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Yogurt Chive Dip

Community garden training snack, 8/8/12 – served with fresh carrots, cucumber, peppers, and kohlrabi

This dip is a healthy, tasty, creamy way to dress up your vegetables or crackers. Chives and garlic can come right from your own garden.

  • 1 clove garlic*, finely chopped (or omit and use garlic salt – see instructions below)
  • 2 tablespoons olive, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, preferably greek-style or strained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt – see instructions below)

If using fresh garlic: in a small saucepan, combine garlic and oil. Heat on medium-low for 3-5 minutes, until the garlic smells very fragrant and begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, chives, salt, and the garlic with its oil. Or, if using garlic salt, combine the yogurt and chives with 2 tablespoons oil and the garlic salt.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle, then serve.

Makes 1 cup.

*These items can be grown in your garden.

Green Garlic and Potato Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/3/12 – served with English Muffin Batter Bread

This soup is a springtime variation on the Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup. Green garlic is baby garlic that hasn’t formed a head yet. If you pick it young, it is tender enough to eat the greens, which have a garlic flavor. If your garlic comes up too close together and you need to thin it, this is a perfect use for the garlic you pull out.

  • 1 tablespoon olive, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 stalks green garlic, chopped (trim off the roots, then use the whole thing)
  • 5 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 6 cups (or more) water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock (I actually used leftover liquid from cooking beans)
  • Salt to taste (amount will depend on whether you used water or a salty chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half (optional – see notes below)

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Add cubed potatoes and water or stock. If using water, add about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches to blend). Or, if you prefer a chunky texture, you can leave the soup as it is.

Add milk (if desired for blended soup – omit for chunk soup), then add more water or stock to reach desired consistency if needed. Add salt to taste.

Serves 8.

*Garlic, onions, and potatoes can all be grown in Nebraska. Green garlic is an early spring crop, and onions and potatoes can be stored for a very long time.

Spring Salad with Chili-spiced Croutons and Dressing

Committee meeting working lunch, 3/22/12

This salad makes great use of early spring produce. Feel free to use whatever vegetables are fresh in the store, farmers market, or your own garden. For a simpler version of this salad, click here.

Croutons (optional):

  • 1 cup cubed stale bread
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • large pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder

Salad:

  • 1 head lettuce, any variety, or 5-7 oz leaf or pre-cut lettuce*
  • ¼ cup parsley*
  • 6 radishes*
  • 3 scallions/green onions*

Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • large pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil

Croutons (optional):
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss all ingredients in a bowl, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp. Allow to cool.

Salad:
If using head lettuce, wash and dry leaves (shake, use a salad spinner, use towels, or air-dry), then cut or tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Take parsley leaves off the stems and add them to the lettuce. Wash, dry, and thinly slice the radishes, then add to lettuce. Wash, dry, and thinly slice the green portions of the scallions (reserve the white part for another use), then add to lettuce.

Dressing:
Finely mince the garlic. Add a large pinch of salt to the garlic on the cutting board and continue to mince, then use the side of your knife to grind the salted garlic into a paste. Get it as smooth as you can, but don’t worry if there are still some larger pieces. Scrape the garlic paste into a small bowl. Add lemon juice and chili powder and mix well with a fork. Add oil and mix well.

Assembly:
Toss salad with dressing and croutons (if using) and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

*Early spring garden produce that can be grown here in Nebraska

Roasted Garlic Bread

Community meeting dinner, 2/27/12 – served with lasagna
Community meeting dinner, 1/23/13 – served with baked spaghetti and meatballs
Community meeting dinner, 4/3/13 – served with sausage and sweet potato stew

Roasting the garlic gives it a mellow flavor and a creamy texture, letting you make a rich-tasting garlic bread with less fat.

  • roasted garlic bread rolls2 heads garlic*
  • 4 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil, divided between roasted garlic and bread assembly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large loaf Italian or French bread

Roasting the garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Hold the head of garlic on its side and use a large knife to slice off the very top of the head (the pointed end). This will expose all the cloves inside. Repeat with the second head.

Place both heads on a large piece of aluminum foil inside a baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bring the foil up and fold to seal in the garlic.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until cloves of garlic are completely tender. Allow to cool enough to handle. (Note: this can be done up to 4 days in advance – refrigerate roasted garlic until ready to use.)

Assembling the bread
Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of their papery skins and into a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and use a fork to mash the garlic and oil into a paste.

Using a bread knife, slice the loaf of bread into pieces, but do not go all the way through – leave the bottom crust intact. Rub the garlic paste between slices, coating each portion with some of the garlic paste.

Wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until heated through. Break along the scored slices to serve.

Yield: one loaf, serves 8-10.

*Garlic grows well in Nebraska and can be stored for long periods of time.

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup

Committee meeting working lunch 1/11/12 – served with simple whole wheat bread

Potatoes and garlic are fairly easy to grow, easy to store, and delicious. This soup is also pretty darn easy to make. You can also make a springtime variation: Green Garlic and Potato Soup.

  • 2 heads plus 2 cloves garlic, divided*
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 onions, sliced*
  • 5 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes*
  • 6 cups (or more) water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock (I actually used leftover liquid from cooking beans)
  • 2 ounces parmesan or grana padano cheese
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 1 small bunch green onions or chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cut the tops off the two whole heads of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place heads in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt, and cover with foil. Roast until tender when cloves are pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Squeeze cloves out of papery exterior. (Can be done in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. While onions are cooking, finely chop remaining 2 cloves garlic. Add garlic to onions and cook until fragrant.

Add roasted garlic cloves, cubed potatoes, a 1-ounce chunk of the cheese, and water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches to blend).

Add milk, then add more water or stock to reach desired consistency if needed. Add salt to taste.

Top with chopped chives and remaining cheese, grated.

Serves 8.

*Garlic, onions, and potatoes can all be grown in Nebraska and stored well into winter.

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – Served with carrots, celery, and homemade wheat crackers.

This dip can be made using dried or canned beans. Serve with raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, and broccoli, or with crackers or bread.

½ cup dried beans, any variety (or one can of beans)*
1 head garlic*
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided use
Salt

If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight (up to 24 hours) in plenty of water. Then, rinse the beans, put them in a pot, and add water to cover by about 5 inches. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are tender, 1-2 hours (taste them to see when they are done, and overcooked is better than undercooked in this recipe). (Can be done in advance – add a large pinch of salt to the water, cool, and refrigerate in the cooking water for up to 4 days.)

While the beans are cooking, preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top (pointed, gathered end) off of a whole heads of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt, and cover with foil. Roast until tender when cloves are pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Squeeze cloves out of papery exterior. (Can be done in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked beans (prepared as above, or start at this step using canned beans) with roasted garlic cloves, remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Process or blend until smooth, then add up to 1 tablespoon cooking liquid (or liquid from can) to reach a dip-able consistency. Add salt to taste.

Yield: approximately 1 cup dip

*Both garlic and beans can be grown in Nebraska and stored for long periods of time.