July 13, 2019
Gardening friends, I forgot to include the tomato sauce that goes with the Raincatcher’s Summer Garden Ratatouille served at the Herbs of the Mediterranean Grow and Graze event. So here it is along with the potato salad full of herbs.
Read to the end of the post to see the information about our next Grow and Gaze event. Sign up begins July 24th.
Endless Summer Tomato Sauce
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ pound grass-fed beef, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup red wine
5 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and lightly pureed in a food processor
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of sugar or dash of local honey
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add the onion and garlic; stir, reduce heat, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili flakes and fennel and cook for about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beef. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, seasoning along the way with salt and pepper. NOTE: Omit the last two steps if you are making a meatless sauce and continue from here
Deglaze pan with the red wine, picking up any brown bits by stirring with a flat-edged wooden spoon. Cook over medium-high heat until the wine has reduced by half.
Add the remaining ingredients except the basil and stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly for 1 to 2 hours. Taste to verify seasonings and adjust accordingly. Add the fresh basil after the sauce is removed from the heat. Cool and freeze for up to four months.
Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Salad of New Potatoes with Sweet Cicely, Lovage and Green Peppercorns
2 ½ pounds new potatoes
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sweet cicely
2 tablespoons chopped fresh lovage, plus 1 sprig for garnish
2 tablespoons green peppercorns
In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
Drain the potatoes. As soon as you can handle them, peel and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.
Place the potato slices in a large salad bow and add the yogurt, sour cream and mayonnaise. Turn well to mix. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the onion, sweet cicely, chopped lovage, and green peppercorns and turn again to mix. Cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to blend fully before serving. Garnish with a sprig of lovage and serve.
Yield: Serves 4
Corn, the Golden Essence of Summer and Okra, A Garden Giant-GROW AND GRAZE AUGUST 27TH
Corn’s versatility is endless, lending a festive look to almost any dish. Discover the delectable potential of this simple vegetable. Savor its natural sweetness in a menu packed with everything from delicious openers to breads, chowders and desserts.
Okra is best described by award-winning chef, Michael W. Twitty, as “a globetrotter that dances so well with tomatoes, onions and corn that nobody remembers a time when the four did not carouse the kitchens of the Afro Atlantic world in search of lusty steam and the heat of a hot chili pepper looking to dance, too.”
Tuesday, August 27th
A “Grow and Graze” Event Hosted by Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills
10:00 – 11:00am * 11001 Midway Road * Church Sanctuary
Panel Discussion Led by Raincatcher’s Dallas County Master Gardener Vegetable Experts
(Master Gardeners earn up to two CEUs)
Immediately following the program please join us in the Community Hall for a Picnic-style Lunch
11:15 – 12:30
$15 per person, Reserved seating for 60, Tickets on sale July 24th, 10am, Deadline August 20th
Santa Fe Corn Soup Garnished with Fresh Oregano, Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Fried Okra Pods with Pickle Aioli
Fresh Corn Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Relish and Tarragon Crème Fraiche
Warm Okra and Red Onion Salad with Pine Nuts
Esquites: Mexican Street Corn Salad Cups
Breadbasket Sampler: Cheddar Dill Cornbread, Corn & Jalapeno Muffins, Fresh Okra Muffins
Sweet Corn and Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Blackberry Verbena Sauce
Pictures by Starla Willis