Tomato and Cucumber Salad

We love this tomato and cucumber salad because it’s light and refreshing, perfect for barbeques and picnics! Pick up a few tomato plants from Back Home on the Farm and use your tomatoes for this delicious side dish. 

You’ll need:

For the salad:

  • 5 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced
  • tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and 1 pinch black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • teaspoon kosher salt + 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or brown sugar (optional for low-carb, Keto, or sugar-free diets)
  • teaspoon dried oregano

To make: 

Combine all the vegetables, herbs, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl.

In another bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate and serve when ready. 

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Warm up your belly with this delicious, veggie-packed soup! We like to serve it with a few slices of crusty bread. You can pick up tomato plants here at Back Home on the Farm. 

You’ll need:

  • small yellow onion, sliced
  • oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans
  • 1¼ cup vegetable broth
  • tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups baby greens, like baby arugula or spinach
  • ¼ cup cream cheese 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • small lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced, to garnish

To make: 

Over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes until it’s soft and translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re slightly softened.

Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. 

Whisk the cornstarch with a splash of broth in a small bowl. Once blended, stir it into the rest of the vegetable broth.

Pour the broth into the pan and add the beans. Cook for 5 minutes at a low simmer until slightly thickened and warmed through. 

Stir in the cream cheese until melted into the stew. Add the greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Then, mix in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with basil. 

Serve over rice, quinoa, greens, toast, or all alone.

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Herbs as Salt Substitutes

Enhance your meals with flavor and flair while staying mindful of your health. Herbs and spices, with their depth and variety, offer a heart-healthy alternative to salt and sugar. Choose from an excellent selection of herbs here at Back Home on the Farm!

With its sweet and peppery flavor, it’s a great compliment to fish and meat dishes. It’s also excellent in pesto, marinades, dressings, and sauces.

Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are primarily used in soups, stews, meats, poultry, seafood, and sauces. They add a woodsy, bitter touch to dishes.

Sweet and cooling, mint is lovely in salads and pairs well with potatoes and peas. 

This peppery and lemony herb adds a punch of flavor to fish, chicken, tomatoes, and roasted vegetables. 

Grilling season is almost upon us! Grow this warm and spicy herb for marinating meats and seafood before grilling. 

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Herb-Marinated Steak

Herb marinades are a game-changer for steak lovers! Infusing steak with a blend of fragrant herbs adds a rich depth of flavor. The marinade’s acidity helps tenderize the steak, making it juicy and succulent. Pick up a variety of fresh herbs here at Back Home on the Farm. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • tablespoons fresh thyme
  • tablespoons fresh mint
  • cloves garlic
  • jalapeno seeded and sliced
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • lemon lemon zest
  • ½ lemon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2½ lbs steaks

To make: 

Combine all ingredients except the steaks and place them in a food processor, then pulse until a paste forms.

Pat the meat dry and place it in a shallow baking dish or a freezer bag. Cover the meat with the marinade and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the grill to high. Use a paper towel to pat the meat dry, leaving on as much paste as possible. Grill over direct heat or under the broiler until browned on both sides, about 3-6 minutes per side if 1 to 11/4 inches thick and 6-9 minutes if 2 inches thick. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

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Healthy Spinach Harvest

With its vibrant green leaves and nutrient-packed goodness, spinach is a favorite among gardeners and culinary enthusiasts. Growing spinach in your garden ensures a fresh and abundant supply of this versatile leafy green and offers numerous health benefits and culinary possibilities. Here’s everything you need to know to grow spinach successfully in your backyard.

Spinach has various varieties with unique flavors, textures, and growing preferences. Varieties offered at Back Home on the Farm include Lizard Leaf, Imperial Valley, Smooth Leaf, and Bloomsdale. Consider factors such as your climate, available space, and culinary preferences when selecting a variety for your garden.

Spinach thrives in cool weather, making it an excellent choice for early spring and fall gardens. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in warmer climates. Ensure your soil is well-drained, fertile, and rich in organic matter. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

Spinach can be grown from seeds or transplants depending on your preference and growing season. For a continuous harvest, sow seeds every few weeks throughout the growing season. Plant seeds ½ to 1 inch deep and space them according to the variety’s recommendations. Keep the soil consistently moist until the seeds germinate.

Spinach requires regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Mulch around the base of the plants to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds. Fertilize spinach plants with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to promote healthy growth.

Additionally, monitor your plants for pests such as aphids, flea beetles, and leaf miners. Handpick any pests or use organic insecticidal soap to keep them under control. Harvesting Spinach Harvest spinach leaves when they reach your desired size, typically 4-6 inches long for baby spinach and 6-8 inches for mature leaves. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the leaves just above the soil level.

Harvest outer leaves first, allowing the inner leaves to grow for future harvests. Enjoying Your Spinach Harvest Once harvested, spinach can be enjoyed in various culinary creations. Use it raw in salads, sandwiches, and wraps, or cook it by steaming, sautéing, or wilting. Spinach is versatile in soups, stews, quiches, and pasta dishes.