Thursday, April 15, 2010

'AND SPRING AROSE ON THE GARDEN FAIR' ~ MEDITERRANEAN TORTA / CHOPPED GREEK SALAD

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."

~Percy Bysshe Shelley
"The Sensitive Plant"


Siberian Squill
(Scilla siberica)

Yoshino Cherry, Forsythia, Lungwart
____________


MEDITERRANEAN TORTA
~ Simple layered loaf of mouth-watering goodness
______
1 large round bakery loaf of sour dough, boule, or peasant bread
2 large sliced roasted red peppers*
2 large sliced roasted yellow peppers*
(short cut ~ 16 oz. jar fire roasted yellow & red peppers)
8 oz. sliced provolone cheese
15 sliced in half sun-dried tomatoes
8 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
14 oz. jar drained and halved artichoke hearts
1/4 cup pesto (homemade or quality store bought)
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Slice off 1/4 from top of bread. Hollow out leaving 1/2-inch shell. (Use inside for breadcrumbs. Toast and freeze for later use.)
  • Layer ingredients inside shell in the following order: roasted peppers, 4-oz. provolone cheese, sun-dried tomatoes,mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, pesto, and remaining 4 oz. provolone cheese.
  • Wrap in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until cheeses are melted. Uncover and slice into wedges. (6-8 servings)

Note: Roasted peppers. Broil on baking sheet until skin is charred, turning as each side blackens. Remove and place in paper or plastic bag for 10 minutes. Remove, rinse and slip off skins. Core, seed and slice.




View from Upstairs Window

Shadblow Serviceberry
(Amelanchier canadensis)
__________________

CHOPPED GREEK SALAD
~ Simple salad coated with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon
_______________

1 chopped yellow pepper
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped orange pepper
1 chopped and seeded English cucumber
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
4 seed and chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano (2 tsp. dried)
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice & zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups shredded red leaf lettuce
3 cups shredded romaine
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice & zest.
  • Toss chopped peppers, cucumber, onion, garlic, tomatoes, olives, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper in large bowl with olive oil dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour to allow flavors to mellow.
  • Combine both red leaf and the romaine lettuce. Divide among 8 individual chilled salad plates. Spoon vegetables over top. Sprinkle with feta and additional cracked pepper. (8 servings)


April Blues
Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)
Lungwart (Pulmonaria)
Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica)


Hyacinth, Tulip Tarda, trillium, tulips, pansy, lungwart, blooming pachysandra, forsythia, Siberian Squill, primrose
________

Click on all for enlarged photos :)

27 comments:

Michelle said...

Are those pictures of your home? It's such a beautiful place!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Your flowers are lovely Joey! We'll have to try your Mediterranean Torta recipe next time we make fresh sourdough bread. It always makes two loaves anyway. That reminds me...I need to feed the sourdough barm!

joey said...

Thanks Michelle and, yes, this has been my home (a 70 year old home, all cedar including roof, so lots of maintenance) for over 34 years. The previous post is at the cottage UP NORTH ... as you can see, both so different and what is so wonderful about our beautiful state.

Hello CVF ... I fed my sourdough feeder for many years when I baked all my bread from scratch. My original starter was from the 70s when my sister was living in SF going to law school at USF. Needless to say, it's LONG gone ... but so impressed that you are still making yours. Bon Appétit!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

OMG My husband would love this Torta and so would I. Your home looks lovely - you know I am an old house person even though I am in a newer house now!

Eileen

beckie said...

Joey, what beauty you have surrounding you! You must have put a lot of effort into your gardens over the years-it's gorgeous.

I love the Yoshino Cherry. I don't think I have heard of that kind. Does it bear fruit. And all your blues!! Lungwort is a favorite of mine although I don't have any. Bur after seeing yours I am determined to plant some this year.

Thank you for sharing your gardens and your home with us. Hugs!

Chad said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.Spring hasn't quite arrived here yet,but through your photo's I'm living it.

Kala said...

Joey, your mosaics are just lovely! I am especially fond of the Siberian
Squill.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Joey, Delicious food to be eaten, lovely flowers to be enjoyed, and then, joy of joys, the views of the garden. At the risk of simply repeating what you must be told on countless occasions, it is an absolute delight - fresh, beautifully planted, immaculately maintained [I do, indeed, see that Mr. Ho-Hum has mastered the art of the lawn edger] - utterly charming. It must, for all of your hard work, reward you with hours of pleasure.

joey said...

Thank you, Eileen. It's a fun recipe for picnics and portable feasts on the boat! I'm an old house person too ... even our cottage is a pre-WWI old army barracks, dragged up north and added onto several times before we bought it. Of course, we've added a few improvements too.

Indeed am blessed to live in a beautiful neighborhood, Beckie, thank you. Over the past 34 years, my garden has worn many faces. When first here, the entire area was shade but soon lost as with many areas like ours, devastated by Dutch Elm disease. We lost 7 majestic elms but have one sentinel left, hanging over the house. The Yoshino Cherry, stunning blooms, is the main cherry tree in the Washington tidal basin, DC.

Thank you, Chad. Spring is actually coming too fast for me ... today was 84º, way above normal. The garden looks totally different since I took these 2 days ago!

Siberian squill is one of my favorites too, Kala. The blue is haunting!

