THE WINNER: Christy Eggert
I LOVE okra. Ever since I’ve moved back north from Tennessee, okra has been very hard to find and organic okra has been pretty much non-existent around here — hence the #1 reason why I’m going to plant it in my garden this year! I recently found this delicious recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Eating Your Way to Good Health.
3 T extra virgin olive oil,
1 lb. fresh okra, rinsed and patted dry, caps trimmed,
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste,
1/4 cup water,
1/4 cup, chopped red onion,
2 T strained fresh lemon,
1 medium- sized clove of garlic, very finely minced
1/4 tsp. ground coriander,
cayenne pepper to taste,
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped.
Heat 2 T oil in a large sauté pan; add okra and sauté
2 minutes over medium heat, stirring lightly. Sprinkle with salt
and pepper. Add water, cover and cook over low heat for about 7
minutes or until just tender, shaking pan occasionally and add
water only if needed. Remove okra gently to a shallow serving
dish. Add onion and mix carefully.
For the dressing, combine another T olive oil, lemon juice,
garlic, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour
over okra. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve chilled or at room
Pull kale from the stems. Toss lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Bake on a sheet for 6-10 minutes at 350 degrees. The edges turn brown and it gets crunchy. Not bitter at all! A Great snack!
Another favorite of mine- especially during the winter- is kitchen sink soup (as in “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink”). I save my veggie scraps in the freezer (as well as meat bones if I make a whole chicken) and make my own soup stock. Then I just start adding them. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice or beans and I can use any veggies I have in the fridge: kale, potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli…
Tear off squares of foil about 10″. Drizzle with olive oil. Place a cup of fresh spinach, sliced mushrooms and a piece if boneless chicken on the foil. Sprinkle with salt and dry mustard and drizzle with soy sauce. Fold and crimp foil packages and cook at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. So easy and everyone (including 1 and 3 year olds) loved it! Served with garlic brown rice (just press garlic and put salt in the water while boiling) and strawberries! So tasty-and all the food scraps go in the Green Cone, of course!
Caribe potatoes & British Wonder peas.
Mmm… steamed asparagus, drizzled with olive oil with a little sea salt and cracked pepper…
Roasted carrots with EVOO and rosemary! This will be my first year growing them myself.
Two of my three children are excellent veggie eaters. We will be stopping in soon as my boys are already planning their own vegetable garden.
I’ve yet to taste a veg I didn’t enjoy!
Our family favorite is BLTs with fresh tomatoes from the garden!
Roasted Butternut Squash Fries: Slice butternut squash like a French fry. Toss in olive oil & place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt or add seasoning such as TraderJoe’s BBQ Grill and Broil Spice. Bake for about 20-25 minutes on each side until brown.
One of our favorites is homemade cream-style corn. Yum. As a kid we would all fight over who got the leftovers! Cut the tips off the corn, then scrape the cob dry. Cook in a skillet with butter and salt until done! We freeze it to so we can enjoy it in the winter as well.
Melissa Wilber Craven
Growing up in rural Indiana, my favorite was always fresh, summertime corn on the cob (especially picked right from a friend’s field)!
Roasted corn & black bean salad: Veggies: 6 ears fresh corn (cut kernels from cobs), olive oil, 1-2 cans whole green chiles, 1 red bell pepper, 1-2 cans black beans (drain/rinse), 1 large fresh jalapeno (dice), 1 pint grape tomatoes (halve & salt), 3-4 scallions (slice)
Dressing: 1/2cup olive oil, 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic (pressed), 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper
Spread corn kernels in single layer on baking sheet & drizzle with oil; roast in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring once. Add chiles & bell pepper to oven to roast for last 15 minutes. After roasting, put peppers in plastic bag to cool, then peel/seed/dice. Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss all veggies together & then toss with dressing. Excellent as a side dish, a topping for pork loin, or even as a lunchtime entree!
Karen Edmonson Bemmes
My favorite vegetable is broccoli. I chop off the florets, peel and slice the stem and sauté with a couple tbsp. each of olive oil, rice wine vinegar and hoisin sauce. Add some onion and garlic to really make it special. Easy and yummy.
My daughter likes to take the little quarter-sized potatoes, put them in a bowl with a little bit of butter and microwave them until hot. We call them potato poppers and they’re a great quick snack.
