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For Immediate Release
August 6, 2012
William Troxell
[email protected]


Winners Declared in 2012 Vegetable Recipe Contest

Three Pennsylvania cooks were declared winners in the ninth annual Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest Cook-Off. Veteran contestant, Frances Dietz of York, won the first-place prizes in both the Melon/Cucumber category and the Summer Squash/Zucchini category. She has won first-place prizes in three previous contests, including two first-places in 2007 and is the only person to win two first-place prizes in one year. First-time finalist Mary-Ellen Miller of Orwigsburg won the first-place prize in the Tomatoes/Pepper/Eggplant category and Teresa DeVono of Red Lion took the prize in the Winter Squash/Pumpkin category. The Cook Off was held on Friday, August 3, 2012, at the Olewine Center for Culinary Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. George Greig, state Secretary of Agriculture presented certificates to the winners.

Ms. Dietz, won the first-place prize in the Melon/Cucumber category with her “Asian Cucumber Salad” which the judges described as having a “very pleasant” and “refreshing” taste. It featured cucumbers, green onions, radishes, and shrimp with a Asian dressing. Her entry in the Summer Squash/Zucchini category was “Zucchini and Chickpea Salad” featuring zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, onions, garlic and feta cheese with an oil, vinegar and herb dressing, a great combination of textures and tastes according to one judge.

Ms. DeVono, also a contest winner in 2008, received the highest score in the contest, 37 of a possible 40 points, for her “Snappy Pumpkin Custard Cups” in the Winter Squash/Pumpkin category. Two of the judges called them “Awesome!” They featured a quick and easy pumpkin custard topped with crumbled ginger snap cookies and whipped topping. Ms. Miller, a first-time contestant and finalist, won the prize in the Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant category for her colorful and refreshing Garden Gate Chunky Greek Salad. This combination of cherry tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, onions and Kalamata olives was accompanied by an olive oil, lemon and wine dressing plus fresh herbs and crumbled feta cheese.

2012 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest Results

Four finalists in each category completed for the top prizes. Judges choose the finalist recipes for the Cook-Off from 82 written recipe entries submitted by 40 cooks from across the state. Recipes were scored on the basis of four criteria: creativity, nutrition/healthfulness, ease of preparation, and overall appeal. Recipe entries had to contain as a major ingredient at least one vegetable in the category. Recipes were required to be created or modified by the contestant or a member of the contestant’s family.

The other recipes prepared by the finalists at the Cook-Off are listed below. All the finalist recipes are available on the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program’s website at www.paveggies.localor by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Program at: PA Vegetable Mktg. & Res. Program, 815 Middle Road, Richfield, PA 17086.

Chipotle BLT Bouquets – Kathy Rohrbaugh, Stewartstown
Tangy Tomato Strawberry Salad – Cindy Kerschner, Schnecksville
Fish Poached in Tomatoes – Karen Parish, Fleetwood

Key Lime Grilled Shrimp over Melon & Pineapple Salsa – Kathy Rohrbaugh
Zesty Melon and Shrimp Salad – Cindy Kerschner, Schnecksville
Tomato-Watermelon Salad – Marilyn Goldfarb, Boalsburg

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Vegan Zucchini and Cashew Nut Casserole – Elen Wennell, Mechanicsburg
Zucchini Chocolate Cake – Nora Porter, Chambersburg
Zucchini Pie – Shelly Teska, Youngsville

Winter Squash/Pumpkins
Squash, Roasted Peppers and Potatoes Chunky Mash – B. J. Reed, Chambersburg
Stove Top Butternut Casserole – Pearl Ward, Hulmville
Butternutty Hummus – Elysa Boffo, Camp Hill

These finalists each received a $25 gift certificate to the farm market of their choice.
The judges for the 2012 Contest were:

Martha Ebersole, trained judge with the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs
Libby Mills, registered dietitian, lifestyle coach, author, speaker
Autumn Patti, chef instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College
Brian Peffley, pastry arts instructor at Lebanon County Career and Technology

The winning recipes are as follows:

2012 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest Results
Asian Cucumber Salad
Serves 8

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger root
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 gourmet seedless cucumber, thinly sliced, not pared
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
8 ounces lump crabmeat or cooked and peeled shrimp, optional

Make dressing by combining the rice vinegar, ginger root, salt, pepper, honey, and sesame oil. Add the cucumber, green onions and radishes. Toss ingredients and allow to stand in refrigerator 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Divide salad among bowls and garnish each with toasted sesame seeds. NOTE: If using crab or shrimp, it should be added to salad just before serving.

First-Place Prize Melon/Cucumber Category – Submitted by Frances Dietz, York

Zucchini and Chickpea Salad
Serves 9 to 10

19-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin preferred
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
10 kalamata olives, halved and pitted
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (peppercorn feta preferred)

Combine all ingredients except feta cheese; let stand at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Just before serving, add cheese and stir to blend. Best served at room temperature

First-Place Prize Summer Squash/Zucchini Category – Submitted By Frances Dietz, York

2012 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest Results
Garden Gate Chunky Greek Salad
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Red Shale Chardonay wine- (Hegins Valley Winery)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup scrubbed and thinly sliced long fresh carrots
1 1/2 cups cucumbers cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup red pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup yellow pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
6 green onions, cut and chopped into small slices
1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped or sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh leaf parsley
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, whole leaves, rinsed, and dried on paper towel
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, Chardonay wine, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red, yellow and green peppers, green onions, Kalamata olives, mint leaves, and parsley. Toss until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate up to six hours. When ready to serve prepare salad bowl with the whole leaves of Romaine lettuce placed in a circular pattern. Gently add salad and sprinkle with the crumbled feta cheese.

First-Place Prize Tomatoes/Peppers/Eggplant Category – Submitted by Mary-Ellen Miller, Orwigsburg

“Snappy” Pumpkin Custard Cups
Serves 8

2 large eggs
1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
ginger snap cookies – crushed
Cool Whip whipped topping

2012 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest Results

Beat eggs well and add sugar and flour and mix well. Add pumpkin, milk and cinnamon. Pour into individual-sized ramekins, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake another 10 minutes until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Top with finely crumbled ginger snap cookies and a dollop of whipped topping. Enjoy!

First-Place Prize Winter Squash/Pumpkin Category – Submitted by Teresa DeVono, Red Lion

The Vegetable Recipe Contest is sponsored annually by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program, a marketing order for vegetable growers under the state Department of Agriculture. Growers pay annual assessments to the Program to promote Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and to fund practical vegetable production research at Penn State and other universities. The Vegetable Recipe Contest is designed to generate creative new recipes for consumers to use to enjoy “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Pennsylvania vegetables. The finalist recipes for the previous years’ contests are also posted on the Program’s website at www.paveggies.local.

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