Simply in Season

Sample Recipes from Simply in Season

Strawberry Spinach Salad (Spring)

One of the most frequently contributed recipes, this salad has endless variations. The only givens are spinach and strawberries. And even they can be varied. Serves 4.

4 cups / 1 L spinach or other mixed greens (stems removed and torn)

1 cup / 250 ml fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries, kiwi fruit, or combination (sliced)

Combine with selected toppings. Pour half of selected dressing over salad just before serving, then more as needed. Refrigerate leftover dressing.

Topping options:
2 green onions (chopped)
1 small red onion (cut into thin rings)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 cup / 125 ml asparagus (cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm pieces, blanched and chilled)
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (toasted)
1/2 cup / 125 ml bacon pieces (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup / 125 ml walnuts or slivered almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup / 125 ml salted peanuts
1/2 cup / 125 ml cheese (shredded)
1 teaspoon lemon or orange peel (grated)
1 cup / 250 ml cooked turkey (chopped)

Two-seed dressing:
1/4 cup / 60 ml sugar or honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 cup / 60 ml cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup / 60 ml olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well. (For basic vinaigrette, omit seeds.)

Pineapple dressing:
1/2 cup / 125 ml pineapple juice concentrate (thawed)
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Combine in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well.

Peanut dressing:
1/2 cup / 125 ml oil
1/4 cup / 60 ml water
1/4 cup / 60 ml salted peanuts
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Blend until smooth.

Rhubarb dressing:
2 cups / 500 ml rhubarb (chopped)
1/2 cup / 125 ml sugar
1/4 cup / 60 ml vinegar
3/4 cup / 175 ml oil
2-3 tablespoons onion (grated)
11/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook rhubarb, sugar, and vinegar over medium heat until soft. Drain in sieve. Discard pulp. To 6 tablespoons of this juice, add remaining ingredients. Shake in jar or whisk together. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

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Persimmon Pudding (Autumn)

"This recipe is a favorite for people living in southern Indiana where persimmon trees are plentiful," says contributor Evelyn Shellenberger. "To give someone a persimmon pudding is to give a gift of love." Serves 10-12.

2 cups / 500 ml persimmon pulp
2 cups / 500 ml sugar
3 eggs
Mix persimmon pulp and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat well.
11/2 cups / 375 ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
In small bowl mix together until mixture no longer foams. Add to persimmon mixture and stir.
11/2 cups / 375 ml flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sift together, then stir into persimmon mixture and beat well.
1/4 cup / 60 ml cream
1/4 cup / 60 ml butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add and stir. Place in greased 9 x 13-inch / 3.5-L baking dish and bake in preheated oven at 325F / 160C for 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

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Autumn Tagine

Tagine (tah-ZHEEN) is a Moroccan stew named after the traditional heavy clay pot in which it is cooked. This colorful vegetarian version made one tester's 11-year-old exclaim, "We should have this every night!" Adjust the amount of crushed hot chilies to suit your family's tastes. Serves 6-8.

2 cups / 500 ml onion (diced)
In large soup pot sauté in 1-2 tablespoons oil until soft, 4-5 minutes.
6 cloves garlic(minced)
1 teaspoon ginger root (peeled and minced)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1 teaspoon crushed hot chilies (optional)
Add and stir for 1 minute.
3 cups / 750 ml sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm cubes)
2 cups / 500 ml cooked chickpeas
11/2 cups / 350 ml vegetable broth
Add and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
1/2 medium head cauliflower (cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm florets)
2 cups / 500 ml peas

Stir in cauliflower, cover, and simmer until vegetables are nearly tender, about 12 minutes. Add peas, cover, and simmer until hot, 2 minutes. Serve over steamed couscous or rice, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro (optional).

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Fish Tacos

Yields 8 small tacos

1/4 cup / 60 ml plain yogurt
1/4 cup / 60 ml mayonnaise
11/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin, dried oregano, dried dill
Whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside.
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
Combine in a small bowl.
11/2 pounds / 750 g mild white fish filets, such as tilapia, rockfish, or snapper (rinsed, patted dry, and cut in 1-inch / 2.5-cm pieces)
Dip fish in the spice mixture to lightly coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large frypan over medium heat. Sauté fish pieces in a single layer until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side for pieces
1/2-inch / 1-cm thick. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
8 corn tortillas
2 cups / 500 ml cabbage (thinly sliced)

Warm tortillas in microwave under a damp cloth to soften. Fold 1/4 cup / 60 ml cabbage, 1/8 of the fish, and 1 tablespoon sauce inside each tortilla and serve with a wedge of lime.

Additional topping options: fresh cilantro, grated carrots, thinly sliced radishes, bean sprouts, onions, tomatoes, avocados.

Cilantro Cream variation: In place of yogurt-mayonnaise sauce, purée 1/4 cup / 60 ml sour cream, 1/4 cup / 60 ml mayonnaise, tender stems and leaves of 1/2 bunch cilantro, 11/2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 clove garlic. May be used mixed with cabbage for slaw or as a sandwich spread.

Grilling variation: Rub spice mixture over whole fish fillets before grilling.

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Winter Vegetable Crumble

Use whatever root vegetables you have on hand. The nutty sauce and crunchy topping add flavor to this comfort food. Serves 4.

2/3 cup / 150 ml rolled oats
1/2 cup / 125 ml cashews (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (crushed; or 1 tablespoon fresh)
Combine oats, cashews and flour in a medium bowl. Mix in oil and rosemary with fingers to form a crumble topping. Set aside.
2 pounds / 1 kg root vegetables: carrots, parsnips,
rutabaga, turnips, potatoes (scrubbed or peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces)
Steam for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Reserve the steaming water for stock. Transfer vegetables to lightly oiled 2-quart / 2-L baking dish.
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons cashews
2/3 cup / 150 ml milk
11/4 cups / 300 ml vegetable broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (crushed; or 1 tablespoon fresh)
salt and pepper

In large saucepan sauté onion in 2 teaspoons oil until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add cashews and lightly brown for 3-4 minutes. Stir in milk and vegetable broth. In a cup mix flour with a little milk to make a smooth paste. Stir into saucepan. Add rosemary. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Cool sauce slightly, then purée until smooth. Pour over the steamed vegetables, then sprinkle with oat topping. Bake at 375F / 190C for 30 minutes.

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