We add spinach to just about everything! In our breakfast wraps, on flatbread pizzas, or a little in a soup or chili. The extra nutrition is great, along with great taste.
My favorite vegetable is roasted brussels sprouts. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Very tasty, and much less bitter this way!
One of my favorite vegetables is sweet potatoes. My family’s favorite way to use them is to chop them up and use them in our vegetarian chili. We use black beans, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pasta sauce and cumin. Yummy!
Diana Beal Arney
My favorite vegetable is a tomato. Ok, technically it’s a fruit but it’s my favorite. I use them so many ways, I love to can them to have on hand for chili & spaghetti sauce in the winter; I love them chopped with onions and peppers for a fresh salsa or sliced with a little salt as a side dish or on a BLT or turkey sandwich. My all time favorite is a recipe from an Italian friend’s mom: Tomato Salad – tomatoes, celery, onion, olive oil and a little salt and pepper – it doesn’t get any better on a hot summer evening.
Susan Myers Schechter
I like a lot of vegetables, but my favorite are peas, very simply cooked and served with butter and a sprinkle of Nature’s Seasons.
Gail Arden Barzda
My favorite vegetable is the walla walla onion. I love this sweet onion and use it for everything that I can. My favorite way to use it is raw in salads. I love it in chili also. I have a very good snack recipe: 2 cups chopped onions, 2 cups swiss cheese, 2 cups mayo. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve with crackers.
Lisa Winchester Thompson
My favorite veggie is edamame, boiled in shell for 5 minutes, drained and dashed with salt. It is perfect for the hot days of summer to grab a handful on the way outside or pack a baggie and take to work or the park. The nutty flavor is pleasing and is high in protein.
My favorite veggie is roasted baby beets tossed in salad.
Sweet potato fries tossed in olive oil, spices, garlic, and sea salt-baked.
Amy Waggoner Fullenkamp
Asparagus: oven-roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper
Green chiles and heirloom tomatoes.
Shiitake mushrooms with Napa cabbage in either miso-based soup, vegetable stock or chicken-flavored vegan bouillon.
We love fresh organic root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, and sweet potatoes) tossed with a little olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a lot of honey and roasted in the oven! Just like candy!
I absolutely love fresh fried corn, cooked with sweet butter from Findlay Market and just a touch of ground pepper.
I LOVE the wonderful fresh tomatoes with leaf lettuce, peppers and fresh herbs. I dehydrated sliced red and yellow tomatoes and they are wonderful on pizza, in red sauce or just eaten right out of the container.
My favorite veggie is grilled asparagus with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon. My second favorite veggie is broccoli rabe sauteed in olive oil, with garlic, red pepper flakes, a bit of salt.
Organic tomatoes from my backyard. Preparation? Wash and eat raw! I cannot think of any more wonderful taste of summer.
I like Orecciette with Rapini (aka boccoli rabe or broccolinni) and goat cheese. I also like roasted cauliflower with caramelized onion tart with truffle oil.
Orecchiette with Rapini and goat cheese: serves 2-4.
Kosher salt to taste,
1 bunch/pound of rapini, roughly chopped,
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil,
6 gloves crushed garlic,
3/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes, 12 oz. orecchiette pasta, 2 T. lemon zest,
4 oz. goat cheese.
Bring 8 qt. of water to a boil; add salt and rapini; boil until tender, 4 minutes &
remove with slotted spoon.
Then add pasta and cook 10 minutes &
drain pasta. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic – DO NOT BURN IT, it will be very bitter!
Add chile flakes & cook for 30 seconds; add rapini and toss.
Remove from heat. Toss in pasta, lemon zest & goat cheese.
Cauliflower and caramelized onion tart
1 small head of cauliflower, cored and cut into 1″ florets,
2 1/2 T. olive oil,
1 T. truffle oil,
1 pie crust,
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced.
1 T. Dijon mustard,
2 large eggs,
7 oz. marscarpone cheese (or 8 oz. cream cheese instead),
1/2 c. whipping cream,
1/4 tsp, white pepper,
pinch of nutmeg,
1 c. grated Gruyere cheese (or swiss or swiss loraine),
3/4 c. grated Parmesan (I beg you please, don’t buy that kind already grated aka saw dust).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss the cauliflower with 1 T. olive oil &
put on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper;
roast 15 minutes & turn. Roast 15 more,
cool. Drizzle with truffle oil.
