Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fresh from the Garden

I meant to blog this a few weeks ago- we had a box of fresh goodies from the family farm in Belvidere, TN and I cooked up a bit of veggie goodness. It's not how my grandmothers would have done it, but they would both be very proud! We were already grilling burgers, and I wanted to see what I could throw together with just the box of veggies and stuff from my stocked pantry/fridge. The menu was: Steak burgers with garden tomatoes and spinach, roasted tomato soup en croute, cucumber salad with carrots, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts in a homemade maple vinagrette. And traditional southern fried okra, which I forgot to photograph. Yummy!

I had to get the puff pastry for the soup from the grocer, but I had everything else on hand. The original soup recipe came from, but had to alternate most of the ingredients. My version had tomatoes, fresh garlic, sweet onion, butter, flour, chicken broth, brandy, italian spice, caribbean jerk spice and parmesan cheese with sour cream stirred in. (I have a lobster bisque recipe that calls for sherry, brandy AND white wine and I have learned that any soup is good with a splash of spirits, dahling)

The maple vinagrette recipe is from the Front Porch in Dickson, TN and it's WONDERFUL on a bed of mixed greens with apples, dried cranberries and candied walnuts. I keep my pantry stocked with the ingredients to whip up this salad just about anytime: I make candied walnuts about twice a year and store in an airtight container, keep dried cranberries on hand, and we always have apples around for the boys. Add a bag of mixed greens and voila!

Maple Dressing
1/4 c mayo
1/4 c pure maple syrup
3 T white wine vinegar
2 t sugar
1/2 c canola oil

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