Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Easy Garden Recipes

Coming off of my post about growing your own garden, I thought I might share some quick and easy recipes for sides or appetizers that I make frequently with fresh veggies from my garden.

Garden Fresh Pesto

Basil is always a strong herb in my garden; no matter how much I plant, we always end up with a bush taller than me. It's a good thing we like pesto! The above picture is of whole wheat rotini noodles with pan seared chicken, garden fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and pesto made from the recipe that follows.

3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I add extra cheese liberally, it's kind of my thing)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (also picked from the garden)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, I prefer the Magic Bullet, and blend until smooth.

I love tossing this pesto with rotini because the ridges of the pasta pick up the creamy sauce quite nicely.

Spicy Garden Salsa
The picture may not be super flattering, but I promise this salsa is easy and delicious. This recipe is adapted from the Magic Bullet's Seven-Second Salsa.

6 -8 cherry tomatoes (or 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeno pepper (the original recipe calls for 1/4, but we like the heat)
1 -2 garlic clove(s)
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/2 cup onion (the onion balances out the pepper)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the above items in a blender or food processor in the order listed. Once again, I use the Magic Bullet, which makes pulsing the salsa super easy. I pulse the salsa rather than completely blend because I like it to be chunky. Feel free to blend, pulse or chop to the consistency of your choice. Serve with Brad's Organic Multigrain Tortillas. Super yummy.

Easy Breezy Cucumber Salad
This year, my garden seemed to have been overrun with cucumbers. Here's a great recipe adapted from All Recipes for your extra cucumbers picked at the peak of ripeness that lasts, well, a really long time.

3 medium cucumbers, sliced (I quarter the slices)
1 cup sugar (I substitute Splenda)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
1/2 onion, finely chopped (this is my own addition)

Place cucumbers, onions, sugar and dill in a medium size plastic Ziplock container. Pour water and vinegar over ingredients. Snap the lid, and shake! I prefer to let this sit overnight to give the flavors full time to develop. Serve with a slotted spoon.

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