Monday, April 6, 2009

From the Garden to the Table

Hi everyone! Spring is here and I'm so excited! Spring brings on the beautiful weather, flowers, birds...and it's also time to start thinking of what you're going to plant in your garden. Having your own garden (and even some of my best friends in the city have patio or rooftop gardens since some of them live in apartments or condos) is a fantastic way to enjoy your own fruits and veggies, save a bit of money, and be green :) Just thought I'd share some recipes you can try:
Because we try to be as "green" as we can, we try to grow a lot of our own produce and we try to buy locally whenever we can. We are fortunate to a) live on a farm where we can grow most of our veggies and fruits, and b) live on an island where there are lots of farmers' markets and local growers.

Buying locally is so important because we not only support local farmers, but we also cut shipping and fuel costs, and reduce our carbon footprint. There is a long list of reasons why buying locally has its benefits. I may ask Hubby to blog about it on here when he gets a chance.
Here are two things that I made "from the garden to the table" (or perhaps I should say "from the garden to freezer to table!"):
Asparagus and Zucchini Ribbons Salad
We have lots and lots of asparagus in our garden(s) and my MIL and my Dad both grow zucchini (so I didn't bother planting any zucchini last year). This recipe is an adaptation of FoodNetworks' Giada De Laurentiis' Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi. I didn't have any shaved Pecorino Romano, so I just omitted it. I'm sure it would have added a lovely zip to the dish, but it tasted just as delicious without it.

Raspberry-Apple-Rhubarb Pie Because we have an abundance of raspberries, apples and rhubarb on our farm, I had to figure out as many ways of using them in recipes.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 tablespoons of cold water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1-2 tablespoon of milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional)

1. In a medium bowl stir together the 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-size.

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to sides of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened.

3. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.

4.On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle, line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.

5. Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry.

6. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden brown.

7. Cool on a wire rack. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle.

8. Using a 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut pastry into desired shapes(leaves are a nice choice), cover cutouts loosely; set aside. I used snowflake cutters from Watkins, but Hubby said they looked more like stars when they came out.

9. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons flour and stir in rhubarb, raspberries, and apple.

10. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until fruit begins to juice out then increase heat to medium and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

11. Transfer to the baked pie shell. Brush edge of pie with milk and place pastry cutouts over fruit filling and around the edge of the pie.

12. Brush pastry cutouts with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.

13. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown, cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.


JoolzGirl said...

mmm looks delicious!

C. K. said...

That looks delicious! =)

C said...

Wow! Has it really been almost a year since we all posted on this blog? LOL!

As for the pie...It WAS delicious!!! :) My husband's new favourite!!