First Harvest

Late June and I have just harvested my garden for the first time.  I am a little later than usual, but thanks to some roving neighborhood deer I had to start my garden a second time.  Darned Deer……

Today I went out and picked the first of my peas (Oregon Sugar Pod II).  This year, rather than setting up the netting I usually use for my peas I tried using tall garden stakes as ‘pea spikes’.  As you can see, it seems to be working quite well.

Use these stakes as ‘pea sticks’ to provide support to your growing plants.

I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but I have VERY sandy soil.  To help improve soil structure I add large amounts of compost in the spring and readily through the summer as well.

Backyard composting, make your own ‘black gold’.

Now that I have completed my first harvest I have to decide what to do with my ‘haul’.  Those of you who are gardeners know that that first harvest is generally not the best, I am looking forward to WAY more fresh from the garden peas as the weeks go on but in the mean time this is what I have to work with.

    One of my good friends made a quinoa dish with bacon and snap peas when we visited one afternoon.  It was DELICIOUS, even my kids and my ‘the only protein is meat’ hubby said it was ‘okay’ (although he did take seconds).

Bacon-Quinoa-Snap Pea Salad with Honey Lime Dressing (courtesy of Nobel Pig)

Serves 4-5
Salad:
4 strips of thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1-1/2 cups quinoa, dry
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/3 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
2 cloves of garlic, crushed through garlic press
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Blanch peas for one minute in water.  Remove and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water.  This will stop the cooking process and allow the peas to keep their beautiful green color.  Remove from ice water after two minutes, and place peas on paper towels to dry. Cut the peas into 1″ pieces.
  • In another pot, bring 2 cups chicken stock or broth to a boil.  Add quinoa and stir.  Cover and cook over low heat until all the stock has evaporated and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.  Uncover and fluff the quinoa, then transfer to another bowl so it can cool to room temperature.

I regretfully had to use the photo from the recipe site because the salad was gone too quickly to get a nice picture.  When I made this recipe I did not have the pepitas or the black sesame seeds (and my friend didn’t either).  I don’t think the recipe missed anything without those two ingredients.

Those of you who have not tried quinoa before (click here for more information about this wonder food) , I really enjoy it but my family is on the fence.  Each time I make it (or my friend serves it) they eat a little bit more.  I hope you enjoy this refreshing summer salad as much as my family does.

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Filed under Garden Helpers, Grilling and Barbecues

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