...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Spring Foods

I'm always in search of more spring recipes.  The pickin's in our garden are few and far between, but that doesn't mean I can't cook something with our meager harvest.  Every season I find myself backed up with sorrel, the lemony perennial "herb" that is oh so prolific.  It's best used fresh because it turns a drab green when exposed to heat so I usually prepare it as a cold soup or tossed with salad greens, but I tried a cooked recipe again last night and was happy with the results.  The sorrel was mixed with enough other ingredients that the color wasn't so pronounced in the final dish.  I also incorporated chives and peas--wonderful spring ingredients.  Peas aren't quite here yet so you may want to save this recipe for later in the spring.

Sorrel and Pea Frittata with Chicken and Herbs
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Verdura, Vegetables Italian Style by Viana La Place

2 T. unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
6 eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. sorrel, washed and chopped
2 T. fresh chives, chopped
1/4 c. frozen shelled peas, thawed
2 T. basil pesto (frozen from last season's harvest)
1/2 c. cooked, diced chicken breast (leftovers are great)
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan
1 T. bread crumbs
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over low heat, cook onions until they are soft.  Set aside.  In the meantime, break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream, and whisk until well-combined.  Add the sorrel, chives, peas, pesto, chicken, onions, Parmesan, and bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir the mixture well.  Place the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet and turn the heat to medium high.  Swirl the oil in the pan to coat the sides and bottom.  Add the egg mixture and lower the heat.  Cook the frittata slowly, stirring until large curds form.  Stop stirring and cook until the frittata is firm except for the top.  To cook the top, place under the broiler in the preheated oven.  Cook until firm and lightly golden.  Watch it carefully since overcooking will toughen the eggs.  Remove the frittata from the oven and let cool for a few moments in the pan.  Place a plate over the top of the pan and invert the frittata onto it.  Serve warm or at room temp. with a simple tossed salad.

I've been checking our asparagus patch just about every day lately.  I'm excited for the first harvest.  Finally!  Asparagus should not be harvested until the third year.  The first couple of seasons it will produce skinny stalks that should be allowed to go to seed.  It's hard to believe these three years have passed so quickly.  I was a bit nervous about the asparagus this morning when I still didn't see any signs of life.  It was one of those times when my garden journal came in very handy.  I consulted last year's notes, which told me that it suddenly popped out of the ground on May 2.  And, if I recall, it grew literally inches by the day after that.

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