Dear Tom, Spring has sprung!

You’ll appreciate the fact that I’m already using produce from my garden.

Asparagus – oh yes – for weeks now.

Last night I harvested arugula, cilantro, baby garlic, and my secret green – wild stinging nettle. Love stinging nettle!

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Stinging nettle. Great green, if you know how to use it.

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Cilantro, arugula and baby garlic.

I harvested and washed the young greens. (Always wear gloves when picking nettles. I just covered my hands with a dishtowel and tossed them directly into a glass bowl of hot water – nuked them in the microwave for 90 seconds and voila! No sting. Nettles are better than spinach. And they are super healthy. They have a delicate flavor. Always pick before they bloom.)

Then I chopped everything coarsely and stuffed it all into my food processor, along with maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Because I wanted the pesto to be shiny, I added two raw egg yolks. (Just me. Feel free to leave out.)

I cooked up a box of pasta and opened a bag of frozen baby peas. Dumped the peas in a big mixing bowl, dumped the hot pasta plus three scoops of boiling pasta water on top of the peas and then stirred in the pesto.

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Later I’ll add some additional salt and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Yummy spring pesto pasta! Welcome to springtime in California!

XOXO! Julia

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17 thoughts on “Dear Tom, Spring has sprung!

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thanks, Roberta – and thanks for the article. I agree with the author.
      I love spring, love all the seasons. And yes, feel free to come on down!

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      My sister got socked with a couple feet of snow yesterday and today, Steph. We had torrential rains last week. This week is spring.

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  1. Diana Stevan

    You put me to shame. I garden but always feel like I have three thumbs. I’ve been out, weeding, but no planting yet. Parsley and Chives are the only things that have popped up. My garden is the size of a small sandbox. Used to be a sandbox when the grandkids were small. šŸ™‚ I try. I plant beets now for borscht. Not sure what I’ll try this year. I’m not very successful at much. My mother was brilliant at it, with a huge garden. I had no idea that you could eat stinging nettles. You are so clever. And the recipe does look yummy. Lucky family!

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Beets don’t grow here. It’s a pity Diana. I love beets! Yes, try the nettles. Just use gloves until you get the stinging out!

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  2. Marylin Warner

    Asparagus is my favorite veggie, Julia. We pick the tiny wild shoots that appear around Garden of the Gods, but it’s not until late April or early May. (We had a blizzard yesterday–ah, Springtime in the Rockies…)

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, Marylin – my sister in Boulder lost power for 12 hours. They huddled in bed with the dog! We picked wild asparagus in Iowa. Doesn’t grow wild here. Wish it did!

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