Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Harvest

As many of you know, I am working with students, staff, and faculty at the University of Maryland to start a community garden called the Public Health Garden. Yesterday, we had our first harvest of 5 pounds of cukes and beans.  Here are some photos of the harvest:


So, to celebrate, I took our harvest and made salads to share at our first summer meeting this afternoon.  I made three different salads: green bean salad with pine nuts, broiled three-bean salad, and sweet-and-sour cucumbers with fresh dill.

Here are the green bean recipes:

Broiled Three Bean Salad (adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

What You Need
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 pound green beans (I used purple, yellow and green), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 can of kidney beans, drained
- 1/4 cup olive oil

What You Do
1. Heat the broiler and adjust the rack so that the pan is 4-5 inches from the heat.
2. Put the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large heatproof bowl and sprinkle with sugar, chili, salt and pepper. Drizzle on the vinegar and toss gently to coat.
3. Spread the green beans on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle lightly with oil. Toss to coat.
4. Broil, shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to blister (about 5-7 minutes).
5. Add beans to onion mixture and toss to mix. 
6. Spread the chickpeas and kidney beans on the baking sheet and drizzle with oil to coat.
7. Broil until they get brown and the chickpeas are crunchy, about 5 minutes.
8. Add them to the bowl and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
9. Serve cold/chilled.

Green Bean Salad with Pine nuts (adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook)

What You Need
- 1 pound green beans (I used our garden mix of colors)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2/3 cup tomato juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- few drops Tabasco sauce

What You Do
1. Boil green beans for 1 minute.
2. Drain beans and plunge into iced water, drain well.
3. Toss beans with oil and lemon juice.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Spread nuts on a foil covered tray and roast for 5 minutes.
6. Combine tomato juice, garlic, Tabasco in a small pan.
7. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered over low heat for 8 minutes (until reduced by half).
8. Allow to cool then arrange beans on a serving plate, pour tomato mixture over the beans and sprinkle with nuts.

I can't wait for more delicious treats and plentiful harvests from the garden this season! I'll be sure to continue to share ways to prepare and enjoy the fruits from the garden.