July 2023, Cincinnati, Ohio
Welcome back to the Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden monthly blog with Grow Appalachia! Today we are getting a really good soak from mother nature. So, I am taking this time to reflect upon some of the fun memories I have growing in the garden.
To start, Garden Club is back for the summer and we met for the first time last week. Garden Club is a year-round free enrichment program in the Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden. Members engage in activities in the garden designed to enhance their creativity, broaden their understanding of where food comes from, and teach them lifelong entrepreneurial skills. Since our first meeting was held in the middle of the day with the sun still scorching, I thought the best way to start camp would be to harvest some of the ripe foods so we could enjoy snacking on them under the pergola. After listening to gardener Jill’s tutorial on how to harvest garlic, washing our hands and cleaning the vegetables, we sat together and feasted on broccoli, lettuce, celery and kale. Many of the youth were surprised by how much added flavor a bit of fresh garlic could provide. After bagging up the remaining vegetables for the participants to take home and enjoy with their families, we headed to the gooseberry patch to end our day with a healthy sweet treat.
The community garden relies heavily on volunteers. In fact, this garden is maintained 100% by volunteers, so when KeyBank asked to come back for their Make A Difference Day, we said yes right away! Thanks to their hard work we were able to clear the fence line from litter and weeds, sift black gold from our compost and add it to our garden beds, and weed several food beds. It was a fun and productive afternoon, and we are so grateful for their help.
So, what are we harvesting in the garden right now, you may ask? Well, this week we have an abundance of fresh greens and broccoli. I even brought some home for myself and have been using the fresh greens as a base for my dinner and lunch salads. I also enjoy making southern-style greens and serving it over a baked potato. This season the broccoli has been my favorite vegetable to cook. So I thought it would be nice to share one of my easy/delicious recipes with you. Enjoy!
Pan Seared Broccoli
Celtic Sea Salt
Garlic Chive, Onion Chive, or Ramps
Red Pepper Flakes *if you like heat
- Grab a large pan and add a few tablespoons of oil (your choice). I used avocado oil.
- Harvest broccoli with its stem and leaves intact, clean, and pat it dry.
- Chop broccoli florets, stem, and leaves into bite size pieces.
- Heat your pan with oil to a medium heat setting, wait for the oil to get hot and then add broccoli.
- While the broccoli is cooking grab some garlic and add a heaping teaspoon to the pan. I like to use fresh garlic, but organic minced garlic in a jar works great too.
- If you have any garlic chive, onion chive, or ramps in the kitchen or garden, grab a handful of those too. Clean, chop into small pieces and add to the pan.
- If you like a bit of spicy flavor, add red pepper flakes to the pan
- Now that everything is in the pan turn the heat up to medium-high heat and stir every few minutes. The heat should be high enough that the leaves and florets are turning golden brown and crispy.
- After 8-10 minutes your broccoli should be cooked and ready to eat.
- The broccoli can be eaten alone or as a side or served over rice, quinoa, or over a baked potato
- Once you decide how you’re going to enjoy your pan seared broccoli the last thing you must do is squeeze a fresh lemon over the broccoli. It is my absolute favorite part of the whole dish and cannot be skipped!
I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! I will be back again next month with more updates and stories from Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden.
Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden Volunteer Garden Coordinator