Community Garden


Favorite recipes from St. Cloud State Community Garden volunteers

All of the following recipes incorporate at least one form of produce we grow in the garden.  Remember, even if you cannot find the time to volunteer in the garden, we offer many of these crops for sale at the St. Cloud State University Farmer's Market during Fall semesters.  All crops we grow and sell are bolded in the recipes.

For reference, the following abbreviations are used for measurements in all recipes:
C - Cup
Tbsp - Tablespoon
tsp - teaspoon
oz. - ounce, ounces


Sweet corn and goat cheese quesadillas

(This recipe uses basil and zucchini.  You can find the original recipe here.)

You will need:
A large bowl
A large pan or skillet
A spatula
A knife for chopping vegetables
3 C corn kernels - fresh, frozen, or canned
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 C diced zucchini
3 scallions chopped
4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 C large basil leaves, packed loosely (more, if desired)
4 8-inch tortillas

What to do with the ingredients:
Brown the corn over medium heat in the pan, about 5-7 minutes, remove pan from heat
Transfer the corn to a small bowl
Add the butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper

Add olive oil to pan and return to medium heat
Add zucchini, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper to the pan
Cook for 3-4 minutes, until zucchini gets soft

Add chopped scallions and cook for an additional minute
Turn off heat
Return the corn to the pan with the other ingredients
Stir to combine everything
Remove cooked ingredients to the bowl

Return the pan to medium heat
Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan
Add a tortilla once the olive oil begins to shimmer

Spread 1-2 Tbsp of softened goat cheese on one half of a tortilla
Add the zucchini/corn/scallion mixture evenly on top of the goat cheese
Add a few large basil leaves on top of the mixture
Fold the tortilla over so the mixture is covered
Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip the tortilla over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes

Slice into thirds and serve while warm.


Caprese salad

(This recipe uses basil and tomatoes.) 

You will need: 
A large plate/platter or deep bowl
A sharp knife
A cutting surface to prep the tomatoes, cheese, and basil leaves
3-4 medium heirloom tomatoes (the more colorful, the better; we love using a variety of garden tomatoes!)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves (handful, or more to taste), coarsely chopped (or ripped by hand)
Extra virgin olive oil for dripping over top of salad
Coarse salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)

Cut the tomatoes and cheese into bite-sized pieces
Arrange tomatoes and cheese on the large plate/platter or deep bowl
Drop pieces of basil leaves over the tomatoes and cheese
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes, cheese, and basil
Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper over the plate/platter or deep bowl as desired


Note:  There are many variations of this summertime salad, all of which involve adding in different ingredients as desired.  Feel free to try adding the following ingredients, some of which we grow in our garden, for a special twist on the old classic:

Grilled corn (4 cups)
Balsamic vinegar (drizzled over top)
Scallions (1/2 C, sliced)
White wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (3 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. sugar
Dollops of pesto (recipes appear below)
Mint leaves 
Strawberries or raspberries


Basil pesto (classic)

(This recipe uses basil and garlic.)

You will need:
A sharp knife
A cutting surface
A medium-sized bowl
A food processor or blender (ideally), or a mortar and pestle
4 C basil 
1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C pine nuts
1-2 garlic cloves (to taste)
1/2 C Parmesan cheese (more to taste)
1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Combine the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic cloves in blender
Blend until smooth paste forms
Add cheese and salt to the paste and blend until smooth again
Transfer pesto to medium-sized bowl
Drizzle pesto with olive oil
Place bowl in refrigerator to chill for at least an hour

Note:  There are many variations of this sauce, all of which involve adding in different ingredients as desired.  Feel free to try adding the following ingredients, some of which we grow in our garden, for a special twist on the classic recipe:

Kale - 1 large bunch, ribs removed
    Cook the kale in large pot of salted water until bright green/wilted; under a minute.  Add to the other pesto            ingredients above or substitute the kale for the basil entirely.
Almonds - use in place of pine nuts
Nutritional yeast - a vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese; use about half the amount of nutritional yeast as you      would use the Parmesan cheese in this recipe

Cauliflower kuku

(This recipe uses cauliflower, garlic, onion, and parsley.  The original recipe can be found here.)

