Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bardiac the Gardener

Errands, the farmer's market, tons of weeding, and a few plants planted.

My hands are tired from pulling weeds. I'm used to having tired legs and such, but I don't usually get tired hands. What a whuss!

My dogwood is in and looks sweet. Just that little plant is a 100% improvement in the ugly area. I got about one third of the plants in, after weeding the areas they'd go. I have high hopes for the Asters, too; if they survive, they're going to look wonderful.

When I was young, I would have easily been voted "least likely to garden." Seriously!

Something about winters here really makes me want growing green stuff around as much as possible.

A question for the wisdom of the internets: I need some fun ideas for fresh spinach and aparagus! Can someone share? (Simple is best, but I'm willing to try following directions!)


  1. Not fun or new, but my favourite thing to do with fresh spinach is to blanch it quickly, and serve with fresh pasta and lots of garlic (I fry the garlic in a few Tbsp of olive oil and mix the garlic and oil through the spinach/pasta combo before serving. So simple but a great way to really taste the spinach.

  2. Probably not new, but grilled asparagus rocks!

  3. Oh my god, I love asparagus! I like it grilled or lightly steamed and then I put some lemon and olive oil on it. Yum! A local restaurant puts it in fried rice, which is really yummy.

    I recommend just adding spinach to just about everything - pasta, soups, stews, salads, everything! Styley's recipe sounds super - and I'll have to try it!

    A good salad for spinach is a caprese-esque salad. Make a salad of spinach and then add chopped tomatoes, basil, cubed fresh mozarella, and then a balsamic vinaigrette. Another good one is with pears, some sort of nut (walnut, pistachio), dried cranberries or other berry, and some goat cheese.

  4. That second salad recipe of shrinky's is making me drool. If you try it, please post about how it went!

  5. A local Chinese chain puts spinach in stir-fry, right at the end...

    I like a classic spinach salad with bacon dressing... I use the spinach salad dressing from the store and put boiled egg slices and mushrooms on it.. yummy!

    My mom roasts asparagus in the oven drizzled with some olive oil. I like it grilled. I've also used it in stir-fry and fried rice, and it was great!

  6. My mother used to serve asparagus out of a can and boil it to the consistency of mush. Yuck.

    The best asparagus dishes involve very little cooking: a few minutes on a grill or in the oven or even in the microwave (but it gets mushy quickly in the microwave so watch out). Lemon, garlic, black pepper, olive oil, and parmesan cheese make excellent enhancements, but my favorite way to eat really fresh asparagus is to cut it up into a tossed salad and eat it raw.

  7. Oh, I just remembered something...a restaurant near me apparently serves "asiago crusted asparagus." I've never been to this place (it's a seafood restaurant, and I'm a vegetarian) so I don't know how they do it, or how good it is - but it sounds magical to me.

  8. I usually drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt it a bit and broil it. Not fun or new, but oh, so yummy!

  9. I eat asparagus almost every day in the spring. All I do is roast it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for aboout 10 minutes in a 425-degree oven. Delicious!

  10. We would have shared that appellation, yet here I am with a sore back and legs from spreading mulch and planting yet more lovely things yesterday. I agree: it's the winters.

    Alas, no fun ideas for your green stuff but everything suggested so far sounds yummy!

  11. asparagus is also good with a bit of cayenne .. you can do it in a frying pan with just a bit of oil ... when it's almost done, sprinkle on the cayenne (don't do too much or you'll get that toxic gas effect from the heat) and the at the last minute squeeze on some lemon.

    my favorite spinach dish is: melt butter and a little olive oil in a frying pan, add a handful of raises or currents and a handful of pine nuts ... fry until the nuts are golden ... and washed spinach and stir just until wilted .. serve immediately

  12. Atart a big pot of lightly salted water boiling. Cut up you asparagus and steam it till perfectly cooked. Set aside.

    Cook up some chopped garlic in some olive oil in a fry pan. Remove the garlic. Peel some nice fresh shrimp. Add spagetti to the boiling water. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook them up in a frying pan that you've already heated a bit of olive oil in. Don't overcook them, but see if you can get them just a bit crispy on the edges. Take them out. Deglaze the pan with a bit of white wine or lemon juice (or both). Add back the garlic, shrimp and asparagus. Chop some parsely and add that too. Drain the pasta and add to the pan. Toss. Serve.