Now that spring has finally arrived it's nice to be seeing more green than brown in the garden! My chive patch gets bigger each year, and the pink blossoms really add a gorgeous pop of color this time of year. I overwintered a few kale plants, and they were growing by leaps and bounds these last few weeks. I was inspired to make the most of the bounty of chives and kale in the garden, and I'm sharing a few simple recipes with you below in case you have a bounty of kale or chives in your garden, or maybe you know someone who does and can share some with you.
Besides the kale and chives, the peas are starting to take off up the new branch trellises I made with some pruned branches from our fruit and hazelnut trees. I'm really loving the beautiful two-toned blossoms on the purple snow pea I'm growing for the first time this year. The greenhouse was getting crowded, and I've been gradually transplanting the warm season vegetable starts into the garden. Now that the temperatures are getting pretty reliably above 50 degrees, I'll be planting out most of the remaining starts this weekend. I'm excited to get the rest of the tomatoes planted, as well as my cucumbers, squash, corn, beans, and pumpkins! The chickens and turkeys have been spoiling us with a bounty of eggs, and one day I got 18 eggs! The overwintered kale recently bolted (thankfully my new kale starts are about ready to take their place), and the ladies enjoyed a bolted kale buffet. Don't ask me why, but even though they always have access to fresh green grass, they get extra excited about treats from the garden. I just love how our little farm is a perfect circle of life. Extra veggies go to the chickens, and the chickens give us eggs in return as well as providing compost for next year's garden. I'm feeling truly fortunate these days to be living the life we do. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have been and that you have a productive gardening season!
3 cups kale, ribs removed, and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup olive oil
The quantities in this recipe are approximate (I don't always measure!) but it's very forgiving, adjust it however it tastes good to you. Blend all ingredients in food processor, adding more olive oil as needed to make a smooth pesto. Serve immediately over warm pasta. You can also make a double batch and freeze the extra.
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix flour with salt, then add water and eggs. Combine well, then mix in chives. Pour 1/4 of batter into lightly greased skillet. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side until light brown and crispy. Makes 4 pancakes. Serve as an appetizer with dipping sauce of your choice. I like a simple mix of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and a little sugar.
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 - 2 Tbsp. separated chive blossoms for color
Soften butter to room temperature and mix with fork until smooth and slightly fluffy, mix in chives. Can be rolled into a cylinder using plastic wrap or wax paper or spoon into your choice of decorative container - mason jars work great. Serve over potatoes, meat, bread, practically anything!
Chive Blossom Vinegar
fresh picked chive blossoms (rinse and dry if needed)
rice wine vinegar
Fill a pint jar with a generous amount of chive blossoms, really pack them in! Cover with rice wine vinegar or you can also use regular white vinegar or champagne vinegar. Allow the blossoms to infuse for a week or two until the vinegar takes on a deep pink color. Strain vinegar to remove blossoms when it reaches the desired color and/or flavor and store it in a pretty jar on your counter so you can admire it! Use in vinaigrettes, for making quick refrigerator pickles, or sprinkled over French fries.