Thrifty Gardening Tip: Don't Chuck Those Scallion Roots

Friday, July 24, 2015

Scallions

I learned this fabulously thrifty little trick from my friend Julia of The Preserved Life on a recent visit to her home. During a tour of her gardens, she asked if I knew that you can grow scallions from the root ends of store-bought scallions that you would typically toss in the compost? I did not but I do now!

I happened to use some scallions a couple days later. I kept the root ends and ran out to try to find a spare patch of ground in my garden.

Scallions by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I decided I could fit them in between some onions, cabbages and beets so I poked my finger into the dirt to make some holes, dropped the trimmings in with the root ends down, covered them up with dirt and gave them some water. A week or so later, a little bit of green was poking up out of the dirt.

Baby scallion planted from old roots by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And now, several weeks later, I've got these lovely young scallion plants. So easy!

Scallions grown from scallion root ends by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Give it a try. And check out Julia's blog - it's one of my very favorites.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Chocolate Orange Beetroot Cake

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chocolate orange beetroot cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

We grew beets for the first time this year. I started them from seed back in the cold, dark days of early April and watched with amazement as the tiny little sprouts transformed into mighty plants with enormous roots that poked up out of the dirt in the garden. They matured quickly and we've been harvesting them for the last week or two. I think I may end up planting another batch of them so we can have fresh beets in the fall, too.

First beets of the season by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

After a slow start (read: I hated them for the first 30+ years of my life), I am now beets' biggest fan. I like to eat them roasted, braised, raw and more. But I had never tried baking a cake with them until our friend, Lana (the one who turned me on to these amazing cookies) mentioned this cake to me last week.

It sounded good so I googled "chocolate beet cake" and found a recipe. Then I made it and I can tell you that it is truly divine. The almond meal gives it a fantastic crumb - the word "toothsome" comes to mind.. The beets make it rich and moist, the orange provides the perfect sweet tartness and the chocolate does what chocolate always does - makes everything richly delicious. Between the dark chocolate, the orange and the almonds, the flavor profile is rather sophisticated. My two kids hated it! :( But the adults disagreed with them.

It's fairly simple to make. You cook the beet until it's quite soft (this can take a while...) then blitz it in the food processor into a puree.

Pureeing the beet for the chocolate orange cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Add the juice and zest of an orange. Such beautiful colors!

Beet puree with orange zest for the chocolate cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of  Eating, copyright 2015

Stir in the almond meal, sugar, egg yolks and a few other bits and bobs. Beat the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate, then fold the chocolate and egg white mixture into the rest of it to complete your batter. Pour into a well-greased springform pan and bake.

Chocolate orange beetroot cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Serve with fresh whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce or all of the above, though whipped cream is my favorite. It needs that counterpoint of rather bland but wonderfully creamy richness.

Chocolate orange beetroot cake with fresh vanilla whipped cream by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The recipe is adapted from Sarah Raven's book, Fresh from the Garden. Although she has it listed in the summer section, given how well beets store and that winter is the season of citrus, this would be a perfect winter cake, too. I'll have to dust it off come February, methinks.

-- print recipe --Chocolate Orange Beet Cake
Adapted from Sarah Raven's Fresh from the Garden

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

* 1 medium beet (about 1/2 lb)
* 7 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
* Juice and zest from 1 organic orange
* 1 cup almond meal
* 3 eggs, separated
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1tsp fine sea salt

Directions

1. Place the beet in a small pot of boiling water, making sure it is submerged and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft. Peel and chop coarsely.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8" spring form cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

3. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler.

4. Put the cooked beet in the food processor and puree briefly, leaving some texture. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the orange juice and zest. Add the almonds, egg yolks, sugar, baking powder and melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly.

5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until firm but not dry, and fold them into the chocolate mixture.

6. Spoon the batter into the lined pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, then allow to cool in the pan. Unmold it and slice. Serve with fresh whipped cream, good vanilla ice cream and/or chocolate sauce.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Buttery English Peas with Fresh Mint

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Buttery English Peas with Mint by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I've been wanting to make these peas ever since I first read Kristin Kimball's book, The Dirty Life a few years back. The combination of the nutty, sweet peas cooked in milk and butter and tossed with a bright confetti of fresh mint and a liberal sprinkling of sea salt sounded very appealing.

