What’s grown out of the ground last fortnight? Check out these fantastic creations that made it to our inbox.
We thank Andrea for the opportunity to host last fortnight’s Grow Your Own, and the participants for your enthusiastic response. Here are the entries. If we have missed any, we apologise. Please let us know through the contact form.
Carrot Cake with Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting @ Chez US
Denise baked this fabulous cake to celebrate Lenny’s birthday. She says “I finally got to use this little Meyer Lemon, ….it, was incredibly sweet, slightly tart, a beautiful creamy lemon color and tasted and smelled like the first spring day! Definitely, was a perfect marriage between all the carrot goodness, coconut, pecans, raisins and love that went into the cake!”
Sage Pesto @ Glorious Food and Wine
Andrea had an epiphany. She writes – “Having already tried the more classic combinations, I started to think: what stops me from adapting another classic recipe?” And the result she says – “Some orechette just waiting to be eaten. Al dente. A good measure of sage pesto. Freshly grated parmesan on top. An absolute delight. Not only a tasty and different take on pasta and pesto, but also a very gratifying dish.”
Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Ciabatta Rolls @ Dhanggit’s Kitchen
As Dhanggit contemplated her next vacation destination, she reminisced her time in Italy. She says – “I couldn’t help but remember one of the best places I have been, Italy. The spectacular monuments, churches, museums and plazzas and their delectable cuisine. Do not blame me if I ended up baking some ciabatta.” We certainly are not blaming you. That’s SOME Ciabatta.
Tomato Mozzarella Sandwiches @ Salt and Pepper
Beautiful heirloom Green Zebra tomatoes, basil and chives from Gini’s garden make their way into a ricotta cheese sandwich. She says -”They were easy to make and so yummy. Since the Green Zebras were still not ripe, I did a quick saute in olive oil with salt and pepper before they went into the sandwich. The ricotta spread was also a breeze to make. We had an assembly station and from there the sandwiches went onto a skillet and I used a cast iron lid to flatten the sandwiches. We had fun making these!!” And fun eating them too, we bet.
Sprouted Chana Usli @ Taste of Mysore
Sprout chana (brown chickpeas) and a simple and nutritious meal is born. Lakshmi says – “Kadalekaalu usli makes a good snack in the evenings or a good accompaniment with chapathi. You don’t have to use sprouted kadalekaalu/chana always. Soaked/fresh chana can be used to prepare this dish.”
Tomato Chutney @ Spice-club
Cham’s first season with gardening is turning very successful. With a wonderful crop of tomatoes at hand, she sends us a family favorite. She says – “Thakkali chutney/ Tomato chutney is my mom’s recipe. Little tangy and the spice is balanced with coconut is great hit in my family. Mom usually serves with idli or dosa for breakfast.”
Indonesian’s Hot Eggplant Dish @ Rumah Manis
Fitri tempts us with a traditional Indonesian dish with eggplants she grew. Bring it on as we love hot and spicy around here. These beautiful long deep purple eggplants are a treat to our eyes. She says she’s happy with her garden, and plans to make it bigger for next year. Not only did her husband work hard for the garden, but her 2 year-old daughter did too.
Minty Strawberry Banana Smoothie @ Zaiqa
Mona adds some fresh mint from her pot to her strawberry banana smoothie. She says – “Enjoy this smoothie on a hot summer afternoon. Your kids will also love this drink. Its healthy and nutritious.”
Mushroom, Courgette and Baby Corn Sabji @ Indian Earth
Emma used her courgettes (zucchini) in a delicious stir fry. She says – “I decided to ‘harvest’ a couple of courgettes and put them to good use in a vegetable bhaji. The recipe is ‘off the top of our heads’, but the idea came from a Punjabi Dhaba in Bombay, where they make the best ever sabji.”
