by Teresa Gale
We hope that the urban gardening tips Teresa Gale has shared in Fearless Food Gardening have inspired you to grow your own food, or helped your existing garden thrive. In the last installment of this feature, ILLUMINE offers some of the top recipes from the book.
Sugar Snap Peas with Edamame Hummus
Nothing compares to the sweet crunch of a sugar snap pea. Our favorite way to enjoy them is raw–plain and simple. But you can pair them with hummus dip for a little something extra. This recipe calls for edamame (young soybeans) in place of the traditional chickpea. Serve this dish again later in the season with bell peppers, cucumbers, or other “dipping” veggies you have on hand.
1 cup cooked edamame
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sugar snap peas for dipping
Wash peas and pat dry. Remove fibrous strings that run the length of the pods; break off the stems and pull downward, and the strings should come right off. Or use a knife to cut off the tips of the pods, then pull downward to remove the strings. Set peas aside.
Combine edamame, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add olive oil and continue to process until oil is fully incorporated. Serve in a dipping bowl alongside peas (and other raw veggies, if you like).
Makes about 1 1/4 cups of hummus.
Mixed Green Salad with Strawberries
Nothing says summer like strawberries. Mix them with fresh greens and a tangy dressing for a side dish or light main course. Strawberries sliced crosswise make a lovely presentation and release their juices quickly.
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 sprig fresh mint or tarragon
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced crosswise
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Remove mint or tarragon leaves from stem and tear into pieces; add to mixed greens. Rinse and drain greens. Set aside.
Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Stir a couple times to ensure even toasting. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, and a dash of salt. Add greens and almonds and toss until even coated. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 entrée or 4 side servings.
What to do with all this zucchini? Make zucchini bread, of course! This recipe makes two loaves. Enjoy one now and freeze the other for later. Home-baked goodies also make great gifts.
2 teaspoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons + 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup canola or safflower oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup raisins (or substitute chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans.* Place a teaspoon of softened butter in each pan; spread butter to coat interior of pans, using a small plastic bag or piece of wax paper to keep your fingers clean. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour in each pan, then tilt and tap pans so flour distributes over entire greased area.
Dump excess flour in the sink or trash. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir well. In a separate bowl, combine zucchini, eggs, sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla. Pour liquids over flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Gently fold in walnuts and raisins. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center of each loaf comes out clean (a small crack down the center of the loaf is normal). Allow loaves to cool in pans. Remove from pans and slice when completely cool. For 9”x5” pans, reduce baking time by 10 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves, with about 8 slices per loaf.
*Greasing and flouring the pans will ensure that the breads release easily from the pans once they’re cool.
Cornbread Muffins with Poblano Peppers
Cornbread ranks high on our list of comfort foods. We like to mix in some sweet corn and peppers for added flavor and texture. Poblanos give a touch of heat. If you want to turn it up a notch, substitute serranos or jalapeños.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup medium grind yellow cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 poblano pepper, finely chopped
(about 1/2 cup)
1 ear fresh sweet corn
Preheat oven to 400˚. While oven is preheating, cook unhusked corn in microwave for 3-4 minutes. Wearing oven mitts to protect your hands, remove corn from microwave and place on cutting board. Cut the bottom inch off, then shake to release cob from husk. Run cob under cold water or set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; stir well. In a separate bowl, combine butter and sugar; add egg and milk, and stir well. Pour liquid mixture over flour mixture and stir until lumpy.
Position corn on cutting board, cut side down. Start at the top and saw downward to remove kernels from ear. Fold corn and peppers into muffin batter until just combined. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into 12-cup non-stick muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and cracked on top.
Makes 12 muffins.
Excerpt from Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland. Reprinted with permission from the Peterson Garden Project. The book is available for purchase at petersongarden.org.