You will need: 
A sharp knife
A cutting surface
A rubber spoon or spatula
A whisk or other stirring utensil (e.g., fork)
An ovenproof skillet (medium or large)
1/2 C olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small head cauliflower, cut up into florets and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp rice flour or potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
4 eggs
1/2 C goat-milk cheese, crumbled 

Preheat the oven to 400˚F
Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a medium-sized, ovenproof skillet over medium heat
Add onion, garlic, cauliflower, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and parsley
Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk lightly
Pour the kuku mixture into the skillet and give it a quick stir using a rubber spatula
Reduce heat to low
Flatten the surface of the kuku, and pour the remaining oil around the edges
Cook for 4 minutes.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and coming away from the skillet
Remove the skillet from the oven, cut into wedges, and serve with bread, herbs, and yogurt. 


Roasted spiced cauliflower

(This recipe uses cauliflower and garlic.  See "Note" section for variations which use other veggies from the garden.)

You will need:
A sharp knife
A large roasting pan
A large bowl
1/4 C canola oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), cut into florets
Kosher or coarse salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 450˚F 
Lightly grease a large sheet pan (preferred) or large shallow roasting pan with oil
Combine the oil with the garlic salt, curry powder, cumin, cardamom, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper in a large bowl
Mix well
Add the cauliflower and toss to coat
Spread the cauliflower on the prepared pan in a single layer
Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the florets are tender-crisp and browned
To serve, mound the florets on a serving platter and sprinkle with the kosher salt to taste

Note:  This recipe lends itself to many other vegetables we grow in the garden.  For a twist on this recipe, try adding in one or more of the following while you're roasting your cauliflower, or substitute completely for an entirely different dish:
Beets - may require a longer roasting time
- try to make the florets the same size as the cauliflower for efficient roasting
Carrots - may require a longer roasting time
Onions - roughly chopped
Potatoes - may require a longer roasting time


Cucumber salad (creamy)

(This recipe uses cucumbers and garlic.)

You will need:
A sharp knife
A cutting surface
A large bowl
1 large cucumber
1/4 to 3/4 yogurt - if using thick Greek yogurt, you may wish to thin with a little water or kefir
1 tsp of dried mint leaves
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and cut the cucumber in quarters length-wise, and remove seeds if you wish
Slice the quarters into 1/2-inch pieces
Place the cucumber pieces in a large bowl
Fold in the yogurt and mix them together to completely cover the cucumber
Start with less yogurt and add more as you wish to get the consistency you want
Press or mince the garlic
Add the garlic, mint, salt, and pepper to bowl with cucumbers and mix thoroughly.
Place the bowl in a refrigerator for about an hour (longer resting time will allow the flavors to marry)
Serve cold, great with a piece of pita bread!

Note:  This dish can be made with vegan yogurt to make this a vegan dish!


Cucumber salad (clear)

(This recipe uses cucumbers, dill, and sweet onions.)

You will need:
A sharp knife
A cutting surface
A large heat-resistant bowl or container with lid (cling film or aluminum foil will work fine, too)
A medium sauce pan
4-6 medium cucumbers
1 medium-to-large sweet onion
2-3 oz. dill (think a handful of dill fronds; more or less to taste)
1 C white vinegar
1 C granulated sugar

Peel the cucumbers
Slice the cucumbers in half length-wise and remove the seeds if desired
Slice the cucumber halve into 1/2-inch pieces 
Place the cucumber slices into a large bowl
Peel the sweet onion and cut in half
Slice the onion halves into 1/4-to-1/2-inch wide half-rings
Place the onion slices into the bowl with the cucumber pieces
Roughly chop the dill 
Add the dill to the bowl with the cucumbers and onions
Mix well
Add one cup of white vinegar to the saucepan and place over medium heat
While the vinegar is heating, add 1 C of granulated sugar, stirring continuously
Continue stirring the vinegar-sugar mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved into the vinegar
Remove the vinegar-sugar mixture from the stove
Pour the vinegar-sugar mixture over the large container of cucumbers, onions, and dill
Mix well
Place lid on container and place container in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours
To serve, use slotted spoon (unless the liquid is desired) and enjoy!

Note:  The longer this mixture sits, the more intense the flavor gets; we recommend letting it sit overnight.