Monday, April 23, 2007


Gardening Note: And early blooming native tree with four season appeal, the shadblow is a must for Michigan gardens. Each spring, surrounded by a carpet of trillium, you will spot the delicate white blooms as an understudy plant in woodlands. In June, its branches are laden with cardinal red fruit that ripens into a delicious deep-purple edible delicacy. In autumn, leaves turn an orangy-red complimenting the smooth gray bark.
For more information visit
the Michigan State Extension Home Page ~
~ Shadblow Serviceberry in bloom
(Amelanchier canadensis)
~ parboiled onions and pepper allow easier threading on skewers
2 lbs. boneless Spring lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup red wine
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. dried marjoram, divided
juice of 1 lemon and zest
coarse salt & freshly cracked pepper
3 peeled and quartered red onions
1 green pepper cut in 1-inch pieces
1 yellow or orange pepper cut in 1-inch pieces
1 red pepper cut in 1-inch pieces
  • Combine wine, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. marjoram, and salt & pepper in zip-lock bag. Add lamb and marinate several hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  • Remove lamb from marinade and sprinkle with remaining marjoram, lemon zest, and cracked pepper. Set aside.
  • Par-boil red onion quarters and peppers in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  • Thread lamb, onions, and peppers alternately onto 6 skewers. Grill kabobs 8 minutes or until desired doneness. Serve with Mediterranean Risotto.


1 1/4 cup arborio rice

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 minced cloves garlic

1 quart heated organic chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes

1 (14-oz) can drained & quartered artichoke hearts

1 (3.8 oz. can drained & sliced black olives

2-3 Tbsp. fresh thyme

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

coarse salt & cracked pepper to taste

fresh seeded and chopped plum tomatoes for garnish

  • Add rice to heated oil in saucepan. Stir over medium heat until coated and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine to rice and stir until absorbed. Add tomatoes and ladle broth, a bit at a time until absorbed. Repeat until creamy but firm to bite, about 15-20 minutes (all broth might not be used.)
  • Fluff in artichoke hearts, olives, thyme and cheese. Season with salt & pepper. Top with fresh tomatoes and additional Parmesan cheese.

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