More beans than you can shake a stick at

Over the past few weeks, warmish temperatures and a steady dose of rain have helped our beans — bush beans, pole beans, and string beans — proliferate like mad! The beans have been growing far faster than we could ever eat them, and this past weekend, we found ourselves with a definite surplus.

This was our most recent harvest – a nice selection of purple and wax string beans, along with hearty Rattlesnake pole beans (the large green ones with the red streaks). Oh, and also a couple cherry tomatoes for good measure. ūüôā

We also made our first harvest of shelling beans!

A couple varieties, still in their pods.

These turned out to be Tiger Eye beans (a bush variety) and Fort Portal Jade (a pole variety).

On the left are the extremely pretty and green Fort Portal beans – dried at top and raw at the bottom. On the right are the Tiger Eyes – raw ones at the top and dried ones, with their distinct maroon markings on gold, at the bottom. The ones in the middle are also Tiger Eyes, but they turned out all maroon for whatever reason.

While there are more Fort Portal beans to come, it looks like the Tiger Eye plants have had their say. As with beans, they might be done, or they might re-blossom later in the summer.

But, back to the busload of string beans. A much as we’ve been enjoying them simply steamed with dinner, we decided to do something a little different this past weekend, and make them into a light and delicious salad. We regularly make a Three-Bean Salad, but we wanted something a little different, so we turned to our trust Betty Crocker recipe book and found a little inspiration in the form of a “Tangy Vegetable Salad.” But we didn’t have everything on hand for that particular recipe, so we improvised. Here’s our version, which we’ll call “Simple Vegetable Salad (That’s Mostly String Beans).”


Simple Vegetable Salad (That’s Mostly String Beans)

Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups of coarsely chopped fresh string beans
  • approximately 1/2 cup (or so) each of chopped onion, carrots, peppers, and squash (we used a red pepper and summer squash, but any varieties could work)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Instructions

1. Gather all vegetables together; gather together ingredients for dressing.

Veggies, check.
Dressing ingredients, check.

2. Boil a little water (about 1/2 cup or so) in a large saucepan, and dump in the vegetables. Cook in boiling water for five minutes.

So pretty. It’s a little sad that the purple beans have to turn green when cooked.

3. After five minutes, drain the vegetable and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

See…no purple. Still delicious, though.

4. Place dressing ingredients into a small screw-top jar and shake vigorously to combine.

More shaking needed…

5. Place drained vegetables in a large bowl and pour over dressing. Stir gently, cover bowl, then place bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Delish!

5. While salad is chilling, stir occasionally until ready to serve. When serving, use a slotted spoon.


This is an excellent summer salad – light, filling, and refreshing. And it’s super quick to make! (Who wants to turn on the oven in 100 degree heat, anyway?!) One thing to note is that you could also used white wine or red wine vinegar for the dressing. And really, you could use just about any combination of vegetables. The original recipe called for cauliflower and the addition of sliced olives at the end. But our results turned out to be simply delicious. And that’s what’s important. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

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One can never have too many strawberries…maybe

If there’s one thing that we’ve wanted to do ever since starting strawberries, it’s make a strawberry pie.¬† Okay, so maybe it’s not the most groundbreaking goal, but it’s a goal nonetheless.¬† And as trite as it might sound, it really comes down to the true goal: get enough strawberries to make a pie. Well, this year, the strawberries haven’t disappointed.

Last week we lamented a bit on how much critters, like slugs and squirrels, like strawberries too. (And we swear we saw a shrew in the strawberry patch the other day, too.) Last week, we were also dealing with a bout of grim, wet weather.¬† So far this week, not only have we had clear skies, ¬†but it’s been sunny and hot. Like record-breaking H.O.T., which stinks for the humans, but is great for the strawberries.¬† In fact, it’s possible we might have too many strawberries…

…nah.

