Wednesday, October 06, 2010


“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

~ George Eliot

October Garden Abstract
(Toad Lily ~ Echinacea)

(faces still shining early October strong)

~ Memorable autumn flavors blend together like perfect plants in the garden ... a taste of autumn at its best (Fine Cooking - Oct 2008)

1 medium garlic clove
coarse salt
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1 peeled, cored, diced firm-ripe pear
1/3 cup dried tart cherries (Michigan dried are best)
8 oz. (8 loosely packed cups) mixed baby greens
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
(Rotisserie chicken easy and tastes great)
1/2 cup toasted pecans
Gorgonzola or Feta cheese

  • Chop garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash to paste with flat knife side of chef's knife. Put paste in large serving bowl and whisk in olive oil, vinegar, thyme, and pepper.
  • Gently stir in pear and cherries. Add greens, chicken, and pecans. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled gorgonzola or Feta cheese. Serve immediately. (4-6 servings)

Tiny Toad Lily


Tuqui said...

October Garden Abstract, buenisimo!
Tus fotos son siempre muy bellas

Shady Gardener said...

What an unusual combination of flowers in the first photo. :-) Great! I love the sound of this salad. Will look forward to trying it! Hope you are doing well?

Kala said...

Beautiful images of the Echinacea.

The Idiot said...

That sounds delicious. I must try to find dried sour cherries. I seem to remember buying some for a sauce a while back, but I can't remember where I got them from!

When I was a lad, a few friends and I where down the park, when another boy came along with a bottle of whisky he had liberated from his father's drinks cabinet. Being idiots, we downed the bottle. Rather drunk, I was concerned about the obvious stench on my breath, so on my staggering way home I bought some Pecan ice cream, to cover the smell (I was 14 and drunk, so it wasn't going to be a good idea). Later that night I was very ill. It took years before I could look at a pecan again!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joey, I passed up those toad lilies at the nursery last week because they looked so small. But, I think I need to reconsider, they are beautiful, especially on the north side of my house.

The chicken salad sounds great,one of my favorite combinations.


Carol said...

Spectacular colors in your recipe Joey! Indeed very beautiful photos!! Speaking of National Geographic! Wonderful movement and energy of stamens, petals and light in your Echinacea. ;>)

Linda Vater said...

And what sweet friendship you have offered me!

joey said...

Always so kind, thank you, Tuqui.

All is well, dear Shady, and thank you. (Unusual, yes, a bit like me :)

Good luck finding the dried tart cherries, IG. Here they are often beside currents, raisons, dried blueberries, cranberries, etc. And thanks for sharing ... you always make me smile :)

As you can see, Toad Lilies are fun to view up close and personal, Eileen. I have them in several locations so prefer variegated for more visibility/contrast from afar. Enjoy the salad and hurry back to get them :)

Thank you, Carol, how kind. Always a joy to visit your lovely life. We are both blessed.

Thanks, Linda. I'm delighted these two friends are still happy companions, still flourishing in my early October garden.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I love Toad Lilies! And, your abstracts are so pretty. Delicious autumn, indeed. Have a fab day, Joey!

Anonymous said...

Aha, George elliot for autumn, what could be more perfect? Lovely images and I love your fall is truly on my menu for somehwere this soon as I have those dried cherries on hand1
Ronelle x

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

What's not to love about autumn? Your salad sounds delicious btw.~~Dee

Chloe m said...

I so love that poem about friendship and the recipe looks divine! Happy cooking, Joey!

Cat said...

Lovely photos and the recipe sounds delightful as well. Always love stopping by your blog!

Gail said...

hello Joey, We're having a bit of summer here with temperatures going into the 80 later this week~But, the wildflowers still bloom their autumn tribute~Love the recipe...Yummy and easy with the rotisseri chicken xxgail ps Someone sent us Michigan cherries one year!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

The toad lily/echinacea mind meld is freaking my brain out--in a good way!! I love both so much and seeing them contrasted like that is awesome. BTW, I have a gift certificate to CSM stores and could buy a decent pot. For general cooking. Any brand recommendations (like if you could only have one pot...)?

