Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Kitchen Gardener Cook


Thai Cashew Coconut Dip w/ Farm “Dippers”

Asian Cabbage  Wraps

Asian Cole Slaw

Seasonal Pears, Nectarines, Plums with Lavender Lemon Curd

We’re coordinating an entire Farm Picnic Menu for you based on Hand Food  which  is extremely popular with everyone dipping in to join the fun. Of course, lots of fingers -minimal utensils are needed! (In Homestead Gardens book, this has to be a good time). Make use of the seasonal produce for the dip, the wraps, the slaw and dessert.

For the finale, use those marvelous sweet end of summer nectarines, pears and plums, sliced and ready to dip in crisp and creamy lemon curd enhanced with fresh clipped lavender from your garden. Purchased lemon curd comes in handy if 'speed scratch' is your style.

Thai Cashew Coconut Dip w/ Farm “Dippers”

Makes about 2 1/2  cups dip

Most of the ingredients below are no longer considered exotic and can usually be found in the Asian section of supermarkets.

  • 1 cup Cashew Macadamia Butter (or Cashew Butter, Almond Butter or Sunflower butter)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (not the sweetened kind)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons Thai sweet Chile Sauce
  • fish sauce, soy sauce or salt to taste
  • garnish: Thai basil, Genovese basil, fresh chopped cilantro

Blend the above ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste. Place in bowl surrounded by “Dippers”. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Dippers: Kohlrabi slices, carrots, snopeas, cucumber slices, bell pepper wedges, pumpernickel pretzel rods, rice crackers

Asian Cabbage  Wraps

Serves 6

  • 1 6-ounce package dried  Asian rice noodles or bean thread noodles
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, coarsely chopped
  • 18 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)*
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced seeded hot Thai chile or Dragon chile
  • 8 whole leaves Asian cabbage (coarse stem removed)

Place noodles in large bowl. Cover with cold water; let stand until noodles begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large pot of boiling water; cook until just tender and pliable, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and shrimp; stir-fry until cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar snaps and stir fry 1 minute more. Transfer to large bowl.

Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until fragrant and just beginning to brown. Add garlic-oil mixture to bowl with chicken and shrimp; cool.

Add noodles and remaining ingredients to bowl except for whole cabbage leaves. Toss to blend. Adjust seasoning.

Mound on a platter surround with cabbage leaves for folks to serve themselves.

Wrap and Roll instructions: Hold the cabbage leaf in the hand and fill center with noodle mixture, fold the edges around filling and consume!

Asian Cole Slaw

Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup green scallions
  • 1 small head Asian green cabbage, such as celery cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2  cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4  cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Oriental toasted sesame oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Slice half of the scallions, cabbage and carrot into a very thin julienne (using a mandolin for the carrots) and place in a salad bowl. Reserve the remaining scallions, which you have also cut into long thin ribbons.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, rice wine vinegar, honey, ginger and sesame oil until thoroughly mixed and pour over cabbage mixture. Sprinkle the top with reserved scallions and sesame seeds.

Seasonal Pears, Nectarines, Plums with Lavender Lemon Curd


  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Lavender Lemon Curd

Lavender Lemon Curd

Makes 2 cups

The basis of this recipe is quite classic, but I have found that whole eggs can be used, rather than just the yolks to cut fat and cholesterol a bit.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs (sustainably farm fresh, please), lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest and 2/3 cup fresh juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers

With a mixer, beat the butter, salt and sugar until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, beat for another 2 minutes and then mix in the lemon zest  and juice.

In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over medium low heat until it looks smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes or until 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture come to a boil to prevent scrambling the eggs.

Remove the curd from the heat and stir in the lavender. Transfer the curd to a bowl to cool and place plastic wrap firmly on the surface to keep a skin from forming. The curd will keep, refrigerated for a week. It freezes well for up to 2 months.

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