So when I saw peas at the farmer's market last week, I filled a bag. Will really enjoyed helping me shell them - it was a perfect activity for him - they were easy to open and there was that little surprise of seeing how many peas were hiding inside each pod to spur him on. He LOVES math. Reading, not so much... In my saner, less judgmental/impatient/anxious moments, I'm hopeful that he'll get there eventually since he loves books.

Will helping to shell the peas by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Anyhoo, we got our peas shelled and we were both happy which is nothing short of a huge success in the realm of parenting.

Peas out of the shell by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

That done, I put a hunk of butter in a pan of milk and turned it on low.

Melting the butter in whole milk by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

While it heated, I ran outside to pick a little mint from the plants I planted above our tiny stream last summer. With all the rain we've had lately, the plants have grown so large that I only needed these three leaves to have enough.

Mint leaves from our plant by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

When I got back inside, the milk was hot but not boiling so I threw the peas in to cook for a few minutes. I kept testing them to see when they were just soft but not mushy. Then I removed them with a slotted spoon, tossed them with a couple spoonfuls of the milk and the chopped mint and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Verrrry tasty. We ate them as part of a hodgepodge lunch that included pesto pasta, pickled turnips, and a delicious green salad with roasted beet we just harvested from our garden (!) and goat cheese.

Buttery English Peas with Mint by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I saved the leftovers in the buttery milk I'd cooked them in and then turned it into a lovely little soup the next day by sauteing onion, adding a cubed potato, some vegetable stock, a bay leaf and letting it cook for a few minutes, then dumping in the leftover peas in milk towards the end and topping it with a splash of heavy cream and a handful of chopped basil and parsley from our garden. File that away under #LeftoverLove (or just roll your eyes if you think hashtags are asinine and sophomoric).

-- print recipe --Buttery English Peas with Fresh Mint from The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

* 2 cups milk
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 cups shelled green peas
* Salt and pepper to taste
* A few mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions

Heat the milk and butter over medium heat in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add peas, salt, and pepper, and gently simmer until the peas are bright green and soft but not mushy. Remove from heat, add the mint leaves and salt and pepper to taste.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thrifty Gardening Tip: Don't Chuck Those Scallion Roots

Scallions

I learned this fabulously thrifty little trick from my friend Julia of The Preserved Life on a recent visit to her home. During a tour of her gardens, she asked if I knew that you can grow scallions from the root ends of store-bought scallions that you would typically toss in the compost? I did not but I do now!

I happened to use some scallions a couple days later. I kept the root ends and ran out to try to find a spare patch of ground in my garden.

Scallions by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I decided I could fit them in between some onions, cabbages and beets so I poked my finger into the dirt to make some holes, dropped the trimmings in with the root ends down, covered them up with dirt and gave them some water. A week or so later, a little bit of green was poking up out of the dirt.

Baby scallion planted from old roots by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And now, several weeks later, I've got these lovely young scallion plants. So easy!

Scallions grown from scallion root ends by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Give it a try. And check out Julia's blog - it's one of my very favorites.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chocolate Orange Beetroot Cake

Chocolate orange beetroot cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

We grew beets for the first time this year. I started them from seed back in the cold, dark days of early April and watched with amazement as the tiny little sprouts transformed into mighty plants with enormous roots that poked up out of the dirt in the garden. They matured quickly and we've been harvesting them for the last week or two. I think I may end up planting another batch of them so we can have fresh beets in the fall, too.

First beets of the season by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

After a slow start (read: I hated them for the first 30+ years of my life), I am now beets' biggest fan. I like to eat them roasted, braised, raw and more. But I had never tried baking a cake with them until our friend, Lana (the one who turned me on to these amazing cookies) mentioned this cake to me last week.

It sounded good so I googled "chocolate beet cake" and found a recipe. Then I made it and I can tell you that it is truly divine. The almond meal gives it a fantastic crumb - the word "toothsome" comes to mind.. The beets make it rich and moist, the orange provides the perfect sweet tartness and the chocolate does what chocolate always does - makes everything richly delicious. Between the dark chocolate, the orange and the almonds, the flavor profile is rather sophisticated. My two kids hated it! :( But the adults disagreed with them.

It's fairly simple to make. You cook the beet until it's quite soft (this can take a while...) then blitz it in the food processor into a puree.