Tatyana said...

I love your collages, Joey! So much to see in those little flowers!

Kimberly said...

Oh my! There's not one portion of this post I'm not completely into!! The toad lily is awesome, and nothing beats echinacea (especially these photos). The recipe tops it off...I've printed it. Can't wait to try it out!!

Rose said...

Beautiful photos and collage, Joey! You've reminded me I really should add some toad lilies to my garden; they do look like orchids.

Thanks for the salad recipe--this sounds like one of my favorites I order at Panera's!

Anonymous said...

Dear Joey, Never before in the history of my reading your weblog have I ever thought that both the food and the flowers were a possibility for me...that is, until today!

Yippee. I grow Tricyrtis and love them and even feel capable of crushing garlic and throwing everything else together in a bowl. Success will be mine thanks to you, dear Joey!

joey said...

Thank you, dear Kala.

Thanks Kate ... toad lilies are hard not to love :)

Hi, dear Ronelle x, and thank you. Good luck finding those cherries.

A bit behind but autumn has definitely found us, Dee, although today feels more like spring.

Thanks Rosey. When not in the garden, I have been spending tons of time in the kitchen (daughter's birthday dinner party last night, son and grandboys for dinner tonight, cooking for Young Son's housewarming/football party on Sat ... ) Life is good :)

Hi Whimsical Garden, and thank you ... as I so enjoy visiting you!

We are blessed, Gail, it's like spring here too and lovin' it! Yes, rotisserie chicken is a good thing and use them often in recipes like this. If you have one near, Costo chickens are awesome.

Thanks, dear Rose. Hope the recipe suits your fancy :) Yes, Thelma and Louise would be most welcome for a visit, anytime!

Happy you approve, Monica. Hum, a pot ... porcelain enamel (Le Creuset) or good quality stainless. I trust you have an iron skillet :)

Thank you, Tatyana (so enjoying your travel posts)!

Thank you, Kimberly. Hope you like it ... it's been a joy connecting.

Yippee, dearest Edith. You hit home run!

Nutty Gnome said...

Joey!!! Why do I always read your posts when I'm hungry?! I just sat down for a quick browse post-work and pre-tea and have ended up even more hungry....again!!! :)

IG - Sainsbury's sell dried sour cherries....but I usually buy up all their stock in the Chesterfield branch :)

Wendy said...

I love that last photo of the echinacea. Looks similar to the one native to Maryland - which ironically, I have not been able to find anywhere. I really like the toadlily too. I've had my eye on that for quite sometime. It would be perfect in my shade garden.

joey said...

Hello Nutty! You and I are always about food and 'one' reason why I luv you. I could go on and on about all the other reasons :)

Thank you, Wendy. Small but mighty, toad Lilies are cute/handsome and, as you can see, make many gardeners smile :)

Anonymous said...

Well Joey, I guess I must face that autumn is here, despite my relutance. So I'll enjoy it's beauty and try not to think about my least favorite season that follows behind it.

joey said...

Hi Robin. At least we are blessed with beautiful weather! Let's enjoy the moment :)

lbc flower delivery philippines said...

Perfect shot! I love it. Wish I can also have that kind of flower in my garden. Looking forward for your next post.


joey said...

Thank you ibc ... how kind.

What Karen Sees said...

Beautiful florals. I've run out of adjectives to describe your beautiful photography, especially of flowers. And I, too, am printing this recipe, and will try it tonight!

joey said...

Thank you, Karen, I'm honored. Enjoy!

flower Philippines said...

Oh! I love those beautiful flowers so colorful. I also try to collect flowers and put it in a cute vase. I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.


joey said...

Thank you, flower Phil ... I too love to cut from outside and bring in. Throughout all seasons, there is always something grand to make me smile :)