Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

In the Garden: Out with the old, in with the new

Last weekend, I was planting marigolds in the veggie garden, for some color and to help keep pests away, and this plant had to go – it was right where I needed to put a marigold in order to get the symmetry I like in my garden 😉

I thought it was an onion, but when I pulled it out, I saw it was a head of garlic – and a good-sized one, too.

Fresh garlic

That reminded me that in the kitchen, I had a head of garlic with sprouts on the cloves, so I got that, separated the cloves, and planted them in the garden, so this fall, we’ll have more homegrown garlic. For the record, I planted them between the pepper plants (so I can find them again). 🙂

Garlic sprouts

In the Garden: Baby Mixed Greens

Last night’s rain and the weekend’s cooler temperatures should be great for helping our baby romaine, butter lettuce and red sails along. We might even pick some to mix in a salad. Onions, garlic, beans and peas are on their way, too.

Baby mixed greens

GYO: Antipasto Pesto Pasta

I love the sound of that 🙂 And the dish was pretty good, too.

We had about 16 people over for Thanksgiving, and since we had spent two weeks in Europe, including a week in Italy, in September, naturally I wanted to serve antipasto for an appetizer.

But most people were holding out for the main event, so there was quite a bit left over. What to do with all these preserved meats and veggies? Put them in a pasta, of course! I found this great-sounding recipe and modified it for what we had and like, and it turned out great. I’ll definitely make it again.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the foodie event started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie. GYO celebrates the food we grow ourselves. We grew the basil and parsley for the pesto in this dish, and I froze pesto to use during the winter, since the basil was so prolific. The round-up of all the entries has been posted, so check them out!

Antipasto Pesto Pasta
1 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup marinated cocktail onions, halved
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 ounces salami, chopped
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
8 ounces uncooked bow-tie pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Place the roasted pepper, onions, olives, salami, mushrooms, and artichokes in a large bowl and mix gently.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt; drain. In a small bowl, mix together the pesto and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; add to bell pepper mixture, and toss to combine. Add pasta to bell pepper mixture and stir.

Sprinkle each serving with 2 tsp. remaining cheese and 2 tsp. pine nuts.


Antipasto Pasta

Photo Friday: Homemade

We grew a nice variety of lettuces in the garden last spring, and most of them did very nicely. We had salad from the garden regularly all spring and into the summer.

This is a composed salad I made one day last summer. Since the high is supposed to be about 42*F today, I’m hoping the thought of a cool salad on a hot day might warm me up. If not, I’ll make some hot chocolate.

Photo Friday: Homemade

This is for Photo Friday’s weekly photo challenge. This week’s topic is Homemade.

Project 365: Round II

So, last year, I started Project 365, which is taking a photo a day for a year, to try to improve my photography.

I didn’t get very far, but I’m going to try again. Here are some photos from the last few days.

Oak-leaf hydrangea leaves
Day 1, Nov. 29: Oak-leaf hydrangea leaves, from the garden

Cheddar cheese and roasted red pepper quesadilla
Day 2, Nov. 30: Quesadilla with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and roasted red peppers

Hydrangeas
Day 3, Dec. 1: Hydrangeas: These were our Thanksgiving centerpieces, along with camellia blossoms. I tried and tried to get rid of the glare – covered the light with a lace tablecloth, then a pillowcase, changed the angle of the light – still too bright.

Parmesan-Rosemary Focaccia in a Bread-Machine

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgWow, where did October go? Oh, yeah – work, work, work. Come home and guess what? Don’t really want to hang out at the computer. So the blog has suffered a bit. Ah, well, maybe it will get better during the holidays 😉

Anyway, last night we went to a Halloween/Birthday party and I took a platter of sandwich bites made with homemade bread-machine focaccia. I let the bread machine make the dough, and then I spread the dough in a pan for the last rise and bake it in the oven.

A friend asked me for the recipe, so here it is. I’ll save the sandwich recipe for another post. This recipe is a hybrid of one from Cook’s Illustrated magazine and one in the cookbook that came with my bread machine. As it happens, I used fresh rosemary from the garden, so this qualifies as a long-overdue contribution to the food blogging event Grow Your Own, created and hosted by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

Bread-Machine Rosemary Focaccia

1 cup water at 80 degrees F
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp.
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups bread flour
1-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast, or 1 tsp. QuickRise yeast, or 1 tsp. Bread Machine Yeast
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled

Place the ingredients – except the Parmesan cheese, rosemary and 2 tbsp. olive oil – in the bread-machine pan in the order given. Turn to the dough setting and turn it on. Watch it for the first minute or two – you may need to use a spatula to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the dough ball. Then let the bread machine do its thing through the first rise time, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Generously oil a jelly roll pan – I use a Pampered Chef 9″x13″ stone baking pan. Remove the dough from the machine, wet your hands with water (to prevent sticking), and press the dough flat into the pan, pushing it into all the corners. If it resists, let it rest for 10 minutes and continue. Use your fingers or a pair of chopsticks to press dimples into the dough at even intervals – your yummy toppings will collect in these. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm, draft-free place while you heat the oven, at least 20 minutes. I put it in the microwave – no drafts in there.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Press dimples into dough again. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, then the cheese and rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares or wedges to serve immediately. To serve later, cool completely and reheat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Cooled focaccia can also be frozen for up to one month. To reheat, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F, then heat directly on oven racks for 10 minutes.

There are lots of variations on this basic recipe: You can add garlic powder and/or onion powder and/or herbs to the dry ingredients, or add caramelized onions to the topping. Focaccia is great for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or you can slice it lengthwise and use for panini.

Rosemary-Parmesan Focaccia
This is half the recipe.

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