Pureeing the beet for the chocolate orange cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Add the juice and zest of an orange. Such beautiful colors!

Beet puree with orange zest for the chocolate cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of  Eating, copyright 2015

Stir in the almond meal, sugar, egg yolks and a few other bits and bobs. Beat the egg whites and fold them into the chocolate, then fold the chocolate and egg white mixture into the rest of it to complete your batter. Pour into a well-greased springform pan and bake.

Chocolate orange beetroot cake by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Serve with fresh whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce or all of the above, though whipped cream is my favorite. It needs that counterpoint of rather bland but wonderfully creamy richness.

Chocolate orange beetroot cake with fresh vanilla whipped cream by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The recipe is adapted from Sarah Raven's book, Fresh from the Garden. Although she has it listed in the summer section, given how well beets store and that winter is the season of citrus, this would be a perfect winter cake, too. I'll have to dust it off come February, methinks.

-- print recipe --Chocolate Orange Beet Cake
Adapted from Sarah Raven's Fresh from the Garden

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

* 1 medium beet (about 1/2 lb)
* 7 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
* Juice and zest from 1 organic orange
* 1 cup almond meal
* 3 eggs, separated
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1tsp fine sea salt

Directions

1. Place the beet in a small pot of boiling water, making sure it is submerged and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft. Peel and chop coarsely.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8" spring form cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

3. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler.

4. Put the cooked beet in the food processor and puree briefly, leaving some texture. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the orange juice and zest. Add the almonds, egg yolks, sugar, baking powder and melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly.

5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until firm but not dry, and fold them into the chocolate mixture.

6. Spoon the batter into the lined pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, then allow to cool in the pan. Unmold it and slice. Serve with fresh whipped cream, good vanilla ice cream and/or chocolate sauce.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Buttery English Peas with Fresh Mint

Buttery English Peas with Mint by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I've been wanting to make these peas ever since I first read Kristin Kimball's book, The Dirty Life a few years back. The combination of the nutty, sweet peas cooked in milk and butter and tossed with a bright confetti of fresh mint and a liberal sprinkling of sea salt sounded very appealing.

So when I saw peas at the farmer's market last week, I filled a bag. Will really enjoyed helping me shell them - it was a perfect activity for him - they were easy to open and there was that little surprise of seeing how many peas were hiding inside each pod to spur him on. He LOVES math. Reading, not so much... In my saner, less judgmental/impatient/anxious moments, I'm hopeful that he'll get there eventually since he loves books.

Will helping to shell the peas by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Anyhoo, we got our peas shelled and we were both happy which is nothing short of a huge success in the realm of parenting.

Peas out of the shell by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

That done, I put a hunk of butter in a pan of milk and turned it on low.

Melting the butter in whole milk by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

While it heated, I ran outside to pick a little mint from the plants I planted above our tiny stream last summer. With all the rain we've had lately, the plants have grown so large that I only needed these three leaves to have enough.

Mint leaves from our plant by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

When I got back inside, the milk was hot but not boiling so I threw the peas in to cook for a few minutes. I kept testing them to see when they were just soft but not mushy. Then I removed them with a slotted spoon, tossed them with a couple spoonfuls of the milk and the chopped mint and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Verrrry tasty. We ate them as part of a hodgepodge lunch that included pesto pasta, pickled turnips, and a delicious green salad with roasted beet we just harvested from our garden (!) and goat cheese.

Buttery English Peas with Mint by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I saved the leftovers in the buttery milk I'd cooked them in and then turned it into a lovely little soup the next day by sauteing onion, adding a cubed potato, some vegetable stock, a bay leaf and letting it cook for a few minutes, then dumping in the leftover peas in milk towards the end and topping it with a splash of heavy cream and a handful of chopped basil and parsley from our garden. File that away under #LeftoverLove (or just roll your eyes if you think hashtags are asinine and sophomoric).

-- print recipe --Buttery English Peas with Fresh Mint from The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

* 2 cups milk
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 cups shelled green peas
* Salt and pepper to taste
* A few mint leaves, finely chopped

Directions

Heat the milk and butter over medium heat in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add peas, salt, and pepper, and gently simmer until the peas are bright green and soft but not mushy. Remove from heat, add the mint leaves and salt and pepper to taste.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.