Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Garden Delights

I am continuing our tour through my soon-to-be-planted seed packets tonight because I am dreaming of all these succulent, delicious foods I will soon be eating AND I just want to share!

Who could resist the sweet, crunchy goodness of one of these peppers? I love to Julienne these and eat them as a snack or thrown into a mixed green salad. They are also good dipped into sour cream based vegetable dip (or yogurt based dip). They are good sauteed and put inside a veggie taco or burrito.

Raw is my favorite. Veggie taco is also a nice choice. Dip or no dip, these are one good crunch!

My veggie taco recipe varies, but standards are whole pinto beans (from dried beans cooked at home), shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, diced onion or sliced scallions, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, wrapped in an organic corn tortilla that has been just warmed on an iron griddle skillet. Sometimes a sprinkling of lettuce. Sometimes fresh cilantro (coriander) sprinkled on top. Add spice of your choice.

Note: all my seeds are organic and HEIRLOOM seeds.

How about a cold, crisp cucumber on a hot summer afternoon? These are wonderful to make afternoon tea the favorite time of day. Spread a thin layer of organic cream cheese onto sprouted grain bread (trimmed clean of crust), layer on a few slices of cucumber, sprinkle some fresh-cut dill weed from your herb garden, and cut the sandwich into quarters. Sometimes, watercress is used. If having guests, plan 4-6 tea sandwiches each. Traditional Tea includes more than one type of sandwich. Yum!

Slice them into thin rounds, and munch away! These are tasty by themselves plain, or lightly sprinkled with a pinch of unprocessed sea salt. Marvelous when tucked into that mixed green salad.

They make a tasty companion on the vegetable and dip platter next to our friend above, the sweet red pepper.

Last on today's list, but certainly NOT least, is my compadre, the Early Jalapeno. First to the party, last to leave, he is always a treat. There are SO MANY uses for a Jalapeno, I find it hard to narrow them down.

First, Mr. Pepper is great in pico de gallo, in my veggie taco, and in one of my signature dishes, spicy potato salad.

The trick with using these in creating culinary masterpieces is knowing how hot each pepper is before you dump a truckload into the dish.

First, put on latex (or non-latex if you are allergic) gloves and grab your trusty knife. Cut a taste-test slice and touch it to your tongue. This should be enough to give you an idea. Removing the seeds before placing the pepper in your dish will reduce the heat of the finished entree.

I have made myself hungry, and am happily anticipating my future garden bounty.
I will have to wait, however, because a light dusting
of snow is coming down as I finish this post.
Happy munching on fresh, organically produced fruits and vegetables!

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