ZOOMING in on Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

My fall ZOOM cooking classes will be to choose one cookbook to review and cook one or two recipes from the book itself or my own recipe(s) inspired by the book. For my first class I chose Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables by Andrea Chesman, an avid gardener who loves to cook what she grows.

Here is the ZOOM link to the class, sponsored by New Horizons Senior Center (www.newhorizonsseniorcenter.org) in Narberth, PA
on Friday, Sept.
24th @ 10:30-11:45 am EST. Please join us!


Meeting ID: 894 0728 0194

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This wonderful cookbook, while not vegetarian, is filled with many,many veggies as the cover picture and subtitle indicate, is divided into seasons rather than chapters. These are the categories:

1. Spring into Summer
2. Early to Mid-Summer
3. Mid- to Late Summer
4. Fall into Winter

Since summer is ending (the Fall Solstice is on Wednesday), I chose #3, Mid-to Late Summer. The author writes about and provides several recipes for each vegetable: artichokes, celery & celery root, chiles & peppers, corn, eggplant, fennel, okra, shell beans, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. The author notes that some summer veggies are still available in early fall, such as zucchini, so for a few weeks into the fall, you may also be reaping summer veggies.

Additionally, Chesman gives us interesting information about each vegetable as well as Kitchen Notes that help in the preparation of each vegetable. For example, artichokes are first on the list in  the mid-to late summer category and we learn how many minutes to cook them, depending on whether they are steamed, braised, grilled, or roasted. Very handy! There is also a page called: “Artichoke Facts & Fiction,” which gives a bit of history and interesting facts, such as the fact that Marilyn Monroe was named the first Artichoke Queen in 1948.

There are four recipes for artichokes and I made the first one last week and enjoyed the flavor. I plan to make it for class, so here is the recipe for braised artichokes that serves 4. (I will just make one large unless I can find small ones.)

3- 6 large, 8 medium, or 12 small artichokes
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (tarragon, chervil, basil, thyme, summer savory, alone or in any combination)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (page 8 or 9)*
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper

* I make my own vegetable broth

1. If you are using large or medium-sized artichokes, trim away the tough outer leaves, peel the stems, cut into quarters, and remove the choke. IF you are using small artichokes, simply peel off the tough outer leaves and cut into halves.

2. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and until the garlic turns pale gold, about 3 minutes. Add the artichokes and sauté, turning the artichokes until they are well coated with the butter, for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, if using, broth, and wine. Being to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally, 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer the artichokes to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat under the remaining braising liquid and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and syrupy, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the artichokes, and serve.

My Note: I will start the class recipe before class so the artichokes will be almost cooked, since they take 15-30 minutes. I also hope to make roasted veggies using as many as the above mentioned veggies as I can find organically grown or on the Clean 15 from the Environmental Working Group’s list.


Serving Up the Harvest is published by Storey Publishing in Massachusetts. Their mission is to publish “practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment.”  (I applaud their mission! es)






Early Fall Salads with Pomegranate Seeds, Berries, Dragon Fruit, Mangoes, and Okra

Fall is my favorite season and also a time for me to shift to “fall foods” that I have not had during the summer, such as apples and pomegranates. But early fall is also still warm, so I have not given up on berries and mangoes. As for vegetable salads, your choices are almost endless this time of year, so be sure to use organically or responsibly grown produce. Feel free to substitute your favorite fruits and veggies if mine are not to your liking.


Colorful Fall Fruit Salad

I decided to use cocktail glasses and took them from above the glasses, but the angle is still funky!

Utensils: Strainer, cutting board & knife, bowl and serving dishes
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Categories: Gluten Free, Vegan, No added sugars

Ingredients (All organic)

1/2 red or white dragon fruit*, scooped out into small pieces+
1/4 mango, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup blueberries or blackberries, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red pear or red apple, cut into small slices or chunks
unsweetened dried coconut
chopped walnuts
Pomegranate juice to moisten (or apple or pear juice)


1. Wash strain, cut or slice fruits into small pieces, except for berries (leave whole). Add a small amount of pomegranate juice.

2. Place in ramekins or small bowls or cocktail glasses. Garnish with coconut and/or chopped walnuts.

3. Serve at room temperature or place in ‘fridge until ready to serve.

+ I recently posted a recipe with dragon fruit. Just type dragon fruit into the Search Box on Home Page.


Triple Greens & Veggies

Utensils: Strainer, cutting board & knife, bowl and serving dishes
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Categories: Gluten Free, Vegan, No added sugars


Organic watercress, baby spinach, and red-tipped Romaine lettuce (= to about 2 cups), washed and dried
3-4 green or red okra*
Scallions, washed, roots and dark green stems removed, then sliced lengthwise or into small circles crosswise
Shredded carrot (off-white, orange or purple)
Dressing of your choice (I made a Hold-Your-Horses dressing from a previous posting because the tofu base gives me a source of protein. (Just type Hold Your Horses Dressing into the Search Box on the Home Page)
Optional additional items: slivered fennel, olives, walnuts


1. Place lettuces in a large bowl. If the cress still has roots, remove. If not using the salad right away, rip the lettuce leaves by hand rather than cut with a knife. (Doing the latter means the greens will turn brown around the cut edges sooner.)

2. Wash and slice okra crosswise, to expose the pinwheel pattern. Add to bowl.

3. Wash and shred the carrot and add to the bowl. Toss with your favorite dressing and serve immediately or place in ‘fridge for later use without dressing. Garnish with sprouts after tossing with dressing.

*Okra raw is very tasty, a little like cucumber. Since many people avoid okra because of it slimy texture when cooked, most of us don’t know that eaten raw, it is quite delicious! Here is some info on okra that might convince you to try it raw:

The amount of nutrients you find in a portion of okra makes it the kind of food you would want to include in your meal plans. For example, one cup contains 3.2 grams of fiber that is about an eighth of a person’s daily needs. Sufficient fiber content is essential for the effective working of the digestive system. This same serving of okra also delivers 82 mg of the calcium the body needs for good bone and teeth health. In addition, you find it also contains 1.9 gram of protein and just 32 calories. These are just a few examples of its high nutritional value. (Quoted Source: https://facty.com/search/?term=Benefits%20of%20Okra)

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