herbs from the garden

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

Spinach and Fresh Oregano & Feta Quiche

I have the most lovely neighbor down the street! She is so generous and often brings me extra food, ingredients, tea and other goodies. I am so lucky! One thing she brought me was some extra feta cheese.  I just love this kind of cheese, it has such a delicious flavor, especially along with spinach and oregano- a kind of Greek quiche. 

I had a fun time adapting a quiche recipe that I had to create a lovely one that is perfect for spring! It is so amazing to have for breakfast, brunch or even dinner! 

I was very inspired by the amazingly beautiful oregano plants that have been growing for some time out in my garden. I am amazed that it keeps on growing and producing lots of delicious oregano for lots of my dishes. 

I hope that you enjoy this quiche with your friends and family very soon. 

Spinach and Fresh Oregano and Feta Quiche: 

Serves 6

1 gluten free pastry shell- pastry recipe below

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 small onion or half of a large onion, chopped finely

6 ounces chopped fresh spinach

1 tablespoon or more fresh oregano, chopped

8 ounces feta cheese 

salt and pepper

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Make the gluten free pastry shell (recipe below), place in freezer and set aside while you are making the filling. 

2. Preheat the oven to 375F (190 C) 

3. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Add in the spinach and saute until until reduced down- about 4-5 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture in a colander and squeeze out some of the extra liquid. Set aside to cool. 

4. When the spinach mixture is cooled, place it into a medium bowl and mix in the feta cheese, fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to taste the mixture to make sure it is seasoned enough. Place the spinach cheese mixture in the bottom of the pastry lined pie pan. 

5. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and heavy cream. Pour into the pie pan. Stir to combine the spinach/cheese mixture and the egg/milk mixture. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until set in the center. Let the quiche stand for 10 minutes until slicing and serving. 

GF Pastry Dough: 

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend (see recipe below) or use a gluten free flour blend 

1 tablespoon organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons coconut oil (heaping tablespoons) 

1 large egg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ice water

1. Mix together the brown rice flour blend (or use a packaged gluten free flour mix), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum and salt in the bowl of a large food processor. Add in the 6 tablespoons coconut oil and process until the mixture is a coarse meal. 

2. In a separate bowl with a small wire whisk or fork, whisk together the egg and lemon juice. 

3. Slowly pour the egg-lemon juice mixture into the food processor and pulse. Add small amounts of ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist and clumps together. 

4. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten out into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Then, roll out between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press the rolled out pastry into the pie shell and flute the edges.  Put the pie shell into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes before baking. 

Brown Rice Flour Blend: 

6 cups brown rice flour

2 cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Mix together in a bowl with a wire whisk. You will have extra for another baking project later. 

A Cooking Garden & Herbed Meatball Recipe

Fresh Herb and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs

This spring I have made a new commitment to my backyard garden. In years past when I was busy with my baking businesses I had not allowed as much time in the garden as I would have liked. However, now I am making it a daily and weekly priority and it has brought so much joy to my life. I love how spring has brought with it so many beautiful gifts from the earth and so many delicious things to eat! 

I am so amazed at the variety of things I am growing in my garden this year and how some extra care and attention has brought forth more wonderful produce that I can bring into the kitchen. In this post I will share with you what I am currently growing as well as a meatball recipe that includes many of the herbs I am growing in my garden this year. This season I am going all out and growing all of the herbs that I have wanted to grow for a long time to add freshness and vitality to my dishes. What are you growing in your garden today? What has you most excited? I would love to know! 

Very soon I will be featured on the wonderful Organic Gardening Podcast & I wanted to make sure you learned about it. Here is the podcast website. I hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as I do and learn lots about growing a sustainable and wonderful garden this year! 

http://organicgardenerpodcast.com/

Here is a run-down on the current state of my garden. I would love to hear what you are growing and what your favorite plants are to cook in the kitchen. Feel free to comment below or send me an email about your garden! :)

Strawberries, Huckleberries, Mint, Blueberries and Tea in the Garden

Things that I currently grow in my garden: 

Herbs: 

Mint, Sage, Tarragon, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Rosemary,Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Sage, Parsely

Berries: 

Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Huckleberries

Vegetables: 

Lettuce, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Spinach, Peas

Other Edible Plants: 

Roses (I use the petals in desserts), Tea plants to make green tea from, Rhubarb

Now on to a delicious and simple recipe to put to use some of the variety of herbs in the garden: 

Fresh Herb and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs: 

Makes 15-20 meatballs depending on the size you make them. 

