I’m in the final stages of finishing my coffee master training for Starbucks, and have been lucky enough to go through the entire process with another coworker. She and I were able to get together at her house recently to work on our final “project” for the store.
After working on our project for a little over an hour I decided it was time for a break, meaning it was time to explore her property. She lives on a small farm fully equipped with cows, chickens, a goat, and best of all a small organic garden. Talk about bliss.
I was absolutely ecstatic when I was offered to take some of the luscious bounty home with me. Local, fresh, organic, free produce!? You betchur britches I wanted some! With a bowl the size of a small horse completely filled with green goodness, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to get crazy wild in my kitchen.
For starters I baked 4 small loaves of zucchini banana bread. I used this recipe and made a few alterations. It was very mild, and definitely needs something on top such as a nut butter or fresh berries.
The real winner of this harvest was my roasted zucchini & carrot black bean salad with a creamy kale and walnut pesto sauce. I wanted to make something that would use almost everything I was gifted.
Items from my bowl used for this meal were:
- snap peas
I also got some cilantro that I used for some taco salads, but I digress.
Roasted Zucchini & Carrot Black Bean Salad
For the salad:
- 3/4 cup roasted zucchini
- 2/4 cup roasted carrots
- 1.5 cups boiled sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup black beans
For the pesto:
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup + 3 tsp water
- 1.5 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tblsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 medium sized kale leaves
- 3 medium sized lettuce leaves (or more kale)
- 5 medium/large basil leaves
- 1/4 cup snap peas (just the peas, and this is optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Slice your carrots and zucchini into desired size (you can see what I did in the photo above) and lay flat on a roasting tray. Roast for about 45-60 minutes. The zucchini didn’t roast well and was a bit mushy, but still edible of course.
- Chop about two smaller sized sweet potatoes and fully submerge them in water to boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, be sure not to over boil them or they will fall apart.
- While everything is cooking you can make your pesto. Combine all your ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and combine until smooth. You may want to add more water depending on how thick you like your pesto.
- Once all your veggies are done combine everything into a large bowl. This makes enough for 2 people with a bit leftover.
Note: The veggies are all very soft, so something like crunchy chips or lettuce leaves will round out the texture of this meal.
I used the rest of my lettuce leaves and I put just a dollop of the pesto sauce on top because I’m not a huge sauce fan. With chips on the side.
I am amazed by the powerful taste of garden fresh produce. 10x better than anything in the store, but I suppose that’s a given! It took me all of three days to rip through this produce. I need a garden!
Q: Did you garden at all this year? I tried to plant some cilantro, but the slugs got it…no excuses for next year! OH or winter veggies!