Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reader's Garden Question & Recipe

Today I have a question from a reader who is wondering about a plant, and a recipe to share. As always, if you have a question please let us know!

Will cattle eat trumpet vine if planted on a fence and if so will it hurt them? Thank you for your time. ~Karen

It looks like it is not poisonous to cattle, but if you do an online check you'll find some sources that say it is. I think the confusion comes from people speaking about different plants. Campsis radicans is what I know as trumpet vine or trumpet creeper. The picture on the left is the plant I did research on. I could find no reference to it being poisonous to cattle or horses or mention of it being eaten. They all said about the same as this snippet:

People are reported to react on contact with trumpet-creeper. It is doubtful that animals are affected. ~ University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

If you are still doubtful you could call or email the University Extension office for your state. They always have information on this type of thing. The plant is known for causing some people with allergies or sensitive skin to develop a rash if they handle it.

Readers will remember, Catherine, our resident Herb Lady who shared herb recipes and tips with us for years in the Old Fashioned Tips newsletter. She sent me this wonderful recipe last week and I wanted to share it with you all. You can visit her at her blog, Edible Herbs, Flowers & Other Edibles.

This idea popped into my head one day several years ago when I was grilling veggies for dinner, and I thought "boy these would be good layered with cheese on a sandwich" ~Catherine

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the kind of homey, comfort food that just plain makes you feel good. The addition of grilled eggplant (good for you,leave the skin on) and/or sweet peppers and herbs (in alternate layers with the cheese) makes this a satisfying meal. Doing the low-carb thing? Grill Portobello mushrooms instead of buns or bread for the "wrapper."

1 Sweet bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded, and each half pressed flat

1 Small eggplant, sliced length-wise or sandwich length, approx 1/4 inch thick

6 Ounces cheese of your choice (try Swiss, Gruyere or Colby for a change), thinly sliced

French, rye or wheat bread (or Portobello mushrooms)

Olive oil

1/2 Cup approximate fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried

First Step:
Lightly brush eggplant strips and peppers with olive oil. Sear vegetables 1 minute each side on grill or in pan, then cook, turning often until desired doneness. If using Portobello mushrooms instead of bread for the "buns," grill mushrooms in the same manner.

Second Step:
Lightly brush bread with olive oil and assemble sandwiches, alternating layers of vegetables, cheese, and basil leaves beginning and ending with cheese. Toast sandwiches on grill or in pan, turning at least once, until cheese is just melty.

Serve and enjoy!

On OFL we have more eggplant recipes and tips:


1 comment:

  1. Sounds Yummy. The creeper vine will just keep branching out if nibbled on. Cows would have to eat it past the ground to kill it. It comes up from the root.


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