Archive for August, 2011

Yellow Squash
I love the simplicity of dishes that spotlight fresh seasonal vegetables. I especially love dishes prepared with vegetables that are overlapping in their growing season. Even more fun is to find a new dish that uses vegetables, which are plentiful enough in the garden to the point of being unwelcome guests in the kitchen! You read or hear people talk about these vegetables every summer. These are the vegetables that people give to neighbors or bring into work places and beg people to take and use. As summer comes to a close squash is one of the contenders for the “unwelcome guests in the kitchen” category.

Yellow squash is fading from my garden and much to my delight it has been plentiful this year. Although yellow squash has never been unwelcome in my kitchen, I have run out of creative new ways to prepare it as the summer has progressed.

Château Bonnet Recently I attended a wine tasting at The Wine Feed and tried a traditional Bordeaux white wine called Château Bonnet.

Voila! I thought. I will use this white wine as the impetus to create a simple French-inspired dish, which uses yellow squash.

By late summer little new potatoes have long since become medium-sized potatoes as they will continue to grow to large sizes that will be held over in winter storage. I wondered to myself – as the squash is fading away and larger potatoes are coming into my garden what would the two vegetables who are overlapping in season taste like together in a gratin with leeks and goat cheese? Especially goat cheese from Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy

So I experimented and did a test run of the Yellow Squash and Potato Gratin paired with the Château Bonnet from The Wine Feed.

The taste of this wine paired with the squash and potatoes brought back wonderful memories of France. Eating this gratin paired with this lovely white French wine revived memories of the simple, elegant dishes prepared using fresh and local foods that l enjoyed while visiting Southwestern France.

Do yourself a favor and buy a bottle of Château Bonnet from The Wine Feed. Then prepare this Yellow Squash and Potato Gratin recipe from The Gardener’s Kitchen, and sit down with some friends and family to enjoy the simple pleasure of being alive and able to enjoy these gifts from the garden and Mother Earth!

Here is the recipe for you to enjoy and share!

Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin

2  medium yellow squash

4 to 6 small to medium Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes

1 small to medium leek thinly sliced into half moons

4 ounces Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy or other mild unflavored chevre

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup half and half or whole milk

1/3 to ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 to 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a casserole dish (9×13) and spread it on the sides and bottom of dish.

Slice squash and potatoes into very thin 1/8 inch slices using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife and put in a large bowl together.

Note: My garden is organically grown and moving toward a bio dynamically grown garden so I know the source of my potatoes!  Thus I do not peel my potatoes in this recipe. If you don’t know the source of your potatoes you might choose to peel the potatoes in this recipe before slicing.

Toss sliced squash, leeks and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper using your hands.

Place 1/3 of the olive oil coated squash and potatoes slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Take ½ of the goat cheese and break into chunks and scatter evenly over the vegetables.

Add another layer of potatoes and squash and repeat the salt and pepper with the remaining half of the goat cheese.

Add the final layer of vegetables, salt and pepper. No goat cheese.

Pour ½ and ½ or whole milk around the casserole and sprinkle the top of the casserole with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake the casserole for 30 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until the top browns.

Serve with fresh basil sprinkled on top.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Excellent if paired with Château Bonnet – Entre-Deux-Mers – Blanc 2010 available from The Wine Feed ( )

PeachesPeach season has peaked and is slowly fading away to become a distant summer memory.  I love peaches and I crave them year round.  In the hope of satiating this need I am always searching for ways to incorporate fresh or frozen peaches and peach jam into my recipes.

When teaching one of The Gardener’s Kitchen canning workshops, I serve a dish that uses a canned item from my very full pantry!  My intention in serving a dish prepared with a canned item is to show some of the lovely, delicious and healthy ways they can use the food they preserve.

During the most recent Pressure Canning Workshop at The Gardener’s Kitchen, I let my love for peaches shine forth.  After a couple hours of hot weather and pressure canning in the kitchen, enjoying something cold and delightful made with peach jam created a refreshing and fun repast for everyone.

Using a half pint jar of homemade peach jam and fresh (or frozen) mango puree I made a spectacular Peach Jam and Mango Sorbet.  Then I served it with fresh peaches and raspberry sauce made from my frozen local raspberries and bite-sized coconut macaroons from Whole Foods.

To make the peach experience even more wonderful, I asked The Wine Feed to recommend a dessert wine to compliment the Peach Jam and Mango Sorbet.  Phillip recommended the Sant‘Evasio Moscato d’Asti 2010.  It was a perfect accompaniment to the peaches, mango, raspberries and coconut!!!!

Occasionally a dish and the complementary wine will strike a common chord with people and low moans can be heard as people sink into a place of quiet enjoyment where only taste, texture, smell, and color prevail until the last person experiences the last bite!  This dish paired with the Sant‘Evasio Moscato d’Asti 2010 was one of those experiences for everyone!

Here is the recipe for you to enjoy and share!

Peach Jam and Mango Sorbet

1 cup or 8 ounce jar of peach jam
2 cups mango puree or juice
1 to 2 tablespoons Apricot Brandy
½ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
½ tsp lemon or lime zest

  • Combine jam, mango pulp or juice, lemon juice, and apricot brandy zest in a bowl.
  • Place mixed ingredients in ice cream maker and process.
  • When processing is completed, put sorbet in container and place in freezer.
  • Thaw sorbet slightly prior to serving.
  • Serve with fresh peaches, raspberry lavender syrup and coconut macaroon.

Serves 4 to 6 people

Serve with a well-chilled sparkling white wine such as Sant‘Evasio Moscato d’Asti 2010 from The Wine Feed