By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Spicy Dish Made With Spring Garden Bounty


As is normal each spring, some things perk up faster than others. Such is the case with rhubarb, chives and asparagus. Hating to see such things go to waste, I have a couple recipes and a suggestion to share that take advantage of these spring crops.

Spiced Rhubarb

• 2 1/2 # sliced rhubarb

• 2 C sugar

• 1 C water

• 1 C sugar

• 1 C cider vinegar

• 1/2 tsp cloves

• 1/2 tsp mace

• 1/2 tsp allspice

• 1/2 tsp ginger

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle the rhubarb with 2 cups sugar, let stand overnight. Reserving the juice, drain in the morning and add water, the additional cup sugar, and the vinegar in a kettle. Put the spices in a tea ball, and add to the kettle. Boil until it forms a nice syrup. Add the rhubarb and boil until thick. Serve cooled with whipped topping.

This is, as the title says, quite spicy. I know, having eaten mine straight. Besides whipped topping, I can see this going well with ice cream. I’ll try my next serving with frozen yogurt or plain Greek yogurt to help cut the spiciness. (I subbed Erythritol for the sugar to keep it compliant with my Whole Life Challenge, even though I’m between sessions of that. The less real sugar I consume, the better. But I maybe should have added a bit more of that, as it doesn’t have quite as much sweetening power as the real stuff. If you make this with sugar and find it not quite so spicy, you could let me know.) Oh, and mace equals nutmeg. This recipe was printed in The Prairie Star, to give credit where it’s due.

Chive Pesto

• 1/2 C chives

• 3 Tbl dried parsley

• 1/2 C avocado oil

• 2 tsp sunflower seeds

• 1 tsp pepitas

• 2 Tbl almonds

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 tsp lemon juice

• 2 Tbl water

Process all together, slowly adding oil last. It should form a paste. I used this recipe as I had all the ingredients to hand. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. This pesto is really good mixed into plain rice or quinoa as a side dish. I like it atop a baked potato, and on cooked pasta, which includes cous cous. I haven’t tried it as a dip for a relish tray of fresh veggies or with potato chips, but I’m sure it would work nicely.

Now, as for asparagus, I’ve just been cutting it into 1-2” pieces, discarding the tough ends, then adding chopped garlic scapes. I’ll drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, and a squeeze or two of fresh lemon. This dish gets zapped in the microwave on the vegetable setting.

Since the past week or so has been drizzly with moisture (not enough to label it actual rain, but it does add up), as well as windy and chilly, not much gardening has occurred. I do have spuds, peas, and some onion sets planted. I found a half packet of beet seeds from last year, so those went into the ground, as well as Swiss chard, leaf lettuces, and one packet of radish seeds. All of those will take some cold weather. I’d neglected to get carrots, so I’m waiting for a calm day to plant those now that I have some. The other seeds (corn and beans, mainly) will wait another week or so. Bedding plants are also waiting until it gets warmer and the threat of frost is much less.

The weeds, ever hardy, are popping up like, well, weeds. The partly shaded section of my garden, where I let the mixed flowers go to seed each year and volunteer to grow again the next, is likewise turning pretty green. So now the days of weeding commences, as does the mowing of the lawn. I don’t complain (much) about weeding or mowing since I really enjoy seeing the green.


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