The satisfying crunch of garden-fresh and seasonal asparagus. The sweetly tart bite of a bursting ripe cherry. The newly floral air blowing through the endless fields. These are the wonders that come along with springtime in our valley. Family and friends from all around visit to enjoy the sweet nectar of dining within your joyfully alive home garden. The table is set with bouquets of freshly cut local flowers, the fresh cherry lemonade is being sipped upon by your loved ones, and a seasonally delicious and wholesome meal is on the way. The world has become green and vibrant again—and with the wonderful weather, it’s time to throw a garden party to remember. These recipes are a wonderful springboard for a fabulous springtime celebration.
cherry lemon refresher
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 quarts cold water
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh cherries
For a refreshing drink that’ll be sure to keep your guests cooled off and asking for more, mix up some fresh cherry lemonade. Cherries are at their peak ripeness and now is the time to take advantage of their juicy goodness and vitamin C kick.
Mix all ingredients in your favorite glass pitcher; stir until sugar dissolves. Garnish each glass with a fresh, whole cherry and a lemon slice, if desired.
tossed mesclun salad with cherry and chevre:
- 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 6 finely chopped fresh cherries
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 4-6 ounces mesclun greens
Entice your taste buds with a sprightly and lightly tossed mesclun salad with cherry vinaigrette. Visit your local farm stand or market to pick up the greens, cherries, and cheese.
Begin by combining vinegar, mustard, rosemary, pepper and salt, oil, and cherries in bowl and mix briskly until the oil and vinegar have been well combined. After making sure the greens are cleaned and dried, toss mesclun greens with dressing until the leaves are properly coated. Toss in the goat cheese and serve fresh with a crack of pepper and thinly sliced and toasted sourdough bread for a nice crunch
Spring is the time when asparagus comes shooting through the soil for an early-season nutritious burst.
- 2 bunches fresh asparagus
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 plum tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
To prepare the asparagus, break away the tough lower stem and thoroughly wash each stalk. Boil for three minutes and shock in ice bath to maintain the vibrant green color. Strain and begin to heat the olive oil in a medium pan. Before the oil reaches its smoke point
(test by placing a small piece of garlic in the oil. If the oil sizzles then it’s at the perfect temperature), sauté the garlic until lightly golden brown. Add chopped plum tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add asparagus and simmer on medium/low for 5-10 minutes. Include chopped parsley two minutes before completion and serve with kabobs. Don’t forget a fresh hunk of baked artisan bread and you’ll be on your way to a roller coaster of deliciousness. For a simple and delicious dessert, clean, halve, and pit a few bunches of fresh cherries. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a dash of sugar to intensify the delicious cherry goodness. Serve with a sprig of fresh garden mint and a dollop of fresh-made and honey-sweetened whipped cream. Fresh fruit cleans the palate and provides for a perfect finale to a wonderful meal.
grilled steak and veggie kabob
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 metal skewers
- 1 1/2 pounds lean beef, cut into
- 1-inch cubes (size consistency is essential to ensure even cooking)
- 15 mushroom caps, cleaned of
- excess dirt with a damp paper towel
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
Start the marinade by briskly whisking the oil, fresh lemon juice, soy sauce, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, and salt together in a deep mixing bowl. Add the beef and mushrooms and coat with the marinade, being sure to mix thoroughly. Seal with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least eight hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill on high, and lightly oil the grate to prevent sticking. Remove the beef and mushrooms from the marinade and shake off any excess liquid. Carefully pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Next, reduce the heat to medium/low, and gently simmer for 10 minutes; set aside for basting. Stack pieces of green pepper, beef, red pepper, mushroom, and onion onto skewers until all ingredients are skewered and accounted for. Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning frequently and brushing with the flavor-packed marinade reduction, until the kabobs are nicely browned on all sides and the meat is only slightly pink in the center (about 10-15 minutes).