Monday, August 13, 2012

Comfort food from the garden

With the weather feeling like fall and my kitchen counters full of produce from the garden I spent some serious time in the kitchen this evening and made one of the best meals I have had in a long time if I do say so myself. I thought I would share the menu and recipes.

Salad: Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

This is the standard summer salad in our house because we always have a tons of tomatoes and cukes that we need to use. For this salad I always just taste test as I go and keep adding stuff until I get the taste I want.

Tomatoes- I use whatever I have...large ones cut into chucks, small ones cut in half
Cucumbers- Usually just one or two of the ones with the small seeds such as the Persian or Armenian ones
fresh mint cuts into ribbons
fresh chives cut
sheep's milk feta to taste
red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar to taste
E.V.O.O to taste
salt and pepper
*Sometimes I will add an avocado or red onion instead of the chives, or croutons if I want it more of a bread salad.

Chunky Veggie Lentil Soup:

2 TBSP. of olive oil
1 onion cut into thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of green lentils
4 carrots thinly sliced
2 celery stalks chopped
1 qt. of veggie stock
2 cups of water
1/2 small head of cabbage thinly sliced
4-5 swiss chard leaves thinly sliced
salt and pepper

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and then add the lentils and coat the lentils with the oil and onions. Add the stock and the water and then the celery, the carrots and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes covered. Once the veggies and lentils are soft enough to eat add the cabbage and the swiss chard and cook until they are soft, about 7-8 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Potato-Crusted Swiss Chard and Tomato Quiche:

The basics for the recipe are from the cookbook Simply in Season, which I LOVE!! I make the potato crust often since it is a gluten free option and use whatever veggies and cheese that I have in the house.

3 cups of Grated potatoes
3 TBSP. oil
salt and pepper

Grate the potatoes and then toss with the oil salt and pepper. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until starting to brown and then pull out of the oven and cool it a bit.


3 Eggs
1 cup of evaporated milk
Veggies and cheese
Salt and Pepper

For this quiche I sauted some onions from the garden and then tossed in the swiss chard stems and sauteed both until they were soft. I added the swill chard leaves which I sliced thin and cooked until the leaves were just wilted. Set aside and let cool a bit.

Beat the eggs and then mix in the evaporated milk a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Once the veggies have cooled a bit add those and some shredded cheese and gently pour into the potato crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 350 and cook for another 25-30 minutes until the eggs are browned on top and set in the middle.Pull and let set up for about 15-20 minutes.

I have made this with all types of veggies and types of cheeses and always tastes great so get creative!

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