ingredients until well blended. Stir in chicken or potatoes. Chill for about an hour to let flavors blend.

i_Dill-Bouquet ORG 5047-Dill-Tetra

 

Nasturtium Pesto

nasturtium pesto

Bright green and full of garlic, traditional pesto is as versatile as it is delicious. Basil doesn’t have to be the only star of pesto. Try adding nasturtium leaves from your flower garden! Nasturtium adds a fresh, peppery kick to your pasta, pizza, or even eggs!

1 c. packed nasturtium leaves and stems, washed and dried
15–20 basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
½ cup or more of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides periodically to fully incorporate ingredients. Add more olive oil for desired consistency.

 

1315n_Nasturtium-Phoenix 1028p-Nasturtium-Jewel-Blend

Springtime Melon Cocktails (and Mocktails)

melon cocktails

The weather is finally warming in Colorado, and our seedlings are emerging. We’re dreaming about lazy summer Sunday afternoons outside, listening to bees buzz and watching our flowers grow. We may as well enjoy a refreshing beverage to get us ready for summer fun! Melon is an especially fresh-tasting ingredient to add to cocktails (or non-alcoholic “mocktails”). Try our recipes below and feel like it’s summer already.

Cilantro-Melon Fizz
Make cilantro simple syrup by bringing to a boil, ½ c. water, ½ c. sugar, and 3 or 4 cilantro sprigs; let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and cool. Purée 1 cup of cut melon in a blender. Strain and pour into a short glass. Add 1 oz. of vodka and 2 tbsp. of the cilantro simple syrup. Stir gently. Top with club soda and a sprig of cilantro.
For a mocktail: Replace vodka with club soda or lime seltzer water.

Melon Beer
Salt the rim of a pint glass (tip: use lemon juice instead of water; the salt will stick better to the juice). Purée 1 cup of cut melon in a blender. Strain and pour into the salted glass. Add one bottle of ale. Sprinkle with cayenne for a kick.
For a mocktail: Replace beer with ginger ale.

3141p-Melon-Musk-Minnesota-Midget-Organic    3012p-Melon-Muskmelon-Hearts-of-Gold-Organic-m

Peas for Shoots Microgreens

stir fried pea shoots with garlic, chinese cuisineIn our neck of the woods, we’re sowing peas right around St. Patrick’s Day. But we can’t wait for our peas! So we’re growing Peas for Shoots Microgreens. Pea shoots taste like sweet, spring garden peas, but are lighter and more floral. Start some this week and make these recipes in as little a two weeks. Easy peas-y!

Pea Shoots and Garlic
1–2 cups of pea shoots
1 teaspoon olive oil
2–5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
 
Rinse pea shoots and pat dry. In a wok or skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and pea shoots. Cook for about 20 to 30 seconds and add 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar. Steam, covered, until shoots are wilted, usually about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove shoots from the pan and serve.

 
Pea Shoot Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts (can also substitute walnuts)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 green onions, diced
3 cups pea shoots

In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, green onions, and pea shoots. Blend until smooth. Fold in Parmesan cheese, and add salt if desired. Serve with pasta, on pizza, with toasted bread or crackers, or as a dip. Variation: Add some mint leaves or a dash of lemon juice when blending the pesto.

Peas for shoots packet

 

 

Tomatoes Three Ways

Different varieties of tomatoes

Choosing a tomato for your needs can be easy! Tomatoes are often categorized as slicer, paste, or cherry/grape. Each is delicious, but best used for different cooking methods. We have a recipe for each!

Slicer tomatoes are thick and sturdy for slicing and enjoying in BLT sandwiches, Caprese salads, and chopped atop bruchetta, among many other dishes. Try Red Pride, Beefsteak, and Black Krim.

Mom’s Yummy Tomato Snack

Slice 3 or 4 tomatoes thickly, pat dry with a paper towel, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix ½ tsp. salt, 1 c. sour cream, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. flour,  2 tbsp. chopped green onions, and 2 tbsp. chopped green chiles. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the mixture on each tomato slice, and then top with cheddar cheese. Broil for 4 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned. The Paste tomato, also known as saladette, is a drier tomato with less seeds and rich flavor, ideal for cooking down into a sauce, paste, or for drying. Try Supremo, San Marzano, and Speckled Roman.

Tomato Paste

Preheat the oven to 350°F and chop about 5–10 pounds of tomatoes. Simmer tomatoes with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a sautée pan until they are soft. Pass the cooked tomatoes through a food mill to filter out the skins and seeds. Pour the tomato pulp onto two large, rimmed baking sheets and place in the oven. Bake until the tomatoes have reduced by half, usually about 3 to 4 hours. Freeze paste or keep in refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Cherry/Grape tomatoes are sweet, juicy, and small, perfect for snacking! Try roasting them with some olive oil until they burst. Try Gardener’s Delight, Rainbow Blend, and Jelly Bean Red & Yellow.

Tomato Tart

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll a pastry or pie crust into a standard pie dish. Toss 2–3 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes in olive oil, and mound into prepared pie dish. Bake in oven until crust is browned, about 20 to 30 minutes. Top with fresh basil and Parmesean cheese.

