Another delicious mushroom dish from the Vedge cookbook. Originally calling for nebrodini mushrooms, but suggesting trumpet mushrooms as a substitution, I sliced the thick stems ever so thinly, as suggested. They stuck to the bottom of my pan when I tried to fry them. So I sliced them less thinly, between 1/16 and 1/18 of an inch thick, and fried them gently in olive oil until they reached a golden brown. The sauce? Fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden, garlic, olive oil, white wine, salt and pepper, and plenty of basil (I also added some parsley from the garden). And it was spectacular. Like, really spectacular. Again, a crusty roll, some butter, and I was in heaven. So simple, so rich, and just perfect.
I’ve been trying to grow peas for for years, and Philadelphia’s relatively brief Spring has always thwarted me. Not this year! I was able to grow some wonderful peas, and they are actually still producing! I doubt that they’ll make it through a hot August, so I’m picking my pea sprouts and shoots and curls now, and enjoying them while I can.
One of the easiest ways to prepare pea shoots is to not prepare them at all – just chop them and toss them into a salad! You can also quick pickle them, throw them into a stir fry, blend them with herbs into a pesto, or toss them into a summer soup.
Do you have other ways to enjoy pea shoots and spouts?
I came home from a long Memorial Day weekend with family to find my wild rose bush blooming beautifully. The petals on those roses don’t last for long, and Philadelphia was expecting yet another big rain later that afternoon; I wanted to find a way to preserve some of these gorgeous flowers. After some internet searching, I found a few reciples for rose petal jam, a traditionally Syrian and Lebanese condiment that keeps all of the wonderful color and scent of fresh blooming roses. Because the “jam” is made with flowers and not fruit, it doesn’t have any of the natural thickening pectin of fruit, and so the finished product if more of a thick syrup than a traditional jam. I’m so excited to eat it with fresh, organic yogurt, and maybe a few herbs from the garden! I’ve included the link to the recipe I used below.
These roses adjoin my home, so I know that they aren’t sprayed with chemicals or fertilizers, but if you are scavenging for your own, make sure the petals are organic.
In partnership with Philly Homegrown, PHS created a beautiful pop-up garden in the formerly empty lot at 20th and Market. Just look at all the beauty next to those boring skyscrapers! You’re welcome to pop-in on Wednesdays and Thursdays and spend some time in the garden.
The garden will stay up until October, then come down for the winter and pop-up in a new location next Spring! I stopped by for a short workshop on vegetable growing. These Wednesday workshops are free and easy to squeeze in over your lunch hour:
• August 4: Gardening Odds and Ends — Fabulous Containers
• September 1: Edible Landscapes — Growing Beautiful Food
• September 22: Edible Landscape — Planting and Harvesting
After the workshop I popped over to Square 1682 with some fellow food writers. Along with five other local hot spots – R2L, , Table 31, Sampan, Barbuzzo, and Paradiso — Square 1682 has agreed to use ingredients from the pop-up garden in special dishes whose proceeds benefit City Harvest, PHS’s program that provides fresh produce for underserved Philadelphia residents. Pictured above is petite salad with little gem lettuce, pickled vegetables, and a honey lemon dressing.
But this is the dish that melted my heart: Pesto Marinated Burrata with yellow pickled beets, endive, frisee, dried apricots and cranberries, and a sherry vinaigrette. I’d love to visit again some day and try their famous vegetable tasting menu!
In addition to the full share CSA from Lancaster Farm Fresh that I share with my housemate, I have two 8X4 raised beds that I constructed in the abandoned yard next to my house. This year I really got on the early planting, and this early attention has yielded great early summer crops. I thought I’d share a few photos with you:
I grew heirloom Lincoln Peas from Landreth seeds – so sweet!
It’s not secret that I love beets. These beautiful heirlooms grew gorgeous, with very sweet greens.
I broke up two heads of organic garlic late last fall and planted the individual cloves before the ground froze. By summer solstice, I had these gorgeous heads of new garlic, which I braided and hung in my pantry.