Category Archives: spring

Balsamic Glazed Baby Beets

  • 1-2 dozen baby (1/2 to 2 inch) beets
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you are going to bake your beets).

Trim the greens off the top of each beet, leaving about 2 inches of stalk; save the greens for another use or discard.

Rinse the beets and use heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a packet around them, placing the rosemary in the packet before sealing. Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until the beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Transfer the packet to a work surface; open it and let the beets cool until they can be handled. Discard the rosemary.

ALTERNATIVELY you can simply boil the beets until tender, 15-30 minutes.

If your beets are larger with tough skin, rub or peel off the skin when the beets have cooled a little, trimming off the root and stem ends. Set the beets aside.

In a large, shallow saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, butter and salt over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by about half. (It should have a syrupy, glaze-like consistency.) Reduce the heat to low, add the beets, and stir to coat and warm them through, about 1 to 2 minutes.


Strawberry Shortcake for Chelsea

CORRECTED VERSION. Apologies to those who make the baking soda version *Teddy*.

Do not buy those crappy yellow sponge cakes from the supermarket.  Instead, make these.

first slice up fresh local strawberries in season
and have some whipped cream ready …

2 c flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1-2 T sugar
5 T butter
2/3 milk

Preheat oven to 400° and butter a cake pan or small cookie sheet.  Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles course meal.  Add milk slowly until the dough just comes together to form a ball.  Knead on a floured surface for a minute, then roll the dough into  a rough circle about 3/4 inch thick and place in the pan.  Before baking “cut” into 8 pieces with a fork by poking holes close together bisecting the circle in a 4 lines – like cutting a pie.  Bake 12 minutes, or until nicely lightly browned.

Serve warm (not hot) piled with lots of strawberries and whipped cream.

Love Aunt Deb


Fresh Spinach Custard

Made this with the 4th big bag of spring spinach from our CSA farm this year. Great for a side dish or brunch dish, even main dish.

2 lbs fresh spinach, washed, with tough stems removed
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 eggs
1 ½ c milk
1 c grated Gruyère or cheddar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ c Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly butter a 9″ square baking dish and set aside.

Prepare spinach and then cook until wilted in a large pot of boiling salted water (takes between 30 seconds and 1 minute). Drain well, press out excess water and chop fine on a cutting board. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with wisk until smooth, add the spinach, onions and Gruyère or cheddar and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into baking dish.  Top with Parmesan.

Bake until custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

Spinach Rice Casserole

Another family favorite slightly adapted from our beat up old paperback copy of Recipes for a Small Planet (page 167).  Except the kids don’t really agree.

3/4 c raw brown rice, cooked
1/2 c grated cheddar
1 lb fresh spinach, rolled up and sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T wheat germ
extra virgin olive oil
Combine the cooked rice and cheese in a large bowl.  Combine the eggs, parsley and spices in a small bowl and add to the rice and cheese mixture.  Stir in the raw chopped spinach until well mixed.  Pour into an oiled casserole dish.  Top with wheat germ and splash (or spray) with olive oil.

Bake for 35-40 minutes — pop some sweet potatoes for a nice complimentary side!

Pasta, Feta and Kalamata

1 lb flat egg noodles
1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled (goat or sheep best)
2 eggs, beaten
1 c fresh or frozen peas
1/4 c Kalamata olives
1 t dried, or 2 T fresh oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 c grated Parmesan

Cook egg noodles and set aside.  Set over to 475 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with olive oil   In a large bowl, mix the other ingredients together.  Pour into the baking dish.  Top with a little more grated cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until set.  Make sure it doesn’t burn!

adapted from a magazine clipping – recipe by Julie Rosenfeld

Pasta Olives Feta front
Pasta Olives Feta back

Pasta Primavera

1 T olive oil
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
small zucchini thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, snap to 1 inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1 c fresh or 1/2 c frozen peas
1 c light cream (can substitute up to 1/2 cottage cheese)
1/2 c grated Parmesan
3 T chopped fresh basil

1 lb pasta
grape or cherry tomatoes for topping
Saute mushrooms in olive oil in a large skillet, season with salt & pepper.  After 5 minutes add asparagus, zucchini & scallions.  Cook for 5 minutes more.

Then add cream and bring to a simmer.  Add peas and basil, and simmer for 3 minutes until peas are tender if fresh, or heated through if frozen.

Meanwhile cook spaghetti till al dente.  Reserve 1 c cooking water before draining.

Add sauce to the pasta and set over medium heat, and toss together. Cook for a few minutes to allow sauce to soak into pasta; add a cooking water a little at a time if the mixture seems too dry.

Serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese and tomatoes on the side.

Pasta Primavera front
Pasta Primavera back

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 lb garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
2-3T fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

Put everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Garlic scapes are tough, it may take awhile! Serve on bread or crackers, or as a dip.

You can freeze for a winter treat — place in container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.

Garlic Scape Pesto 1