See what gardeners are harvesting around the world at daphne’s dandelions. Add your pictures, too, if you have some!
This week I harvested several salads which were DELICIOUS. I’ve said it before. It’s impossible to imagine how wonderful various greens taste right out of the garden. For example, when we were shopping at North Haven Gardens back in early March one of the guys told us that they had a kale that was so delicious raw–he went on about it the way people go on about coffee or wine, and I thought, okay, so there are even kale aficionados? Weirdo.
But then he pinched off a small leaf and told me to try it. Because at North Haven Gardens they don’t spray their stuff with chemicals so it’s safe to pinch and taste anything (that is edible, anyway). And to satisfy him, I said, “Erm, sure!” Very brightly. You know, the way you talk to somebody who is not quite on this planet and you are humoring them whilst wondering how quickly you can move on without offending.
YOU HAVE TO TASTE THIS KALE.
Seriously, I found the Resident Storm Chaser and said, “You have to try this,” while the
weirdo culinary genius stood by, smiling.
RSC gave me a subtle dirty look, the too-polite-to-refuse-in-front-of-strangers but I’m-going-to-get-you kind of look. And he gave the obligatory couple of chews and then his expression changed. “That’s really good,” he said.
We bought two. I don’t know how to describe them, except kind of… rich? Mellow? Not sharp and hot and spicy like mustard greens, but more like a very rich, buttery, slightly sweet broccoli? [OMG I am a weirdo, I am discussing kale like it’s a fine wine.]
Now I’m thinking I need to get these Nero Di Toscana Kale seeds this fall and grow more. At first I figured only the tender new baby leaves were tasty, but I was wrong. These are tender and tasty even at full size. I have loved adding them to salads but I rarely am outside working that I don’t pinch one and eat it, and the main reason I don’t do that more often is because I wouldn’t have any left. Thus my desire to plant more.
So, last week I decided to make an omelet with fresh stuff out of the garden. I still had some small leeks so I sliced one. I took small leaves from swiss chard, from spinach, from the kale. I pinched some thyme and some chives and some oregano–I dunno, just this and that. I had a tiny carrot remaining from an earlier harvest which I shaved thin, then minced the herbs and mixed together and…
I was in the mood for a fried egg.
Not an omelet.
But I had all the stuff ready for the omelet.
But I wanted a fried egg.
So I sauteed all the veg and herb in butter, then cracked in the egg.
Then, because I didn’t want to flip it, after it sizzled a bit I got a palm-full of water and sprinkled it around the edges of the skillet and put a lid on it and waited a minute or so. The resulting steam finishes off the top of the egg.
I have a feeling that the dish I “invented” which is an egg fried with veg and herbs probably exists already. If it does, let me know the name.
The only thing I would do different is have more savoury flavor. I would add onion or garlic, I think, because there wasn’t enough leek to give it that bit of sumpn-sumpn I wanted. Or maybe some bell pepper. Or even just go heavier with the herbs. Just a bit more flavor. Because the kale was so mild, it didn’t add a lot.
But it turned out great and gave me exactly what I wanted. That rich, buttery runny yolk stirred around with all the fresh stuff from the garden was delicious!
If I didn’t do anything but use it on sandwiches, lettuce would be more than worth its keep. Just think of all the money we save by never having to buy lettuce. We’ve been pinching off leaves since the day we put it in the ground and look how pretty it is. For some reason the red lettuce did better than the green, but the green is starting to catch up now. These were bedding plants we bought at North Haven Gardens the same day we bought the kale.
To my total shame, I broke my rule about buying things made in China. I bought this little hummer at Home Depot. I was weak. I admit it. But they were so pretty. [I bought three.] And I am ashamed but hey, human. Moving on, the dwarf snaps are to draw pollinators. I probably won’t leave them in once the initial burst of blooms is over. Last year I had trouble with pollination so this year I decided to stick flowers around here and there hoping to remedy that until my herbs start blooming.
And finally–Friday morning I am almost certain I saw a hummingbird. A real, living one. Either that or some sort of largish insect that was rather locust-looking, which I am pretty sure it couldn’t have been. It zipped around from a snapdragon over to the rosebush.
Very early. And today we will hit 90 degrees.
Summer is coming, people.