We have a tough job here. Really. Well, maybe not so tough. We just raised our glasses to the spring harvest with a beautiful lunch featuring our own produce, eggs, Chardonnay, beer, and honey. Team Kitchen did the cooking.
Test kitchen coordinator Stephanie Dean and recipe editor Amy Machnak put the finishing touches on the table. In front, you can see Grilled carrots and green onions with fresh thyme.
We started with Favas and ricotta on homemade wheat crackers and Radishes with fresh butter and sea salt.
Art director Jim McCann and test garden coordinator Johanna Silver try the crackers.
That’s me in the middle sampling the Sunset Chardonnay. It’s really mellowed from the crisp green-apple character it was showing last summer. Now it’s a lovely, full aromatic white. (In fact, wine editor Sara Schneider is scheming to slip it into our upcoming Western Wine Awards to see how it fares.) Photo director Yvonne Stender is on the right. She and Johanna (on the left) might be making faces about the beer. Still bad news,like Crayola crayons. Noble effort, though.
Managing editor Alan Phinney, associate garden editor Julie Chair (left), and Sara Jamison liked the wine, too.
We sat down to a table of pinks and greens. The Strawberry-honey lemonade (the pink drink in the glasses) wasso refreshing. Plus, the color matched Johanna’s garden flowers.
The bulls-eye Chioggia beets looked stunning on the mesclun salad.
For dessert, another taste of spring: Fromage blanc with strawberries and lemon honey.
It’s incredibly satisfying to eat good food that you’ve raised and cooked yourself.
Here’s the recipe for the lemonade. We’ll try to catch you up on the rest of the recipes in Sunset or in a future blog. Happy spring!
MAKES About 2 quarts
1 qt. strawberries¾ cup honey1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)Ice
Whirl strawberries and honey in a blender until puréed. Pour through a fine strainer set over a bowl, rubbing to extract liquid; discard seeds. Stir in lemon juice and 1 qt. water. Pour over glasses filled halfway with ice.
Photos by Kimberley Burch, Elaine Johnson, and Margo True