Cooking with local, seasonal veggies is one of the most satisfying ways to celebrate the unique tastes of your region. We asked the authors of our regional Vegetable Gardening Guides to share some of their favorite go-to recipes. To learn more about growing your own regional fruits and vegetables, consult the expert advice in your regional’s Vegetable Gardening Guide!
Includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The southernmost parts of Ontario, New Brunswick, Novia Scotia, and Quebec are also included.
3 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 apples, cored, peeled and diced (tart apples like Granny Smith or Mutsu)
3 cups diced pumpkin or 2 cups puree
1 shallot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. ground sage
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. walnut oil
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the diced apples, pumpkin, shallot, celery, thyme, sage, and cinnamon. If you are using pumpkin puree, don’t add it yet. Salt to taste. Let simmer until you can slide a fork through the apples and pumpkin.
Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. If you are using pumpkin puree instead of fresh pumpkin, add it at this time, and if you used a cinnamon stick, be sure to remove it before blending. Press the puree through a coarse sieve and set aside.
Heat the butter and walnut oil in the sauce pan. Toss in the bread crumbs and stir until the bread crumbs are softened. Pour the puree back in and add the nutmeg. Mix well, bring to a soft boil, and then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, before serving.
Master Gardener Marie Iannotti is the former owner of Yore Vegetables, an heirloom seedling nursery. She is the former editor of The Mid-Hudson Gardener’s Guide.
Lorene Edwards Forkner
Includes southern British Columbia, western Oregon, western Washington, and northwestern California.
Massaged Kale Salad
1 large bunch of kale (any variety)
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 small ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
oil-cured black olives
Add shallot to vinaigrette to mellow while you’re preparing the salad. Stem kale, stack leaves, roll, and cut into fine ribbons.
Put kale into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with salt. Using clean hands, gently massage the kale for a couple of minutes. Move kale to a clean bowl, leaving any liquid it may have given off behind. Gently fold in avocado, citrus, pumpkin seeds and black olives. Dress salad with shallot vinaigrette and serve.
Lorene Edwards Forkner is an award-winning garden designer who lives, gardens, writes, and designs in the Pacific Northwest.
Includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Roselle Dessert Bars
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cardamom or cinnamon
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 to 1 ½ cups sugar (depending on the sweetness desired)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped roselle calyxes (just the red coverings of the seed pods)
1 Tbsp. orange peel
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cornstarch with water. Add sugar, vanilla, roselle, and orange peel. Cook until thick.
Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cardamom or cinnamon, melted butter, and chopped nuts until crumbly. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and pat in three fourths of the crust mixture. Spread the filling on top, then sprinkle the rest of the crust crumbs over the filling.
Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or allow to cool before cutting into smaller bars for lunches or snacks.
Ira Wallace lives and gardens at Acorn Community Farm in Mineral, Virginia. She serves on the board of the Organic Seed Alliance and is also a co-organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.
Geri Galian Miller
4 large cauliflower leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon toasted breadcrumbs
2 grinds black pepper
Wash and dry cauliflower leaves. Stack leaves together and roll into a tube. Slice into thin ribbons and place in mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Pecorino. Lightly toss by hand to incorporate. Top with a light dusting of Pecorino and toasted bread crumbs.
Geri Galian Miller is the founder of Home Grown Edible Landscapes, where she oversees the execution of edible and native plant landscapes for both commercial and private properties. She is a certified master gardener and a member of the National Gardening Association, the California Native Plant Society, and the Theodore Payne Foundation.
Includes Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, eastern California, and southern Colorado.
Kale and White Bean Soup
1 pound dried cannellini beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 piece of parmesan cheese rind
2 bay leaves
4 carrots, sliced
2 bunches kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
Cover beans with water and cook until tender, for about an hour and a half. Sauté onion, leeks and garlic in olive oil until tender but not browned. Add to the beans and add remaining ingredients and simmer for thirty minutes until carrots are tender. Remove bay leaves and stir in 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary. Top soup with freshly grated parmesan before serving.
Trisha Shirey is the award-winning head gardener at the Lake Austin Spa Resort where she teaches guests about vegetable gardening.
Nothing compares to a big platter of Insalata Caprese: fresh heirloom tomatoes, layered with fresh, soft mozzerella, torn warm basil leaves, a splash of olive oil, splash of balsamic, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Mary Ann Newcomer is an accomplished horticulturist, garden designer, and the former president of the Idaho Botanical Garden.