Green Goodness

 My garden is filled to the brim with lettuce right now

 I usually plant or sow directly into the vegetable beds 
with really great results
 You can find Mesclun mixes 
in just about every nursery and there are some great Internet sources 
like  Shepard's Seeds and 
Renee's Seeds 
which happens to be my favorite
 Some times I let the plant get a bit to big and the lettuce is tough 
but in the case of Arugula
you can eat the little flower petals too!
 I pretty much toss in anything that is ready for picking
like radishes and peas 
 The spring onions are really big now 
I have leeks and red onions this year too  
 If I can't get the onions to pull out easily from the dirt
 I use a sharp paring knife and cut them off right at the base 
which works fine  too
 Back in the kitchen....lets make a salad
 I usually give the newly harvested green a good 5 - 10 minute soak
 in ice cold water in a salad spinner

What that does is it crisps up the greens a little bit

Then I triple wash...sometimes 4 washes are necessary

 I don't use any pesticides but I like to be sure I have gotten off all of the dirt 
and the little bugs that can hide in the leaves

 All the greens get dumped on to a kitchen towel and are sorted into zip lock bags 

this lets me check every thing over one last time 
and get a nice interesting mix of lettuce varieties into each bag
 now that we have our salad about some vinaigrette!

 This is a heavenly Meyer lemon concoction 
that you will love
 I will list all of the ingredients at the end 
so you can 
jot it down if you like
 I usually use 3 Meyer lemons
( I have 4 large lemon trees but the Meyers always get used up first!)

I you can't find Meyers 
you can use 2 regular lemon's and one orange
 to create a similar taste
 I use olive oil and Canola oil 
( its nice to balance out the flavors with both)

Dijon mustard

 add in some finely chopped shallot
and some vinegar
 salt and pepper to taste
and a bit of tarragon
I never have fresh tarragon and the dried works fine in this recipe 
 whisk it up and then store in a jar 
with a nice tight lid 
suitable for shaking
 This is the best dressing

I use it on salads of course but it is great on: 
Grilled chicken
Grilled Vegetable's like zucchini and peppers
and it is heaven over vine ripe tomatoes!
or to use as a dip for a  big slice of crusty french bread!

Did I say YUMMY?!

Here is the recipe:
Feel free to tweak as you like

juice from 3 Meyer lemons (look for about 3/4 cups of juice)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Canola oil
1/4 cup sweet wine vinegar ( I use a Rose' Wine Vinegar because I like the sweetness to balance out the lemon juice)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard ( I usually mix the smooth with the grainy together)
1 large shallot finely minced
1 Tbl dried Tarragon
Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste

Yield: 2 1/2 cups of Vinaigrette
Shake well before using

Have a fun and relaxing weekend
hope you find time to putter in the garden too!

  1. Loved reading this as a beginner gardner I like to see what other folks do. Do you use a particular fertilizer?

    1. Hi there Pine Tree Home!!!! Actually I don't use much fertilizer. When I rotate a crop in each bed I will add a soil booster type of amendment or some compost but that is about it. You will need to do this each time you go through a growing cycle because as you will see, there will be much less soil than when you originally started.

      Have fun with your new garden!!

      xxx's kelley

  2. My husband's family has a family cabin outside Felton, CA where Renee's Seeds is located. I was disappointed that they don't have any kind of store front though. How fun would that be?
    Enjoy your garden!

  3. this is not only beautiful kelley but sounds so delish. i will def try this. although i don't know anything about sweet vinegar. i'll have to shop around for that.

    1. Hi Janet, I found it (Rose' vinegar) at my local Von's, which basically has the worst selection of gourmet food...ever! But you can use sherry vinegar or white balsamic. You may want to cut back on the oil if you are watching calories but a little goes a long way!!!

      Hope you try it on some of your beautiful vegan dishes....!

      xxx' kelley

  4. printing this out for sure....looks yummy....our garden is just starting to grow and i'm looking fwd to a bounty in the summer....but yall are so blessed in CA to have a garden like you do....would love lemons growing like that! thx for sharing!

  5. Kelley, your gardening skills are amazing. That produce looks better than any I've seen at the grocery store! :)

    FYI...I am featuring your pretty bathroom on my blog today. It is one of my 10 favorite blogger rooms!

    Have a happy Friday!


  6. The greens look amazing!! I also love and use all my Meyer's lemons.

  7. How wonderful to grow your own greens and I had to pin the salad dressing that is my kind of salad, YUM!!
    Happy Mothers Day weekend,
    xo Kathysue

  8. Ok, so why is it that you don't own a B&B, restaurant, something I could visit?! ;-)

    xo Kat

  9. Kelly...I bet your salad is amazing...there's nothing like fresh veggies and home made dressing...YUM!

  10. There is so much goodness in your garden! Just imagining lemons straight off the tree is making me smile. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

  11. This makes me so much miss having a veggie garden- I will have to try the dressing- it looks delicious!

  12. Hi Kelley...I love when you share your garden specialties! You always have an amazing garden!! I am growing a lettuce mix, spinach, and a Meyer Lemon tree, too. Question--do the little tiny "lemons" start out green? I have about 18-20 tiny green "lemons" about the size of dimes...but I'm wondering if they are really limes?? The tree was tagged with "Meyer Lemon" photo and information, but now I'm not sure.

    1. Hi Becky...yes those are your lemon babies which will take about a year to be fully ripe and big. The Meyer lemons like water too and require a bit more that ordinary citrus trees. The funny thing about limes is that they start out green too and as they ripen they get very green but if left on the tree too long they will turn yellow and look like a lemon! Go figure!

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