Anyway, back to the pie. The recipe for the pie we had in mind came from our trusty Better Homes and Garden cookbook: Berry Glac√© Pie. It sounds fancy, but it’s super simple, requires no cooking save for a baked pie shell, and as it turns out, totally delicious. (As much as we’ve wanted to make a strawberry pie, the worry remained that a baked pie would result in mushy, nearly non-existent berries, which is pretty unappetizing.¬† Because this is a chilled pie, the berries stay nice and firm, softening up only slightly over time.)

Berry Glacé Pie

 Ingredients

1 baked pie shell (homemade, store-bought, your choice)
8 cups fresh strawberries (the smaller, the better)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

(Yes, 4 ingredients; that’s it!)

Instructions

  1. Prepare you pie shell in whatever manner is necessary.
  2. For strawberries, remove stems and leaves. Cut any large strawberries in half lengthwise and set aside in a bowl.
    (Note: since all our strawberries have to be vetted for anything that might have burrowed their way inside [yuck], we cut all our strawberries in half. The prettier version of the pie, as listed below, contains whole strawberries that are neatly arranged with their pointy ends up. We just layered our berries as they seemed to best fit.)
  3. For the glaze, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine 1 cup of the strawberries and 2/3 water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1 1/2 cups. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. (Optional: stir in a few drops red food coloring.) Cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
  4. Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over bottom and sides of pie crust. Arrange half of the remaining strawberries, stem ends down, in pastry.
  5. Carefully spoon half of the remaining glaze over berries, making sure all berries are covered. Arrange remaining berries over first layer. Spoon remaining glaze over berries, covering each. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. (After 2 hours, filling may begin to water out). Garnish with whipped cream.

The most surprising thing about this pie, and maybe it shouldn’t be surprising at all, ¬†is how refreshingly bright it tastes. Because our berries are a little tart and the glaze is very sweet, the pie is perfectly balanced, neither too sweet nor too tart. It’s also kept pretty well over several days, despite the recipe’ s warning that the glaze might become watery. Ours hasn’t, though it has congealed, darkened, and become a little cloudy. It’s probably best, indeed, that the pie is eaten sooner rather than later, but as much as we could probably eat a single pie in a day, we probably shouldn’t.¬† Probably.

Take one baked pie shell…
…and some strawberries…
…top with glaze and chill. Voila!
Presently, the strawberry crop is slowing down a little, though new growth is appearing, as are new flowers. Right now, we’ve got enough berries for another pie, but maybe we should aim to make jam or something. We’ll see.
Meanwhile in the garden, things are doing okay.¬† It’s looking like the majority of tomato seedling are starting to really take root. Can’t say the same about the peppers, sadly. Looks like another slim year there. But the cucumber, beans, and squash are all taking off, as are some of the radishes. Peas are another story. (Maybe we’ll get to that lament week.) And we’ve got greens for days. Delicious!
So many delicious salads!

Happy Pi(e) Day!

Well that’s an odd title for a post here, now isn’t it? But it isn’t if you consider that today, 3/14, is Pi Day! Y’know…Pi? As in 3.14 etc. etc.? High School math class, and such? For whatever reason, perhaps because there’s a dearth of Springtime holidays, people started celebrating “Pi Day” some years ago. And because people are people, it was easily transformed into “Pie Day” for some. Be it fruit pies, or custard pies, or pizza pies, every March 14th is all about the pies!

Why are we talking about pies? A few reasons.

  1. It is Pie Day.
  2. We don’t have much of an update on the seeds. We have a number of seedlings now, and they’re doing very well. We’ll catch up with them next week.
  3. We really don’t want to talk about all the ice/sleet/slush that’s outside. (Thanks, Winter Storm Stella.)

As great as just about any pie is, we decided to celebrate this Pie Day with pumpkin pie…Long Pie Pumpkin pie, that is. At the end of last season, we had a number of Long Pie Pumpkins left in the garden — these plants were incredibly prolific! We rescued a whole batch of them, and slowly, over the winter, we used them to make pies, breads, and even pumpkin soup (which was as little sweet but very good). After New Year’s, we were left with four of the smallest ones, and most of them were still ripening. We had read that these squashes could be kept indoors for many months after harvesting. We almost didn’t believe it; but sure enough, by the time March rolled around, three of the four Long Pies were bright orange. We decided that Pie Day would be the perfect time to use them. (The fourth squash remains very green and doesn’t show any signs of becoming orange, so we’re not sure what’s going on there. It might be a dud. It might be a different type of squash entirely!)

