3 Recipes from the Spring Garden
Spring Garden: What to do with Chives, Rhubarb & Asparagus
CHIVE FLOWER VINEGAR
I begin the season of preparing herbal vinegars with Chive Flower Vinegar. We pick handfuls of beautiful, spiky purple chive flowers. We pull the petals off some of the plants to decorate our dinner salad, but the rest get stuffed into a mason jar, covered with apple cider vinegar that we made last fall, and left to brew for a few weeks. We taste it each week, and when the flavor is full and pungent without being overbearing, we strain the vinegar, pour it into small bottles, and look forward to that cold, wintery day when we open up the chive flower vinegar, drizzle it onto winter greens, and remember this day of warm sunshine.
♦ Print Recipe: Chive Flower Vinegar [V/Vg/NF/GF/WF]
Rhubarb is another one of those seasonal foods that mark the passage of time for me. My mouth waters when I imagine that first bite of the tart, pucker-inducing stalks, cooked down into a thick and delicious Rhubarb Sauce. I know that when I make pancakes with rhubarb sauce for Amy we’ll be planting root crops and greens and trees and shrubs later that day. I know we’ll be planting our last seeds in the greenhouse. I know I’ll swat more black flies than I can count. I know we’ll be preparing garden beds and dreaming of the first fresh peas eaten right from the garden in just a few short weeks. I know we’ll spend the day outside, eat a very late supper, and go to bed tired and happy. I love these days that are tied to seasonal rituals, tied to the rising and setting sun, as familiar as the turning of the hands on a clock but oh so much more joyful and meaningful.
♦ Print Recipe: Rhubarb Sauce [V/Vg/NF/GF/WF]
One of the joys of seasonal eating is the appearance of those cherished foods that last only a few weeks. I eat them many times each week and never tire of them. I savor each bite, knowing that their presence is fleeting. I enjoy asparagus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and leftovers as snacks. I love asparagus blanched, roasted, sautéed in eggs or stir-fry, in soups, and especially in risotto. Risotto with asparagus and risotto with porcini mushrooms are both marriages made in heaven. I offer you my version of this Italian classic dish, Asparagus Risotto.
♦ Print Recipe: Asparagus Risotto [V/NF/GF/WF]
Vegetarian (V) | Vegan (Vg) | Nut-Free (NF) | Gluten-Free (GF) | Wheat-Free (WF)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice has been co-owner of The Old Creamery since 2000. She and her partner and spouse, Amy, have lived in Cummington since they built their home in 1986. Alice and Amy are very deeply connected to their land; they grow a lot of their own food, eat well (especially during the growing season), feed many friends and loved ones and preserve as much food as possible. Rarely a day goes by that they don’t say “Aren’t we blessed to live here?” Feeding people feels like a calling to Alice. She was brought up with her Italian Gram and her Dad putting something wonderful to eat in her mouth and saying “Here, eat this.” Nothing brings her greater joy than feeding people that she cares about or people that are in need of kindness and nurturing.
[Photo credit: (ccl) Dana Moos]