Saturday, July 30, 2011

Spicy Radish Dip

Garden Chef Megan McCarthy introduced visitors to the radical world of radishes, specifically the ‘Giant of Sicily’ radish, on the weekend of June 10 and 11. High in vitamin C and potassium, good for the liver and gall bladder, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, these little red gems pack a major nutritional punch. Not to mention, with their high water content and clean, crisp crunch, they make for refreshing snacks on a hazy summer day.

When you eat radishes at home, don’t discard the leafy stuff. Radish tops have twice as much vitamin C as the radishes themselves. They are delicious when cooked in a little bit of garlic and olive oil, like any other hearty green.

To avoid a runny dip, shred the radishes in a food processor first and let them sit in a bowl while you prepare the other ingredients. That way, some water can fall to the bottom of the bowl.

This recipe calls for Greek yogurt (a lower calorie replacement for sour cream), goat cheese (instead of cream cheese for additional flavor), and chipotles for a nice kick.

Chef Megan wrung out the shreds of radish over the sink to let out more water. Then she blended everything together in a food processor.  In the end we enjoyed a pretty pink dip that could be mistaken for crab dip.

Spicy Radish Dip

1 bunch radishes, cleaned and trimmed
1 clove garlic
16 oz Greek yogurt, plain
3 oz creamy goat cheese
2-3 chipotle peppers, seeded
1 tsp lemon zest
1 T fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onions, chopped

Shred fresh radishes with grater or food processor. Squeeze out excess liquid and set aside in large mixing bowl.

In food processor, combine garlic, Greek yogurt, goat cheese, chipotle peppers, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper until blended. Add yogurt mixture to radishes and stir. Add in green onions and stir. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve radish dip with crudité, pita chips, crackers or bread.

Find printable versions of the Garden Chef recipes here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Father's Day and Farm Burger

On Father’s Day, our wee visitors had a chance to frolic with dad on the Great Lawn, running around in the bubbles, playing catch with the beach balls, and hula hooping to their heart’s content. (Okay, maybe the dads weren’t exactly “frolicking,” but you get the idea.)

After the kids had expended some energy, they could hop on the train with dad and take a ride around the Great Lawn.

We figured that a lot of fathers enjoy burgers, so we invited some special guests from Decatur to join us in the Edible Garden Outdoor Kitchen.  Farm Burger was here!

Chef Terry Koval of Farm Burger explains how to cook basil to make delicious basil goat cheese for your burgers.
Not only did Chef Terry make mouths water by talking about Farm Burger’s delicious beef, which comes from local cows that are never fed antibiotics, hormones or grain, but he also gave a demo on how to pickle seasonal vegetables like okra, jalapenos, and cucumbers.

Grilled Summer Squash with Basil & Pasta

Planting dates for summer squash in Georgia range from early to late March, and production begins 45 to 55 days after seeding. By early June, the Edible Garden had yielded over 50 squash! What to do with it all? Garden Chef Christina Curry said, “Throw it on the grill!”

She advised cutting your vegetables (for this recipe squash and onions) about ¼ inch to ½ inch thick, tossing in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper, and grilling over medium heat (hot enough to leave grill marks, but not hot enough to make the vegetables mushy).

It’s nice to compliment the charred flavor of grilled anything with something fresh, so she diced some tomatoes and cut some basil into strips. (Tip: The more you chop herbs, the more you weaken the flavor, which ends up on your cutting board instead of in your recipe. Only chop herbs as much as you have to. Same goes for onions and garlic.)  Chef Christina used white balsamic vinegar for this dish, which is not cooked or caramelized, so it has a sweeter flavor and no aftertaste. Also, in a dish this pretty, clear vinegar allows the color of the vegetables to shine through.

Grilled Summer Squash with Basil & Pasta

a few T olive oil
2 lb summer squash, sliced 1/4” thick
1 small yellow onion, sliced 1/4” thick
1 small red onion
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lb mini farfalle pasta, cooked and drained*
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T lemon zest
kosher salt & cracked black pepper
parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over the sliced squash and sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until tender. Allow vegetables to cool, then dice. In a bowl combine the diced squash, diced onion, basil, cherry tomatoes and pasta. Next add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon zest and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan cheese.
* Cook the pasta in salted water.

Still have some zucchini and squash left?  Try these delicious treats courteously of Garden Chef Christina Curry.

Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Chive Aioli

vegetable, canola, safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil for frying
1 lb zucchini, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1 T Italian parsley, chopped
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup carbonated water
salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat about 2 inches of oil over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, onion, parsley and egg. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and carbonated water. Gently fold the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and season with salt and pepper. Gently drop one tablespoon of batter at a time into the oil and deep fry for about 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately.

Lemon Chive Aioli

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T lemon juice
1 T chives, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Serve with Zucchini Fritters.

Find printable versions of the Garden Chef recipes here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Swiss Chard Sauté with Toasted Coconut

Swiss Chard stands bold and tall in a bed with marigolds, tomatoes, and peppers.  If you’d like to know more about the Herb Wall in the background, read last year’s post here.

Can’t get much fresher than this!  The chard only had to travel approximately 50 feet to the Outdoor Kitchen.  This leafy green is very heat tolerant while growing, however one should harvest it early or late in the day as the leaves will wilt quickly when harvested in full sun.

This is the ‘Rhubarb’ variety, which we planted for its beautiful red color, but don’t confuse it with the rhubarb plant, which is grown for its stalks and has poisonous leaves.

Swiss chard is in the beet family and can be used much like spinach.  Garden Chef Megan McCarthy threw the stems in first to get a head start on the leaves, which have a shorter cooking time.  You can see that she also toasted the unsweetened coconut and pine nuts.

Swiss Chard Sauté with Toasted Coconut

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped leaves and stems
1 small shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine or water
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper, to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon
2 T shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
2 T pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Heat olive oil in large skillet over a medium heat.  Add Swiss chard stems, shallots and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add chard leaves to skillet and continually stir, as greens wilt down.  Add in white wine or water if needed.  Sauté greens for 3 minutes and season with cayenne, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.  Add squeeze of lemon and toss with toasted coconut and pine nuts to serve.

Find printable versions of the Garden Chef recipes here.