3001p-Tomato-Pole-Beefsteak-Organic-m3087p-Tomato-Pole-San-Marzano-Organic-m 0052p-Tomato-Cherry-Gardeners-Delight-m 0110p-Tomato-Grape-Jelly-Bean-Red-Yel-m

Broncos Orange Pepper Jelly

orange pepper jellyHere in Colorado, we’re thinking about the Broncos and the big game on Sunday. We’re also thinking about starting our gardens, specifically peppers. So what better way to celebrate both than with some Bronco Orange Pepper Jelly! This recipe is a sweet and spicy addition to toast, cream cheese and crackers, or even mixed with your favorite vegetable (delicious on green beans!). Our version is mildly spicy, but if you like it hot, increase the number of habanero peppers.

Ingredients:
3 sweet orange bell peppers, like our new variety, Coral Belle
2 habanero peppers
6 cups of sugar
1.5 cups of distilled white vinegar
3 oz pouch of liquid pectin

Directions

  1. Purée peppers in a food processor.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot, stir to dissolve sugar, and bring to a boil. Contents can boil over quickly, so watch carefully.
  3. Boil for 4 minutes while constantly stirring. Let rest 5 minutes, pour into jars, and let cool on the counter or in the fridge overnight.

pepper jelly

 

Sweet and Savory Popcorn

popcorn

Popcorn is one of the quickest snacks to prepare, that’s why it’s great for the busy holiday season or for watching the big game on Turkey Day. There’s no special equipment needed for our recipe. Just 10 minutes and your creative flavor combinations!

Pour about 3 tablespoons of vegetable or coconut oil and 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels into a pan over medium-high heat. Cover with a lid and wait for the popping to begin! Shake the pan over the heat until the popcorn is almost done popping, then remove it from the heat until the popping stops. Remove the lid and mix with your favorite flavor profile. We used Italian seasoning for one batch, and cinnamon and sugar for another, but we also enjoy Cajun seasoning for a spicy kick, dill and celery salt for a salty, tart treat, or classic ranch flavor.

Garlic Bread Popcorn: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Pour over the popcorn and turn to coat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning mix (usually dried oregano, basil, parsley, and rosemary), and 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the popcorn, and mix thoroughly.

Cinnamon Toast Popcorn: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Pour over the popcorn and turn to coat. Sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon evenly over the popcorn and mix thoroughly.

flavored popcorn

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus

Holiday parties start with Halloween, so be ready and have this quick dip recipe handy.

1–2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup pumpkin purée (from fresh pumpkin or canned)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt or more
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

  1. Purée all ingredients except rosemary in a blender or food processor. Add more olive oil or water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Stir in the rosemary at the end.
  2. Serve with pita bread, fresh vegetables, or tortilla chips.

Easy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

zucchini pickles

Cucumbers get all the pickle glory. Try zucchini pickles! Enjoy these easy, delicious, no-can pickles. Your dinner guests will be amazed! Debatably better than cucumber pickles.

INGREDIENTS:
9 medium (3 pounds), unpeeled zucchini cut into wedges or slices
1 medium onion (red, white, or yellow), thinly sliced
4 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh dill flowers and leaves or 1/4 cup dried dill
2–4 hot peppers either cut in half lengthwise or scored on the bottom (1/2 or one whole per jar depending on preference); chili flakes may be
substituted
2–4 cloves garlic (or to taste), sliced in half
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add salt to zucchini slices/spears and onion; stir to coat.
  2. Place salted zucchini and onion in a colander over a bowl, and refrigerate for 24 hours. (liquids will drain into the bowl.)
  3. Discard drained liquid; set salted zucchini and onion aside.
  4. Heat vinegars and sugar on the stove until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Divide remaining ingredients among the jars or other non-reactive, clean containers.
  6. Fill the containers with zucchini and onion leaving a little room on top (1/2″) so liquid will cover.
  7. Pour vinegar-sugar mixture over zucchini, onion, and spices.
  8. Place lids on containers and refrigerate once cooled.

Enjoy after one week of marinating. Makes about 4 pint-sized jars.

Here are a few of our favorite varieties for zucchini pickles.

0240p-Squash-Summer-Emerald-Delight-ZucchiniBlack Beauty Zucchini 

 

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roma tomatoes

It’s tomato season, and we couldn’t be more excited! With baskets of tomatoes being pushed around the office, we’re thinking of ways to use them. One of our favorite recipes is roasted tomato sauce. Enjoy this delicious sauce over crusty Italian bread, on pizza or pasta, or even for breakfast with over-easy eggs! Perfect for freezing, too.

 

Ingredients:

3–4 pounds of Roma or other “paste” tomatoes, sliced in half with stems removed
1 medium onion, sliced
2–3 garlic cloves, peeled
5–10 leaves of fresh basil, roughly chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, ensuring each piece is covered in olive oil. Pour on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 2 to 4 hours or until the tomatoes split.
  3. Once removed from the oven, let the tomatoes cool. Pour all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend on high, adding salt, pepper, and sugar until desired consistency and taste are reached. (If preferred, strain out the seeds before blending).

Grow some of our favorite tomatoes for this sauce.

3039n_Tomato-Bush-Ace-ORG (2) 3055p-Tomato-Bush-Italian-Roma-Organic 3087p-Tomato-Pole-San-Marzano-Organic0236p-Tomato-Pole-Principe-Borghese