I like to cook summer vegetables while they are in season. I was surprised and pleased to discover that eggplant grows in a Louisiana garden. The first year that I grew eggplant they flourished with very little attention. Plenty of eggplant to cook and that sent me scrambling for recipes. Here’s one of my favorites. It makes the best of eggplant and other summer vegetables: “Melt-In-Your-Mouth” Eggplant Stacks. Continue reading
Several weeks ago, we visited New Orleans and ate at a tiny but exquisite restaurant in the mid-city section of New Orleans. All the food arrived at the table in a beautiful presentation. We tried the nightly special: grilled baby summer squash served with hummus, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. I decided to make my own version of our supper entree.
What’s the best way to eat beets? Not a very popular vegetable; but there are several ways to cook beets that make them surprisingly scrumptious. I have a few fresh beets growing in my garden this winter. I’m using them in a very simple and healthy recipe for pickled beets and ginger. The ginger adds a pungent surprise to this dish.
Have you tried to cook with arugula? And what is arugula? It is a pungent, peppery salad green also known as rocket; a member of the Brassicaceae family. It is very high in nutrition. Arugula is easy to grow in a Louisiana garden and flourishes during the winter months. That means I have a nice supply. I brought this Arugula and Penne Pasta Salad with homemade olive oil salad dressing to a pot luck dinner last week.
Cool, crisp fall weather brings changing colors on trees and ripe apples to much of the country. I especially liked fresh apple cider and donuts while living in Michigan years ago. We miss this in southern Louisiana–wishful memories. Then I opened one of my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) baskets. Surprise, apples were in the basket along with honey and other produce!
What is Swiss chard? It’s a delectable leafy green vegetable, not nearly as common as spinach or mustard greens, for example. It is very tender with a mild flavor. My mother planted it in her garden when we were growing up and it was the only “greens” vegetable that I liked. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it grows in Louisiana gardens. You should give Swiss chard a try, if you have never tasted it.
One of my favorite strawberry recipes comes from an old community cookbook published by the town of Bridgewater, Virginia, in 1985 for their sesquicentennial (150 years) celebration. I find that some of the best recipes come from cookbooks where members submit their favorite recipes. This one is listed under salads, perhaps because it includes jello and fruit. I was intrigued with the use of pretzels in the crust. With local strawberries in season now, it is time to get out the recipe again; I updated it a bit. Continue reading
Bok Choy: Will it grow in Louisiana? Every year I like to try to plant something new and small bok choy plants was something I noticed in the garden center. Why not try this vegetable, I mused. Well, my transplanted seedlings grew well–both in the fall and early spring–so I’ve got lots of bok choy to cook with. This is a cool weather plant, so time is running out to plant it in our gardens in March. Here is some that I planted last fall which lasted through the winter.
Does dill grow in Louisiana? Yes, it is easy to grow here. Dill grows best in cool weather and the time to plant it in southern Louisiana is from October to February. It is convenient to step out your back door to snip a few feathery leaves for a recipe. Featured here is Salmon with a Quinoa-Mustard Crust; fresh dill added a flavorful accent to the recipe. Continue reading
Quinoa Blueberry Crumble is exactly that – it crumbles! But it’s relatively easy to make and is delicious.
I adapted a recipe from a cookbook for “Plum Crumble.” The cookbook author, Edna Staebler, pronounced that, “This was the most popular of the six desserts I made for a coffee-dessert party for ladies who are all good cooks.” Obviously Edna likes to cook desserts; this was quite an endorsement for “Plum Crumble.”