Here at Gardenuity, we truly believe that gardening and spending time with your loved ones in the kitchen is a bonding experience that is unique to all others. When you spend time in the garden with your partner, you are taking the time to nurture something special together; you’re connecting with your roots, and finding moments of peacefulness together.
When you’re able to take what you’ve grown in your garden, and bring it into the kitchen to turn it into a culinary masterpiece with your partner, it represents a full circle moment of working together towards a common goal – it’s a beautiful thing!
This week, we had the opportunity to hear from 4 of our Gardenuity Team’s spouses in terms of the recipes they’ve most enjoyed cooking up with harvests from their Gardenuity gardens.
Scott Letier’s Homemade Pasta Sauce
Makes a large, family sized pot
Pasta is truly never out of season. You will always be sure to please your family with a simple, delicious, and thoughtful homemade pasta sauce, like this one from CEO and Co-Founder, Donna Letier’s husband, Scott Letier. Try it out!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ large onion (yellow or white) finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 12 oz of tomato paste (two small cans)
- 24 oz of tomato pure (one bottle)
- 24 oz crushed tomatoes (two cans)
- 24 oz of pizza sauce
- 1 oz Red Wine
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons basil
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- Red Pepper flakes to taste
- Salt, Pepper to taste
- Heat pan over medium heat, as it heats up add enough of the olive oil to coat the bottom of a large saucepan.
- Add the onion, and a couple of minutes later, add the minced garlic – cook for 5 minutes or until it starts to become soft and translucent (you don’t want to scorch the onions, so turn down if it’s browning or burning)
- Add the tomato paste at first just by itself, “fry” the tomato paste with the onions and garlic for a minute or two (don’t let it burn – keep the heat down)
- Add all the spices, except the bay leaf, parsley and red pepper flakes. Continue to “fry” with the tomato paste for one minute (don’t let it burn – keep heat down, add water if its getting too hot)
- The frying here is gentle, and gives the tomato paste and herbs a bit more depth of flavor. You can add a bit more of the Italian style spices like oregano, basil marjoram, rosemary, thyme if you like a stronger influence from them.
- Add the wine and 18 oz of water (if you want to put water in the tomato paste cans to get out any of the paste on the sides, do so)
- Cook for a few minutes, add the tomato puree and crushed tomatoes – cook for a few more minutes – if too thick, add more water (or at this stage, you can add a little chicken broth if you’d like a bit more richness) to get it to a good sauce consistency.
- Add the pizza sauce, the bay leaf, parsley, red pepper and taste, add more salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed if you’d like add some olive oil (any left from the ¼ cup you can add a bit more if you like)
- Cover and cook for 1 – 2 hrs on low heat stirring every so often
- Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or until the sauce is at your desired thickness
Natalie Platts Homemade Pesto Recipe
Makes a family sized portion.
Homemade pesto is utterly delightful – simple and versatile, yet bold and bright, or creamy and rich. The best part about a hand-crafted pesto sauce is that it can be easily adjusted based on seasonality, palate preference, or simply what you have on hand. Give it a go with COO, Doug Platts’ wife, Natalie Platts’ lovely recipe below.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (or a good squeeze works too)
- ½ cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves (depending on preference)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or more if you prefer smoother pesto)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Add basil leaves, salt/pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and nuts to food processor, processing until all ingredients are minced and mixed
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into the processed mixture and continue processing until you reach a smooth consistency
- Add cheese and briefly pulse
- Replace pine nuts or walnuts with almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or pecans
- Replace the basil with mint or cilantro
- Replace half of the herbs with avocado or leafy greens (arugula, kale or spinach)
Jeff Dunn’s Rack of Lamb with Garlic & Herbs
Makes about 8 servings
For anyone who loves grilling, cooking, smoking, etc. fish and meat, like Cait Dunn’s husband, Jeff Dunn, you need to try out this savory recipe below. It’s garden-inspired, feeds a family, and includes a combination of flavors that you will want to recreate time after time.
- 2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each rack 1 1/2 lb), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For herb coating
- 1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.
- Transfer racks to a small (13- by 9-inch) roasting pan.
Coat and roast lamb:
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil.
- Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare while lamb stands.)
- Cut each rack into 4 double chops.
Steve Eggers’ Rice & Vegetable Salad
Makes 8 servings
Last, but not least, we have a scrumptious salad recipe, brought to you by Co-Founder, Julie Eggers’ husband, Steve Eggers! This rice and vegetable salad, with a homemade vinaigrette, has been inspired by our Herb Container Garden; parsley, chives, and dill, oh my!
- 8 cups hot, cooked Jasmine Rice
- 2 cups of Our Favorite Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 1 sweet red pepper, stemmed, cored and cut into thin julienne
- 1 Green pepper, stemmed, cored and cut into thin julienne
- 1 medium sized purple onion, diced
- 6 scallions, finely sliced
- 1 cup dried currants
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 package frozen peas and blanched in boiling salted water for 3 minutes
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Transfer rice to a mixing bowl and pour 1 1/2 cup of vinaigrette into rice. Toss. Cool to room temp.
- Add remaining ingredients and toss.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
Our Favorite Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon style mustard
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Minced parsley and snipped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Measure mustard into a bowl. Whisk in vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
- Continue to whisk mixture while slowly drizzling in olive oil, until mixture thickens.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Cover until ready to use.