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Cooking With Local Veggies

gardeningmay2011_image

May long weekend (or May 2-4 for Ontario folks) is often a camping weekend. For my family, it is the weekend that we get our (garden) party started. My husband is the true Green Thumb in the family (it’s his Dutch blood) but I gladly weed and water wherever he directs me to. In my own defense, I am not completely inept at gardening. I fill a few baskets with herbs and place them in our south-facing bay window. Having fresh herbs to work with during the warmer months of the year make this foodie happy.

My husband switched gears this year and planted vegetables in square sections instead of rows. He also created a “greenhouse” for our peppers out of an 80’s satellite dish, wood scarps and Poly from the ice rink we built last winter.

We have peppers and tomatoes and strawberries and green onions and garlic and red onions and squash and pumpkins and snap peas and cucumbers and, oh, so much more. They are all seedlings or baby plants right now, but soon we will be harvesting what is growing and I can tell you from past experience that it is good.

While most of our bounty is still germinating underground, some of it has shown its face.

The strawberry blossoms are blooming.

The green onions are ready and raring to go.

The basil in my window planters is ripe for the plucking.

Speaking of basil, if you want a fresh and light appetizer, I have an easy one for you. Take a cracker, put a dollop of cream cheese on it and top with a basil leaf.

Simply fantastic.

Our garden may not be in full swing yet, but we are fortunate enough to live in the Okanagan Valley of B.C. There are fruit & veggie stands everywhere, Saturday morning farmer’s markets and neighbors with orchards. Asparagus is in season right now and one of my favorite ways to serve it is a quick and tasty recipe.

Asparagus with Parmesan cheese

Wash and trim asparagus.

Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss to coat.

Take a small handful of course salt and sprinkle over top.

Take a larger handful of grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over top.

gardeningmay2011_image

(I don’t have exact measurements. It depends how much salt and cheese you like.)

(This tastes good raw, for the record. Try it. You might like it.)

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or so. All ovens are different, so start checking around 18 minutes.

Try not to pick away at the baked cheese. It’s nearly impossible.



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