Monday Recap: Green, Green

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.

Calypso cilantro

Calypso cilantro

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.

Amsterdam Prickly-Seeded spinach

Amsterdam Prickly-Seeded spinach

Last week I also cut a bowl of the Giant Winter variety for salads.

harvest of Giant Winter spinach for salads

harvest of Giant Winter spinach 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.

giant leaf of Giant Winter spinach

giant leaf of Giant Winter spinach

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.

Happy Acres mint

Happy Acres mint

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.

scrambled eggs topped with fresh chives

scrambled eggs topped with fresh chives

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.

green garlic

green garlic

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.

harvest of Red Ursa kale

harvest of Red Ursa kale

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.

Pasta with Beans and Kale

Pasta with Beans and Kale

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.

baked butternut squash

baked butternut squash

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.

Butternut and Spinach lasagna rolls

Butternut and Spinach lasagna rolls

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.

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8 Responses to Monday Recap: Green, Green

  1. Daphne says:

    Lovely green harvests. You really make me wish I had a greenhouse. Though that kale is very nice for having wintered outside. Mine has melted out and it looks like a lot of it survived, but it also looks pretty sad. I’m not eating the leaves that over wintered. I’ll wait for fresh growth.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday, 30 March 2015My Profile

  2. Norma Chang says:

    I am so envious of your greens. Can you believe I woke up to snow this morning? Could not believe my eyes when I looked out the window and saw snow falling everything is white again should not be getting much that’s the forecast.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Central Park’s Conservatory Garden, NYCMy Profile

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Very envious of your greens. The spinach looks fantastic.

  4. Margaret says:

    It’s fantastic how you are eating so many homegrown foods, both fresh & from storage, in March – that spinach is phenomenal!

    And you are so fortunate to be basking in spring-like weather & harvests! Wish spring would mosey on over to our area. This is my first year really making an effort to get some early spring crops in, so I’m actually not sure if this is normal or not. I do know that spring never seems to come early enough for me – by the end of February, I’m usually more than ready for it’s arrival!
    Margaret recently posted…Leeks – A Last Minute AdditionMy Profile

  5. Michelle says:

    Fabulous greens! That huge spinach leaf is gorgeous. It sounds like you had a few painful days post surgery. I hope the surgery was successful and that you’re back to eating some good crunchy food again.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – March 30, 2015My Profile

  6. mac says:

    Your lasagna looks yummy! Never thought of overwintering cilantro, gotta try it this coming winter.

  7. Susie says:

    Glad to hear you are mostly back on solid food (although the “soft” eggs look pretty tasty). You always have such interesting varieties, many that I haven’t heard of: Nootka Rose Garlic? Good Mother Stallard Beans? I’ll have to look those up …
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: March 30, 2015 – On Chitting PotatoesMy Profile

  8. Dave's SFG says:

    Oooh, gum surgery. Had that, don’t want it again. Hope you had a speedy recovery. The greens are beautiful. The Red Ursa kale is interesting, I’ll have to check that one out.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Seed Starting BeginsMy Profile

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