Lemon Balm and Cucumber Yogurt with Rose

The summer garden is in full swing, which means lots of refreshing herbs are now easy to come by! Lemon balm and sumac add hints of citrus while the rosewater gives just the slightest floral hint. If you cant find lemon balm, any mint would be a great substitute. This simple recipe makes a great dip for pita chips or you can use it as a mellow dollop on a spicy curry.

Lemon Balm and Cucumber Yogurt with Rose

1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1/4 cucumber, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon balm, chiffonade
1/4 tsp sumac
Zest from one lemon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 small spring onion or scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp rosewater
Salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of dried rose petals for garnish (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients except rose petals in a mixing bowl and stir until well incorporated.
  2. Pop the mixture in the fridge and allow the flavors to combine for about an hour if you can.
  3. Place the yogurt mix in a serving bowl and top with rose petals. This should keep in the fridge for 3 days.
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Parsnip-Pecan Spread

hello friends! Apologies for the radio silence last week. I’m afraid I was under the weather with a stomach bug. No fun for a cook (or anyone else, I suppose)! Here’s a quick little snack to hold you over until Wednesday’s delivery! I’ll be tucking some of this tasty spread in my lunch with crackers and crudités all week.

Parsnip spread

Parsnips are in the same family as parsley and carrots. They have an inherent sweetness like their carrot cousins and were actually used as a sweetener in Europe before the arrival of cane sugar. Roasting this vegetable emphasizes its sweetness and allows for great caramelization. Apparently this humble root vegetable was held in high esteem by the ancient Romans- Emperor Tiberius accepted tribute from Germany in the form of parsnips!

Ingredients:

2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted (walnuts would be good too!)
1 can white beans or garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup water
2 cloves of garlic
juice from 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. On a sheet tray, lightly coat parsnips with oil and sprinkle with salt and thyme. Roast until they begin to get slightly golden brown (about 30 minutes).
  2. When parsnips have cooled, combine them with the drained beans, garlic, pecans, and lemon juice/vinegar in a food processor and blend until combined. Slowly add water until the spread reaches a desirable consistency similar to hummus.
  3. Give it a taste and add salt if you’d like. Serve with fresh vegetables, crackers, pita, or toast!

Fennel Refrigerator Pickles

pickled fennel

To cut through the hearty flavors of winter, I turn to my pantry. In the summer I put up all kinds of preserves and pickles, which I am so grateful for in the winter. On a chilly, sunny winter day it’s nice to add some brightness to a simple snack or supper of cheese, bread, and cured meat with some simple pickles. If you don’t have some waiting for you in the larder, these are a quick fix! And they’re quite versatile. Feel free to use this technique with carrots or beets, too. You can always adjust the spices to what you like. Here, I used fennel seeds to give the bright, fresh fennel another, earthy dimension. But you could also use allspice, chili flakes, or juniper berries. Play around with the flavors and enjoy this winter pick-me-up!

Ingredients:

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corns

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and spices and bring to a low boil.
  2. Place fennel in a quart sized mason jar.
  3. Turn off heat and pour mixture over fennel.
  4. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool overnight.
  5. Enjoy! These should last in the fridge for several weeks… if you don’t eat them all in one sitting 🙂