Kale + Garlic Scape Pesto

The Kitchen Beet - Kale-Garlic Scape Pesto

We’ve reached that stage where summer’s beautiful abundance is almost startling. It seems one moment we’re begging for anything green to come out of the ground, and the next moment there are 50 garlic scapes sitting on the counter! I’m not complaining in the least. Having a bunch of vibrant beets, spicy greens, crisp sugar snap peas and imperfect bundles of carrots around is among my favorite problems to have. This time of year reminds me a bit of a room of children – the loudest one crying often demands attention. If a vegetable is starting to wilt, it gets my time. There will be no veggies dying on my watch! If you’re starting to get to that point where the gifts of kale and garlic scapes are approaching a volume that requires your kitchen love, read on. This delicious pesto is great now, great tomorrow and excellent in January, when you pull it from the freezer in the midst of a snowstorm.

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Mango-Sesame Tofu Spring Rolls

The Kitchen Beet - Spring Rolls

I have a 10 year old. This still surprises me, even though I barely remember my life before I came a mother. While it seems he grew from five, to six, to seven with changes in reading level and physical capabilities, nothing has quite prepared me for the stage and growth curve we’re entering now. He’s really growing up. It’s like I’ve realized, almost for the first time, that he really will go to middle school and high school and move out of the house. I have this new awareness that he won’t be my baby forever and MAN I had better soak it up.

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Balsamic Mushroom Tart with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

The Kitchen Beet - Balsamic Mushroom Tart

Say  hello to your next favorite appetizer (or dinner, or snack). I realize that’s kind of a bold statement, but unless mushrooms aren’t your friend, I’d suggest you plan on taking this to your next gathering. Of course, you’ll have to taste test it first. (Be responsible!) And then you might have to taste test it again, just to ensure the first time wasn’t a fluke. And then you’ll know. It’s really just awesome.

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Rainy Day Soup: Asparagus, Broccoli and Zucchini with Red Lentils

The Kitchen Beet - Asparagus, Zucchini, Broccoli, Red Lentil Soup

I secretly don’t mind the occasional rainy day as spring turns to summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunny, breezy days as much has the next person who puts up with six months of Michigan winter. Azure skies and hot temperatures beg for activities I love – we must go to the beach, spend afternoons at the pool, hike, bike and dine out on the deck while we can! But there’s something about a rainy day that makes me feel like the appropriate thing to do is spend the entire day in the kitchen, with a pot simmering while I work on other food prep. I love the warming flavors of ginger, turmeric and cayenne in this soup, and most of the veggies can be purchased at early summer market.

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Spring Greens Power Bowl

The Kitchen Beet - Spring Green Power Bowl

The first week of June has garnered greater enthusiasm from me during these past few years, thanks to our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It just started! Twenty-two weeks of beautiful produce! My love for supporting local farmers is apparent, and fresh, in-season food just tastes better. Our CSA has also challenged me to create dishes using ingredients I might otherwise not pick up (hello, kohlrabi).

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