Tag Archives: herbs

Two Local Box Salads

Salad with roasted beets, orange, cilantro, lettuce, and dandelion greens


The thermometer on my porch tells me that spring in Texas is over. The highs have  been in the 80s all week, and I have been compulsively checking the weather forecast for some sign that the Texas summer isn’t really starting yet. Today’s overcast skies and cool breezes give me hope. And did you know that some parts of the country had a blizzard this week? There must be hope for a spring snow day in Austin, right??


I probably won’t hold my breath. One good thing about this season-straddling weather is the simultaneous availability of local avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, citrus, beets, spring greens and winter greens. Having so many beautiful veggies together in my fridge a sign from above to make salad.


This week I created two new salad recipes that each come together in about 10 minutes, no cooking required. (Roast the beets ahead of time!) Each recipe makes an easy vegan main dish for two, or the perfect starter for a dinner party for 6.


The first recipe uses winter flavors of roasted beet, orange segments, and bitter greens for oomph. The second recipe is a classic guacamole salad, with cumin, cayenne and green garlic for heat since jalapenos aren’t in season yet. The inspiration for both salad dressings came from Elise Bauer’s Orange and Beet Salad Recipe. Her dressing base of olive oil and wine vinegar is genius in that she adds a little powdered mustard to help the dressing emulsify. I added some local ingredients–like Round Rock honey and cilantro from Naegelin farms– to her dressing recipe to enhance the flavors of the veggies and help them shine in each salad. I also opted for Texas pecans and dandelion greens in my version of the beet salad. You can’t beat the nutty pecan flavor against the pucker of bitter dandelion greens.


Salad of Roasted Beets, Oranges, Dandelion Greens
1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
3 beets, roasted and skins removed, chopped (Do this ahead of time so they are cool!!)
2 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all veggies and fruits and combine in a large bowl. Whiz the dressing ingredients together in a blender, or mix them together in a small jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, serve immediately.


Salad of Avocado, Tomato, Cilantro and Green Onion
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
1 bunch green onions, white part reserved, green parts chopped
1 bunch green garlic, white part reserved, green parts chopped
2 avocados, peeled with pits removed, chopped
3 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
white parts from one bunch green garlic
white parts from one bunch green onions
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all veggies and combine in a large bowl, reserving the white stalks of the green garlic and green onions for use in the dressing. Combine stalks with remaining dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until veggies are completely pureed and dressing emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, serve immediately.

Rosemary Apple Braid

I made this easy apple danish for a friend’s baby shower at the office today.  It’s a great choice for special occasions because the pretty presentation and sophisticated rosemary apple filling will make you seem like a gourmet chef!  Local box favorites Golden Apples from Apple Country Orchards and Rosemary from Pure Luck Farms are the rock stars of this recipe.

Although the braid looks tricky, it’s actually one of the easiest pastry shapes to master. This recipe is adapted from Dorothea Ladd’s Easy Apple Danish on Allrecipes.com.  I used a food processor and chose the braid shape to save time; my grandmother might argue that this simplified pastry dough is not a true danish since it’s not laminated, but it passes  my family’s taste test for sure.

Rosemary Apple Dutch Braid

1 (.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-120 degrees)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (no substitutes)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (110-120 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, beaten, set aside

3 cups peeled, chopped apples
3/4 cups chopped pecans
2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon apple juice

Method: In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  In a food processor, cut together cold butter, flour and sugar. For most food processors, you will need to do this in two batches.  (If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter or two forks will do the job.) Process flour and butter until mixture resembles crumbly, damp sand. Move flour and butter to a large bowl and add sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture, warm milk, and beaten eggs by hand. Knead the dough in the bowl with a spatula until it is elastic and well combined, about 3 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

While dough rests, prepare the filling.  Chop apples, rosemary, and pecan. Combine the apples, rosemary, sugar, melted butter, and pecan pieces; set aside.

Cover two 15-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat  and set near your workstation. Punch down dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half, set one half aside.  Roll dough into an 15 by 12 inch rectangle.  Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheet by gently rolling dough onto the rolling pin, moving to cookie sheet and gently unrolling onto the parchment paper.

Place half of filling longways along the middle of the dough, to within a half inch of either end.  Use scissors to cut dough into one inch strips along either side of filling, then fold alternating strips towards the middle of the loaf to create a braid effect.  Repeat the roll/tranfer/fill/braid process with the other piece of dough.  Set both braids aside to rest for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the braids with egg wash.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow braid to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving entire loaf and parchment paper to a wire rack to complete cooling.  Prepare glaze by sifting powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in milk and apple juice, and drizzle glaze over top of cooling pastries.  Each loaf yields about 15 slices.

