I dig carrots (and other tales from the harvest)

Summer is whipping by, though the weather’s been taking its sweet time to warm up. That hasn’t stopped a bounty of vegetables appearing daily in the garden, ripe for the picking. Yesterday we dug up multicolored carrots. I can report that they look respectable but taste too peppery. The Twits* will still eat them. I’ll withhold dessert if they don’t (yes, that still works). Which begs the question: if something is homegrown, does it always taste better? (YES! YES! YES!)

We also picked the last of the peas. Which is OK. I’m a bit tired of peas. We ate quite a few of them, almost always raw. When I was too lazy to make a salad, I told the Twits, “We’re having peas with our steak!” They were never impressed.

All raspberries and strawberries not eaten on the day picked are recycled into smoothies for breakfast the following morning. Blueberries are just about ripe enough to pick. Cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers and Charentais melons have been more sensitive to the lack of heat, but they’re full of determination, and I foresee a ripening just about the time Boy Twit heads off for a week, leaving cukes for the rest of us for the first time in years.

We’ve had romaine lettuce since April, which hasn’t bolted due to the cool weather, and sui choi has gone into many a stir-fry. Rainbow chard has made a riotous appearance (it’s kind of like the geeky kid in class whose hand shoots up in the air to answer a question—Pick me! Pick me!). Chard is so prolific that we have found many ways to eat it over the years. For a super Twit treat (read: noodles) we make Green Lasagna, which is loaded with chard, zucchini, celery, green peppers and leeks. (I’ll post the recipe sometime in the next week.) Our favourite way to eat chard this year? What a surprise: Chard Pesto. The recipe comes courtesy of Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have in Portland, OR. My bestie and I took a cooking class with her earlier this year.

Chard Pesto

  • 2 bunches of chard, no stems (too tough); other options: kale and beet greens
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup hazelnuts or almonds or walnuts or pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (or any hard, aged cheese)
  • ¼-½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (to get to the consistency you like)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Put ¼-inch of water in the bottom of a large pot, and when the water boils, add greens and wilt, about a minute. Drain, cool, then squeeze out all the water with your hands.

Place cheese and nuts in food processor; whir till they’re finely chopped, then add greens, garlic and salt & pepper and whir some more, until ingredients are well integrated. Drizzle in the oil till you like the consistency. Add lemon juice and stir. Store in the fridge for up to a week, freeze well wrapped or serve immediately with Seedy Crackers.

*Those Whom I Tirelessly Serve

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