15 July 2009

Green Day

It had been a while since we had a nice sunny and dry day to get outside. Noticing all of the weeds in my garden while looking out the window over my morning cup of decaf (sad, I know, but I'm far too hyper without fueling the fire), I decided to head outside and survey the garden. J set up the lawn chairs and tethered out the pups and settled in to read (yes, J does read - books even!) while I puttered around the tangle of leaves and stalks and shoots.

The peas have finally gotten big and firm and plump like the peas I've been seeing in the farmers' markets. They are so adorable hanging from their thin, fragile-looking vines. I harvested about three cups of fat pods and started contemplating dinner.

Next to the pea plants are the string bean plants. I've never grown string beans before and I was giddy when I found lots of big beautiful beans hanging from their vines like icicles off of the house in winter. I greedily picked the biggest and fattest beans, leaving the little thin beauties to plump up some more. I got two big hand fulls (in my little hands - or one big hand full in J's meaty mitts).

The peas, green beans, and a bag of local spinach in my refrigerator were
all calling out to me to be cooked - that night - and the zucchini wouldn't shut up either. A very green meal was to be the order of the day.

The menu:

Fettuccine Pesto (with spinach and pistachio - more green - pesto and freshly shelled peas)

Sauteed Green Beans (simply blanched then sauteed in olive oil until they just began to brown and get nutty)

Smothered Zucchini (cooked down with long strands of onion until incredibly soft and just a bit of sweet caramelized brown appearing on the unctious coins of squash)

I contemplated making a salad, but I thought it would be green overkill and just too much food. That, and the leaves were tipped with red, spoiling my fabulous green color scheme.

I had never made a spinach pesto before and found it creamier than a basil pesto. Maybe the leaves had more moisture which emulsified with the oil. I had also never used pistachios in a pesto. We had a big bag of salt and pepper pistachios sitting on the counter and I couldn't help but wonder how they would taste in a pesto. So, fifteen minutes later (with some sore fingertips), I had shelled a large bowl of pistachios to blend up with my big bag of L.I. spinach, some garlic, a tasty chunk of Parmesan cheese, and my favorite olive oil. We had enough pesto for dinner and a pint to freeze for later.

I knew people when I was a kid who wouldn't touch any green food on their plates at all. I wonder how they would have reacted to a plate of nothing but green food?

1 comment:

  1. Nicole,
    We have been away visiting friends and family in the carolinas, but now we are back and I have a chance to catch up on your blog :-)
    I can not believe your beans, I now cant wait to check out our garden this weekend :-)