Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A "Dig"


Some years ago a good friend, Wayne Townsend, the curator of the Dufferin County Museum (I was on the board at the time), invited me to go on what he liked to call "A Dig". On this occasion, he had permission to dig up plants at an old abandoned house, prior to its demolition.

We found some wonderful day lilies and peonies near the foundation. But it was when we walked around the back that we both got a surprise!!! - there we found two crazy things! Sedum had taken over an entire field - and another (what seemed like half an acre) - was entirely filled with Garlic Chives!!!

The scent was distinctively both - the chive and the garlic. I'd never seen, nor smelled, anything like it!

Garlic Chives are similar to regular
Chives in their uses, and just as handy
to have by the kitchen door.

Beautiful edible white flowers, slightly larger than the purple ones on regular chives, make terrific garnish to decorate a salad,pasta,fish or meat. You may however want to remove the faded flower heads left on the plants, to prevent self seeding everywhere – they can take over a garden! (well - or a field!)

The leaves are strongly flavored with
Garlic, so use sparingly.

This weekend starts our Culinary Herb Festival here in the Distillery Historic District - and our 4" potted herbs are on special 3 for $10 - and you guessed it ! This includes Garlic Chives !!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

my favourite (and easy) Pesto recipe

Ingredients for Pesto Sauce:
• 4 cloves of garlic
• ½ cup pine nuts
• 1 Handful or so of Parsley
• 2 large handfuls or so of Basil
• 1 cup of Parmesan Cheese (tempting to use more but we find it makes it all too salty)
• 1/3 to ½ cup of really good Olive Oil
• All tossed in a food processor (rather like cheating – but oh well!)
To learn more about culinary herbs - join us at our Culinary Herb Festival in the Distillery Historic District - July 18 to 25 - daily workshops see our website www.vintagegardener.com