The Developing Gardener and Kitchen Cook

IMG_2914The garden is on its way – it is developing into flowers, veggies and greens. The raised beds are planted. The flowers are mostly in. The inch worms have moved on in their development and have ended the eating frenzy of the last two weeks. The young and tender plants have added new leaves which tells me the roots have taken hold and we are on our way.

The other side to this garden story is in the kitchen. Once you begin to grow your own food you have to do something with it. Most years that storing of fresh food begins in late July or early August. I live in the northland (Minnesota) so flowers and veggies are just starting to develop in early July and not ready for harvest until August or sometimes later.  (Then we are watching to beat the frost – but that is another story for later this year.)

This year my herbs and perennials are well established and were out of the ground even in the chill and snows of March. All this means is that I now have chives and curly leaf parsley ready to be picked. The spinach that looked like it was dying has taken hold and developed into a large patch of wildly beautiful green leaves that need to be eaten before they decide to seed.

The spinach we are eating in salads, the parsley has had its first cut and has been frozen for winter use in soups and stews (click on frozen to learn about freezing herbs from Margaret Roach at A Way to Garden) but what do you do with all those chives growing?

Well, Kevin Jacobs over at A Garden for your Home has helped me out with a quick and easy recipe for Chive pesto.  I know, I only think of pesto and basil but I am developing and expanding my thinking when it comes to gardens and foods.

I switched up his recipe a bit because I was using what was already in the refrigerator. So here is my version. (But I will try his next time around. I switched the nuts and cheese which could change the flavor.) IMG_2918

  • 6 cups of clean and chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts (they were in my freeze from last years pesto making party)
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • a garlic clove or two chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (add more or less oil depending on if you want a thin or thick pesto)

Blend this and enjoy!

The flowers of the chive plant work well on the kitchen table as well!


P.S.  If you are wondering about my over use of the word Developing this time – it was a nod to my OWL (One Little Word) that I am focusing on this year. As it appears we are all developing – even the garden!   Welcome to Summer!


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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7 Responses to The Developing Gardener and Kitchen Cook

  1. arjeha says:

    I have never grown herbs of any kind,but since my surgery we have been eating lots of roasted vegetables. Maybe I should try growing my own rosemary, thyme, and basil.

    • Joanne Toft says:

      It is easy and great fun – The thyme is a slow grower but it is go fun to have fresh herbs. I have sage, thyme, oregano, chives, basil, starting lavender this year, two kind of parsley. Give it a try! I like just walking through the garden and touching the plants for the extra wonderful smell.

  2. Adrienne says:

    I might have to try this. I always make my pesto with walnuts instead of pine nuts because I have some wonky nut/seed allergies. Fortunately, walnuts are OK.

  3. Lisa Keeler says:

    Wow. What you are doing with growing, preserving and preparing your food is so impressive. I’m envious of your garden.

  4. Dana Murphy says:

    The flowers of the chive plant are beautiful, actually. And the pesto sounds delicious.

    I love the idea of the kitchen being the other half to the gardening!

  5. dwitkus says:

    I love growing fresh herbs. They really add to the flavor of foods. Your slice makes me want to go into the kitchen and experiment. Happy gardening!

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