This post is by The Austin Gastronomist and also appears on her blog.

Local Box Meal Plan: March 1-5

This week, we’re getting green onions from Lundgren, collards from Gordon Taylor, beets and mixed salad greens from My Father’s Farm, tomatoes from Village Farm, spinach from Naegelin, cabbage and broccoli from Acadian, herb from Pure Luck, and limes from G&S Groves.

So I’m making:

  • Rosemary flatbread pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozzerella (I made the rosemary flatbread last week, but I didn’t realize that the oven needed to be cleaned before I could bake anything. So I stuck it in the freezer for another time. Looks like it’s this week!)
  • Collard and cabbage soup
  • Raw beet and spinach salad with lime vinaigrette
  • Steamed broccoli with lime and green onions (similar to how I made this okra)
  • Green salad

I’m not sure how I’ll use the herb yet, but I’m sure I’ll have some ideas when I see what it is.

My sister was nice enough to give me a gift certificate to Williams Sonoma for my birthday (along with some pink sponges — she knows me so well!), and I used it to purchase a new mandoline (my old one wasn’t too user-friendly). I’ve been wanting to make a raw beet salad for a while, and a new mandoline is a perfect excuse.

Barbecue Salads

We had friends over in the middle of the week a few weeks ago, and while I love seeing them, it’s hard entertaining during the week! To make it a bit easier, I prepped the salads and put the pork in the slow cooker in the morning, and finished the salads when I got home from work. (If you chop the potatoes ahead of time, make sure that you soak them in water so they don’t turn brown.) With a simple green salad (the lettuce also came from our Local Box), there was plenty of food and all were happy!

Red Onion and Yellow Bean Salad



  • 1 lb. yellow beans, washed and trimmed
  • 3/4 c. red onion, diced (about half of a large onion)
  • 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Steam the yellow beans in a steamer basket over a pot of salted boiling water for 7 minutes, or until the beans are tender, but al dente.
  • When the beans are still warm, toss with the onion, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Herb Potato Salad



  • 1 lb. red potatoes, roughly chopped (I don’t peel them.)
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped herbs (I used dill, but chives, parsley, cilantro, or thyme would be great here, too.)
  • 3/4 c. red onion, diced (about half of a large onion)
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes and toss them (while still warm) with the remaining ingredients. Adjust ingredients to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Local Box Meal Plan: Nov. 2-6

I’m beyond belief excited that we’re getting green tomatoes again. When we were planning our trip to wine country, one of my friends passed along a newsletter from the Visitors Bureau that had a few great green tomato recipes. I’ve been saving it until we get green tomatoes again!

This week, we’re getting serrano peppers from Lundgren; herb, arugula or watercress from Pure Luck; yellow beans and Thai eggplant from Animal Farm; Mars oranges from G&S Groves; beet leaves from My Father’s Farm; turnips from Hands of Earth Farm; butternut squash from Massey Farm; green tomatoes from Green Gate Farm; red or green lettuce from Bluebonnet or Bella Verdi; and apples from Top of Texas.

So I’m making:


Side dishes:



Local Box Meal Plan: Oct. 19-23

This week, we’re getting: Corno di Toro sweet peppers, bell peppers, an assortment of herbs, cucumber, Meyer lemon, gala apples, Thai eggplant, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and either baby bok choy or sweet potatoes, depending on your delivery day.

So I’m making:



  • Roasted turkey breast stuffed with lemon, garlic and herbs
  • Grilled shrimp with Romesco sauce (a traditional Spanish sauce made with garlic, chiles, almonds, tomatoes and peppers)

Side Dish:


Plenty of produce that’s perfect for fall!

Local Box Meal Plan: Sept. 14-18

I’m back! I’ve got loads to share about my trip, but in the meantime, I’ll tide you over with my plan for our Greenling Local Box this week.

This week, we’re getting pickling cucumbers, yellow squash and yellow onion from Naegelin, green Meyer lemons from G&S Groves, green peppers, portabello caps from Kitchen Pride, sweet corn, okra from Bradshaw Farm, herb/basil from Pure Luck, Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi, tomatoes from McCall Creek Farm, and Texas pears from Lightsey.

I’m making:


  • Omelette with sauteed green peppers and portabellos

Side dishes:

  • Grilled sweet corn with herb compound butter



Meyer lemons are sweeter than normal lemons, so they’re great to use in desserts. How are you using yours?