Reduce oven to 350
degrees and bake the pie crust in 9″ pan, lined and filled with pie weights.
Bake 20 minutes; remove foil and weights; bake 5 more minutes.
Heat remaining olive oil in large skillet on medium and heat
Sprinkle with salt and pepper;
cook until golden brown.
Whisk eggs and marsarpone cheese, whippping cream, white pepper and nutmeg.
Stir in Gruyere cheese.
Brush the crust with mustard;
arrange the onions on bottom then arrange cauliflower.
Pour cheese mixture over top &
sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 40 minutes.
Let cool 15 minutes & cut and serve. It’s great cold, too.
All veggies, preferably roasted!
Sun sugar tomatoes, picked from vine, wiped off on your shirt and popped in your mouth…YUM!
Lemon cucumbers are my favorite thing out of the garden! You can eat them straight off the vine like an apple or slice them with a little salt and pepper. Okra is another great one. Be sure to pick them before they get too big or they will be stringy. These produce lovely flowers too, which are wonderful to attract pollinators. We loved using okra in soups, stews and stir-frys; picked fresh they have amazing flavor.
Nothing is better than my kids playing in our yard in the summer and stopping for their favorite snack – grape or cherry tomatoes straight off the vine!
Becky Shadowens Long
My favorite veggie is fresh green beans sauteed in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. Yum!
Califlower: pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut into 11/2 inch pieces & place into a lightly buttered shallow baking pan. Combine: 1/4 cup local honey, 1 stick melted butter, 2 tbsp. curry, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes. Pour mixture over cauliflower to coat, place in 20-25 minutes.
When they are ready to harvest, I like making an organic eggplant & zucchini lasagna with homemade tomato, onion, & garlic sauce. Making double or triple batches offers wonderful frozen leftovers.
I love all my veggies raw and fresh straight from the garden! The one veggie I do cook is asparagus and I cook it with butter, fresh garlic and a little black pepper.
Love grape tomatoes! Yours are especially MARVelous! Eggplant fried or the next day parm-heaven.
Dagmar Hilger Krause
I’ve NEVER met a veg I didn’t like. My Mom was a fruit & vegaholic so I was introduced to many a veg growing up in Philly but have to admit that the first tomato off the vine just can’t be beat! Tomatoes in a Caprese salad with sliced Mozzerella cheese, tomato, basil & dressed in Italian dressing, BLTs, club sandwiches, fresh tomato sauce-chopped tomato, peppers, garlic, onions & mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with oregano, Lawrey’s seasoned salt & pepper over pasta- OMG makes me moan just thinking about it! Chopped up for Bruschetta- the list is endless.
My favorite veggie is the first tomato of the year out of the garden. Sliced and eaten as is.
Artichokes – boiled and dipped in butter. Doesn’t get any better.
My favorite vegetable is spinach. It’s so versatile & good for you. My favorite recipe is spinach salad. 1 lb. fresh spinach, blanched & cooled (with ice water). Drain & squeeze excess water. Put in bowl & mix with sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, fresh garlic, scallions, brown sugar & rice vinegar. Mix well & marinate for about an hour & serve with some brown rice or white sticky rice.
My favorite veggie is asparagus sauteed in butter and garlic! My other favorite veggie(s) are cucumbers and tomatoes made by Mother Earth herself, right off the vine with a bit of salt- my summer diet!
Lou Ann Haines
I LOVE fresh tomatoes right out of the bed with crumbled blue cheese, fresh pepper, salt and just a drizzle of blue cheese dressing. It’s what I live for in the summer!
I love to gather all my favorite little heirloom tomatoes together and cook them down for a nice soup, served hot or cold.
I enjoy making organic potato and leek soup. While bringing several peeled and chopped potatoes to a boil in large pot of chicken or vegetable broth, I sauté thinly sliced leeks in oil and butter with sliced garlic until the leeks are opaque. Once the potatoes are tender, I add the leek mixture and then use a hand mixer to emulsify all ingredients to a creamy base. Top with diced chives and bacon bits. Couldn’t be a better meal in the fall.
