How to Make a Radish Rose

Radish roseSometimes a plain ol’ radish just won’t do! Liven up your party vegetable trays or salads with radish roses. They are surprisingly so simple to make.

Directions:

Using a paring knife, make five rounded cuts all around the bottom of the radish about 3/4 of the way down, but not through. After the first five cuts, make another five rounded cuts above and staggered between the first cuts (see diagram). Repeat for a total of three rows of rounded cuts (or more depending on the size of the radish). Use the tip of the paring knife to make a divet in the top of the radish to create the center of the “flower”. After all cuts are made, soak in ice water for at least 1 hour, but up to overnight, so radish cuts open into a flower form.

Radish rose diagram

Let us know how yours come out! Share a picture and hastag #botanicalinterests.

Basil Simple Syrup

basil simple syrup

Flavored simple syrup can bring new life to your favorite beverages. And just like the name implies, it is so simple to do! Basil, in particular, pairs deliciously with strawberries and lemons. Try this basil simple syrup in place of sour mix in a strawberry margarita or as a sweetener to homemade lemonade. It’s so refreshing that you’ll be inspired to create your own drink recipes!

Ingredients:

1 cup of fresh basil leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Directions:
  1. Mix the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Add basil leaves and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Simmer and stir frequently for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  4. Strain out leaves and pour into a jar. Store in the refrigerator for about a week.

Pickled Red Beets

Pickled beets in jars and bowl

Tangy on a salad or crunchy in a sandwich, pickled beets are a kitchen staple for beet lovers. Our customer service manager, Dan Blei, shares his favorite pickling recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch red beets (about 6 medium to large beets). Bulls Blood, Detroit Dark Red, or Early Wonder work well for this recipe.
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Directions:
  • Thoroughly scrub the beets and chop off tops.
  • Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, and drop the beets in. Allow beets to cook until they are tender and can be pierced with a fork, about 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove beets from water and allow them to cool before peeling skins off.
  • Slice beets into disks and layer into 8-ounce Mason jars, alternating layers of onions and beets.
  • Combine liquid ingredients, sugar, and seasonings, bring to a boil, and boil gently, uncovered, for 10 min.
  • Pour hot pickling liquid over beet and onion layers and place jars in the fridge.
  • Allow about a week for beets and onions to pickle.
  • Store in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to 3 weeks.

 

 

Meatless Eggplant “MeatBalls”

Meatless Eggplant balls recipe

With purple being the new color of health foods, we’re celebrating! These meatless eggplant “meatballs” are savory, a little smoky, and light. Try them over pasta with a little Parmesan cheese, or in a pita pocket with Greek tzatziki sauce.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggplants, skin on, cubed
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1/2 c bread crumbs
To taste:
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
3. Add eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse and mixed. Do not purée.

eggplant balls recipe

5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and make eggplant mixture into balls.
6. Place on sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then roll over and bake for 10 minutes more.
7. Place under broiler until crispy, another 5 to 10 minutes.

Baked Whole Pumpkin Soup

This whole pumpkin soup recipe creates a deliciously-elegant display on the dinner table. As is, the recipe is gluten free and simple to adapt for a paleo or vegan diet. Serves 4-6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole pumpkin (or other round, winter squash), approximately 4–5 pounds, washed (we used a ‘Red Warty Thing’ winter squash)
  • 1–2 teaspoons unflavored oil for greasing pumpkin and baking dish
  • 1 tablespoon butter or cooking oil
  • 2 medium-large leeks, sliced (substitute 1/4 cup onion, diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½–3/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, optional
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (or other seasoning of choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 Make a lid on the top of the pumpkin by cutting around the stem at an inward, 45° angle. The lid should leave a large enough hole so you can fit your hand in, and work inside the pumpkin. Remove and discard (or save for roasting) the seeds and long fibers by scraping the sides of the pumpkin with a metal spoon. Apply a bit of oil to the outside of your pumpkin and to a baking dish it can sit in, using a brush or paper towel.

Put the butter or oil, leeks, garlic, apple, broth, and salt in the hollow pumpkin. Replace the lid of the pumpkin to cover. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Using a hot pad, remove the lid, and wait until the pumpkin is cool enough to work in. Using a metal spoon scrape the pumpkin flesh into the soup mixture, being careful not to puncture the pumpkin shell. If you are using an immersion blender add the cream, goat cheese, and garam masala (or chosen seasoning) to the pumpkin and purée, being careful to avoid puncturing the pumpkin wall. If using a blender, put all ingredients in the blender in small batches, blend until smooth, and return soup to the pumpkin shell. Add pepper and check seasonings. If you are not serving the soup right away, store the pumpkin and soup separately in the refrigerator. Reheat soup inside the pumpkin at 375°F.

