Picnic Worthy Harvest Eats

We had the pleasure of Kristen Rasmussen de Vasquez of Rooted Food presenting in the Plant. Grow. Eat. tent at our 2018 Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.  Kristen shared inspiration for utilizing our summer harvests with her presentation 'Picnic Worthy Harvest Eats'

With bountiful, 'incredible' harvests, in our near future Kristen has kindly shared her recipes.  Enjoy a lovely picnic! 

Thank you Kristen!


All quantities are approximations

Herbed new potato and pole bean salad

Serves 4-6

●       1 pound small new and/or waxy potatoes (red, fingerling, or butterball will all work)

●       ½ pound (about 2 cups) pole beans (any variety of green bean, romano, or yellow wax), trimmed

●       2 shallot bulbs, diced

●       About ¼ cup olive oil, divided

●       1-2 tablespoons apple cider, red, or white wine vinegar

●       1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

●       Salt to taste

●       ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (dill and/or wild fennel are classic, but others will work such as basil, thyme, oregano, tarragon, etc.)

●       Chopped olives or capers (optional)

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Add beans and cook another 2-4 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to ice bath.
  2. While potatoes and beans are cooking, sauté shallots on medium in enough olive oil to coat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Halve or quarter potatoes, depending on size and preference. Skin can peeled away if desired. Chop beans into ½-inch pieces.
  4. Blend, whisk together, or shake in mason jar shallots with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a large pinch of salt. Toss with potatoes and beans. Add herbs, optional olives or capers, and additional salt, oil, and vinegar to taste.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Beet and yogurt spread


Makes 2 cups

●       4 medium beets, about 1 pound, washed

●       ½-1/3 cup plain yogurt

●       1-2 teaspoons lemon zest

●       1 tablespoon lemon juice

●       About 2 tablespoons olive oil

●       Salt to taste

●       Chopped herbs such as parsley, mint, or tarragon and/or lemon zest for garnish (optional)

  1. Boil or steam beets in a large pot of water until tender, about 20 minutes (beets can also be roasted until tender for a darker flavor). Remove (careful - they will be hot) and slide skin off of beets while running under cold water.
  2. Shred beets with cheese grater. Toss with yogurt (more or less to preference), lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and salt. And more of each to taste and texture preference.
  3. Garnish with herbs, lemon zest, and drizzled olive oil if desired. Serve with crackers, bread/pita, or vegetables. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.
PhotO courtesy of  rooted food

PhotO courtesy of rooted food

Shaved zucchini salad with toasted pine nuts and parmesan

Serves 4.

●       2 large zucchini (or summer squash)

●       Juice from ½ lemon (about one tablespoon)

●       2 tablespoons olive oil

●       Salt and black pepper to taste

●       ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

●       Fresh grated parmesan

●       Chopped fresh parsley

  1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, shave zucchini into thin rounds or thin long slices.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss zucchini in dressing and add more salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Top zucchini with toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan, and parsley.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature. Should be eaten the same day of preparation.

Tahini and roasted summer squash spread

Makes 2 cups.

●       1.5 pounds summer squash (about 3 medium "gold bar" squash or 4-6 pattypan or crookneck), chopped

●       About 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

●       About 2 tablespoons tahini

●       About 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (for vegan spread, omit and use more olive oil and tahini)

●       1-2 teaspoons ground cumin

●       Salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss diced squash with olive oil to coat and spread out in a single layer. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until soft and golden brown, tossing halfway through.
  3. Using either a food processor or potato masher (food processor if you like your spreads to be smoother, potato masher for chunkier), blend squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon tahini, and 1 tablespoon yogurt. Continue adding more of these wet ingredients in small amounts in addition to cumin and salt until you have reached the desired texture and taste.
  4. Garnish with paprika, herbs, and drizzled olive oil if desired. Serve with crackers, bread/pita, or vegetables. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.

Kristen Rasmussen de Vasquez is a OSU Master Gardener, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and founder of Rooted Food.