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Fresh Garden

Ham Dishes


Tomato Salad

1 small or 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

1 1/2 lb heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium size)

1/4 C packed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill, parsley combination, coarsely chopped

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 T red wine vinegar

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t freshly-ground black pepper


   Place the onion in small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand while preparing rest of ingredients, about 10 minutes.

   Core tomatoes and slice into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Place in a large bowl. Add herbs, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drain onions and add to bowl. Toss to combine and let stand for at least 10 (or up to 30) minutes before serving. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, vinegar or oil, as needed.


Tomato and Feta White Bean Salad

2 T olive oil

1 T red wine vinegar

1 t minced shallot

Kosher salt

Freshly-ground black pepper

1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups), halved

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

1/2 C coarsely-chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 T chopped fresh oregano leaves


   Whisk the oil, vinegar, shallot, a big pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, feta, parsley and oregano and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed.

Caprese Avocado Toast

2 slices hearty sandwich bread, such as peasant bread, sourdough, whole-wheat or multi-grain

1 medium avocado, halved and pit removed

8 grape tomatoes, halved

2 oz fresh bite-sized mozzarella balls (about 12)

4 large fresh basil leaves, torn

2 T balsamic glaze

   Toast bread. While bread is toasting, mash avocado in a small bowl.

   Spread mashed avocado over toast. Top each slice with tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil leaves, then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Ham and Potato Hash

3 T butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled

1 C finely diced cooked ham

1/4 t salt, or to taste

1/8 t ground black pepper

1/4 t dried crumbled thyme

   Partially cook potatoes, then dice. Cut potatoes in half, cook in saucepan of simmering water until not quite done and still firm, about 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Drain. Dice to 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Set aside.

   Cook the onion and bell pepper in butter. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet* over medium low to medium heat. Add onion, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add chopped bell pepper, cook another 2 minutes.

   Add the potatoes, ham, salt, pepper and thyme: Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook hash until well browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

   *The hash will brown better in a cast iron pan than in a stick-free pan. 

Ham and Corn Chowder

2 C cooked ham, diced into small cubes

    (I used leftover ham roast, ham steak works, too)

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

5 1/2 T butter, divided

1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 C)

2 carrots, peeled and diced (3/4 C)

2 celery stalks, diced (3/4 C)

2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth

5 medium red potatoes (1 3/4 lb), diced into 3/4-inch cubes

3/4 t dried oregano

1/2 t dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

2 C fresh corn (or frozen)

1/3 C all-purpose flour

3 C milk

1/2 C sour cream or heavy cream (I’ve tried and like both versions)

Chopped green onions or chives, for serving


   In a large pot, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

   Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow to cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Add in ham and corn and cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

   Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly add in milk, and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps; season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken, whisking constantly. 

   Remove from heat, stir in sour cream or cream. Pour and stir milk mixture into soup mixture (once potatoes are tender). Serve warm topped with bacon and chives.

Strawberry Bread

2 C fresh strawberries 

3 1/8 C all-purpose flour 

2 C white sugar 

1 T ground cinnamon 

1 t salt

1 t baking soda 

1 ¼ C vegetable oil 

4 large eggs, beaten 

1 ¼ C chopped pecans  


  Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 9” x 5” loaf pans. Slice strawberries and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and set aside while preparing batter.

  Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl; mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.

Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes (test each loaf separately). Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out of pans, and allow to cool before slicing.

Blueberry Lemon Loaf

1 lemon 

1 T confectioners’ sugar 

¾ C white sugar 

¼ C melted butter 

2 large eggs 

¼ C sour cream 

1/3 C milk 

1 2/3 C all-purpose flour 

2 t baking powder 

¼ t salt 

1 ¼ C frozen blueberries


   Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.

   Grate zest from lemon onto small plate. Cut lemon in half, and squeeze juice from both halves. Make topping by whisking together 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in small bowl. Set aside

   Whisk together white sugar, melted butter, eggs, sour cream, remaining lemon zest and remaining lemon juice in large bowl until evenly blended. Stir in milk; set aside.

   Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in separate large bowl. Remove 3 tablespoons of flour mixture and set aside. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; pour milk mixture into well and stir batter just until combined.

   Fold frozen blueberries into the reserved 3 tablespoons of flour mixture, then fold blueberries into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

   Remove from oven; immediately poke holes all over top of loaf with a toothpick, and pour topping evenly over loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

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