The Swiss chard is looking beautiful in the fall garden, and this homey fritatta makes delicious use of it. For filling a fritatta like this, chard is one of our favorites for color and flavor; but other greens like escarole, frisee, collards, dandelion greens, arugula, and spinach can also be used. Greens always go well with salty bacon, but they also go exceptionally well with onion and garlic. If using the garlic, start the saute with the onion, then add the potatoes and greens, and add the garlic at the end so it doesn’t overcook and become bitter.
Another thing that I like about this recipe [...]
Continue reading Swiss Chard Fritatta with Bacon, Potatoes, and Cheese
Lazy Bed Potatoes
Since originally writing on how to grow potatoes using this method, we’ve made a couple of changes that gave us better results (see “Growing Potatoes: The Lazy Bed Method – IMPROVED!”), so I’ve incorporated those options into the method outlined below. Potatoes are such an easy and rewarding crop to grow, I hope everyone gives it a try.
The traditional method of planting potatoes involves digging a trench, placing seed potatoes in the trench, mounding soil around the potatoes as they grow, weeding, and finally digging the potatoes at harvest time. In the original “lazy bed method”, the seed potatoes [...]
Continue reading Growing Potatoes: The Lazy Bed Method + Improvements
This is another dish that we made over the holidays; and it was so yummy that there were several requests that it be posted to Better Hens and Gardens - so here it is. The fennel and Gruyère cheese really elevate au gratin potatoes to a special dish. It’s can go from the oven to the table, or can be cooked ahead and reheated at 350°F for 30 minutes – making it a truly versatile dish too. It’s adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.
2 small fennel bulbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds baking potatoes (4 large potatoes)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy [...]
Continue reading Potato Fennel Gratin
We had a great potato season in the garden this year; so we get to try lots of new recipes using potatoes. I wasn’t very familiar with the taste of tarragon; but like dill in potato salads so tried this recipe from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That” and loved it – it’s a potato salad with lots of flavor! I’ve made it now with both Prairie Blush and Yukon Gold potatoes; and it’s been very good both times.
2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (6 to 8 potatoes)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tarragon or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly [...]
Continue reading Dill & Tarragon Potato Salad
Adult Potato Beetle
Almost overnight, they’ve attacked our Yukon Gold potatoes, but thankfully they haven’t found the Purple Viking potatoes, peppers, eggplants, or tomatoes. Every gardener growing potatoes is likely to run into this beetle, as it’s a devastating pest of potatoes. Both the yellow, black-striped adult and the black-spotted, red larvae feed on potato leaves, and can completely consume them thereby greatly reducing tuber yields and even killing plants. The potato beetle can also be a serious pest on tomato, eggplant, and pepper; and the damage is so severe, the beetle must be controlled.
Adult potato beetles overwinter in [...]
Continue reading Controlling Potato Beetles
I used to think that growing potatoes was too much work for the end result. Then a friend’s homegrown Yukon Gold potatoes completely changed my mind. Like almost anything that’s homegrown, they just tasted so much better. For me, it should be safe to plant potatoes this week, so I brought my seed potatoes out to sprout them. Sprouting the potatoes encourages early growth, and speeds up production of tubers – something I’m always interested in because of our short season.
Sprouting Seed Potatoes
I purchased certified seed potatoes months ago (Yukon Gold and Purple Viking this year) when there was a [...]
Continue reading Cutting & Sprouting Seed Potatoes