April Vegetable Gardening in Seattle

Even though the skies were overcast all day Sunday, the temperature felt invitingly warm for gardening, and I’ve been itching to plant April vegetables. The weather is flirting with coldness at night, but  warm enough with the promise of spring that you can go ahead and plant your April vegetables. I checked the soil thermometer and … it’s warm enough to start planting!

Soil Thermometer Says...
Soil Thermometer Says…

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Castellucio Lentil Salad with Tomatoes and Gorgonzola

This lentil salad is rich and sweet with the fresh flavors of slow-roasted tomatoes. It’s hearty and satisfying with the meatiness of the lentils; and it’s stuffed so full of fresh herbs that it tastes like springtime. This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s PLENTY is another must-eat from his inspiring vegetarian cookbook. Paired this with a roasted halibut. Amazing.

Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes
Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

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Scallion Potato Pancake in a Skillet

These simple potato-scallion pancakes from Thomas Keller’s ‘ad hoc at home’ cookbook are easy to make and even easier to eat. They make a great side dish for all kinds of meals. We had ours with a maple-orange-dijon glazed chicken, also from Thomas Keller’s book.

Scallion Potato Pancake
Scallion Potato Pancake

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Maple-Orange-Dijon Glazed Roast Chicken on a Beer Can

This is a unique (and uniquely delicious) recipe. We’d never heard of roasting beer can chicken in the home oven. It always seemed like something perfect for a bbq, but bringing the technique indoors turns out to be sheer genius. Another great tip: Adding the glaze at the end, at a very high temperature, makes all the difference. Instead of getting a charcoal bird, you get a richly succulent glaze with none of the risk. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is perfect for a weekend afternoon when you have a little more time to spend roasting the bird.

Maple-Orange-Dijon Glazed Roast Chicken
Maple-Orange-Dijon Glazed Roast Chicken

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Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion

You cannot go wrong with a recipe from Melissa Clark of the New York Times. This butternut squash recipe proves it once again. Stirring squash into the polenta while it cooks results in a deep, rich flavor that belies how low-fat this dish actually is.

Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion
Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion

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March Planting in Seattle: Vegetables and Flowers

It’s daylight savings weekend – the weekend in which the clocks spring forward and the daylight lasts an hour longer and all of Seattle gets a little giddy from a burst of sunlight and an extra dose of Vitamin D. It’s time to plant the vegetable garden, people!

Broccoli Raab, aka Rapini
Broccoli Raab, aka Rapini

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Chicken and Dumplings (+ Mushrooms) For Dinner

A few weekends ago, the skies opened up over the Pacific Northwest, dumping buckets of rain. From the shelter of our car parked down at the beach, we could see the blue-grey rainclouds coming up the inlet a good half mile before they got to us. And then the downpour swept overhead and washed over us, the wind and the rain blurring the view from our little haven into an impressionist’s sea scene. Perfect weather for chicken and dumplings, as the rain beats down on your cozy little tin-roofed cabin.

Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings

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