Carrie Fehr

Kitchen Garden Inspired By The Season

Beet Ketchup

Beets and ketchup may seem like an unlikely pair, but this intriguing sweet and tangy flavor combination, will truly make your taste buds come alive. If you’re a newcomer to beetroot, it’s a wonderful way to introduce this vegetable, that is by no means fancy, and is often misunderstood.

Bright and zesty with a hint of spice, this home-made ketchup is great slathered on any sandwich, over a side of sweet potato fries, and is a fantastic barbecue sauce for grilling.  Serve, as a dip for spring rolls, or over eggs—the possibilities are endless.

How do you prepare beets?  Do you have a creative way that encourages children to taste them?  I would love to hear your story.

To find out how students in the cooking classroom explore beets, click here.

Beet Ketchup

Beet Ketchup with Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized beets, diced

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup honey

1 ¾ cups balsamic vinegar

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

¼ tsp powdered mustard

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until liquid reduces by half, about 1 hour.

Remove spices and place ketchup into a blender and purée until smooth.  The consistency will be thick, smooth, and shiny.

Carrot Almond Torte

Carrot Almond Torte

Spring is in the air, and I head to my kitchen filled with thoughts of love.

Perhaps it’s the romantic long-stemmed French tulips of spring, or the seductive perfume of the season’s first strawberries that enliven my senses, or the allure of purple-tinged carrots piled high dangling under the canopies at the farmers’ market that look like a still life painting.

The lightness of spring gives way to the glamour of nature around its passion for love.

In the kitchen, we infuse this passion of love into our recipes.  It might be a dessert, or a dish that will become a family favorite, or even a romantic meal shared with loved ones around the table.

A lively bunch of carrots, mixed with a few ordinary ingredients will turn out a gorgeous Carrot Almond Torte that is truly spectacular.  You’ll fall in love with it!  Don’t even get me started. Trust me.

Made with tender sweet carrots, coconut, and almonds–it’s so rich and moist, it’s hard to believe it has no butter, and is gluten-free.  If you want, drop a dollop of crème Chantilly on it.  A thin layer of cream cheese icing would not be such a bad thing either, though personally, I like it au naturel.

It’s a perfect dessert for Passover, or afternoon tea, and if there is any leftover in the morning, it’s okay to indulge in a slice for breakfast.

In the spirit of love.

Carrot Almond Torte

Ingredients:

4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups carrots, peeled and grated

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 ½ cups ground almonds

1/2 cup coconut

9-inch springform pan with sides buttered.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the middle.

Mix together the egg yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar, orange zest, salt, and almond extract. Sprinkle the grated carrots into the bowl, but don’t mix them in.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on medium until the whites hold a soft shape. Gradually sprinkle in the reserved two tablespoons of sugar, beating at high speed until the egg whites are stiff.

Scrape one quarter of the egg whites on top of the carrots and batter. Using a rubber spatula fold the whites and carrots into the batter. Scrape the remaining egg whites into the bowl and pour the ground almonds and coconut over them. Fold the egg whites, almonds, and coconut into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 minutes until the torte is golden brown.  Cool the torte in the pan, on a rack.

Honey Chamomile Cupcakes

IMG_1337

Light and fragrant, honey chamomile cupcakes get their distinctive flavor from an aromatic tea infusion. Topped with clouds of honey whipped cream and jewel-like edible flowers, these miniature cakes— are simply divine.  Their taste is as refined as their beauty.  

Honey Chamomile Cupcakes

Ingredients:

¾ cup (1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup dried chamomile flowers

1 ¼ cups – flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon zest

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

Edible flowers or Chamomile flowers, optional

Honey Whipped Cream, Recipe Below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini-cupcake tin with paper liners.  Makes 3 dozen mini-sized or 1 dozen large.

Directions:
Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted, careful not to brown it.  Add the chamomile and let it steep for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 more minutes. Strain the chamomile through a sieve and set butter aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on low-speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk, then remaining dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Using an ice cream scoop divide batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake 13 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes on a rack before frosting.  Ice with honey whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed chamomile over the top and decorate with edible flowers.

Honey Whipped Cream

1 ½ cup heavy cream

3 Tablespoons honey

Pour heavy cream in a bowl and using a wire whisk whip the cream until it thickens slightly.  Add the honey and mix until it holds soft peaks.

Mac N’ Greens

Mac N' Greens

There’s nothing like steaming hot macaroni, spiked with sautéed greens piled high like Mount Everest, to ward off the winter chill.  This twist to the classic Mac N’ Cheese, is a healthier kid-friendly version that is soul-satisfying comfort food at its best.  If you like, add some sharp cheddar cheese to the macaroni, or throw in a handful of sultanas to counterbalance the bitter greens, and for a little crunch, top it with toasted breadcrumbs.  Sublime.

Mac N’ Greens

Ingredients:

4 bunches of assorted greens, such as dinosaur kale, rainbow chard, broccoli rabe, or collard, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced into strips

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ pound macaroni, cooked and drained

Salt

Parmesan, 2 ounces or 1 cup finely grated

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan, add greens, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Sauté over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes until soft.

