Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It’s time to welcome winter veggies into our kitchens. Beet juice can be added as a natural pink food coloring for holiday punches and can enhance the deep flavor of chocolate cakes. Choose beets that feel firm and have a smooth skin. Tender tasting beets are usually smaller than a tennis ball with crisp and bright greens.

Try a bountiful beet recipe!

Roasted Beets and Avocado

4 beets, scrubbed, leaves trimmed
olive oil
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat beets in olive oil and loosely wrap them in aluminum foil. Roast beets in the oven until tender, approximately 30 minutes - 1 hour depending on the size. Remove beets from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Peel and cut the beets into bite-sized pieces. Toss beets with the avocado and season with salt. Serves 4 - 6.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Planting for Winter

This fall and winter season we wanted to add pops of color to a normally green winter palate in the Edible Garden. While still selecting some of the most commonly used winter vegetables, we picked out cultivars that had interesting colors and/or textures. Some of my favorites are Swiss Chard 'Peppermint' coupled with an old standby Beet 'Bulls Blood', currently planted in the rows. Another notable selection is Cabbage 'Ruby Ball' which is a red heading cabbage notable for its purple/blue leaves with a hint of glossiness, its tolerance of extreme cold temperatures and excellent taste. Finally, we have added more edible flowers such as Nasturtium and Violas that do the double duty of being delicious and beautiful.

– Moe Hemmings, Edible Garden Horticulturist

Friday, September 26, 2014

Try the latest Garden Chef Recipe!

Caramelized Fig and Onion Bruschetta

2 T extra virgin coconut oil
1 sweet onion, sliced into strips
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 T agave nectar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 lb fresh figs, diced
1 baguette, sliced thin
4 oz creamy goat cheese
Fresh chopped rosemary to garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in sauté pan on medium high heat. 
Add sliced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add 
sea salt, agave nectar and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. 
Reduce heat to medium and cook onions for another 10 minutes 
until slightly caramelized. Add chopped figs to onions and sauté on 
medium high for another 2-3 minutes until figs soften. Season with 
fresh cracked pepper to taste. 

Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet and place under broiler 
until lightly toasted; about 2 minutes. Spread a light coating of goat 
cheese on toasted baguette slices. Top baguette slices with fig and 
onion mixture and garnish with chopped rosemary to serve. 

Recipe by Garden Chef Megan McCarthy

Monday, September 8, 2014

It’s not Thanksgiving yet but our cranberries are ripening at the Garden! Stop by the pond in the Edible Garden to admire these native wetland fruits. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines and thrive only under special combinations of soils and water properties typically found in bogs. The health properties of this fruit were recognized by Native American Indians. Cranberries contain no cholesterol and virtually no fat and are low in sodium. Utilizing cranberries in recipes adds substantial levels of dietary fiber and certain vitamins that may be beneficial to health.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Try the latest Garden Chef Recipe! 

Black Japonica Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 

1 cup black japonica rice
2 cups water
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 T white balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shelled edamame
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place rinsed rice in a large saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam for 10 minutes. In separate bowl, combine white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, thyme and sea salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Slowly whisk in olive oil to blend. In large bowl, drizzle vinaigrette over cooked rice and gently toss. Add in edamame, tomatoes, scallions and crumbled cheese. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste. 

Recipe by Edible Garden Chef Megan McCarthy

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Edible Garden

The summer vegetable harvest is in full swing! So far, more than 500 pounds have been donated to the Atlanta Food Bank including okra, tomatoes, peppers, edamame and eggplant.

The Edible Garden includes an impressive row crop of ‘Carolina Gold’ rice (an heirloom, long grain variety). Grains are showing beautifully now, and harvest will begin in mid September.

There are also colorful zinnias alternating with the rice rows that help attract beneficial pollinators to the Garden. The flower petals make a pretty garnish and are edible, though they tend to be bitter. Look for the apple crop with varieties such as ‘Gala’, ‘Liberty’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ which are trained as espaliers in the ‘three tier cordon’ shape.  The ‘Celeste’ fig trees across from the Outdoor Kitchen are producing heavily now, and the ‘LSU Purple’ and ‘LSU Gold’ should be ripening soon. Lastly, don't miss the fuzzy kiwis!