Pasta with soya crumbles @ Aayi’s Recipes
Homegrown basil adds flavor to this protein rich dish. Shilpa writes – “I was very hungry, tired and wanted something quick and easy. So I tried this and we both absolutely loved it. Note to self, “don’t judge any dishes, give it a try.” We sure will!
Dabeli @ Monsoon Spice
Cilantro (Coriander) adds zing to this beautiful “sandwich”. Sia says – “Dabeli or Katchi Dabeli or Double Roti is a street food mostly originated in Kutch/Gujarat and very popular street food sold in Mumbai/Bombay.”
Pumpkins @ HomeMadeS
Pumpkins are raining over at Arfi‘s place! She says – “They even grow on our back paddock just because my husband threw the rotten pumpkin out of the garden, so the bird can eat its seeds. Magical thing happens, some of the seeds are tucked in well under the grass and have grown into vines. Yes, New Zealand soil is quite fertile.” The roasted pumpkin looks delicious.
Lamb Curry with Sour Greens/Gongura Mutton @ All Thingz Yummy
Pallavi writes – “Gongura/Sour Greens/Roselle is a kind of leafy vegetable that’s famous for its delicious sour taste in the southern part of India. After much waiting, my very own gongura plants in my backyard veggie garden have started to yield enough leaves to use them in a curry.” In addition, one can make pickles and chutneys.
Grilled Vegetable Panini @ As Dear As Salt
Richa says – “Having harvested a few eggplants, fresh from my kitchen garden, I was thinking of ways to use it without drowning it in spices of any kind. Eggplant & Zucchini Panini is what I grilled that day!” Grilled sandwiches with eggplant must have tasted wonderful.
Mulaikeerai/ Amaranth Kootu @ Sometime Foodie
Amaranth leaves are delicious. Especially in Kootu. MS says “Growing a food plant for the first time was interesting- it played into my little fantasy where all urbanites are forced to grow their own food in little pots on their window sill- driven by high costs of food transportation.”
Stir fry eggplants with egg & minced pork @ Noob Cook
Wiffy’s potted plants are yielding more profusely than ones in the ground here. She’s rightfully excited – “Today, I had a mini, teeny weeny harvest from my little gardening endeavour. 2 bright red bell peppers (capsicums) and 1 eggplant to be exact! Lookie!” Check out her blog for some beautiful pics.
Tabouleh @ Andrea’s Recipes
Andrea grew parsley that made it into the Tabouleh. She writes – “Tabouleh is one of the healthiest salads you can make; the parsley alone is bursting with 13 vitamins and minerals and even supplies protein; the bulgur provides fiber, protein, and potassium; the tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene; and the scallions are a significant source of vitamin K, about 250% of the daily requirement. Somehow knowing that the salad is so healthy makes it taste even more delicious.”
Drunken Strawberry Jam @ Life’s Too Short For Mediocre Chocolate
AS grew some seriously beautiful strawberry. She is as serious about the jam that she made – “We are strawberry jam people. No marmalade, no grape, no apricot preserves. No blueberry or boysenberry–no, just strawberry, thank you.” Who wouldn’t be, with such a crop!
Caronda Relish @ A Mad Tea Party
Anita‘s 10 year old Caronda plant is keeping her busy. She made several batches of relish. It is clear that she relishes them as she writes – “What a pretty pink it turned in the pan! And the texture – why, it reminded me of sour cherries in syrup! The slight crispness as you bite into one was so similar!”
Shrimps in Red Curry @ Heart and Hearth
Ning adds zing to this Thai curry with basil and kaffir lime leaves. She writes – “This dish is quite unexpectedly yummy, sweet, flavorful and fragrant. It is probably because of the added fragrant herbs kaffir lime leaves and sweet basil.”
Pea shoots stir fry @ live2cook
Priya amazed us with pea shoots grown in a bottle. She writes – “You know? I am very greedy, When I understood the game plan of the pea’s shooting, I wanted to grab them all, the taste, texture and nutrients. Not just from the shoots but from the seeds too. That’s why I planned to play a conspiracy against the pea that shoots.” We are bound to try this technique. Truly ingenious.
