A winter garden is just one of the joys of living in Phoenix. We suffer through 110 degree summers in order to brag about our mild winters, if you can even call them winters. This also means we have a long season for things like carrots, lettuces and squash. But after a while there's only so many things you can make from your bountiful harvest. Whether you're eating from your garden, or cooking with seasonal produce from the farmers market, here are some recipes to put into rotation. See also: - Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Gardener - Five Favorite Metro Phoenix Shops for Bakeware and Serveware
The first carrots of the season are ready for harvest. This savory recipe is also pretty good for you and freezable.
Roasted Carrot Soup (adapted with changes from Martha Stewart) Ingredients
1 small onion or half of a large onion 1 bunch carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks 1 small Belgian endive, quartered lengthwise 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning Pinch of freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, plus more for thinning 1/3 cup whole milk or 2% milk 1/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger, or to taste (you can also use ginger paste in the tube you find at the grocers)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut onion into 8 wedges (keep root end intact to hold layers together). Toss onion, carrots, endive, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and spread in a single layer. Roast vegetables, turning occasionally, until edges are deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. 2. Cut off root end from onion. Transfer all vegetables to a large saucepan. Add enough stock to just cover (about 2 cups). Bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree vegetables and stock in a blender until smooth (work in batches, if necessary, to avoid filling blender more than halfway). 3. Transfer puree to a clean pan; place over low heat. Stir in milk; add stock to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper; stir in ginger.
Arugula salads are hearty and pomegranates are tartly sweet and in season too. Combine the two in this salad that is substantial enough to be a meal on its own.
Arugula and Pomegranate Salad (adapted with changes from FoodNetwork.com)
Pomegranate Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (its actually more of a syrup) 1/2 lemon, juiced 2 tablespoons honey 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3/4 cup olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients 6 cups arugula (or however much you want, really) Seeds from one pomegranate (dried cranberries also work nicely) 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings 1/4 cup toasted walnuts Fruit from one or two mandarin oranges (peel and separate) 1 shallot, sliced
To make vinaigrette, combine pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, honey and red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while you whisk to emulsify. Season,to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss salad ingredients together and dress with the vinaigrette.
This recipe's a an easy winner. Sweet and savory and full of things of the garden. Add more items from your garden to pack this frittata with homegrown goodness.
Spaghetti Squash Frittata (adapted with changes from Chef Aurore at Singh Farms, they sell some fine squash and swiss chard)
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1 medium "spaghetti squash" 8 fingerling potatoes 2 bunches Swiss chard 1 teaspoon garlic 2 cups orange juice 3 tablespoons honey 10 eggs ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon ginger 1teaspoon vanilla Salt and pepper to taste Directions
1. Bake the squash first (usually open faced at 30 minutes at 300-350 degrees) and scoop out the squash from the rind. 2. Slice and roast the potatoes Saute swine chard in olive oil to remove moisture; add garlic 3. In a separate pot, combine orange juice, honey and ginger and heat to reduce it buy about half (you'll need to keep an eye on it and stir a bit as you reduce) 4. Add squash and Swiss chard to reduction. 5. Combine eggs and Greek yogurt; whisk thoroughly 6. Place potatoes on the bottom a greased pan (a glass pyrex bake pan worked well) 7. Combine all remaining ingredients together and pour into the pan on top of the potatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.