Use the bounty of your garden for these Colorado September supper recipes – The Denver Post

2022-09-23 23:48:53 By : Ms. Ira Wu

Sign up for Newsletters and Alerts

Sign up for Newsletters and Alerts

Part of summer’s sweetness is that we have to let it go. But you can look at that inevitability as a triumph, not a tragedy. In Colorado, summer is short enough that melon season just about overlaps with pumpkins and roasted chiles, and cold stormy blasts are often followed by warm, golden afternoons.

The menu below sends summer off with a fanfare, not a dirge.

This recipe holds off on the sugar to keep the sweetness of the peaches prominent. Makes 12 ounces, enough to glaze four pork chops and have some left over to eat on cinnamon or dulce de leche ice cream.

In a medium saucepan, bring about 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Wash the peaches and fill a medium-sized bowl with ice. When the water is boiling, add cold water to the bowl of ice. Plunge the peaches into the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to the ice bath for 2 minutes. The skins should rub off (or at least be much easier to remove).

Chop the peeled peaches coarsely into a small saucepan, discarding the pits. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup and stir. Bring to a slow simmer over low heat.

Mash the warm mixture to a chunky consistency with a potato masher or spatula. Tasting as you go, add a pinch of salt, then the whisky, if desired. Stir in the red pepper flakes, if desired. When you like the taste, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to a week.

Don’t worry if you have leftovers of these divine roasted beets. They taste great stolen from the refrigerator when no one is looking. You can also freeze and microwave them. Serves 4 to 6.

Preheat oven to 350. Scrub the beets well; cut off the tops and bottoms, as well as any scarred outer skin, gashes or defects. Cut in half vertically; then cut into wedges, with the largest edge about 1 to 1 1/2 inch wide (about bite-size). In a large bowl, toss with the olive oil and salt.

Cover two large sheet pans with parchment paper. (This is optional, but speeds cleanup.) Spread the beets out in a single layer with some air space around them. Roast for 30 minutes; check for doneness with a fork. Continue roasting until the flesh barely yields. Remove from oven.

Crumble goat cheese over roasted beets. Serve warm.

The secret of brining any protein that goes into your oven comes from the blog Gimme Some Oven, the work of the incredible Ali Martin. The peach glaze, of course, comes from the necessity of using Colorado’s incredible fruit in every way possible. If your grill has good temperature control, you can sear and then roast these chops on your grill, carefully, because even peach-whiskey glaze can’t fix an overcooked pork chop. To avoid that tragedy, you’ll need an instant-read meat thermometer or, better still, a probe thermometer that alerts you when the meat has reached the right internal temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350. Stir the salt into 4 cups of cool water until dissolved. Add the pork chops, making sure they are submerged. Brine for 15 minutes.

While the chops are brining, heat a cast iron or other oven-safe pan (or your grill) over medium-high heat. (If the chops are too large to fit in one skillet, use two, or prepare to move the chops to a large, preheated roasting pan once they’re seared.) Rinse the chops and dry well with a paper towel. Brush both sides of each chop with olive oil, then sprinkle each chop with salt and pepper.

Add the oil to the hot pan and heat until it shimmers and a drop of water sizzles angrily. Place each chop carefully in the hot pan. Sear for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip each chop; then place the skillet in the preheated oven. Cook for 5 minutes or more, to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Remove chops from the oven and the pan to four dinner plates. Tent loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm with peach-whiskey glaze.

If you’re not growing Swiss chard, you should be; it’s the garden gift that keeps on giving. This salad uses young, white chard that’s still tender enough to eat raw, but whose leaves are big enough to need chopping and a bit of wilting. For those who have six or seven kinds of salt in your pantry — and you know who you are — this is a chance to show it off. Serves 4.

Wash and dry the chard leaves; remove the ends of the stems and any damaged leaves. Folding each leaf in half lengthwise, cut out the white stems. Gather the stems and chop them into half-inch lengths on the diagonal. Roll the leaves and chop roughly, also on the diagonal, into about 1 ½ inch pieces.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the chopped chard stems until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes (slightly browned is fine). If you couldn’t get young chard tender enough to eat raw, add the leaves to the skillet and heat until just barely wilted.

Portion the chard leaves (or leaves and stems if you cooked them together) into salad bowls. Top with the cooked stems. Drizzle with the rice vinegar and then the lime juice, and toss to coat. Serve with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt, and more on the side.

This is one of the simplest ways to preserve your herb garden’s bounty for the summer — and if you’re not gardening, it’s the easiest way to show off that you know your way around your local spice shop. This herbed butter uses a dried Herbes de Provence blend from Colorado’s Savory Spice, but you can also use fresh herbs from your garden, in any concentration or combination you like.

Soften, but do not melt, the butter in a medium bowl with room to work it. Chop the herbs if using fresh ones.

Add herbs to the softened butter. Blend in well with a fork. If you’re rushed, or want to combine the butter with some olive oil, you can blend it in a food processor, but working the herbs in by hand preserves their structure a bit more, giving the butter bursts of flavor.

Add salt and more herbs to taste — and by “to taste,” we mean have some good slices of crusty bread, or some steamed garden green beans, to taste the butter on as you go. When you can’t stop eating it, it’s ready.

You can use any berries with this simple dessert, but dark blackberries or black raspberries set off the delicate creamy color beautifully, and their sweet but slightly tart flavor complements the rich, sweet vanilla of this eggless, easy-to-make finale. Try it with espresso or a light dessert wine. (If you would rather try a dairy-free panna cotta, try this one from the Healthy Epicurean.) Serves 8, because you’ll want some for a midnight snack.

Add 2 tablespoons of cold water to a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin and stir; let dissove for a few minutes (it will set up and look as though it won’t ever be liquid again). Heat over low heat, stirring, until it becomes liquid once again. Remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, half-and-half, and sugar. Heat over medium-high, stirring constantly, until it just barely comes to a boil; remove from heat.

Add the vanilla to the gelatin and stir; add the combination to the hot cream mixture and stir. Pour the cream into pretty teacups, ramekins or sturdy glasses. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Unmolding the panna cotta onto a plate is optional, but if you wish, run a wet knife around the edges of the ramekin. Hold the ramekin in hot water for a minute or so; top with a dessert plate and then flip. Shake the upside-down ramekin gently to unmold.

Top the panna cotta with fresh or thawed frozen berries; eat chilled.

Subscribe to our new food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink news sent straight to your inbox.

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions. As of June 15, 2022, comments on are powered by Viafoura, and you may need to log in again to begin commenting. Read more about our new commenting system here. If you need help or are having issues with your commenting account, please email us at

Sign up for Newsletters and Alerts