Hungering for the what was in the box lunches at the April Master Gardener meeting?
Here’s our menu:
Three finger sandwiches made with jalapeno pimento cheese, salad burnet spread and almond chicken salad,* marinated vegetables and *snicker doodle cookies and *apricot bars.
Almond Chicken Salad
6 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups celery, thinly sliced, about ¼ inch
1 cup red onions, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mayonnaise (good quality prepared)
¾ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh Mexican Mint Marigold, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
¾ cup golden raisins
1½ cups sliced almonds, toasted
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss lightly until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: Makes 12 cups
*Marinated vegetables, Grandmother’s favorite snicker doodle cookies, and apricot bar recipes are available by asking Linda or leaving a comment and she will contact you.
Our annual plant sale will be held in conjunction with the April 26, 2018 meeting of the Dallas
County Master Gardener Association. Before the meeting: 10:00 – 11:30 After the meeting:
1:00 – 2:00
Come shop the great variety of plants we have to offer!! We have divided our perennials,
potted volunteers, started seeds, taken cuttings, dug bulbs..
We have herbs, succulents,
bulbs, houseplants, Louisiana iris, annuals, perennials, natives and adapted plants as well as
ornamental plant markers and other garden items.
Don’t forget our tomato and pepper plants, ready to go home with you!
Cash or Check preferred….Credit Cards accepted
11001 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens
1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces (8 to 9 cups)
4 ½ cups filtered water
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
5 large kale or collard leaves, or a combination, tough ends removed and leaves roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook onion, covered, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add cauliflower, and pour in filtered water until it reaches just below the top of the cauliflower
Bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons dill. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in greens, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons dill. Puree soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding more water (about ½ cup) if it’s too thick. Return to pot and reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with dill, black pepper, a drizzle of oil, and pinch of sea salt.
Yield: Makes 8 cups
Spicy Mustard Green Pesto
3 cups fresh mustard greens, stem removed, washed and rough chopped
2 teaspoons fresh chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 7-8 minutes at 350˚F
⅛ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
Blanch greens in lightly salted boiling hot water for 15 seconds. Drain thoroughly.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly to combine. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Refrigerate at 40˚F if not used immediately.
Yield: Makes 2 cups
The Ultimate Classic Collards
3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens or use fresh from your garden
12 smoked bacon slices, chopped
2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 (12- to 16-ounce) smoked ham hock
Freshly ground black pepper
Remove and chop collard stems. Chop collard leaves. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
Stir in chick broth and next 2 ingredients; add ham hock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add collards in batches. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 2 hours or until desired tenderness.
Remove meat from ham hock; chop meat, and discard bone. Stir chopped meat into collards. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Spring Quiche with Leeks and French Sorrel
For the Crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3-5 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek (white and light green parts only), cleaned and sliced into ½-inch pieces (should yield about ½ cup)
3 large eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup 2% milk
½ cup half and half
¼ cup part-skim ricotta
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped dill (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (fresh or dried)
2 cups fresh French sorrel, washed and dried well
Make the Dough:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt a few times to combine. Add the cubes of butter and pulse continuously until the mixtures starts to look like tiny pebbles. With the food processor running, drizzle in the apple cider vinegar, followed by the ice water, stopping when the mixture just begins to come together. Working quickly, form the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Prepare the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. On a large floured surface, roll the dough into an approximately 12-inch circle. Gently press into a 9-inch tart or pie pan, trimming any overhang. Line the dough with aluminum foil and dried beans (or pie weights) and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and take out the foil and beans. Brush the crust with the egg white and prick the bottom with a knife or a fork to allow air to release and prevent bubbling. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes
Make the Filling:
In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the leeks. Stir until they are coated in oil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook the leeks until golden brown and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Check their progress after 15 minutes to ensure you don’t burn them (depending on what kind of pan you’re using; the cook time can vary slightly).
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, milk, half and half, ricotta, salt pepper, dill and rosemary.
When the leeks are done cooling, lay them out on top of the pre-baked crust. Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet for easy transport. Pour the filling on top of the leeks and place the quiche in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the quiche has puffed and is set in the middle and just slightly golden.
Allow the quiche to cool slightly, about 12 minutes. If you put the sorrel on while the quiche is piping hot, the delicate greens will brown. Sprinkle the sorrel on top, slice and serve. Quiche is best served room temperature the day it is made although it will keep just fine covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (the sorrel is just going to get a bit wilty).
