Summer Recipes from the Garden

On either side of our work day, the earlier sunrise and warmer evening temperatures have allowed us to work into a fairly regular summer schedule – walking with the dogs to the chicken pen at the end of the driveway each morning with a bowl of table scraps for the young hens, turning on separate blocks of water in the vineyards, and trudging up and down the hill to the vegetable garden on longer walks in the evening when it starts to cool. Lately we’ve been busy picking raspberries, boysenberries and now a plethora of blackberries, along with squash, beans, peas, lettuce, carrots, radishes and herbs of all kinds. All these fresh vegetables have gotten us into the cooking mode recently, making something new with our home-grown veggies almost nightly.

With the warmer weather, our Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc is our “go-to” wine with al fresco dinners on the deck over-looking the vines and watching the sun set behind Mt. St. Helena. A chilled glass or two highlights the herbs and green vegetables that become a focus of our meals this time of year.

We recently picked a bushel (bigger than a bread box?) of fresh tarragon, and decided to try to make a pesto for summer sandwiches, pasta and chicken dishes. Although there are dozens of pesto recipes on the internet, none of them felt as familiar as the one we use with basil, so we just substituted ½ of the basil with tarragon leaves. Pesto can be used as a spread for sandwiches or blended with pasta at the last minute and served with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It’s easy to freeze in small containers and use again when it turns cold and the garden is only a memory. See Lamb’s Basil/Tarragon* Pesto.

Our taste buds got excited with another recipe we found in the New York Times last week, “Pork with Green Garlic Salsa Verde.” Although we just dug over 100 beautiful red torpedo onions, we didn’t plant any garlic. But fortunately there is a vendor in our local Friday Farmer’s Market, so we stocked up on the young “green” bulbs of immature garlic. The combination of garlic, mint, parsley and red pepper flakes was a hit! Although the recipe called for seared pork cutlets, we had a delicious roasted bone-in pork roast with the salsa verde one night, and even made the salsa again with chicken that Herb splayed on the grill and dressed with herbs a few nights later. The salsa was great on a leftover chicken and fresh arugula sandwich, and we are looking forward to using it once again on grilled seafood before the window for harvesting green garlic closes.

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite recipes or foods that pair with our wines.

Send photos and we’ll share them too!