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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How to Shell Fava Beans

Fava Beans

Fava beans are a great spring treat if you’re willing to put in the hard work to enjoy them. There are three parts to a Fava bean: the pod (fondly called the sleeping bag by some chefs), the husk, and the bean. You need to remove the beans from the pods and the husks in order to enjoy these sweet, meaty beans. So, here’s what you need: a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water, and your very own nimble fingers.

First, you’ll want to unzip the sleeping bags. In other words, pull the string from the blossom end to the tip of the pod just like you would with a string bean or snap pea. Next, open up the pod and remove all the beans inside.

Once you’ve removed the beans from the pod, you’ll need to blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. When the time is up, pour the beans into a colander then promptly place them in the ice water to stop them from cooking.

After the beans have cooled, use your fingernail to gently break open the husk, give a gentle squeeze, and out will pop the bean! Voila!

Once you’ve shelled all your Fava beans, sauté them with some butter and salt. You can serve them as a side veg or gently mash them and smear them on toast with a squeeze of lemon! Enjoy!

Beet “Tartare”

Beet tartare

Spring is in full swing here and the lengthening days have me thinking about garden parties and evenings spent outside with friends. This recipe is slightly more composed than some of the others I’ve posted here, but it would make a simple yet impressive appetizer for a party of 4 or a light supper for 2. If you have access to any edible flowers like chive blossoms, they would make a lovely garnish! The small diced beets in this dish along with the sieved egg and shallots mimic a traditional beef tartare, but are a great vegetarian alternative- in fact, I prefer this version to the classic.

Ingredients:
2 medium beets
1 egg, hard boiled
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 small handful of chives, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of cheese- crumbled blue cheese, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan
2 cups salad greens
3 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Place the beets in a pot and cover with water by 1 1/2 inches. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until beets are easily pierced with a fork. When they are finished, remove them from the water and allow them to cool. When they are cool, use a paper towel to rub off the skin. Next, cut them into slices and cut the slices into small cubes. Set aside.
2. Cut the egg in half lengthwise and press through a mesh strainer or sieve. If you don’t have either of these finely chop the egg and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Set half of the dressing aside.
4. Place the chopped beets and shallots into the bowl with half the dressing and toss, coating everything lightly.
5. Place the beet mixture in a pile in the center of each plate. Top the beets with sieved egg and sliced chives. Then in the mixing bowl, add the remaining dressing along with the greens and the radishes and toss to coat. Gently pile the salad along the side of the beets. Scatter the cheese over the salad greens and beets. Enjoy with some rye crackers or crusty bread and glass of wine!

Beet close up

Indian Inspired Spinach, Dandelion Greens, and Potatoes

Saag

Welcome to Week 1 of the Late Spring CSA session at Jubilee! If you’re just now beginning to follow along, take some time to explore this space. The links to the right should help you find recipes for particular ingredients. If you have any questions or just want to say hi, click the contact link above! I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like more resources or websites about local food in the Northwest, check out some of the links.

Now back to our regular programming…

Dandelion greens are a nutritional powerhouse, full of Vitamins A and C, with plenty of fiber and potassium. They cook down much like spinach, so I have combined them in this recipe. If dandelion greens are not available, double the amount of spinach. You’ll notice I’ve instructed you to leave the stems on the cilantro – this is where all the flavor is, so I like to incorporate them whenever possible. If you’re not a huge cilantro fan, just use the leaves or omit them entirely.

Ingredients:
1 bunch spinach, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and cut into a small dice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6 tablespoons butter or canola oil, divided
1 jalapeno, seeds removed & finely chopped
1/2 inch ginger knob, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon garam masala spice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped with stems

Method:
In a medium pot, combine potatoes with enough water to cover by 1-2 inches and bring to a boil. Keep an eye on these. When they are easily pierced with a fork, they are done. Drain the water and set aside. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron), heat 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Add turmeric, then add potatoes. Saute until slightly crispy on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large, non-stick skillet, heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and saute until caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes. If it gets dry add, some water one tablespoon at a time. Add the garam masala, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and dandelion greens, stirring well with a pinch of salt and about 1/2 cup of water. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in yogurt, and add potatoes. Serve with basmati rice and top with fresh chopped cilantro.

Mushroom Hot Pot

Mushrooms

Clockwise from top left corner: shimeji, shiitake, enoki, green garlic, and maitake mushrooms.

Spring in Seattle is such a fickle season- one second it invites you to fire up the barbecue, the next you’re ready to snuggle up in your favorite sweater. Here’s a recipe for the rainy days. Hot pot or nabe is a Japanese style soup that is shared by many people. A large simmering pot is usually put in the center of the table and family and friends are invited to dish up from it into their own bowls as they enjoy its nourishment together. This version celebrates the mushrooms of the northwest and is a wonderful way to enjoy the emerging bounty. When we make this at home, we place an electric hot plate on the table and use it to keep the contents warm in a Le Creuset. If this isn’t an option for you, cook on your stove top and dish up into bowls when ready. This recipe serves 4 people. Note: all these ingredients are available at your local Asian market. In Seattle, I always shop at Uwajimaya in the International District.

Mushroom nabe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1/2 cup sake
1/3 cup Organic soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups dashi or vegetable stock
1 small head Napa cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound organic firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
4 ounces/1 package oyster or maitake mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
3.5 ounces/1 package shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
7 ounces/1 package enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
3 stalks green garlic or green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound broccoli raab, spinach, or watercress
Optional: udon noodles or white rice, cooked and available to put into individual bowls.

Method:

  1. In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar, and dashi.
  2. In a large Le Creuset or soup pot arrange all mushrooms and vegetables, making it easy for diners to choose what they would like to dish into their individual bowls.
  3. Pour liquid ingredients into pot, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer pot to the hot plate (set to low heat) or dining table, uncover, and enjoy with family and friends. Serve with white rice or udon noodles.