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What's Cookin'...

These recipes are based on what we’re growing, what we’ve managed to store or freeze from last year’s harvest, or what we’re simply in the mood for based on the season.  Updated as our taste buds demand...


One of the best-tasting winter squash (at least to our taste buds) is the Delicata squash. Simple preparation is best with this heirloom veggie. Use a fork and prick a few holes in the skin.  Pop it in the microwave and cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes, turning it over halfway through. The squash is done when you can squeeze it lightly with a potholder.  Let it cool a few minutes, cut it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Add a little butter or a 1/2 tsp of pure maple syrup.  Delightful.  



 These 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard were transplanted in the veg garden in mid-August.  (Gotta get out there, weed and sow some radishes and butter crunch lettuce between the rows..sigh.  A gardener's work is never done.)  We steam and blanch the larger leaves.  A favorite way to cook Swiss chard is saute whole baby leaves and ribs (stems).  Large leaves should be sliced first before adding to the pan.  The chopped cooked leaves and ribs can be used in omelets, quiches, hearty soups and stews and in meat loaf--but I hate meat loaf...:-)  For young Swiss chard like that in the garden, wash and pat dry.  You can leave it whole (stem and leaf) or slice it.  Heat equal amounts of butter and olive oil in a saute pan.  Stir in some chopped garlic and add the chard.  Toss to coat, cover the pan and lower the heat, cooking for about 4 minutes.  Season to taste.   

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When My Mate catches trout, out comes the grill!  This is a great dish when the fish are biting.  (Gardener's Note: Cilantro doesn't last all summer in the garden.  Sow seeds every 2-3 weeks and you can extend the harvest. Cilantro is great mixed in corn salad, with chicken salad and more.  It's probably our favorite, most versatile herb.)  


Grilled Trout with Cilantro


4 fresh dressed (cleaned) trout, heads removed (put them in the compost..)

4 T fresh lime juice

2 T Olive Oil

3 T fresh cilantro chopped fine 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Lime wedges for serving 


Rinse trout and pat dry with paper towels.

Whisk lime juice and oil in small bowl.

Brush juice on inside and then the outside of each fish.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper and cilantro evenly on the inside cavity.


Preheat the grill. Place trout in a well-oiled grill basket to prevent the fish from sticking.  (For charcoal grills, heat the coals to medium, place the basket on the rack over the coals and cook uncovered. For a gas grill, reduce the heat to medium. Place grill basket on grill rack over heat and cover.)


Grill for 10-12 minutes (trout will begin to flake when tested with a fork.)  Turn over the basket once when you're halfway through the grilling process.   


Serve with rice, and a green veggie--steamed broccoli or sauteed spinach.   Easy. Good for you. What else is there to say?  Well, maybe, "Where's my trout stream map?" 



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Thai Cucumber Salad  

4 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
2 medium cucumbers (about 1 pound)
2 medium scallions (green onions) or 1 small sweet onion
1 jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil, chopped (or other basil leaves, such as lime or lemon basil)

2-3 T chopped salted peanuts (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Chop scallions on an angle.  Use the white portion and a few inches of the green stems.  Add to bowl.  Cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise.  Carefully remove the seeds and any membrane (the ribs).  Dice and add to the bowl.  (Be careful not to touch your eyes or lips after handling hot peppers.  Wash your hands to remove any oils.) Peel the cucumbers and score the surface lengthwise with a fork.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with spoon.  Cut paper thin slices and add to the bowl. Stir in the chopped basil and chill the bowl in the frig for at least 30 minutes.Right before serving, remove the bowl from the frig and sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top. 

Curried Butternut Squash and Peas

• 2 tbl unsalted butter
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 2 clove of garlic, minced
• 2 ½ tsp. curry powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
• 2 lbs. peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash (raw)
• 4 medium red or Yukon gold potatoes
• ¾ cup of golden raisins
• 2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
• 12 oz package of frozen peas
• Fresh cilantro (optional)
• Cooked basmati rice

Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it's golden brown (about 5 - 7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more (don't let it burn or it will be bitter). Stir in the curry powder, salt and pepper. Add the squash and potatoes and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add raisins and broth, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes. Next add the bag of peas. Continue cooking until the potatoes and squash are tender (about 10-12 minutes). Serve with the wonderfully aromatic basmati rice and garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves.

Questions or Comments?  Email info@thisgardencooks.com

Observe. Reflect. Bloom! 
(c) 2016 Nina A. Koziol