Longer Reads

Today’s seasonal lunch

My favorite part of the year has arrived! The time when you’re able to make delicious, easy meals out of ingredients you can either pick out of your own garden or pick up fresh at the farmer’s market. Here in the Northeast, we had some unseasonably warm days back in April, followed by more warm weather in May. That means that my garden has begun sprouting much earlier than during last year’s cold, rainy spring. I look forward to each morning, when I traipse around back there, peeking around for new growth!

Now, I don’t want to mislead you: as much as I’d like to think of myself as an urban farmer, the truth is that my garden is 95% flowers and plants — ok, maybe 99% flowers and plants — and a couple of percentages edible veggies and herbs. Here in Park Slope, it’s been said that our soil isn’t the safest to grow in, and raised beds are recommended. My husband and I are both handy work-challenged, which means that the raised beds will never happen. Or at least, not any time soon. That leaves me with a couple of planters worth of edibles, and I’m OK with that for now as I get my farm-legs on…

What’s in the garden: Mostly herbs (mint, sage, basil) and tomatoes (cherry and the big guys), potted strawberries (of which I can usually harvest about 2 or 3 teensy ones), and wild raspberries, figs, and concord grapes that have TAKEN OVER the garden!! Their vines and leaves are practically wrapping themselves around my cats. For now, the only things that I can harvest are the herbs and a couple of cherry tomatoes.

What I don’t have in my garden, I make up for through my CSA or local farmer’s  market.

Today’s lunch: I made a simple basil pesto from my own garden’s basil (2 cups), olive oil (1/2 cup), pine nuts (2 tbsp), and a clove of garlic — blended in the blender. I used that drizzled on top of a salad made with local lettuces from my CSA, topped with sauteed local garlic scapes, a nice scoop of brown rice, and my go-to combo of canned white beans and canned wild mackerel. YUM. It was light-yet-hearty, satisfying and flavorful. I may just eat the same thing for dinner!!