Arboretum News

Food in the Library?!

A new exhibit in the Andersen Horticultural Library celebrates seasonal comfort foods.

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Find hearty recipes to bring warmth to your kitchen in the Andersen Horticultural Library. Photo by Liz Potasek.

Enjoy heaping portions of cookbooks, magazines and recipes as the Andersen Horticultural Library celebrates the season of comfort foods with an exhibit highlighting ideas for enjoying root vegetables, savory soups, homemade breads and warm sweet treats. The exhibit will be on display Nov. 6 through March 17, 2021, and features a variety of recipes, including the recipes below for Chickpea Tomato Soup with Garlic-Rubbed Bread and Beet Greens, Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Sage, and Wild Rice Breakfast.

The Andersen Horticultural Library is in the Snyder Building, which is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Arboretum visitors can access the library by ringing a doorbell at the main entrances to the Snyder Building.

We used spinach instead of beet greens in the Chickpea and Tomato Soup with great results. Photo by Liz Potasek.

Chickpea and Tomato Soup with Garlic-Rubbed Bread and Beet Greens
Source: Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

For 4 generously

This soup calls for 1 ½ cups of chickpeas, the same amount in a 15-ounce can, in case you haven’t cooked your own. Greens with chickpeas is a pairing that occurs in different dishes and in different countries. This is a good place to use any fresh beet greens or other greens from the same family.

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
1 onion, chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 celery stalks with leaves, stalks diced and the leaves chopped
2 large cloves garlic — 1 clove smashed with a knife, 1 clove halved
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra to finish
1 heaping tablespoon chopped oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large thyme sprig, or good-size pinch of dried thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups liquid, such as the chickpea cooking liquid, vegetable stock or water
Several cups torn greens, such as beet greens, chard, amaranth or spinach
2 slices whole wheat country bread

Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery and celery leaves, the smashed garlic, parsley, oregano and thyme and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Mash the tomato paste into the aromatics, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and add the liquid. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least 30 minutes. Even though everything is more or less cooked, it takes some time for all the flavors to meld and soften. An hour would not be too long, and overnight in the refrigerator would benefit the soup, too.

Stir in the greens and cook until they have softened and are tender. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

Just before serving, toast the bread, then rub it with the halved garlic, brush it with oil and tear it into pieces. Ladle the soup into bowls and submerge some of the bread in each so that it soaks up some of the juices and adds its texture. To finish, dribble a little oil into each bowl, add the parsley and serve.

Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Sage
Source: Herb Quarterly, Fall 2020

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

In this recipe, we’ve switched up sweet potatoes for regular russets and cooked them in mild and cream, which makes them less watery. Adjust the amount of chipotle depending on your spice tolerance. Maple syrup makes a good addition if you like some added sweetness.

4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chipotle chile, minced
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with milk and cream (reserve the extra milk and cream) and add 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and reserve the liquid. Leave the potatoes in the pot. Add 4 tablespoons butter, chipotle, adobo sauce and cumin. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, adding in the reserved milk and cream until light and smooth. Add in sage and season with salt and pepper. Top hot sweet potatoes with remaining butter to serve. 

Wild Rice Breakfast
Source: The Ojibwa: Wild Rice Gatherers, by Therese DeAngelis 

Makes 1 serving.

Wild rice is a grain that gives energy. Mixed with berries and sweetened with syrup, it makes a tasty breakfast cereal.

1 cup cooked wild rice, chilled
2 tablespoons raisins, blueberries, raspberries or cranberries
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ cup milk

Place wild rice in a small bowl. Add berries or raisins. Add maple syrup and milk. Mix together with a small spoon.

4 comments on “Food in the Library?!

  1. Pingback: 10 Things to do at the Arb for November 2020 | News from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

  2. Michelle Sharp

    Will more of this exhibit be available for online viewing? I am delighted by the idea of this exhibit. It would be wonderful to see some more cookbooks featured without having to go into the building. We’re trying to avoid indoor spaces.

  3. Pingback: Arb Links, vol. 31 | News from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

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