Simplest pie ever? Maybe!

Over the weekend, we roasted and prepped the Long Pies. It took a good hour in a 350 degree oven to complete the roasting process. After that, all the squash bits were pureed in the blender – we were careful to make sure none of the skin got in as it turns extremely tough when cooked. Then we strained out any stringy bits.

Dual pies – ready to bake.

After that, making the pie was the easy part. We ended up with a little more than 2 cups of puree — plenty for the pie. Mix with that eggs; sweetened condensed milk; ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon,; and then pour it all into a frozen pie crust (or a homemade single crust, if you’re not lazy like us ūüôā ). Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, and then lower the oven temp to 325 degrees and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour, until the center of the pie has just set.¬† Cool, cut, and serve with whipped cream.

This time around, we made enough filling for two moderately-filled pies. (Which sounded better than one overly-overstuffed pie. Bonus: there’s plenty of pie to go around!)

Golden brown and surely delicious!

Happy Pi(e) Day!

In the Kitchen with Our Harvests

Though it hasn’t been a banner year for us with the garden, there’s¬†still plenty to keep us occupied. And rather than preserving, say, a million pounds of tomatoes like we did last year, we’re eating most of what we take in soon after it’s picked. Well, for the most part, that is. There’s still the matter of our basket full of the biggest zucchini in the universe. (Okay, not really, but still…) But! Guess what we found growing the other day:

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Yup, that’s a baby¬†White Scallop or “pattypan” squash! It’s been hiding all by its lonesome among the huge (and now dying) zucchini plants. So far this is the only non-zucchini of the year, and we’re keeping a close eye on it. Hopefully it’ll mature easily. Not too sure what we’d do with just this one squash, but we sure are glad to see it growing!

Back in the kitchen, we’ve been making all sorts of things, from the typical, like zucchini bread:

027zucchinibread
One can never have enough zucchini bread! This one’s made with walnuts and raisins.

To the new (to us),a light and lovely Three-Bean Salad with a Dijon vinaigrette, here made with some of our string beans and¬†Rattlesnake beans (both lightly blanched), and though you wouldn’t know it, a handful of our Pinto beans. (Canned pinto beans and garbanzo beans complete the mix.)

027beansalad
Excellent as a side dish or served over a bed of greens as a main dish.

Moving on from baking and salads, we’ve also done some quick pickling of our radishes and cucumbers. (It’s been far too hot here lately to stand in the stove for hours to do actual canning, so quick pickling in the way to go! And the food still keeps well for 4-6 weeks in the fridge.)

The radishes were done easily with just white vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Thanks to the pink and purple radishes, they jars are a pretty if somewhat unnatural shade of magenta.
Thanks to the pink and purple radishes, the jars are a pretty if somewhat unnatural shade of magenta (though they look much darker in the picture.)

Then, it was onto the cucumbers. Our cucumber crop has been moderate this year — the extremely warmth ¬†(we’re on, what, our fourth or fifth heatwave of the summer!) likely both helps a little and hinders a lot. We have gotten a few nice-sized pickling cucumbers (Homemade Pickles), but the new variety we tried this year, Alibi, have all come in short and¬†spherical. And unlike last year, we haven’t¬†gotten in a single Crystal Apple. But a cucumber is a cucumber, and cucumber are perfect for pickles! We started out with dill pickles first, following a recipe we found online.

They are fantastic! Zippy and tangy after just a few hours in the fridge.
They are fantastic! Zippy and tangy after just a few hours in the fridge.

