Garden Glories

Greens in all directions today, on this last official day of Spring. What we’ve all been waiting for is finally upon us….glorious summer is at our feet. Tomorrow. In 24 little hours. You can just about catch a whiff of sunscreen….

Firstly today…the recipe for Roasted Beets that were mentioned in yesterday’s post (courtesy of Food Network Magazine). I’m pretty much convinced at this point that the flavor of any vegetable you pitch in the oven and roast get amped by about 1000. All that caramelizing and crisping that happens in there…a lovely miracle. I kick myself for all of the years as a child when I didn’t touch a beet…so many years lost!

Little side note here so that yourself or your kitchen doesn’t look like a total crime scene during beet preparation…I’ve found that if I need to peel a raw beet, I do it under running water. That way, the color doesn’t get the chance to settle (on your counter, cutting boards or clothes) or splatter anywhere.

Peel 4 medium beets and cut into 1/2 inch cubes/pieces. Toss with 1 Tb. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste on a baking sheet. Roast at 450, stirring once or twice, until tender, 35 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; toss with 4 chopped scallions (I like to use mint better) and 2 tsp. lemon juice. Top with crumbled feta cheese. And remember not to stir or you’ll have a pink, sloppy dish!

And one more beet recipe, for all you lovers of beets out there…AND this one uses TWO recent CSA ingredients…Beets and Kale….YUM…..

Kale with Roasted Beets and Bacon, courtesy of Guy Fieri (even though I’m not crazy about this guy and that hair just has to go)

2 beets (about 14 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon slices (8 ounces), diced
1 large bunch kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash and trim the beets, removing both ends. Place them on a 12-inch square sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and roast until the beets are fork-tender, about 1 hour.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until medium-crisp (or however you prefer your bacon). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Increase the heat to high and add the kale, stirring to coat in the rendered bacon grease. Cover and cook for a few minutes, and then add the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Stir to combine, cover and allow to wilt for 6 to 8 minutes.
Peel and cut the beets into chunks and add them to the kale. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Add the bacon, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

And finally today, some last pics of this Spring’s beauties that have made an appearance in my garden in the past week…it’s alive and kicking out there and one must always make time to stop and smell the roses….

…Gorgeous Lady’s Mantle. When it rains, the water beads up and sparkles and diamonds.


Fragrant Lavender. The corner of my raised bed is my teeny corner of Provence. It’s always a roll of the dice to see if it survives the winter, and this year, it did. Phew!


One of my favorite little roses and purely for the name…”Buttered Popcorn”. The folks naming flowers, lipsticks and nail polish colors have one of the weirdest yet most amusing jobs out there.


One last peony peeking through…


Primroses and Rose Campion


Pink roses that smell like raspberries…really, they do…


Rose Campion against our Japanese Maple. This maple holds a special place in our gardening hearts because, one year, after returning from vacation, we came home to find the sapling stripped of all leaves and branches. Every last one. Some deer had had a total party with it. Hubby wanted to take the existing stalk and chuck in onto the compost pile, but I worked to save it. Now it looks like Snuffleupagus sitting by our back entrance. Big, fluffy and gorgeous! For all of the grief my husband gave me about saving it, I’ve now told him that it will reside atop his grave someday 😉


Yarrow and Purple (forgot the name. Veronica?)


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