Sliced tomatoes, olive oil, chopped garlic & buffalo mozzarella served with warm bread.
Tomatoes. To make my own spaghetti sauce, add homegrown onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms. Takes time but I know what is in it and I am not giving my family poisons.
Rainbow Swiss chard, roughly chopped, sauteed in olive oil; add tomatoes, salt & pepper then poach eggs on top. Even my picky kids love it.
Ronda Wilburn Houston
Mmm… Steamed asparagus with just lemon pepper seasoning. Delicious and very healthy!
Favorite has to be the fresh tomatoes to make fresh salsa, growing almost everything yourself and then sharing flavors with your friends and family!
Grilled corn with chipotle lime butter, yummy!
Jen Gresham Dozer
Fresh kale, sauteed with garlic and veggie broth and sprinkled with red wine vinegar.
Our camping veggies: Sliced potatoes, onions, and sometimes peppers, cooked in the bacon grease left over from our breakfast, over a campfire, seasoned with plain old salt and pepper!
Italian Wedding Soup with chicken, spinach, garlic, carrots and poultry seasoning in a chicken broth. May put in noodles or rice.
I Love broccoli prepared with butter or cheese. YUM!
Garlic is my specialty.
I could almost say enough said, because garlic goes with everything, right? But if you have never had fresh garden-grown garlic, you are truly missing out! The juices run when you dice or slice it. I love it best in with homegrown green beans and butter, salt and black pepper.
My favorite is grilled eggplant towers. Slice eggplant in about 1″ slices, brush with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Grill for about 3-5 minutes per side (enough to get good grill lines but still firm).
Top with a thick slice of tomato and a little feta cheese; grill to heat up.
My favorite vegetable has to be aneheim or Green Chile, probably because I’m originally from New Mexico (chile capitol of the world!) We put chile on or in everything- eggs, burgers, pizza, jellies, in soup… but my favorite way to eat green chile is in a traditional chile relleno. You stuff them with cheese, and roast them- breaded or unbreaded. Then you pour green or red chile sauce on top. You can also stuff with meat if you like.
Another veggie I love is heirloom tomatoes (who doesnt?) I found a recipe last year for a roasted heirloom tomato dip. You cut up any and every extra tomato you have, as many different colors as possible, and throw them in a dutch oven. Sprinkle with coarse salt, rosemary and balsamic vinegar or raspberry vinegar and put them into an oven at 350 or 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes in there overnight. The recipe pictured this used as a cracker dip, but I used it as a topping for roasted homegrown eggplant and angel hair pasta. The eggplant soaked up the flavor, and the pasta sopped all the juices up. That meal had my husband trying to talk me into opening a restaurant!
I was raised by parents who both hail from big families in Depression era Virginia. When they moved to Ohio they carried the gardening/foraging/canning/storing lifestyle with them. While I was a kid we had a garden and I got used to eating with the seasons.
After a long cold winter of home-canned vegetables and fruits, nothing can compare to having those first fresh vegetables of spring: baby potatoes and peas!
I loved digging the miniature tubers from their hills and helping shell the peas. Mom would cook them up in a light white gravy with no real flavor of its own, just a perfect backdrop for the first tastes of spring. She’d whip up buttermilk cornbread baked in an iron skillet then we’d ladle the pea and potato gravy over the steamy hot triangles of cornbread. Simple, clean, comfort.
Oven Roasted Parsnips and Carrots:
1 pound carrots, peeled and trimmed,
1 pound parsnips, peeled and trimmed,
3 tablespoons vegetable oil,
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped,
1 teaspoon dried thyme.
Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut carrots and parsnips in half lengthwise and into 2-inch or 3-inch lengths and so all pieces are same thickness. Toss carrots and parsnips with 2 tbsp. oil, season with salt and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast until vegetables begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, shaking pan 2 or 3 times during cooking time.
Mix remaining oil, garlic and thyme. Remove baking sheet from oven; drizzle mixture over vegetables and toss. Roast until vegetables are well-browned, 5 minutes more.
My favorite garden recipe is from Grandma Kate. She always had a garden and allowed the zucchini to grow large. One zucchini would make a zucchini lasagna to feed the entire family.
fried bacon bits,
sauted onions and mushrooms, spaghetti sauce of your choice.
