Monday Recap: April Showers

It has been a rainy April this year, which isn’t that unusual here in our area. We’ve had over six inches so far, and it has rained thirteen out of the twenty days. It’s the season for many green things like spinach, kale and asparagus, and they all seem to be loving the rainy weather. It’s also the season for green garlic – those young garlic plants harvested before they start to bulb up. I planted some sprouting cloves of garlic last November, and the plants are now giving us lots of flavorful green garlic. It goes well in many dishes, wherever you might use onions, scallions or garlic cloves.

green garlic fresh from the garden

green garlic fresh from the garden

Green garlic and asparagus go quite well together, and they have been seen on more than one plate here lately. In the below photo they were stir-fried, and join a baked Beauregard sweet potato and some curried chicken salad my wife made.

asparagus stir-fry with sweet potato and chicken salad

asparagus stir-fry with sweet potato and chicken salad

The green garlic also joined a big bunch of the overwintered greenhouse parsley to make a batch of pesto. Along with the parsley and green garlic I added some Umbrian olive oil, pine nuts, salt and one clove of crushed garlic. I made this pesto to go on sandwiches I was planning for lunch yesterday. But I made the pesto on Saturday, and of course it needed to be tasted ASAP. So I spread it on a seeded Kracker where it made a great snack.

fresh parsley pesto

fresh parsley pesto

More spinach in the greenhouse is starting to bolt, this time the Amsterdam Prickly Seeded variety. I pulled the plants, blanched the leaves, and my wife used it to make a Spinach Pie. She steamed a bit of asparagus to go with it. And I did have more than the three spears in the below photo! I just didn’t want the big pile of asparagus to block the view of the spinach pie. I generally get to eat my fill of asparagus during the months of April and May when we are harvesting it daily. We’ve harvested six pounds in the first two weeks, and I for one have been enjoying it.

Spinach Pie with asparagus

Spinach Pie with asparagus

Though it was my wife’s turn to cook last week, we collaborated in the kitchen to make a three bean salad. I cooked a batch of garbanzo beans using the pressure cooker, and then fixed a pot of Runner Cannellini beans slowly simmered on the stove. These are big beans, more like a Corona or Gigante bean in size and much bigger than the usual cannellini beans. They held their shape well for the salad. The third bean was the very last bit of our 2014 Good Mother Stallard beans I had cooked up earlier and froze. The salad made for a great meal, along with some crusty whole wheat rolls I baked up. A little fresh parsley added a nice flavor, and a bit of chopped celery added some crunch.

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

It is my turn to cook for the next two weeks. I started off yesterday with some grilled sandwiches I made from a freshly baked loaf of bread (Ken Forkish’s Overnight 40% Whole Wheat). I spread some of the parsley pesto on the bread and then added Canadian bacon plus Swiss cheese for my wife’s version. I grilled the sandwiches along with a batch of my Grilled Asparagus.

grilled asparagus with sandwhich

grilled asparagus with sandwhich

In other news, the carrots I sowed back on 4/9 started coming up in about nine days, and I removed the row cover material on Saturday. They’re still coming up, and it looks like I got a good stand of them. I sowed a few radishes at the same time and they came up in about five days and now need thinning. I’ll wait a week or so to thin the carrots.

spring carrots sprouting

spring carrots sprouting

And in the greenhouse, Speedy arugula is certainly living up to its name. This is my second planting of it in a salad box, and I have more young plants waiting in the wings. Though it looks like a wild strain of arugula, the flavor is mild and sweet – unusual for arugula! This one is a keeper for sure. The seeds are available from a number of sources.

Speedy arugula

Speedy arugula

Today the weather forecast is for cool and rainy, at least for most of the day. So it sounds like a good day to bake pita bread and replenish our supply in the freezer. I plan on making a green garlic dal soup using some split yellow Pigeon peas (aka Toor Dal). The fresh baked pita bread will go well with the soup (though some naan would too), and it should make for a warming meal on cool spring day. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA.

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9 Responses to Monday Recap: April Showers

  1. Norma Chang says:

    I am so looking forward to harvesting my garlic greens, pretty soon, they are still quite small so I will have patience and wait a bit longer. Still no sign of my asparagus.
    All your dishes look yummy and are making me very hungry.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, April 20, 2015 – Growing Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes in Containers + Garden Overwintered Root CropsMy Profile

  2. Daphne says:

    Oh that asparagus. I wish I could grow it well here. But I have been buying it from the store since it seems the best I can do.

    I hope you dry out sometime. We were really dry last week. But this week looks a bit wetter which is good for my garden, but not so good for the marathon today.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday, 20 April 2015My Profile

  3. Dave's SFG says:

    You are certainly eating well from the garden. I am envious of that asparagus, which I don’t have the room to grow. I once visited a friend who bought an old farmhouse. The kitchen garden behind the house had been seeded with grass but the asparagus still grew up through the grass. He and his wife hated asparagus so he just mowed it down. I filled up the back seat of my car with asparagus. I gorged myself on asparagus every day for weeks. Hope you dry out soon.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Next Up, TomatoesMy Profile

  4. Lucky Dave, you got more rain in April than we got our entire 2014-2015 rainy season in Southern California. My garden is struggling along with me hand watering. Some of that water is from our rain barrels, hand carried to the garden, but I am running out of stored water. I love all of your pictures of food. Makes me hungry. Also makes me happy to see a couple eat so much food they have grown themselves. I love your blog!
    Lou Murray’s Green World recently posted…We survived the heat wave–Happy St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

  5. Michelle says:

    Lots of yummy stuff! Speedy arugula is just as quick in my garden, I love it. My poor garlic is so infected with rust this year that I haven’t even been tempted to try to harvest any of it green. I guess I could try some stripped of the tops, the young bulbs should still be good. The last of my garlic from last year is getting a bit strong and I’m not sure I can hold out for the new crop – if I get one.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – April 20, 2015My Profile

  6. Barbie says:

    The greens is all I ever get out of the garlic I plant here. I used to be disappointed by this, but not any more. I use it green all the time and LOVE it!

  7. mac says:

    Wish we get some rain here, your dishes are making me hungry.

  8. Margaret says:

    Your meals always look so delicious! We have just returned after being away for the past week and I am craving some healthy, homemade food. Our weather is just horrible right now – looks like I’ll have to wait a while for some fresh ingredients from the garden.
    Margaret recently posted…Garden Survivors and CasualtiesMy Profile

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