Sunday, May 31, 2009

Let the Harvest Begin

Vermonters have been busily putting in gardens over the past week--even though yet another frost warning is in place for tonight, the last night of May. I've lost my cucumbers and half the basil to frost. I think the tomato plants will not survive either in spite of the fact I rushed out to cover everything at the mere hint of frost. On a brighter note, the first lettuce is up and I noticed today that some green beans have sprouted. And then there are the old reliables. Chives and rhubarb seem to grow around here more like weeds than standard vegetables.
So I have been harvesting the chives and adding them to my (but not Mike's) salads, potatoes, and soups. A bit here and a bit there and I do find it quite satisfying to have something freshly plucked out of the herb garden, but, let's face it, this amount of use is not making the slightest dent in the two thriving clumps of chives I keep.
Poking around on the Internet, I did find a recipe for chive oil that can be served over pasta. It uses a lot of chives and sounds like it would be delicious over hearty pasta with a grating of Parmesan cheese and good Italian bread on the side. Next time we have guests I'll try it--and reserve a bowl of pasta to serve with plain oil and cheese to Mike.

Chive Oil
Puree in a blender:
1/4 cup extra virgin
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 3/4 cup chopped chives
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
dash or two of ground pepper
Use immediately.

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