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Garden Fresh Recipes

St. Pat’s Day = Corned Beef and Cabbage Micro-greens ?

Yes, I admit it. I’m not fond of cabbage, but I love corned beef! And it’s time to celebrate the ‘green’.  Which led me to experiment. Many of the brassica family are grown as micro-greens; a way to get that tangy flavor and crunch packed with nutrition. Could a few cabbage shoots give me that traditional taste without over-powering me?

Two weeks ago I planted red cabbage seeds on the window sill at the office. Last weekend (just 8 days later), it was time to harvest the shoots, and cook the corned beef.

I don’t have a standard recipe to prepare corned beef, each time it varies slightly. But I do write down each change I might try (just in case I discover the perfect recipe). Every few years we host a small gathering on St. Patrick’s Day of other couples who spend their lives ‘playing in the dirt’. So this was my opportunity to practice.

I’m not very good at photographing food, but it turned out to be the best corned beef dinner I’ve ever made.






If you want to give these micro-greens a try, start by filling a shallow container with soiless mix and water it well. Sprinkle any variety of cabbage seeds over the top of the soil and press the seed down so they make good contact with the soil. Place the container on a sunny window sill, no need for grow lights. Mist the top of the container daily – no need for fertilizer. Harvest the greens at the soil level at any stage of growth from tiny sprouts to a few true leaves tall.

Here’s my best recipe for the corned beef. I cook the way my grandma did; a pinch of this […]

By |March 9th, 2015|Garden Fresh, Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on St. Pat’s Day = Corned Beef and Cabbage Micro-greens ?

Fresh Mexican Salsa

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black eyed peas or black beans, drained
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and diced

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors. Serve with wheat tortilla chips.


By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Fresh Mexican Salsa

Zucchini Bisque

This soup freezes well to save for another time if you don’t add the sour cream until you are ready to reheat it and serve.

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream

Sauté zucchini and onion in butter until transparent. Add broth and seasonings. Puree mixture and return to stove top. Add sour cream slowly, just before serving.


by Debbie Baker

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Zucchini Bisque

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I love soup. And this is one of my own recipes that I’ve made for years and shared with many on a cold fall day with crusty bread on the side. I often used leftover steamed broccoli as long as it was still firm.

1 head of broccoli florets cut up into small pieces (about 2 cups) steamed slightly
One large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 Tablespoon butter
6 Cups chicken broth
2 Cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper (black or hot)
1 pound cheddar cheese grated fine
Dried potato flakes (or one left over potato, riced)

Sauté onion and garlic in butter. Add broth, milk and bring to simmering. Add cheese and stir until melted and returned to simmer. Add potato flakes (or riced potato) as need to thicken. Continue to stir until thickened. Stir in broccoli and serve.

For a twist, sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg.


by Sandra Merrill

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Pam’s Spaghetti Sauce

3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cup fresh tomato puree (fresh plum tomatoes, skinned and put through a food mill)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 ground beef or turkey
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey)

Brown meats, onion and garlic in olive oil, pour off extra fats (there isn’t any if you used turkey or chicken). Add tomatoes, and paste, bay leaf and oregano. Simmer for 2 hours. Add basil and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over any pasta.


by Pam Morgan

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Pam’s Spaghetti Sauce

Sweet Onion Casserole

My mom always had a tough time cooking for my dad. She couldn’t use any herbs or spices (let alone garlic) or he wouldn’t eat what she prepared. But she learned to make many foods tasty using wine and onions. This is one recipe our whole family loves.

3 – 5 pounds of sweet onions, pealed and sliced (Vidalia or Sweet Spanish work great)
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 cup butter cracker crumbs (Kebler butter thins or Ritz)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Sauté onions in butter until transparent and starting to lightly brown. Lately I’ve been adding a small amount a garlic to the sauté and 2 tablespoons of white at the end of the sautéing. My mom looked longingly at me when I told her.

It takes at least one waxed sleeve of butter crackers to make 1 cup of fine crumbs. I put the crackers in the food processor, but a rolling pin works fine too. Add the parmesan cheese to the cracker crumbs.

In a round Pyrex dish, layer the sautéed onions first, then a layer of the cracker crumb mixture then another layer of onions topping off with the last of the cracker mixture. Most of the time I double or even triple this recipe since the onions cook down so far if you start to allow them to caramelize (which adds to the flavor greatly!)

Bake this at 350 degrees for 20 minute or until the topping starts to brown.


by Edwina Constant

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Sweet Onion Casserole

Spring Finnochio and Ramps Soup

Herbs keep the flavor in all our winter cooking, but the first fresh herbs and vegetables of spring are always cherished. Not that long ago, I had my daughter out in the woods harvesting ramps with me for spring soups.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic – pressed
1 bulb of finocchio (bulb fennel) – sliced
6 large ramps ( or 3 leeks) – sliced
6 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or water)
2 FRESH bay leaves – bent in several places
pepper to taste
Any combination of finely chopped summer squashes, tomatoes, peppers or carrots.
Chopped fresh chervil and water cress
Lemon wedges

Sauté garlic, finocchio and ramps in oil for 20 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes more. Remove bay leaves and puree soup in food processor until smooth. Serve in individual bowls topped with garnish of raw vegetables, herbs and lemon wedges. Grate pepper to taste.


by Sandra Merrill

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Spring Finnochio and Ramps Soup

Fresh Summer Greens

This is a fun salad to serve in parts, allowing people to put whatever they want onto their plates. I have given each guest a plate with one squash blossom or daylily blossom opened on it and explained how to make a stuffed salad. Offering both dressings to choose from.

6 cups mixed greens; lettuces, sorrel, spinach etc.
1 cup carrots, shredded
½ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1 cup edible flowers – chives, nasturtiums, roses, lavender, day lilies,
squash blossoms

Cut up and shred large flowers and break apart chives flowers.

Mix all together and add one of these two dressings:

Spicy Dressing:

3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon basil

Sweet Dressing:

3 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar
½ cup walnut oil
pepper to taste

Top with shredded cheese – parmesan or feta.


by Sandra Merrill

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Fresh Summer Greens

Creamy Dill Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
3 tablespoons sweet onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Mix and serve over lettuce leaves or stuffed in daylily or squash blossoms with the stamens removed.

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Creamy Dill Chicken Salad

Fresh Greens and Flowers

When I was dating my now husband, his family invited us over to a family cook-out one summer. We were asked to bring a salad. This is what I brought. No one ate any of it! They didn’t realize that some flowers are better for dinner than decoration. I think they have since learned that I’m not quite as weird as they originally believed.

6 cups mixed salad greens (choose for colors as well as sweet and spicy taste
1 cup mixed edible flowers, what ever is in season (nasturtium, calendula, lavender, chive, day lily, squash blossom, honey suckle, red clover, rose, bean, violet, pansy,
sunflower, tulip, and the flowers from any herbs)
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
8 tablespoons walnut oil


by Sandra Merrill

By |January 2nd, 2013|Garden Fresh Recipes|Comments Off on Fresh Greens and Flowers