Spring is in full force here (if you ignore the fact that yesterday it was very cold after a week of hot weather, and the temperature dipped below freezing last night). We have been busy in the garden, working every day all weekend long, and a few hours here and there throughout the week, too. The peas are sprouting, and we put up the supports for them to climb on. Unfortunately, I ordered the wrong number of poles, so one row is without. We will have to wait now until the stores reopen in order to get more, as Landi is overwhelmed by people ordering small things, and now has a new regulation in place: minimum order of CHF 50.00. So we will wait a few weeks and see what happens.
In any case, everything else is green and gorgeous – or in bloom. Last autumn, my in-laws purchased a whole huge box of tulip bulbs from the Keukenhof for us, and we planted them for our cut flower garden. Not artfully arranged, since the plan is to pick them as soon as they bloom. Our apartment is now awash in gorgeous yellows, pinks and reds! The peach trees are done blooming, and now it’s the apple trees’ turn: the scent is so heavenly!
The other day we picked even more Bärlauch in the forest – our daughter had a blast ordering us around and choosing which leaves to pick. She didn’t even notice that she hiked 5k up hill! What amazed me was that other families walked by and seemed confused – they had no idea that all that green, as far as you can see (and SMELL) is Bärlauch! Anyway, by picking a leaf here, a leaf there, it soon added up to a couple bags full – 600g to be precise.
While there are so many uses for it, what I really wanted was Bärlauch pesto – I found so many variation online, but none of them seemed to be quite what I was looking for. So true to fashion, I made something up that seemed like a good idea. It makes a lot – and I had to blend it all in 2 batches, then mix it together in a bowl for homogeneity.
A fresh, garlicky pesto to freeze and bring a taste of spring to your cooking year-round
- 600 g fresh Bärlauch
- 400 g unsalted, roasted cashews
- 600 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 325 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 5 lemons
- Wash and spin dry Bärlauch.
- Toast cashews in dry pan over medium-high heat until just golden.
- Combine Bärlauch, nuts, cheese in a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the zest and juice of the lemons, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Blend in with olive oil, but not too vigorously, otherwise the bright green color will be lost if the oil emulsifies.
- place in sterilized canning jars and top with oil to keep in the refrigerator, or portion it into ice cube trays to freeze.
And in other news, I found some poblano chili seeds online, and had them shipped in from Belgium. I do not have a heating pad, and I think that the temperature fluctuations in the house are too much for good germination. Therefore I am trying an experiment: germination in the heating drawer of our oven. We’ll see how this turns out…