Esther Minnick loves to create yummy dishes from ingredients she has grown in her garden [June/July 2012 Gardens feature]. Here are some of her favorites!

Blackberry Pie
1 1/3 cups sugarBlackberry Pie
1/3 cup flour
4 cups ripe blackberries
2 tablespoons butter

Wash the blackberries. Combine sugar and flour, then add berries. Stir gently. Pour mixture into a pastry-lined 9-inch-by-9-inch pie pan (see below for crust recipe). Dot with butter. Place top crust over the mixture and cut vents (or prick with a fork). Seal and flute edges of the crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. If desired, serve warm with ice cream on top.

Pie Crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening until it is crumbly. In another bowl, whisk the egg, water, and vinegar. Gradually add to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork until the dough forms a ball. Divide the dough into four portions. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface.

Makes four pie crusts.


EggplantEggplant Appetizer

2 firm eggplants (peeled if old)
sea salt to taste
vegetable oil

1/3 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sweet basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Slice eggplants into half-inch slices. Sprinkle with sea salt and drain. Fry in a small amount of oil. In a bowl, combine ingredients of the marinade. Layer the fried eggplant in a pan and pour the marinade over. Let sit for at least two hours. Serve over crackers, toast, or salad.







Rhubarb Muffins
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped (fresh or frozen) rhubarb

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Fold in chopped rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cup two-thirds full.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this topping over the batter in the muffin tins.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a dipped toothpick comes out clean.

Makes about 18 muffins.


Cooked Greens

Cooked Greens

1 pound mixed greens, kale, or spinach
1 cup chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Wash the greens and chop. Add to boiling chicken bouillon. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, then add butter, vinegar, and brown sugar.