Our First Spring Garden Dinner

Out in the garden, where the cold frame used to be (ours are heavy but portable, so we removed it the other day, after a few weeks of having the glass off full time), you can find pretty little radishes like this:

There is also a lot of young spinach, arugula, and mesclun to be had:

So, finally, we enjoyed our first springtime garden dinner last night:

The salad comes directly from the garden patch in the photos above. It's made of the last of our winter mache from the fridge, plus fresh spinach, arugula, and lettuce from the former cold frame bed. There are also radishes sliced thin for extra color and flavor (I find that a little bit of radish goes a long way). As usual, the only dressing is a splash of olive oil and lemon juice, plus some cracked pepper. Even Jonas the Lettuce Hater was on board with this salad.

The other dish is pesto chicken over pasta. Kirk used some pesto cubes we had in the freezer (remember when we made them last fall?) to coat the chicken before sautéing it. It is served over regular whole wheat pasta with a bit more pesto, some extra pine nuts, and a little parmesan (or a lot, if you are Tiegan). There is also some fresh basil on top, courtesy of the one basil plant we set out the other day:

The basil is to the left, and was a little leggy as I transplanted it from its pot from the nursery. We were happy to pinch off the top shoots though — more fresh basil for us! Buying this plant was a bit indulgent since we have plenty of basil seed (which I also started further down the row), but it's nice to have some herbs available right now. It also makes sense to stagger the planting of annual herbs like basil and cilantro (to the right in the photo above), so we'll consider these our very earliest.


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