Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August Recipe: Green Beans in Basil-Walnut Vinaigrette

For a lovely presentation put 1 or 2 radicchio or red cabbage leaves on each salad plate and mound the green beans on top. Visit our online catalog to see all the varieties of green beans we carry.

1 1/2 lb. young green beans, trimmed

1 tsp. chopped garlic
20 basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Chopped walnuts
3 scallions thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add green beans and cook until just tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain immediately into a colander and pour ice water over beans to stop the cooking action. Drain well.

In a blender or food processor put the garlic, basil, salt and ground pepper. Pulse on and off, then add the mustard and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. Add the oil very slowly in a thin stream with the machine running, just until blended.

Place the beans in a serving bowl and pour the vinaigrette over them. Toss to coat thoroughly. Garnish with the scallions and walnuts.

Serves 6 to 8.
For more great recipes check out
 Renee's Cookbooks:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Visiting Breeder Field Trials

 by Helen Clary,
Inside Sales Support

Hi there! I’m Helen Clary, one of the newer sales team members at Renee’s Garden. I’ve known Renee for many years and we have enjoyed riding our horses together on many of our beautiful local trails. I have always had a passion for animals, plants and nature and have over the years created a very productive vegetable garden using "our" seeds along with information and advice from Renee herself!  The best part is that now I am part of this amazing, dedicated team of people.

Going down the Trail
Renee's Patches and Ruby; Helen's Missy and April
I’d like to take this opportunity to share a little insight into a most fascinating trip to Sakata Seeds, a 100-year-old Japanese company that produces some of the seed varieties we offer in our line. Renee, Lindsay and I visited the Sakata Field Trials located at their Research Station in Salinas. We walked past huge greenhouses full of exquisitely colored flowers, and alongside fields of vegetables and herbs that seemed to go as far as the eye could see. As we arrived at the rendezvous point, we were met by Tracy Lee who co-leads the Home Gardening department for Sakata Seeds and has known Renee for many years.

    Looking at Baby Leaf Trials      Tracy and Renee discuss Collards
Tracy totally understood what Renee conveyed to her regarding where she sees opportunities to expand the product range while continuing to provide high quality seed and interesting, great tasting varieties at an affordable price for home gardeners. She helped guide us through the trials, pointing out varieties she thinks we would be interested in growing in our trial gardens. We found many future possibilities that Sakata’s veteran breeders are still working on that we hope to trial going forward.

Left to Right: Exciting new Chard colors we will trial; Looking through the
greenhouse window; Fascinating new Cosmos shape to trial
We tasted multiple varieties of spinach, baby greens and beets and Asian greens to name a few.  Lindsay laughed when I said "this tastes a bit like Arugula," pointing out that it was Arugula!  My plant education is expanding rapidly! I couldn’t believe how big some of the cabbages and cauliflowers were and how amazing the colors were for some of the chard varieties.
Renee and Lindsay in the Cauliflower Trial        Supper for Twelve                    
Renee in the Cabbage trial          Cabbage candidates to trial
I now have a better appreciation for the lengths that our company goes to ensure quality and variety. We came away with a number of potential new seed varieties which will undergo our rigorous home-trialing before they ever make it to the status of a "New Variety" for Renee’s Garden.

Renee gets some Flower Power!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

July Recipe: Ten Minute Zucchini Pizza

A surefire way for kids (of all ages) to enjoy zucchini. Visit our online catalog to see all the varieties of zucchini we carry.

6 medium zucchini
Extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup pizza sauce
(homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup finely chopped basil
1 3/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F

Cut zucchini lengthwise into long 1/4 inch thick slices. Pat dry and brush both sides with olive oil. Arrange side by side on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet or pizza pan. Bake 7 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Top generously with well-seasoned pizza sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, freshly grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and put back into the oven for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is hot and the bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 6
For more great recipes check out
 Renee's Cookbooks:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Seed of the Month: 30% Off 'Sun Samba' Sunflower

Still time to plant! Order today
get 30% off Sun Samba
by entering code "sunsamba"
at checkout  (Good thru 8/31/13)

This scintillating color blend is a dancing celebration of all the forms and joyous colors sunflowers offer. You’ll have strong branching stalks with free flowering big blooms in a full array of colors, including sunny yellow, deep gold, lemon, mahogany, bronze and golden orange with many variations. Sun Samba provides endless, strikingly beautiful bouquets and a glorious display that turns heads in the garden.

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