Peel and seed the zucchini. Cut in 1/2″ cubes. Boil to soften and reduce baking time. Once they start to become translucent, drain and place in casserole dish. Stir bacon, onions and mushrooms in. Then stir in spaghetti sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Once it starts to bubble along the sides, top with cheese and allow to melt.
Fried zucchini! When I accidentally grow some monster ones in my garden each year, I just grab one slice it up, bread it (pepper, corn meal, flour) and fry them up. They make great little appetizers for a cookout too.
I also love my heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes. I pick a bowl full of ripe ones and halve the tomatoes. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, torn Basil leaves, minced garlic & herbs. Refrigerate the mixture for a couple hours, so the flavors can marry. Cook some rotini & pour chilled (or room temperature) Heirloom raw aauce over the warm pasta. So refreshing and delicious.
I love gardening! It is so exciting to plant a seed, give it organic nutrients and soil amendments, care for it and see it mature into something wonderful to eat.
Organic gardening is a challenge. You must feel your soil, watch your plants and read what they are telling you. Tomato leaves droop when my plants are thirsty and sometimes get cracks from inconsistent watering.
Each year I learn things to do for healthy plants and grow something new too.
Brussels sprouts are beautiful when growing, but even better when eating. I tried many recipes for brussels sprouts, but here is one I enjoy most.
Brussels Sprouts Gartin
1 pint brussels sprouts
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
4 1/2 ounces Gruyere or White Cheddar Cheese (about 1/2 – 2/3 cup)
3/4 cup milk + 2 Tablespoons milk
a big dash of dulse flakes
1/8 teaspoon powdered cayenne
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Cook brussels sprouts in boiling water until bright green and softened. Place brussels sprouts in ice water when done.
In a skillet make a white sauce. Place butter in a skillet, add flour and cook about 3 minutes, removing any lumps with the back of a spoon. Stir in milk, add dulse, nutritional yeast, black pepper, white pepper and cayenne.
Grease a 1 quart casserole dish with additional butter or oil. Remove brussels sprouts from ice water with a slotted spoon and place in casserole dish. Pour white sauce over brussels sprouts,
sprinkle cheese on top then bread crumbs.
Bake 25- 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and dish is warm through. Remove from oven and serve.
Corn is sweet, nutritious and grown from the time the American Indians first lived on the land. A true American vegetable. If you love corn as I do try this recipe.
8 ounces corn, drained
1 egg yolk
2 T flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 T green onions, chopped medium
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, minced
2 sprinkles of black pepper from a black pepper shaker
1 egg white
4 Tablespoons cornmeal
2 1/2 Tablespoons milk
Pour corn into a shallow bowl and mash with a potato masher to slightly flatten some of the corn kernels.
In a separate bowl beat egg white until peaks medium form.
In another bowl mix the corn and all the above ingredients together, except the egg white.
Gently fold egg white into corn mixture. Do not over beat.
Using grapeseed oil, canola or corn oil, pour enough oil to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet or skillet of your choice. Place skillet on medium to medium low heat. When oil is warm spoon a tablespoon or more of fritter batter into your skillet. The fritter batter will spread slighly when cooking. Allow an inch or two between batter circles. Try to keep the corn fritter no larger than a 3-4″ in diameter for easy cooking. Flip when fritter begins to set around the edges.
When fritters are done remove to a plate lined with a layer of paper towel.
Serves about 4 people
A simple bruschetta
Saute heirloom tomatoes (I like a mixture of red and yellow) chopped purple onion, and minced garlic in olive oil. Meanwhile, slice baguette bread on the diagonal, and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven or on the grill until brown. Top with tomato mixture. YUM!
Favorite veg is Queensland Blue squash soup:
5lbs. Heirloom Queensland Blue squash
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 ribs celery sliced
3 scallions sliced
1 shallot diced
3 dried Thai peppers diced
6-8 C veg stock
splash of dry sherry
salt and pepper
Bake squash at 400 for 40-60 min.
Mix all ingredients except sherry, peppers, and stock and saute for 5 min. When squash is baked cut it in chunks and mix with veg. Add remaining ingredients and cook 10 min. Finally puree soup in food processor. Delicious served with homemade croutons!