Plant Onions

The full moon is tonight and, in most parts of the continental US, you can plant onion sets in your garden now. Old time gardeners in my area plant root crops after the full moon, and it is scientifically correct because of the gravitational force on the moisture in the ground. (See my earlier post "Growing Onions" for more details.) If you want to pick scallions before you harvest onions, plant the sets 2-3" apart and when the green tops grow you can harvest every other one. Or plant sets 3" deep and they will produce better scallions than onions. Happy gardening!


Smoked Salmon Pizza

I can't claim to have invented this yummy concoction - years ago we were served a similar creation as an appetizer by our friend Pam, owner/chef of Coconut Cove in George Town, Exuma, Bahamas. This is my version. I must admit, Stuart was curious when I ordered by usual veggie pizza plus a baked pizza crust with no toppings to take home!
  • one 8" baked pizza crust
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz smoked salmon, sliced into thin pieces
  • 4 scallions, cut into small rounds
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tsp dill weed
Spread the cream cheese over the pizza crust. Layer the other ingredients over the top in the order listed. Serve cold or at room temp.


Storing Fresh Greens, Herbs, and Sprouts

A few years ago my friend Chris taught me a great way to keep leafy vegetables fresh. Take a piece of paper towel (I buy the "select-a-size" type so I can tear off half-sheets) and a plastic bag. After you've washed the lettuce, spinach, kale, basil or other greens - preferably picked fresh from your garden - spin, drain or pat them to dry. Place in the bag with the paper towel, seal, and store in the refrigerator. A small zipper bag works well for basil, and a larger wastebasket bag stores a head of romaine, with a few pieces of paper towel layered with the leaves. The vegetables stay fresh and crisp for a long time this way. I also use this method for the sprouts I grow, when they are ready to move from the countertop sprout jar into the fridge.


Tropical Sweet Potato Bread

This makes a moist, rich bread, and freezes well.
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 tsp dried orange peel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 c unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/2 c golden raisins
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts
  • 1 c cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 coconut milk*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one loaf pan or three mini loaf pans. In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda, salt, spices, coconut, raisins, and nuts. Mix the wet ingredients in a food processor or in a bowl with which you can use an immersion blender. Mix thoroughly. Combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients, and mix by hand just until incorporated. Pour into the pan(s). Bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

One cup of cooked butternut squash or canned pumpkin can be substituted for the sweet potatoes, draining off any excess liquid after mashing the squash.

* I like to use the thick part of the canned coconut milk, without mixing in the watery part (save that for a smoothie).