Minty peas pulao @ Food, In The Main
Shyam claims that she can only grow weeds. Except the luscious mint, everything else decided to revolt up hearing – ““You! Yes, YOU! You ‘orrible thing! Grow! Laziness wont be tolerated. Use the sunshine, make chlorophyll, put out a few more leaves, fling off any insects, just GROW dammit!” Ergo we are treated to a wonderful mint pulao.
Lavender Mint Love @ Indian Food Rocks
After a revolt worthy of the Boston tea party and a series of “link love”, Manisha sent in lavender mint sauce. With her oven on the blink, she writes – “I found what I was looking for – a no-bake no-cook recipe – in Beautiful Breads & Fabulous Fillings by Margeaux Sky.”
Tomato Saar @ Fusion Cooking for Eclectic Lifestyles
Pooh writes – “So, just what do you do with a gazillion tommies?” Tomato Saar (gravy) of course. Looks wonderful and must have tasted great.
Spinach salad with cherry tomatoes @ Ahaar
A fresh summer salad from Mandira. You can almost feel the crunch of the spinach and sweetness of the tomato. She writes – “The cherry tomato plant is in full bloom and I just harvested the heirloom “Camp Joy” and used it in a fresh salad for tonight’s dinner.”
Swiss Chard Quiche @ A Spiced Life
De says – “For those not familiar with chard, it’s similar to spinach, but a bit hardier and without the strong tannins. Any recipe the calls for spinach could easily substitute chard, though it wouldn’t ‘dissolve’ into dips and purées the same way that spinach does.” There is bunch of chard in our yard. We are bound to try this.
Mixed Greens with Pinto Beans and Turkey Sausage @ Daily Musings
Indosungod keeps her greens growing faster by cutting and using them often. She says – “I am seriously on the look out for new dishes that use greens ever so tastefully. This recipe Washington Post used greens with beans. What more could I ask for.” Not much we muse.
Stir Fried Chinese Long Beans with Jalapeño @ Austin Agrodolce
Deb added her gorgeous looking ripe jalapeno to chinese long greens for a delicious stir fry. Of the recipe, she says “A simple preparation style, short ingredient list, and the finished dish would be ready in barely 15 minutes including time to prep the beans.”
Tomato Basil Soup @ Veg Inspirations
Usha added cinnamon basil to tomato soup. An innovative combination indeed. She says “The presence of this herb imparted a very unique and subtle flavor to the soup that was pretty good.” Apparently it does not taste of cinnamon, but imparts a stronger fragrance than regular basil.
Methichi Dushmi @ Enjoy Indian Food
Meera made Dushmi (a western Indian flatbread) with fresh fenugreek leaves that she grew in a pot. She says “Each dushmi has some different ingredients which make them unique in taste from the rest, but the common factor that gives them the name “Dushmi” is that milk is used to knead the dough instead of water.”
Coconut Burfi @ Recipe For Dee-saster
Farm fresh coconuts make their way into this popular Indian dessert. Deepika says “Two weeks ago, we spent some time at the farm to visit our family…. my dearest sister-in-law guided me through the process (of making the barfi) on her little son’s birthday. It turned out really great, melting right into our mouths.”
Cream of Purslane Soup and Zucchini-Tomato Stew @ The Purloined Letter
Purslane (a new ingredient to us!) grows abundantly in Hannah’s backyard. She made a wonderful soup with Purslane and served it along with homegrown zucchini cooked down in pureed tomatoes. She says “We only discovered how much we love purslane a few years ago–and it serves a starring role in many a summer dish.”
Lavender Honey @ Jugalbandi
Bees make honey, but this Bee can’t. She gets “Orange Blossom Honey” from the store. She says of infusing it with lavender – “I got a recipe idea from this furry dude.” Well that furry dude certainly ain’t a certain somebody!
Enjoy your summer bounty.