Yield: One 9-inch Quiche (Serves 6 as an entrée or 8 smaller slices)
⅔ cup small pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and set aside
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch rounds
3 large celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch slices
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 pound fresh Swiss chard, center vein removed, chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (16-ounce) cans beef broth
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans
1 (32-ounce) box good beef stock
1-inch piece of Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until it is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large stock pot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, salt and pepper to taste and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add carrots and celery to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add Swiss chard, turnip and potato to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until the chard begins to wilt.
Add the crushed tomatoes and the 2 cans of beef broth to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chard breaks down.
Meanwhile, combine half of the drained cannellini beans with ½ cup of beef stock in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add the blended cannellini beans, remaining drained beans, remaining beef stock, the 1-inch piece of Parmesan, reserved ground beef, cooked pasta and the handful of Parmesan cheese to the pot. Stir to mix and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Vegetables should be fork tender.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add fresh parsley and serve.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Our thanks to Jeff Raska for the garden education.
Save the date for our next education/lunch event-Peach Fever.
Date: Tuesday, June 26th, reservation information to follow
Next summer the peaches you enjoy will be the result of hard work on the part of orchard growers all across Texas. Whether you enjoy East Texas peaches, Parker County peaches, the ‘redskin’ peaches from the hill country or any others remember peach orchards are labor intensive operations. In our small orchard, we gathered around our peach tree as Jeff Raska clipped away at it.
Here’s some of what we learned:
Prune your peach tree for the best possible peaches at picking height, as disease free as possible, with maximum production. Our peach tree tops out at 8 feet and has 4-5 main branches.
Fruit thinning will be the next major job. Fruit thinning can be done by hand when the fruit is the size of a quarter. This allows the remaining fruit to be larger and spaced out on alternate sides of the branches. A mature peach tree should produce 300-400 peaches in a season.
Pictures by Starla Willis
Maybe now you want to try grape pruning and planting, Saturday, April 14th from 10am-11:30am. This class will be taught by Stephen Hudkins at The Raincatcher’s Garden. Info here.
We are excited to announce the first in a series of four classes to be taught at our garden during 2018. Our first class featuring mustard greens, swiss chard, broccoli, collard greens and other spring harvested crops will be taught using our new Edible Garden. Sign up for the lunch following the class.
Garden Greens Class
What’s in our Spring Picnic Basket?
Everyone welcome, bring a friend!
Planting, growing, harvesting and enjoying healthy, colorful green vegetables from your garden will be the class topic.
Tuesday, April 17th, 10:00am at Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills
11001 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas
Led by, Jeff Raska, Dallas County Horticulture Program Assistant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
This class qualifies for one-hour education credit for Master Gardeners.
Join us for a reservation only garden lunch sampler following Jeff’s presentation.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens
Spicy Mustard Greens Pesto on Baguette Slices
Minestrone Soup with Swiss Chard
Spring Quiche with Leeks and Sorrel
The Ultimate Classic Collard Greens
Chocolate Crème de Menthe Brownies
Your lunch reservation is a $15 check made payable to DCMGA
Mail to: Lisa Centala, 5525 Northmoor Dr. Dallas 75230
Reservations close on Saturday, April 14th
Class and Lunch open to the public.
Several weeks ago I was the fly on the wall listening to the greats of our garden map out future garden beds.
As you know from our last post, our 3 trial beds will have Celebrity tomatoes. One bed will be fertilized with chemical fertilizer, one with organic and one will receive compost. Tomatoes will be weighed and plants measured to determine which method of fertilization is best.
Jim has started Black Krim and Purple Cherokee Tomatoes by seed.
We will also grow San Marzano tomatoes at Linda’s suggestion. These are the only tomatoes we will grow without a cage. Linda had great success letting her San Marzano sprawl across her garden bed rather than being contained in a cage. Linda says the thick cover of the plant kept the squirrels away. Really, Linda? I am going to give that a try.
Pepper plants will be in #3. Poblano, Serranos, Hot Boss Big Man and Sweet Gypsy are on our list. Sue savored the Sweet Gypsy peppers. And yes, Hot Big Boss Man is the name of a hybrid pepper, a cross between an ancho and poblano. More info here.
Cucumbers and Eggplant to be planted later in bed #5 and notice long beans will also have a home there.
Contender and Goldmine beans will be planted April 1st.
Okra will be planted in 6 when the onions and garlic are pulled.
Blackeyed peas will grow on a trellis all summer says Dorothy.
We are out of room! What about pumpkins you say? Jim suggested planting them around the fig tree in the field.
If you need a vegetable planting guide, here are two we have relied on:
Be sure to tap our new Master Gardener website for a wealth of information.
Plot Plan by Dorothy Shockley