Favorite Recipes from NGA Staff

By National Gardening Association Editors

Pumpkin-spice waffles are a favorite treat; scroll down for recipe.

Here are some recipes gathered from National Gardening Association staff. Enjoy!

Wild Greens Pesto
Wild greens are delicious and packed with nutrients. -- Charlie Nardozzi

3 cups lightly packed leaves. A 50:50 combination of basil with wild greens such as lamb's quarters, dandelion, and amaranth is best.
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts, almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp freshed ground pepper

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wild Greens Cakes
These are great served with a cheese sauce drizzled over the top and served with rice.

10 cups of wild greens (lambs' quarters, amaranth, dandelion)
2 eggs
1 cup dry herb stuffing
1 small onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Chop up greens finely and steam lightly until limp. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Form into cakes (flattened balls) using 1/4 cup of the mixture for each. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Basil Vinegar
Use this flavored vinegar any time you want to add essence of basil and garlic to your salad, pasta or a marinade. -- Bruce Butterfield.

Recycle a clean dark green wine bottle. Drop in 6-12 peeled garlic cloves, then really stuff it full of basil leaves, using a chopstick to pack them down. Fill the bottle with cider vinegar, leaving headspace for a cork. If you make it when you're picking basil you can put the leaves right in the bottle.

Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe is from Ann Cooper, who used to be the executive chef at The Putney Inn in VT. This soup is a family favorite any time of year, as a first course at Thanksgiving or served alongside a fresh salad in June. --Amy Gifford

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup apple juice
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat butter in a large saucepan until hot. Add vegetables and cover over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add apple juice and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Puree mixture in blender or food processor, half at a time. Makes 8 one-cup servings.

Norweigan Pancakes
Although truly considered crepes, each member of my five-person family is fluent in preparing my granfather's pancakes; a staple for an Evjy Sunday brunch. They are quite easy and inexpensive to make, whatever your budget or culinary style. Batter keeps well in fridge for a week. --Keri Evjy

The way I learned it is as follows:
1 + 1 = 2
1 cup flour (up to 1/3 cup whole wheat flour if you like)
1 pint (2 cups) milk
2 eggs
dash salt
Note: as a family of 5, we double the recipe

Blend ingredients; batter shoud be runny. Laddle batter onto hot buttered skillet and let these batter "puddles" firm up before serving or tossing to ligthly brown other side. Pancakes should be pliable and easy to role, and not in the least bit crispy when removed from heat. As I go along, I place ready crepes in warm oven until all are prepared. Fill with yogurt and maple syrup, butter and confectioner's sugar, fresh fruit, homemade jam, or even a stir fry for dinner crepes. Enjoy!

Rainbow Nachos
A colorful rendition of an all-time favorite. -- Barbara Richardson

Heat oven to 350F. Cover the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with a generous layer of blue corn chips. Top with black bean dip, chunks of roasted sweet potato, black bean and corn salsa, and shredded cheddar or jack cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve from the dish at the table to keep "seconds" hot for longer. As an appetizer, serves 4 to 6; makes a hearty meal for 2.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles
These are a favorite with guests at our B&B. We serve them with warm Vermont maple syrup and homemade applesauce. -- Suzanne DeJohn

2 eggs
1 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin (you may substitute canned pumpkin, or mashed sweet potatoes or winter squash)
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking pwoder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Heat waffle iron. In a large bowl, beat eggs, then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Pour batter into preheated waffle iron and cook until firm on the outside, tender inside. Leftover waffles can be reheated in the toaster; spread with peanut butter for a quick, nutritious breakfast.

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