In the Garden (and onto the Table)

Here’s what’s happening in the garden this week:

My daughter’s sixth birthday present, a weeping mulberry, is starting to leaf!

Weeping mulberry.

The citrus blossoms smell divine!

Blood orange blossoms.

Meyer lemon blossom.

The grape leaves are sprouting.

Thompson grape leaf.

And Anna and Dorset Golden apples have started to grow.

Tiny Dorset Golden apples.

I picked this watercress from the vegetable garden.

I didn’t really have any great uses for it (other than watercress and butter tea sandwiches–and who eats them?), so I’d let it grow all over the place. It was choking my little sweet pea seedlings and creeping into my spring onions. I was hoping for some inspiration…and then it arrived! I was looking through “Plenty,” the fabulous new vegetable cookbook by the London chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, and came upon his recipe for Green Lentils, Asparagus and Watercress. I was thrilled. In the Cuisinart, I whipped up the watercress with garlic, parsley, olive oil and red wine vinegar and, when the lentilles du Puy were cooked, I tossed them together. Later that night, I tossed the lentils with cooked asparagus and more watercress for dinner with friends. Ottolenghi serves the salad with pecorino or Manchego, but I chose to serve it with creamy burrata. It was perfect!

(FYI, our next course was halibut cooked in parchment with sliced kumquats and spring onions–both from the garden–a bit of olive oil and some orange juice. I forgot to add thyme, which it really could have used. I served the fish with a lemon risotto and we drank a lovely vin gris of pinot noir, brought by our friends, from Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

Halibut en papillote.

For dessert, we had this chocolate bunt cake from the Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food cookbook, which we topped with scoops of blood orange gelato.

Bi-Rite Market's chocolate cake.

It had been a warm day and the evening was mild. We had dinner on the porch, where the scent of those citrus blossoms occasionally wafted by.)

Spring, I’m thrilled to announce, has arrived in Santa Monica!


About cdhla

I'm a former editor at several lifestyle magazines who's been freelancing since moving from NYC to LA. I call my blog The Chipped Platter to remind us that chips are better than perfection. The platter in question, a round one made by Gien, has traveled the world with me, visited with friends and family, celebrated milestones, and offered sustenance. My cherished Chipped Platter is part of the family. (I love my chipped plates, too!) On this blog, I'll be sharing my adventures of cooking for my family and friends, venturing out into restaurants and learning tips from people I meet. Come along!
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6 Responses to In the Garden (and onto the Table)

  1. Mary Scott says:

    Well, perhaps it is just me but I LOVE watercress sandwiches! And you parchment packages are so much prettier than mine, which are always thrown together and scrunched up! How to get those scalloped edges?

    • cdhla says:

      I love watercress sandwiches, too, but they basically seem like butter sandwiches with some green in them. An indulgence! I made an effort with my parchment packets! Mine are usually hideous! I found the rounds at a sort of restaurant supply place here in LA called Surfas. Next time you come, we’ll make a trip out there! xoxo

  2. liza says:

    It all looks so beautiful! I wish all the other senses would work too. The meal sounds just amazing!

    • cdhla says:

      Hi Liza, the meal was good but I forgot a little of everything: walnut oil was supposed to be drizzled over the lentils, the thyme with the fish and I even forgot vanilla in the chocolate cake! I love this time of year! How is it in Colorado??

  3. Shelley Cardder says:

    Wonderful piece. Great descriptions – inspiring.

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