Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Recipe: Cauliflower-Brie Soup

A rich tasting and sumptuous soup that will  help make a cook's reputation. Perfect with our new 'Amazing Taste' Cauliflower.

1 large cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 cups coarsely chopped onion
4 cups chicken stock
3 T unconverted white rice
1 T lemon juice
1 cup low fat milk
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 T chopped chives
3 oz Brie cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste

Garnish: Reserved cauliflower florets, 1 T olive oil, Parmesan cheese, chopped chives, paprika

Core cauliflower and cut into florets (approx. 6 cups) - reserving a few for garnish. In a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil and sauté garlic and onion until softened. Add cauliflower, chicken stock, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice.

Puree mixture in a food processor or blender, then return mixture to saucepan.  Heat slowly, stir in milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 T of the chives and cook, stirring constantly, until soup is hot. Cut off the outside of the Brie cheese if it is crusty and hard. Cut cheese into small chunks and add to soup, stirring until it slightly melted. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

To serve: While soup is heating, sauté reserved florets in 1 T of olive oil until slightly softened. Roll florets in Parmesan cheese and drop into soup. Sprinkle with reserved chives and paprika before serving.

For more great recipes check out
 Renee's Cookbooks:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NW Flower and Garden Show Lifts the Spirits

by Sue Shecket - webmaster and NW Trial Gardener

The NW Flower and Garden show displays were absolutely wonderful this year and I spent a delightful day absorbing the sights and smells that inspire me to get those seeds started and pull out my pruning shears. The theme was “Art in Bloom” and the designers came through with some very creative and lovely displays – lots of glass (we do have Dale Chilhuly here for inspiration) and ideas for creating “natural” paintings and integrating art into the garden.
Despite the challenges of our Super Bowl victory parade on the first day of the show (which brought almost a million people to the downtown streets and created total gridlock) and an unexpected and very unusual snowstorm on the last day, there were plenty of smiling faces with arms full of purchases strolling the aisles and attending the many excellent workshops.  If you are in the area next year (or just need an excuse to visit) do consider coming for the show.  It’s a great place to get ideas and get pumped up for the next gardening season.
The "Darwin Orchid" is a huge glass work. The artist wanted to "bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature" Live plants around it included many insect eaters.

This charming display included some delightful birdhouses inspired by Dale Chilhuly - who makes them for fun when he's not creating fabulous glass works.

The Arboretum Foundation display incorporated lots of glass art into the setting, including the windows filled with glass floats
Water features are still popular - even in rainy Seattle

West Seattle Nursery's team gave me some great ideas for "live" paintings

Their living wall was quite a hit.

 The finger-earth display was amazing -- the twig shapes are actually the artist's fingerprints and the earth is painted flat on the stone but when viewed from the front becomes 3D . 
Our friends at Ravenna Garden made our seeds available to show goers. With all that inspiration, let's get them started!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Seed of the Month: Cauliflower 'Amazing Taste'

Order today and get
25% off 'Amazing Taste'

Enter the code SOM14 at checkout
(good thru 2/28/14)

Cauliflower 'Amazing Taste' is an outstanding variety that yields dense, 6 to 7 inch, dome-shaped heads with tender, creamy-white curds and superb mild, sweet flavor. 

These top quality hybrid plants grow quickly, producing strong outer wrapper leaves that protect both the quality and color of the developing cauliflowers for harvestable heads extra early in the season. The heads are delicious whether cut up raw in salads, quickly steamed, or tossed with olive oil and roasted to nutty perfection.

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