from garden to table

Benny Tellier

with

Your neighborhood-cooking instructor & Gardening Enthusiast 

Private Cooking Lessons

Beginners to advanced / Courses available in English or French

562-522-8817

bennytellier@gmail.com

How to wash leafy vegetables from your garden

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How to wash leafy vegetables ( lettuce, spinach…) from your garden

 

Leafy vegetables from your garden are never as “clean” as the ones you buy in your supermarket. Dirt and bugs are common on the outer leaves.

Here’s how to get rid of them and benefit the environment:

 

  • Fill a wash pan/bowl/bucket with cold water.

 

  • Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per gallon of water.

 

  • Let it soak for 5 minutes to get rid of the critters ( which are a sign that our veggies are good and tasty :).

 

  • Remove the leaves one by one and place them in a colander. Use the water to water well established plants ; the acidity of the vinegar might bother young plants .

 

  • Rinse the bucket/pan/bowl and fill up again with cold water and wash the leaves again until clean.

 

  • Use the water for any of your plants, including house plants.

Methods to cook leafy green vegetables

Methods to cook leafy green vegetables

 

 

Boiling water: Plunge the veggies in boiling salted water for just a few minutes (depends of the veggie) Scoop them with a slotted spoon and plunge them in the ice water to fix a nice green color.

Use the hot, salty water to kill weed on your driveway. Not on a flower or veggie beds. (salt will change the mineral content of the dirt)

 

 

Steam cooking: No need of a fancy steamer, just a pan and a strainer. 1-2 cup of water in the pan, a good pinch of rock salt. Boil the water (Use a well fitted lid to save energy). When the water is boiling fit your strainer with the veggie on top of the pan and put the lid onto the strainer. Steam for a few minutes.

 

 

Steam in Pressure Cooker: The old time microwave!!

Do not need much water, energy efficient; gas or electricity.

Keep most of the vitamins because the temperature does not go to high. 

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What to do with what you (usually) do not eat

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When you peel vegetables to make a soup, stir-fry or something else . . .

 

Keep the peels. Most of them can be used to make a vegetable broth 

After you have chosen vegetables from your garden (or the crop exchange)  . . . 

  • Wash them to remove dirt, then peel them

  • Best veggies peel to make broth: carrots, turnips, celery, fennel

  • Onion peels will bring a rich golden color.

  • Parsley and basil stems also will bring a nice flavor and color. 

  • Do not keep garlic skin – (they most likely were bleached)

  • Potato skins tend not to add flavor to other dishes; be careful to cut away any green skin or sprouts on potatoes -- they can be toxic.

  • If you do not have a lot of peels, save them in the freezer in a plastic bag until you have enough. You can also add chicken bones to make chicken broth.

  • Keep vegetable remnants that will bring flavor to a broth, such as celery, carrots and turnips.

 

Use the same peeler on citrus, making sure not to remove the white skin -- that will add a bitter taste

  • Blanch the peels in boiling water for ½ minute

  • Let them dry 

  • Add them to coarse salt and dried rosemary to make roasted chicken seasoning.

 

 

Steam in Pressure Cooker: The old time microwave!!

Do not need much water, energy efficient; gas or electricity.

Keep most of the vitamins because the temperature does not go to high.