When it is hot outside, I love to eat cold soba noodles. We dunk them in an ice-cold strong broth made from mirin, soy and sake. The trick to good soba is to cook them in just-boiling water, then cool them in multiple changes of cold water. I also “scrub” off the excess starch as they cool so the noodles don’t stick together.
Other dishes on the table are pickles, broccoli raab in mustard and chili sauce, steamed egg with wakame seaweed, and Chinese style pork with hakurei turnips and hoisin sauce.
The top picture is our house as of May 18. The lower picture was May 25. It is amazing how quickly the leaves fill out the landscape.
Today I weed all of those beds.
Today was the first CSA delivery from Root 5 Farm. We got fresh asparagus. Definitely a day for Pasta with Asparagus.
The trick to pasta with asparagus is to build up of flavorful sauce to coat the pasta. Otherwise, the dish turns out kind of boring. I’m going to use leftover chives butter (green paste on the left), and chopped green onions (glass jar on the right). Additionally, we want some protein. So I’m adding tuna in oil. However, the tuna can overpower, so I drain off any extra oil or liquid. I also toss in the tuna at the very end so the flavor doesn’t spread around too much.
Not shown, but critically important, Parmesan cheese. The salty umami flavors complement the tuna and vegetables. I made Sam stop at the grocery to pick some up. Tip: use the vegetable peeler to get long strips that don’t melt into the background.
Next year – I’ll be able to make pasta with asparagus hopefully from my own garden.
This spring has brought a large expansion of my vegetable garden. Illustrated above is a map showing what is planted in my new, bigger garden.
- Onions. Asian – style peapods. Snap peas. Their space here for pepper plants once it gets warmer.
- This is a round bed constructed of recycled bricks. I have planted annual herbs: parsley, basil, cilantro, shiso. I also put garlic chives in this bed. I was worried they would cross pollinate with my standard chives.
- Onions. There’s reserved space in this bed for cucumbers.
- This is the cooking greens bed: spinach, Swiss shard, kale, tat soi, and bok choy. These cold – loving crops of the only thing green in the garden right now that isn’t a weed.
- There’s nothing in this bed right now. Once my squash transplants get larger they’ll go out here. Since it’s on the corner of the garden, the plants can ramble all over.
- This is one of the two original beds from last year. My carrot bed continues to live here, and I planted rhubarb. Additionally, the backs of the two large raised beds have asparagus. Since these raised beds are extra – deep the tomatoes will go in here when they get transplanted.
- This is the other original raised bed from last year. There’s asparagus in the back, but I’m waiting to put my tomatoes in.
- Hard to see in the picture, but I planted two blueberry bushes this year. My hope is they will bloom and I may get a couple blueberries this year.
I still have about another week until we are definitely pass the last frost. After that, I’ll be able to put out peppers, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes.
I know you’re looking at those tender vegetables and thinking, aren’t your deer going to eat all of that? Yes, if I don’t get out there quick and get my fence in place. Since we expanded the garden so much, I don’t have an a fencing to go around all of it. I’ll need to go buy some more.