Then we moved on to trying to make bread and butter quick pickles. After a good bit of searching for a good recipe, we landed here: Easy Bread and Butter Pickles. The results were perfect, and the pickles are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

Sweet and sour with a slightly spicy afternote thanks to the red pepper flakes. Really, really good on hamburgers!
Sweet and sour with a slightly spicy notes thanks to the red pepper flakes. Really, really good on hamburgers!

As of right now, the search for zucchini recipes is our number one priority. One can only eat so much zucchini bread and Zucchini Parmesan and zucchini fritters, after all. An article in one of our local papers pointed us to the idea of using zucchini in quiche (don’t know why we didn’t think of that before — and we love quiche!), which led to the discovery of Zucchini Clafoutis. While this idea is new to us, clafoutis (kla-foo-tee) is anything but. And it’s actually known as a ¬†baked desert, usually made with cherries, apricots, plums, and the like. Turns out that it’s somewhat like a quiche, it contains eggs and milk and bakes up all puffy-like, but there’s no crust and it’s a little less rich. After coming across dozens of zucchini clafoutis recipes, here’s what we settled on, based mostly on what we had available in the kitchen and garden. It makes for an excellent vegetarian entree. (Though you could certainly add in meat. Bacon or ham sound like they’d do quite well.)

Zucchini Clafoutis

(Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 half of a foot-long zucchini, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 2 cups, and peeled because the skins on our tend to be a little on the tough side)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • A couple dozen leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup lowfat half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a little cooking spray on the bottom and sides of an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish
  • In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium-high heat, add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, until translucent
  • Add in the cubed zucchini and saute with onions for 6-8 minutes, until cooked through and browned
  • Once done, place mixture in the prepared baking dish
  • Layer the tomatoes, basil, and cheese over the zucchini and onions
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs together, then completely mix in the flour and the red pepper flakes
  • Slowly whisk milk into egg and flour mixture until fully combined and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour batter over the vegetables in the baking dish
  • Cook for 45 minutes until set — top should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean
  • Serve with dressed greens and warm bread

 

 

The 4th of July is the perfect time for…soup?!

We’re on the tail end of enjoying a really great 4th of July weekend here, and we hope you all have had the same! This year, we celebrated the holiday with the usual fanfare and fireworks, as well as…can you guess? Okay…um…well yes, soup. We kind of gave that one away, didn’t we? But what was in that soup?

Nope, not peppers. (But check out this monster! Hey, that’s pretty big for a banana pepper!)

19pepper

Nope, not wax beans. (Though don’t they look divine? Steamed with a little butter, salt, and pepper? Delish!)

19waxbeans

If you guessed kale then ding, ding, ding! Right you are!

19kale

We had a grand time on the 4th making our very first kale harvest. Our Blue Curled Scotch Kale (from rareseeds.com) produces smaller leaves than those you might find in a grocery store. The largest leaves were maybe six inches long. Since large kale leaves can tend towards tough and bitter, we were hoping that perhaps this “baby” kale would turn out to be a little more tender. Boy, was it ever! The stuff cooked up like a blast, and it didn’t have that “bitter greens” taste. The closest thing we could compare it to is regular (not baby) spinach, except without the sulphury taste. The texture of the leaves was light and not at all hard or mealy.

Now, as we already alluded to, this batch of kale ended up in soup, so perhaps things would have been a little different with it if we had made something else. You’re probably thinking “who the heck wants hot soup on a hot day?” That thought did cross our minds, but we already had some good soup fixins in the fridge and pantry. So soup it was!¬† We opted to modify a white bean and kale soup recipe that we love to make in the winter. That recipe calls for mashed beans in order to make the soup thick and hearty.¬† We kept the soup light by only using just whole beans, no thickener, and some beautiful summer squash that’s in season at the store. The wintery soup recipe also calls for sausage to be added in — here we cooked that separately and made a completely vegetarian soup. (Though you could certainly substitute chicken stock/broth for the vegetable stock.) The results were warm, yes, but also fresh and filling. Here’s how things went:

Kale and white bean soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
half of a medium-sized onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups kale leaves, removed from stems and chopped coarsely
2 medium-sized squashes, chopped (we used one green zucchini and one yellow summer squash)
1 15-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, drained (or about 2 cups fresh tomatoes)
1 15-ounce can of white beans, drained (we used butter beans)
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 26- to 32-ounce container of vegetable stock/broth
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional) Servings of sausage, Kielbasa, smoked meat, etc., cooked to your own preferences

Instructions

In a large saucepan or dutch oven heat oil over med-high heat. Add onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and then add in the kale leaves. Stir until they are wilted — should only take a few minutes.