Add the macaroni to the greens and combine.  Add a generous pinch of salt and Parmesan to the macaroni and greens.  Taste and adjust  seasoning.

Related articles:

The New American Classroom:  Farm to School Cooking

Winter Greens

Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Springerle IMG_0079Soft gingerbread with a peppery kick!  This hand-pressed cookie formed from a traditional Springerle wood mold, rivals an artisan ceramic tile.  An absolute work of art, it is truly a spice lover’s favorite that will steal the show at any holiday treat table.

Springerle

Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from Elisabeth Prueitt’s Tartine cookbook.  Springerle cookie molds can be purchased from House on the Hill.

Ingredients:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon white pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

½ cup molasses

2 tablespoons rice syrup

Glaze:

Mix ½ cup confectioners sugar with 1 tablespoon water until smooth.

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and white pepper.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter until creamy.  Add sugar and mix until completely incorporated.  Add egg and mix well.  Add the molasses, rice syrup and then mix until combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture, and beat together until fully incorporated.

Remove dough and flatten it into a rectangle about 1 inch thick.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate over night.

Springerle dough

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place dough on a floured work surface.  Using a rolling pin roll out the dough about 1/3 inch thick, then lightly dust with flour.  Using a cookie mold, press over the dough and trim the edges using a knife.

Springerle tiles

Set the cookie shape on the prepared baking sheet leaving about a 1-inch space between each one.  Bake 7-12 minutes, remove from baking pan and set on a cooling rack.  While still warm, brush the glaze over the cookies with a pastry brush.  Makes 12 cookies, (3 by 3 inch size)

The Taste Of North Berkeley

taste-of-berkeleyJoin us for The Taste Of North Berkeley to support our local Cooking and Gardening program.  Get tickets.

 

Butternut Squash Muffins

Photo Butternut Squash MuffinWhen the first brisk, cool days of autumn come calling, I head to the kitchen with thoughts of squash and spice. Butternut Squash Muffins are a great way to bring out the best of the season.

The bright orange flesh of butternut squash, with its thin rind, makes it easy to peel, plus it’s rich in fiber and loaded with nutrients that can help make your skin shimmer and hair shine.

Butternut Squash Muffins are full of fall flavor and have an irresistible soft moist crumb with a sprinkling of a pumpkin seed topping that adds a nice crunch.  These cake-like delights are habit-forming, so be forewarned!  Click here for the recipe.

French Apple Cake

French Apple CakeTender chunks of apples layered over custard-like cake, is what makes this rustic French dessert, completely melt in your mouth.  One of the easiest dishes to prepare, this French Apple Cake is bursting with so much flavor, you could never imagine it only uses a few ingredients that are  most likely already in your kitchen.  Voila!

With apple season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to stop by your local farmers’ market and take advantage of this fruit when it’s truly fresh picked.  A mixture of sweet tart apples such as Pink Lady, Black Arkansas, Granny Smith, or Fuji will give this cake a more interesting taste, and adds a wonderful fragrance that will make your home feel like fall.

French Apple Cake

Adapted from David Lebovitz, and Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples, a mix of varieties, (4 cups)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (You can substitute olive oil for the melted butter)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Peel, core, and dice the apples into 1-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy, then whisk in the sugar until thick and creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, and gently stir in half of the melted butter.  Add remaining flour and the rest of the butter.

Using a spatula, fold in the apple cubes until coated with the batter and pour into the prepared cake pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, and remove the sides of the springform pan.

Pear Ginger Crumble

20130930_0557Whenever I find myself with an abundance of ripe pears, I am powerless to resist turning them into a fruit crumble, perfect for the cooler days of fall, when I crave a little comfort of a warm treat.  Oats, almonds and crystallized ginger give this crumb topping its flavor, along with the extra virgin olive oil.  Simply scatter the topping over the pears, pop it into the oven, breathe and serve!

Ingredients:

Topping

1 cup oats

¼ cup flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup almonds, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8  cup crystallized ginger, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Filling:

8 ripe Bartlett pears (about 4 pounds), cut into 2” chunks

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Topping:  Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, crystallized ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir until evenly moist.

Filling:  Combine pears, lemon juice and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the pears.

Bake the crumble until the pears are tender and the topping is golden, 45 to 50 minutes.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgar Wheat SaladBulgur Wheat Salad

Here’s a whole grain salad that is colorful and easy to prepare with the best of late summer garden sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients:

Makes about 6 cups

1 ½ cups bulgur wheat

1 ½ hot water

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 sweet peppers, yellow, red, orange, purple, diced

1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 green onions, chopped

¼ cup feta cheese, cut into 1/8 inch squares

1 lemon, juiced

5 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine bulgur wheat with hot water, cover the bowl and let sit about 1 hour until water is absorbed.

Add minced garlic, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, feta cheese, lemon juice, and parsley to cooked bulgur wheat, toss to combine.

Drizzle with olive oil, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

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