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Zucchini Carpaccio

Make this salad when your zucchini are very fresh, like immediately from the garden or the CSA box, and use the smaller ones, saving those biggies for something else.  Cut the squash slices thinly, thin, thin, with a sharp knife, or a Japanese Benriner slicer or a French mandolin. Carpaccio, by definition, is an Italian appetizer–thin shavings of raw beef drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  This is a vegetarian interpretation–thin shavings of garden fresh zucchini. My friend Ginger serves three types of impeccably fresh squash– zucchini, pattypan and yellow, artfully laid in concentric circles on a platter, served family style, to guests at outdoor summer weddings. Ginger owns Orchard House Catering in Hood River Oregon, and works at Deer Valley in the winter.

4 small zucchini

1/3 cup loosely packed basil (and/or cilantro) leaves Continue Reading…

Spaghetti with Beet Greens and Basil Pesto

Do you feel as if you’re overwhelmed with greens? To use up greens in one meal, make spaghetti with beet greens, or pasta with any other greens you have on hand. You will love how what seems like a huge pile of greens shrinks incredibly into this easy quick dinner of spaghetti with beet greens!

Spaghetti with Beet Greens | Letty's Kitchen

You can use other greens for this pasta, not just beet greens. The greens wilt down to manageable, edible amounts–a pound of greens cooks into just about 2 cups of tangy cooked sweetness. Trim the center rib and stem off the greens. Save both chard and beet greens, save the ribs or stems. Dice them into small pieces and sauté along with the onions. If the greens are from red beets, the cooked stems tint the pasta a pretty rose pink. Continue Reading…

The Greens of Ranui Gardens–Soup with Greens, Garlic and Orzo

Sue at PC Farmers MktBelonging to a CSA is the closest thing to having a personal veggie garden. Thanks to John and Sue and the farm crew for the work that goes into growing and picking and packaging for us. And then there is our work when we receive our weekly produce–the washing and putting away.

Epazote in water in a glass jar, covered with a plastic bag

Epazote in water in a glass jar, covered with a plastic bag

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker

If you were to ask me what kitchen utensil I couldn’t live without—I’d say the pressure cooker.  Dinner on the table takes one-third of the time as with regular stove-top cooking. More vitamins remain in pressure cooked vegetables, and you can have creamy Italian risotto lickety-split. That’s right, in 20 minutes you can be chowing down spinach and goat cheese risotto made in the pressure cooker.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker

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Epazote and Frijoles Negros de Olla

Epazote and Frijoles Negros de Olla

Epazote, happily drinking in water

Epazote, with its long, narrow, serrated leaves and strong, wild flavor, is a new herb for our Ranui Gardens CSA box.  When I found epazote in the box, I knew I had to make epazote and frijoles negros de olla.

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