Add in squash, stir, and cook the mixture for about 8 minutes, giving the squash a little time to soften and cook through. Stir regularly. (i.e. don’t let the squash to stick to the bottom of the pan.)

Stir in tomatoes, beans, rosemary, and the bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes or until you can just start to smell the rosemary.

Add in the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then let it simmer for about an hour. (This gives the kale plenty of time to soak up all the flavors of the soup while it’s bitterness erodes.) Add in a little salt and pepper is you like.

Serve with crackers, bread, or toasted croutons. If meat is cooked, add a serving to each bowl. (It’s also great with a few splashes of hot sauce.)

Enjoy!

19soup

Our favorite stir-fry

16snowpeas2

16snowpeas1

These are two pictures of our snow pea plants before we picked as many peas as our fridge could hold! When we put these seeds in the ground, some of them were dug up by the squirrels. When the seedlings started to emerge, they seemed rather sparse. With last week’s harvest, we were overjoyed with out small bowl of snow peas. Today, we almost could have dove into our pile of snow peas like Scrooge McDuck and his piles of money!

After admiring the giant green pile, the next question was what to do with them. In unison we chanted “stir-fry!” It’s our favorite thing to do with snow peas. Stir-frying gives the peas tons of flavor while keeping them relatively crispy. This week we thought we’d share our favorite stir-fry recipe. We tend to keep things rather simple with teriyaki and soy flavors (sauces from the store, though homemade sauce or flavors of your choosing would work fine as well.) Also note that because we consist of an omnivore and a vegetarian, the meat is prepared separate from the rest of the meal and added only to the appropriate plate before serving. You could easily prepare the tofu and meat together (or omit the tofu entirely).

Teriyaki stir-fry

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

vegetable oil
1 small onion, shopped
1 chili, seeded and diced
1/2 of a red (or color of your liking) pepper, chopped3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped if large
1 cup snow peas, chopped, or left whole if large
4-6 scallions, sliced into rounds
1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 chicken breast, chopped, or 1 small sirloin steak cut into strips.
Chinese five spice seasoning (optional)
soy sauce
store bought teriyaki sauce or glaze
rice vinegar
Cooked white or brown rice

Instructions

Prepare 1-2 cups of white or brown rice.

In a hot wok or large frying pan, pour in about a tablespoon of oil/ Let it heat up over medium-high heat for a minute and then add the tofu. In a separate pan, do the same for the meat.

Saute the tofu/meat for about 5 minutes in just the oil. Then add in several splashes of the teriyaki and soy sauces until you end up with a few tablespoons of the sauces in the bottom of the pan(s). Sprinkle in about 1/4 teaspoon of five spice. Stir the mixture and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove tofu/meat from wok or large frying pan keeping any remaining oil/sauce in the pan.

In the wok, over medium-high heat, add in the onion, chili, and the pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes.

Add in the broccoli and snow peas. Stir the mixture and saute for a few minutes until the broccoli turns bright green. Add in a few splashes of soy sauce, a 1/2 teaspoon of five spice, and about a 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. Stir and saute until the snow peas and broccoli become tender (5-7 minutes).

Serve immediately (with meat) over rice.

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Got any favorite snow pea recipes? Please share! We promise to put them to good use. ūüôā

We’ll sign off this week with something new that just popped up in one of our flower beds: pretty, little violas!