I like to serve this with oven roasted potatoes and oven roasted asparagus

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley)

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped canned garbanzo beans

1 pound organic grass fed beef

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

olive oil for frying meatballs

1. Mix all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix together well with your hands. Form into small meatballs. 

2. Heat up olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, or in an electric skillet set to about 350F. 

3. Add the meatballs and fry them on all sides until golden brown. 

4. Serve with oven roasted potato wedges and oven roasted asparagus or your favorite veggies from the garden. 

Enjoy and happy gardening & cooking!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dairy Free Herb Hasselback Potatoes

Dairy Free Herb Hasselback Potatoes

Beautiful. Simple. Delicious! It can't get better than that for an amazing side dish. I love that these potatoes are so elegant but take so little work. You can substitute your favorite fresh herbs for the oregano- you could add in chives, basil, thyme or even some rosemary. 

I am so excited because I got spring fever last weekend and I bought a lot of garden soil, herbs and other plants. I planted two types of thyme, some rosemary, two types of lavender and also some lemon balm. There are going to be some delicious recipes coming out of the garden this spring and summer! 

I am also caring for my artichoke, strawberry and lettuce plants. I planted some pea and spinach seeds as well. Later on I will add some tomatoes, peppers and some other veggie delights to the mix. This is going to be a good gardening year! I am making sure to add lots of compost to the soil along with some organic fertilizer to produce some great vegetables and herbs. Some great flavors will be coming your way! 

What types of herbs do you like to use and grow? What are your favorites? I would love to know in the comments below.

Enjoy these potatoes! 

Hasselback Potatoes: 

8 small Yukon Gold potatoes

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Several sprigs of fresh oregano

Kosher salt & Fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Heat the oven to 400F. 

1. Wash potatoes and dry. 

2. Place potato (one at a time) in the bowl of a wooden spoon. Take a knife and cut "slices" of the potato. The spoon will stop you from cutting all of the way down to the bottom. You want to make the slices thin, about 1/4 to 1/8 inch. 

3. Place all of the sliced potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Take herb leaves and place one between each potato "slice." 

4. Brush the potatoes thoroughly with coconut oil. 

5. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. 

6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and thoroughly cooked through. 

Enjoy as a lovely side dish with your dinner or a barbecued main dish! 

 

Fresh Sage Handmade Sausage Patties!

             

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Fresh Sage Handmade Sausage Patties made with Sage from my Garden! 

Wow! I have never had so much success with a plant as I have with a wonderful sage plant I have in my garden. I bought a small sage plant a few years ago from a garden center and now it is practically a shrub! I love to find new ways to feature this amazing herb in my cooking and this family recipe for handmade sausage fits the bill. 

This sausage is great for a family brunch, breakfast or even my favorite: breakfast for dinner! 

I have added rice to the mixture instead of bread crumbs and I have to say not only is it delicious,  I love the flavor. This is an especially good recipe because my son loves anything that is in patty or meatball form. These are great to make ahead for weekday breakfasts as well as they keep really well in the fridge. You can pull out 1-2 each morning. 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe soon with your family! 

Fresh Sage Handmade Sausage Patties

Makes 12-14 small sausage patties

1 pound ground pork

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped finely, or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 small onion, diced

¼ cup cooked rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1.       Mix all of the ingredients well with your hands in a medium bowl.

2.       Chill for 3 hours, or overnight.

3.       Form the sausage mixture into patties.

4.       Put some olive oil in the bottom of a skillet on the stove over medium heat or in an electric skillet set to about 350F.

5.       Fry the patties slowly until brown on each side and cooked through. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, please pass it on to an herb-loving friend! 

Trista