I’ve been so preoccupied by the greenhouse goodies that I have not paid much attention to the outdoor garden. All I see out there is weeds, mostly, though suddenly things are getting started out there.
Yesterday was my birthday, so I went out to look for produce to put in the omelet. We have kind of given up on eating brunch out because it’s so disappointing! Here we have the best coffee, good breakfast sausage, fresh eggs (though not our own yet), and lots of things to put in those eggs.
Because it was my birthday, I picked the first baby zucchini and yellow squash, which were finger-sized and I’d usually let them get bigger. There were also broccoli florets– the broccoli heads bolted open early, but the side shoots are proving to be good and plentiful.
The kale has of course been producing all the time I’ve been eating greenhouse salad. Time to get that in the mix. And a few of the shallot stems are falling, so I harvested those. With garlic scapes, the veggie pile was quite large, and that omelet turned into a frittata, with feta cheese to round it out. So good.
I learned years ago not to go out for my birthday dinner but to splurge on something good for here. That has sometimes meant steaks, but this year since I’d made a trip to Holy Land grocery, I was craving a big Greek salad. We decided to also do kabobs, so I skewered up some Vidalia onion, cherry tomatoes, baby peppers, and boneless chicken thigh pieces that I dipped in a spice mix.*
It was so windy that the grill wouldn’t stay lit, so in the end I stripped the kabobs into a cast iron pan and charred them there. The key really was that spice mix and the sweet onion. The key really was all of it together.
The salad featured greenhouse cucumbers and garden lettuce. To that I added olives, greenhouse carrots, red onion, Kalamata olives, and a healthy amount of feta. We tossed it with a vinaigrette heavy on Palestinian olive oil (plus champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and a touch of dijon mustard). That salad was so fresh and sweet– amazing.
And of course I made tzatziki sauce with cucumber, garden dill and mint, sour cream, yogurt, and lemon juice. Holy cow. That sauce drizzled over the chicken and veggies and stuffed in a pita. It didn’t cost nearly as much as scallops or steak, and it was better than anything you can get in a restaurant around here.
*Spice Mix for Indian/Middle Eastern chicken or shrimp kabobs: cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger powder, garlic salt, (and either Madras curry powder, garam masala, or masala mix optional).
Last year I served up a carrot cake that I didn’t eat because it tasted like sawdust. This year, oh man, all day my mouth was full of the flavors of the garden and spices.
So if you were wondering if it was a good birthday? Yes. It tasted delicious.