Garden Meditations


Some may see a six inch plant… but a gardener sees a patch of lush orange pie pumpkins!

Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we nurture a big garden every year. Planning begins in late winter with seed sorting and dreaming, followed by starting indoor transplants in very early spring. As seedlings Continue reading

Savory Garden Pie

WIN_20160809_182515My apologies, friends. I’ve been playing in the garden, and haven’t offered up a new recipe for a few days now. What began a few weeks ago as a daily walk to the garden with a kitchen bowl has blossomed into a daily walk to the garden with a wheelbarrow. The harvest this year is amazing!

A few days ago, I pulled all of the beets in my beet patch. Oh my, what a job! The highlight of the morning was watching the kiddos gleefully spray a huge pile of freshly pulled beets with the garden hose. While most of the bounty found its way into jars of pickled beets, I saved a few for this Savory Garden Pie. With rich flavors of ricotta, walnuts, and earthy root vegetables, Savory Garden Pie makes a delightful dinner with a side salad and crusty bread. Bon Appetit!

108761Ingredients (Makes 1 pie, serves 6 – 8)

1 roll-out, refrigerated pie crust

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon seasoning mix, such as Wildtree Picnic Salad Blend*

1 egg

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped walnuts

3 cups sliced root vegetables (any combination of beets, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, or turnips would be delicious)

* Interested in Wildtree products? Feel free to email my favorite Wildtree consultant, Tricia, at     


Ricotta mixture with 1 teaspoon of beet juice for color (optional)



Step 1) (Optional) If you prefer your vegetables fork-tender instead of crisp, steam your sliced root vegetables in a steamer rack for 3 – 5 minutes.

Step 2) Roll out your refrigerated pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate.

Step 3) In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, seasoning mix, parmesan, and walnuts. Blend well. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the pie crust.

Step 4) Arrange sliced root vegetables on top of the ricotta mixture. If desired, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Step 5) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


Pecan-Roasted Cauliflower


While there is unfortunately no such thing as a magical food, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage sure come close.  The pungent aromas of these vegetables are due to a class of chemical compounds called glucosinolates.  These compounds have long been recognized for their antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.  Need another reason to pick up a head of cauliflower during your next trip to the market?  Scientists are keeping a close eye on glucosinolates for their potential anti-carcinogenic properties, including the possibility that these compounds might inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.  The research is only preliminary, but hey, that’s a lot of potential bundled up in a humble vegetable!

This recipe showcases cauliflower in its roasted form… truly the most decadent way to savor this vegetable.  Slightly crispy on the outside, silky on the inside, with a hint of toasted sesame oil and pleasing pecan crunch.  Enjoy this quick and easy dish!

Ingredients (makes 4 side dish servings or 2 main dish servings)

One head of cauliflower

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground salt



Step 1) Place pecans in bottom of large mixing bowl.

Step 2) Trim green parts from cauliflower and add to scrap container in freezer.

Step 3) Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces and add to mixing bowl.


Step 4) Combine olive oil and sesame oil in a small bowl; blend to mix flavors.

Step 5) Drizzle oil mixture into large bowl; stir to coat cauliflower and pecans.

Step 6) Spread cauliflower and pecans on a large, lightly greased roasting pan.

picture237Step 7) Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.