As we reported in a recent post, a group of local girls from an area residence have been coming weekly to work in the garden, learn about food, and do some basic in-garden cooking. Their response and enthusiasm has grown with each visit and it’s been remarkable to see how empowered several of the girls have become and a few have taken leadership roles in teaching the other girls how to properly water, harvest and even cut various vegetables.
The peak of the garden is over, but the girls are still harvesting eggplant–which we grilled right in the garden and tasted with olive oil and mint, edamame, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, scallions, and herbs. Tomatoes are slow to turn red, but one by one, the girls have enjoyed them in salads and on french bread with homemade pesto. They also planted some fall greens and will plant lettuce next week.
The past couple of weeks, the girls have been cooking up a storm. Here are three delicious recipes the girls have made recently using ingredients right out of the garden. More rewarding work is hard to find!
Edamame and Avocado Salad
2 cups fresh or frozen edamame, cooked and shelled
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 to 8 radishes, sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1. In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, lime, honey, and salt and pepper. Whisk together until completely incorporated. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cooled edamame, avocado, scallion, cilantro, radishes, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Toss together. Add dressing to desired amount.
Garden Herb Pesto
2 bunches fresh basil
1 bunch fresh mint
1 small bunch fresh lemon balm
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Place the first 10 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse to rough chop. Add olive oil through chute in a slow stream until it forms a smooth paste, about 30 seconds.
2. Remove contents of food processor into a medium bowl. Stir in parmesan cheese. Adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.
3. Use on bread, pasta, corn, add to burgers, meatloaf, stir into hummus or yogurt for a dip, serve with grilled cheese or quesadillas, broiled fish or chicken.
Cucumber, Radish and Dill Salad with Yogurt
1 large cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped dill
3 tablespoons yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Slice cucumber (leave skins on) and radish into thin round slices. Cut scallions into thin diagonal slices.
2. Place vegetables into medium bowl. Stir in dill, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to ½ hour. Serve as a salad or a garnish for lamb, falafel or grilled vegetables.