Spring has Sprung: Roasted Carrots, Asparagus on Menu!

  • Spring has definitely sprung here on my little patch of heaven. Erin, my neighbor across the road, asked if I had time to pick dandelions. My answer? I’d make time. We both picked baskets of dandelion flowers for jellies. A few leaves got tossed in, too, for salads. 

    The wild violets were growing in profusion right alongside. Those make a lovely jelly or jam. So many delicious, nutritious wild edibles to pick, and when Mother Nature says they’re ready, there’s no dallying to be had. 

    Anyway, my dandelion jelly making got “nipped in the bud” when I accidentally dropped the colander with the flowers into a soapy casserole dish in the sink. Lucky for me, there’s still plenty of dandelions in flower. The “girls”/chickens got the benefit of my labor, so I’m thinking all was not lost. Maybe the yolks in their eggs will be a brighter yellow from the dandelion flowers! 

    We finished tilling the vegetable garden today and we’re planning on sowing carrots next week.

    My asparagus should be poking through the soil any day, as well.

    That’s why I’m sharing 2 of my favorite spring recipes for, guess what: carrots and asparagus. They were a hit in my recent classes.

    Roasted carrots with red onion, mint and cumin

    I like to mix the different colored carrots together. 

    Ingredients

    2 bunches smaller carrots, peeled (or about 1 pound larger ones, cut in half vertically) 

    1 red or sweet onion, cut into wedges

    Sauce

    1/4 cup olive oil

    2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

    1 tablespoon cumin

    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Garnish

    Chopped mint to taste 

    Zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 400.

    Toss carrots and onions together.

    Whisk sauce ingredients and mix with vegetables.

    Place on sprayed baking sheet in single layer.

    Roast until tender, about 35-40 minutes.

    Sprinkle with mint and zest.

    Simple roasted asparagus with thyme and Mizithra

    No “real” recipe, but here’s my newest twist.The cheese is optional but really good.

    Ingredients and instructions

    Preheat oven 425-475.

    Break or cut off tough ends of asparagus (save for soup). 

    Drizzle a little olive oil over spears and place in single layer on baking sheet.

    Sprinkle chopped thyme leaves on top. Thyme has a peppery, distinctive flavor.

    Season with salt and roast just until bright green and starting to wrinkle. This won’t take but a few minutes. 

    Squeeze some lemon juice over asparagus and finish with shavings of Mizithra (Greek hard cheese).

    Tip:

    No thyme at your house? Sub freshly ground pepper to taste.

    Tips from readers’ kitchens:

    Mary and Pat Ashcroft, Kenwood Ohio readers, stopped to chat while I was at Natorp’s garden outlet. Mary loves to cook, and has many recipes from family and friends. She told me every time she uses someone’s recipe, she says a prayer for them. 

    Coming soon: Carnitas!

    A request from Kristie D. To share this recipe again for Cinco de Mayo. 

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