Prepare for summer’s bounty at plant sale

Master Gardeners share recipes for foods made with plants they will sell on May 20 at county fairgrounds

The annual Ozaukee Master Gardeners heirloom and herb plant sale will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 20, at a new location, the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in Cedarburg.

Shoppers can select from more than 280 varieties of plants — everything from allium to yarrow — will be sold.

This year, shoppers can choose from 37 varieties of tomatoes, 19 types of peppers, 16 varieties of basil and 12 lavenders.

Plants are selected for the local climate, Zone 5a.

The entire Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s​ Expo Center will be filled with perennials, heirlooms, grasses, culinary herbs, ornamentals, aromatics, pollinators, vegetables and native plants.

Children can hunt for salsa garden plants, including cilantro, oregano, tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers, or find ingredients for a pizza garden with tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, oregano, thyme, parsley and basil, then take them home to plant and care for.

Checks, cash, VISA and MasterCard are accepted.

The Expo Center is at W67 N890 Washington Ave. in Cedarburg. Parking and admission are free.

Proceeds from the sale fund projects and programs of the Ozaukee Master Gardeners.

For a complete, downloadable plant list, visit and click the Heirloom Plant Sale button. Shoppers are encouraged to bring boxes and wagons  to carry plants.

Following are recipes using some of the many plants for sale from the Ozaukee Master Gardeners.


Herb Vinaigrette

2 ounces red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tarragon or herbs of your choice (parsley, rosemary, thyme), minced

Place red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to combine.

Add olive oil, herbs, and shake vigorously until dressing emulsifies and thickens to the consistency of cream.   

Let the dressing sit one hour at room temperature.

The dressing can be refrigerated but should be brought to room temperature and shaken again before serving.



Mom’s Ratatouille

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt


1 bay leaf

1 medium unpeeled eggplant, sliced lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

2 zucchini, cut into strips

1 green pepper, seeded and cut into strips (can use yellow or red)

16 ounces tomatoes, stewed or fresh

In a Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Discard bay leaf.

Set aside 2 cups of the mixture.

Arrange half the eggplant, zucchini and pepper over sauce in pan. Cover with 1 cup of the reserved sauce. Arrange the remaining vegetables on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the rest of the reserved sauce over the mixture.

Cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Uncover and simmer 15 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.



Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 onion, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout or Kula! hot harissa sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric, optional

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra as needed

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

Toss eggplant with five tablespoons oil in a bowl, then spread on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil four inches from the heat for five to seven minutes, until mahogany brown, stirring halfway through. Set aside two cups eggplant.

Heat remaining oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook five to seven minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Stir in garlic, Ras El Hanout, cumin and turmeric and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in broth, tomatoes, raisins, bay leaf and remaining eggplant and bring to simmer.

Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently about 20 minutes, until eggplant is softened.

Discard bay leaf. Working in batches or using an immersion blender, process soup about two  minutes, until smooth. Transfer soup to a clean, dry saucepan and stir in reserved eggplant. Heat soup gently over low heat until warmed through, taking care not to boil it. Adjust the consistency with extra hot broth as needed.

Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, sprinkling individual portions with almonds and cilantro and drizzling with extra oil.

To make 3 tablespoons Ras El Hanout, whisk together 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Spice blend can be stored in an air-tight container at cool room temperature for one month.



Eggplant Caponata

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 large eggplants, about 1 pound each, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, or freshly chopped tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 to 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoons capers

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons parsley

Heat olive oil in large skillet, then sauté eggplant and onion about five minutes, until softened.

Add tomatoes, olives, wine, walnuts, tomato paste, vinegar, capers, salt and pepper. Stir and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in parsley.

Serve with matzo crackers or use as a relish on chicken, burgers, etc.



Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onions

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, with juice

4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

4 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Gently toss tomatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 45 minutes.

In a large Dutch-oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Sauté about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and start to brown.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, roasted tomatoes with juices and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Serve with drizzle of cream, a dollop of sour cream and fresh Parmesan.



Easy Zucchini Waffles

12 ounces zucchini

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt (taste self-rising flour. If it’s salty, omit)

2/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

1 large egg

1-1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

Grate zucchini using the large holes of a box grater or food processor disk. Put on a double layer of paper towels or flour sack dish towel, gather the edges and squeeze firmly to extract as much liquid as possible.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and oil. Place flour in another bowl, making a well in the center. Place buttermilk mixture in the well. Stir to combine, then fold in zucchini.

Spray waffle maker with cooking spray. Pour about 1/2 cup batter in center of the iron, close and bake about four minutes, until lightly browned.

Top with berries and serve.

When in season, shred and freeze zucchini. Use 1-1/2 cups thawed and squeezed dry zucchini.

Baked waffles can be frozen and microwaved as desired.



Stuffed Tomatoes

12 medium tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup onions, chopped

1 cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1 cup zucchini, diced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

9 ounces chicken sausage, cooked

1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Cut tops off of tomatoes. Using a spoon or paring knife, hollow out tomatoes, reserving tomato pulp. Chop tomato pulp, drain liquid and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté five minutes. Add tomato pulp, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper flakes and sausage. Sauté seven to eight minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates.

Arrange hollowed tomatoes in a 12-cup muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Fill tomatoes evenly with filling, using about 1/3 cup for each.

Mix cheese and parsley in a bowl. Sprinkle over filled tomatoes. Bake in a 400-degree oven about 15 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown.





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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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