Sprout Burgers

sprout burger recipe

Sprouts aren’t just for salads and sandwiches! Add your sprouts to a few basic ingredients and enjoy a nutritious meal in under 30 minutes. You can add any flavor profile you like—Italian, spicy, smoky—making this a truly versatile recipe.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup radish sprouts, finely chopped
2 cups lentil sprouts, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or whichever seasoning you like)
2–3 tablespoons of oil (olive or vegetable)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to frying pan over medium-high heat.
2. Spoon mixture into pan in a round shape. 1 to 2 minutes on each side until browned.

Serve like a burger on a bun with the typical burger fixings, or without a bun and garnished with salsa and sour cream (as shown in picture). Makes about 10 patties, depending on size.

Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Kale

botanical interests butternut squash noodles

While our first love will always be traditional pasta, we can’t stop thinking about veggie noodles! It’s just what it sounds like–noodles made from thinly-sliced vegetables as a pasta substitute! In this recipe we used a spiralizer, a tool that easily cuts vegetables into long, thin ribbons, but you could also use the thin-strip setting on your mandoline.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2/3 cup diced yellow onion
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chopped kale
2 cups spiralized butternut squash

Directions:

1.Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.

2. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kale and cook until slightly wilted.

saute kale and mushrooms

3. Meanwhile, cut and peal butternut squash.

butternut squash

4. Spiralize squash.

spiralize butternut squash

5. In a second saucepan on medium to high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the butternut squash noodles. Cook until al dente.

6. Gently fold all ingredients together.

 

5 Favorite Ways to Enjoy Roasted Garlic

Botanical Interests roasted garlic

Arguably one of the best ways to eat garlic is roasted. It’s mild enough to eat straight from the oven on its own, but packs a flavor bomb when mixed with other foods. We collected our favorites to inspire your next

Basic Roasted Garlic recipe:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top of the garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Place the bulb on a piece of foil and heavily drizzle olive oil over the exposed cloves; add salt; wrap tightly in foil. Place on baking sheet and cook in the oven for about an hour or until cloves are browned and can be easily squeezed out of their skin.

how to roast garlic

Ways to enjoy:

  • Mashed potatoes: Our absolute favorite way to use roasted garlic cloves is in mashed potatoes. Mash the garlic cloves and mix into boiled potatoes before they are whipped. It’ll incorporate the flavor into every bite.
  • Garlic bread: This is a no-brainer! Blend the garlic into butter and spread over loaf. Sprinkle with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (and fresh rosemary!) and bake or broil until crispy. Perfect addition to your Italian night dinner.
  • Salad dressing: Use an immersion blender to whip up several roasted garlic cloves, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. We love ours over a fresh arugula and endive salad.
  • Deviled eggs: Mash cloves and add into your usual (or unusual!) deviled egg recipe. What a pleasant surprise for guests at your next party or brunch.
  • Hummus: Throw some roasted garlic cloves in the food processor with chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini. Devour with crackers or cut, raw veggies.

roasted garlic recipes

Spinach, Sausage, and Tortellini Soup

Spinach Tortellini SoupFor gardeners, the arrival of fall can be bittersweet. It’s rewarding to finally harvest all that you’ve worked for, but that also means our growing season is coming to an end. So we cooked up this savory soup to use our garden spinach in, and to enjoy as the days get cooler.

INGREDIENTS
4 sausage links (we used chicken apple), cut into half circles
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
10 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
Salt, and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

    1. Sauté sausage, onion, and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until sausage starts to brown, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add flour and stir.
    2. When flour is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes, add broth and mix well (you may have to use the spoon to scrap the brown bits from the bottom on the pot, but that is where the flavor is!)
    3. Bring broth to a boil and then add tortellini and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, or if frozen, until they float to the top. Add Parmesan cheese and fresh spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, only a few minutes.
    4. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty Italian bread.

 

Botanical Interests Spinach Bloomsdale Botanical Interests Spinach Matador Botanical Interests Baby Greens Spinach

Honey & Orange Glazed Rutabaga with Fresh Thyme

Rutabagas have a mild flavor and are often cooked and used like potatoes. In this dish, we use citrus and fresh thyme to lend bright, fresh flavor to these cold-hardy roots. This recipe also works wells with turnips. Sow them in early spring for summer harvest or summer fall harvest; they store for months!
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 lbs rutabaga or turnip, greens removed (we used rutabaga)
1–2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 orange, for juice and zest (about ½ cup juice, 1–2 tablespoons zest
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon fresh thyme

1. Peel roots and cut them into ½” pieces.
2. Put roots in a heavy-bottomed skillet or pot with about 1¼ cups of water, or enough to cover the roots halfway. Add butter, salt, and honey. Heat on medium high and cover, simmering until roots are soft, 8–10 minutes.
3. Remove lid, add the orange juice and vinegar, and simmer for another 12–15 minutes until sauce has reduced.
4. Remove from heat and toss roots with fresh thyme and orange zest.

Enjoy!

Use the comments to share your root cooking tips.