Eating From our Garden

This weekend we really started to reap the benefits of our backyard garden.


I was finally able to pick enough blueberries to add to my morning cereal. It was such a treat!



For dinner Saturday night I kept the garden theme going with stuffed squash blossoms; which I served along with homemade whole wheat tagliatelle and a garden (literally) salad. 



First I made ricotta out of organic 1% milk and a splash of organic half & half.





To make the ricotta I poured the milk with a little salt into a nonreactive pan. Starting with a cold pan, so the milk wouldn't stick I heated it to around 180 degrees.






I pulled the pan off the heat to add vinegar. I used rice wine vinegar because I thought it would add a nice subtle sweetness to the flavor. The vinegar should be no more than 5% of the total volume of milk that you use. I used two cups of milk so that came to about 20ml of vinegar. 







Then I stirred the mixture around until the curd started to separate out. It took about a minute.






I covered the pan and let it sit for at least two hours. We actually went to an earth day festival so it sat for about 4.5 hours. When we got home, I drained the liquid out of the curd using some cheesecloth and a strainer. The longer you let it drain the dryer your ricotta will be. At this point you can add a little more salt to taste.







I mixed the cheese together with some chopped parsley and chives from the garden. I had picked a variety of blossoms - some male flowers (no fruit attached), and some female yellow squash and zucchini flowers. I was curious to see if there was any difference in the taste. I removed the stamens from the blossoms because I had read mixed reviews about their flavors and textures and I stuffed the blossoms with the cheese mixture.





Then I ran each stuffed blossom through some egg whites and seasoned flour and sauteed them in a little olive oil.







A salad of mesclun greens and nasturtium blossoms and whole wheat tagliatelle aglia olio with basil rounded out the meal.





The most amazing part of the whole thing was the fact that Marty ate it.  When we first met, his vegetable comfort zone consisted of four main stays: corn, carrots, lima beans and potatoes. When we had finished eating this meal, he just kept saying "I ate flowers." He was very proud. So was I. :-D

We've come a long way baby!

Comments

Debbie Malone said…
Was there a difference between the male and female flower taste?
Really just the flavor of the zucchini and yellow squash. Otherwise there was no difference in the actual flower part. Marty preferred the zucchini blossoms over the yellow squash. I liked them both equally.
highpowermom said…
Wow, girl! I can't even pronounce half the ingredients in the salad! I've been bit by the gardening bug and would love to hear more about yours. Right now I just have blueberries and ginger mint in pots, but am planning ahead for a fall garden. BTW, this is Audrey. :)
You and Thaniel should come over for lunch one day and you can check it out. We can hang out by the pool and catch up. I'm having a great time planning meals around whatever is ready and fresh from the garden that day.

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