With lots of green showing everywhere I turn, it looks like spring is finally here. The lawn is turning green, and actually required mowing last week, at least in the areas where Bermuda grass hasn’t taken over. One green I have been enjoying comes from cilantro. I have a few plants that overwintered in the greenhouse and they have been keeping us supplied for months. My new favorite thing to do with it is make pesto. I take a big bunch of cilantro and add chopped almonds, a little garlic and salt, and enough of a mild flavored oil (like canola or grapeseed) to make a smooth sauce in the food processor.
More green is showing here in the form of spinach. I cut almost a pound of the Amsterdam Prickly Seeded from the greenhouse. I sauteed some mushrooms in olive oil, then added the spinach and cooked just long enough to wilt it down.
Last week I also cut a bowl of the Giant Winter variety for salads.
Some of the leaves get as big as my hand, but they still plenty tender for salads, though I like them cooked too. My hand is holding the leaf in the below photo, which went in a salad shortly after its photo op.
The containers of mint I overwintered in the greenhouse are putting out new growth. It’s nice to have fresh mint again for tea. The variety below was growing here when we bought the place, spreading around a planting of peonies. Since we don’t know the variety we call it Happy Acres mint. I potted some of it up, and it’s been growing in a container ever since. Not that the plants in the ground are gone. Mint is not that easy to get rid of, and I suspect bits of it will live on for some time.
I had some periodontal surgery done recently and was on a soft food diet for several days. I made scrambled eggs for my dinner one night, and topped them off with some fresh chives. More green, and this time from the allium family.
I’ve also started harvesting some of the green garlic I planted back in late November. I planted about 40 or 50 cloves that had begun to sprout and set them out fairly close together. I’ll pull them as needed to give us a taste of fresh garlic until the new crop is ready. I do still have quite a bit of the 2014 garlic left in storage, and the ones that are good keepers like Nootka Rose and Silver White are holding up well.
When I could eat something more solid, I made a pasta dish with beans and kale from the garden. Even though it’s considered a green, the Red Ursa kale I harvested was a purplish red color. This kale survived the winter under a tent of row cover material, which makes it a real survivor. Once the snow melted and temperatures moderated the plants started growing again and I found enough leaves for the pasta dish. These plants came from seed I saved a couple of years ago.
For a bean I used the last of the 2014 Good Mother Stallard beans. I also added some Slow Roasted Tomatoes from the freezer and sliced up a few cloves of garlic to add. I love the combination of beans and kale, and most everything in the dish came from our garden.
In the not-green category, I baked up the last of the butternut squash last week. After baking I made it into a sauce for some Butternut Squash and Spinach lasagna rolls. We do still have several of the Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash and Thai Rai Kaw Tok squashes left in storage, plus pureed winter squash in the freezer.
You can’t tell from the photo but this butternut made exactly 16 ounces of puree, which was perfect for the recipe. I briefly sauteed a little onion plus the green garlic in some olive oil, then added to the squash before I pureed it. I added just a little water to thin the sauce a bit. I’m thinking if I added a few sage leaves it would make a great pasta topping, or a good side dish for that matter. It is rare for me to eat pasta anymore, but it was on my soft-foods list and it made a nice change after a few days of nothing but liquids.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at some of the green things were are enjoying here in late March. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. Thanks to Daphne for hosting, and I’ll be back soon with more happening from Happy Acres.