Thank you, dear Edith. With our unseasonably warm weather today, the garden is in fast-forward mode, too fast for me. You can almost hear the flowers grow and tulips pop! Mr. Ho-Hum will be pleased to know that you approve of his edging ... he's busy working on the front beds now, a taxing project with all the mature tree roots :)

Di said...

Joey, a masterful display of beautiful blossoms. Tis the season! finally, for you. What a great way to capture that explosion of color and delight. Have a wonderful weekend.

imac said...

What wonderful wonders you post with pics and feast.

Kiki said...

Joey...you are a spellcaster!! Beautiful..brilliant photos..I am awestruck with such beauty...super-lovely!!!!!!!!!!!
Kiki~

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, hope your weather is nice there. We just had several days of summer like heat and clear skies.

Beautiful pictures. I've seen lawns where the squill has taken over. Like a fairy land.

Love those stone steps in front of the house.
Marnie

joey said...

Indeed, spring is exploding, Di! Happy weekend gardening to you too :)

Thanks imac ... life changes everyday!

You are so dear, Kiki. You make my day with your delightful comments :)

Yes, we shared the same heat and sunshine, Marnie, that will soon come to a screeching halt by tomorrow. Actually, these photos are from my backyard, the stones steps very old. So much has popped in the garden and changed since these shots 2 days ago, it's impossible to keep up and photograph all. Had hoped to shoot tulips today but it's too windy :(

Rosey Pollen said...

You are so blessed! Such gorgeous flowers to behold!

Thanks for sharing these recipes... that med salad is a favorite of my husband. I will have to try your variation.

Lindalou said...

Joey...your home and garden are breathtaking. So peaceful and serene. You got a real gift.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joey,

I am writing again to let you know we have many things in common in that the suburb of Chicago in which I live has seen the demise of the Elm like you have. We had lived in a very old house here and now we have a newer home here. Just about every Elm on our block is gone, two cut down right after we moved in.

I now have a small Accolade Elm, doesn't look like my one hundred year old Elms.

Eileen

joey said...

Hi, dear Rosey ... so many spring gifts are awaiting you. Way behind southern gardens, I too wait but once spring 'springs', it's almost too much to digest and keep up with. Enjoy the down time ... your time will come :)

Thank you, dear Lindalou. You live close and would love to walk the garden and invite you to join me for a glass of May wine, a favorite time for friends during 'the lusty month of May'!

I too see we have much in common, Eileen. The scenic tunneled streets of Detroit and its many picturesque suburbs, like beautiful Chicago, were devastated, ravaged by Dutch Elm disease. Nothing will or has replaced the awesome face of hundred year old American Elms. We are blessed to still have many mature trees in the neighborhood but I so miss my elms, especially the 2 in the front bed that drew me in when we bought this home ... and still haunted by the one that held the children's long rope swing :( where now my most sunny garden resides. Throughout the years I have been involved in various replacement trees for our Village, which though beautiful, will never be the same.

Msrobin said...

Spring is so beautiful at your house! Didn't you think it would never get here? Now it's going by so fast! Yum on that Greek Salad, I'm addicted to the things. Hard to find a good one here, and they were everywhere in Detroit, served with warm pitas on the side. Mmmm.

joey said...

Thanks Robin ... in 2 weeks it will be impossible to see a piece of earth with all the nosy perennials waking, waiting to be seen. As you well know having lived in Michigan, besides awesome scenery and a gazillion lakes, we are blessed with amazing ethnic restaurants ... Mmmm :)

garden girl said...

Beautiful blooms Joey. The recipes sound delicious - perfect for a light spring supper.

I had to take down two large, beautiful American elms at my last house. I was amazed they were even still there when I first looked at the house. Two years later when they shed their leaves in July, I knew they were in trouble. I left them for two more years, hoping, but I knew it was pointless, and of course, they continued to deteriorate. It was really sad to see them go.

joey said...

Hi Linda and thanks ~ comments from those of us touched by Dutch Elm disease (flagging the end of June and August) are most interesting. Once the ideal fast growing, graceful street tree, the loss of beauty alone will never again be captured in our lifetime. Forgoing vacations, to no avail, we injected with costly fungicides hoping to ward off the disease. We have a 'lone surviver', the only one not injected!

Rick said...

Stunning photos joey, and so nice to see your gardens and house. Spring is just such a riotous time of year for all plants. Sorry to hear about your elms - we're lucky to still have a number around here including a very tall (80'+) one.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

That's either a clock or a temp gauge in the garden.. it looks really cool. I love the copper.

Carol said...

Oh Joey! What a delight ... a feast for the eyes and imagination! I can just imagine the lovely dinners you might have on your beautiful partly screened in porch... fabulous Scilla shots!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi joey

Well, snap! We had a greek salad last night with kebabs on the barbie.

That Siberian Squill is really beautiful.

joey said...

Hi Rick ... as you can see, I have been absent for a bit, life has a way of doing that but all for good, busy, reasons. The elm haunts many of us, crushed saying 'goodbye' to an old friend. Enjoy riotous spring and your beloved elm :)

DGD, the copper garden clock, temp gauge, was a gift several years ago from my children for Mother's day. I love it!

Thanks Carol ... you know me :) When not at the lake, dinners here with treasured family/friends are delightful!

Of course, some wine too, Rob! Love your term 'the barbie' ... a year round necessity in our home! Are you blessed with Siberian Squill? If not, you above all would love this subtle blue beauty.