Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gifts From the Summer Garden

It's too hot to spend much time in the garden, but some of the plants do very well with my neglect. This is the lemongrass plant that we bought in a little 4-inch pot at the beginning of last year:


It's now taller than I am.

My husband occasionally uses lemongrass in his tea, but most of the time the plant has gone unmolested, until I saw on a cooking show recently that the lemongrass stalks can be used as skewers. The skewers are made by stripping a stalk of lemongrass of its outer leaves and then cutting the lower stalk into desired lengths. I'm going to strongly suggest wearing gloves while harvesting lemongrass, because the leaves are very sharp and will leave cuts, that are very similar to paper cuts, on unprotected hands.


Ground Lamb Meatballs

1 LB. lean ground lamb

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley

1/2 Cup dry bread crumbs

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

flour for dusting

oil for brushing

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the meat, onions, and other ingredients in a food processor and blend until well mixed. With moist hands, break off walnut sized lumps of the mixture and roll into balls. Dust each ball with flour, stick a lemongrass skewer in it, and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the meatballs lightly with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through.


The other garden crop we have in abundance is green beans, so here is DH's favorite green bean recipe.


Spiced Green Beans

4 Tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chilies

1 LB. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces ( if fresh green beans are out of season, frozen works fine for this)

1/2 Cup water

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Heat the butter in a frying pan until melted, but not smoking. Add brown mustard seeds, cumin, and chilies. Fry until mustard starts popping and turns gray. Add beans and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the water and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Uncover the pan, add coriander, salt and sugar, and stir while cooking until all the water evaporates. Serve.


The banana trees I planted in the Spring aren't producing yet, but they have grown way taller than me.



Tammy said...

Will the banana trees produce bananas this year, or not til next year?

Crescent Moon said...

I'm actually not sure. I've been told that they will not have sweet bananas, though, but something more like small plantains, that will be starchy and need to be cooked.

Crafty Crow