16violas

We planted a few bunches of violas in the flower beds in the front yard. While they’re coming up in both beds, only a few plants in one bed have started flowering. They’re so delicate and colorful. The idea was to have the violas accent the red and orange marigolds, but the marigolds have been slow to flower, save for this single guy:

16singlemarigold

One is better than none, but he does seem little lonely. Hopefully more flowers will appear as the month goes on.

Come on back next week when we do another general update. Things are looking quite happy and green in the rest of the garden!

Late-ish summer recipes

Hard to believe that we’re about a month away from the end of summer! At the beginning of May, it hardly seemed like we’d ever make it through the summer. Now, we could certainly use a few more weeks of summer sun. ¬†Thankfully, the sun that we have had has been absolutely fantastic, and it has felt more like fall than summer this past week. Cool nIghts have given way to very warm days, which means that we’re finally getting a few tomatoes!

Like red jewels, only tastier!
Like red jewels, only tastier!

But as we’ve said before, we’ve been enjoying the Romas off our orphan tomato plants for a couple weeks, but now the cherries are finally starting to ripen! The ones in the picture above are the Super Sweet 100 variety, and they live up to their name! They are super sweet and aren’t very acidic, which means they are perfect in salads. However, one of our favorite things to do with cherry tomatoes is to roast them with other vegetables and serve them with pasta. Our “recipe” is as follows, and it’s easy enough to alter depending on whatever veggies you have on hand. Also, meat-eaters could certainly add pre-cooked chicken, pork, or seafood.

Roasted Vegetables with Pasta

Ingredients (measure at will depending on how many mouths you have to feed)

  • A Generous handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh corn, a couple ears, cut from the cob
  • One chopped onion and/or a couple chopped shallots
  • Several stalks of asparagus, chopped
  • A few whole garlic cloves, or more if you‚Äôre so inclined
  • (Other veggies of your choosing, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • Pasta of your choice.¬† Large shapes, like egg noodles (our favorite), bow ties, or shells work well.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place all the veggies and garlic cloves on a large sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes. (Our gauge for doneness is when the tomatoes start to pop open.) Set aside once done.
  • Cook pasta in salted water to your liking.¬† Drain thoroughly but do not rinse.
  • In same pot as you cooked the pasta, melt a few tabs of butter over medium-low heat and add in a few splashes of olive oil.
  • Once this mixture is warm, add in all the veggies except for the garlic cloves.¬† Mash garlic cloves (in a press or on a board), then add.¬† Gently stir in the pasta and mix in a decent helping of Parmesan cheese.¬† (Also add meat at this point.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with warm (garlic) bread.

But that’s not what we made tonight. No, tonight’s dinner was full of light, summer-y, comfort food that was topped off by carrots with honey and sage. Yum!

First we grabbed a small handful of carrots, removed the greens, and cleaned them.

Small and stumpy, yes, but also very sweet. This is dwarf variety, so we expected them to be that way.
Small and stumpy, yes, but also very sweet. This is dwarf variety, so we expected them to be that way.

Then we peeled them and chopped them into small pieces. And we grabbed the rest of our ingredients: butter, honey, and sage. (Ground sage in this case.)

SAMSUNG

Melt a tab of butter over medium heat in a skillet apropos to your mound of cut carrots.  Let the butter brown slightly before throwing in the carrots.

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Saute the carrots about 10 minutes, or¬†until they can be easily stabbed with a fork, yet are still crunchy, (We’re not making baby food here.)¬†Drizzle in a good squeeze of honey, enough so that it starts bubbling up around the carrots. We used a tablespoon or so.

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Continue to cook the carrots until the honey stops frothing and thickens up. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste, and then add the sage. We sprinkled in probably a half-teaspoon until we could just start to smell it.

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Cook for a couple minutes more, then serve.

The carrots had such a fresh, bright flavor that really was enhanced by the honey and made savory by the sage. We definitely want to try this one again, but with fresh sage, which is all too delicious when sauteed in butter.

If you have any summer recipes (involving, in particular, carrots or tomatoes) we’d love to have them. We can ever have enough inspiration when it comes to food, especially food that’s right outside our door!