Garden to plate philosophy yields taste sensations

SO WHAT’S UP?… In our kitchen, it is winter onions, fresh asparagus and rhubarb stocks! We have waited for many months to once again bite into something from our own garden. I like to think of it as, ‘garden to plate philosophy!’ The fresh picked flavour cannot be replicated. What a taste sensation! Please enjoy the following recipe offerings.

  1. Each year when the winter onions are ready to eat we always make up a batch of egg salad sandwiches. Even the kids like this mixture, just not the smell when I am making them! This tradition aligns nicely with filling the coolers for seeding.
  2. To prepare the boiled eggs, fill a medium pot with about an inch or two of water (enough to cover an egg). Place cold eggs from the fridge into the water. Bring to a boil and let bubble for 3-5 minutes. The longer the eggs are boiled the more firm the yolk will be. Then remove the pot from the heat and let the eggs sit for about 15 minutes. After the eggs have cooled slightly, place into a bowl of ice water to chill quickly. You can cook eggs ahead of time and store in the fridge if desired.
  3. Once cooled, crack the egg shells and peel. Now you are ready to enjoy plain old hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper, or make them into a sandwich fill or some devilled eggs for an appetizer or snack.
  • 6 hardboiled eggs
  • 4 tbsp. mayonnaise 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. mustard 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 mL
  • 1 finely chopped winter or green onion
  • 2 diced gherkins or sweet pickles
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika 1 mL
  1. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, onion, pickles, and paprika. Stir in chopped hard boiled eggs. Cover and refrigerate. Once cool, spread into prepared buns. Top the egg mixture with lettuce greens if desired.
  2. To make devilled eggs instead of sandwiches just cut the hard boiled egg in half, separate the yolks from the white. Crumble the yolks with a fork until quite flat and add the above filling combination. Spoon the yolk mixture into the split egg whites and sprinkle with additional paprika for presentation. Serves 4.
  3. Don’t want sandwiches, try this vegetable and fruit combination that is so refreshing. Can be served as a side or meal salad. So colorful and pleasing to the eye. And that flavourful winter onion taste certainly adds to the salad.
  • 8 oz. penne noodles, cooked according to package directions (one cup of dry pasta) 225 g
  • 2 c. packed fresh baby spinach leaves 500 mL
  • 2 fresh chopped winter onions or green
  • 1 c. sliced strawberries 250 mL
  • 1 c. pineapple chunks or mandarin orange pieces 250 mL
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries, or fresh blueberries 60 mL
  • 1/2 c. pecans or walnut 125 mL
  • Orange Poppyseed Dressing:
  • 1/2 c. extra virginolive oil 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. plain greek yogurt 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard 15 mL
  • 3 tbsp. honey 45 mL
  • 1/4 c. orange juice 60 mL
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds 10 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a sealable jar. Once al dressing ingredients are in the jar, cover, and shake well. Set aside.
  2. Combine penne, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, cranberries, and nuts in a large bowl and toss with the prepared dressing.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and chill for 1 hour before serving. Serves 4.
  4. Source: adapted from
  5. Variations: Looking for a meal salad, add some roasted chicken to the mix. Maybe you are out of time, simple use a store bought balsamic vinegar dressing to toss into your salad, instead of the homemade combination. My favorite is Kraft.
  6. I love the tart taste of fresh rhubarb. So tart yet so sweet! These bars are delicious as a dessert served with tea.
  • 2 c. flour 500 mL
  • 1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
  • 1 c. cold butter 250 mL
  • Filling:
  • 2 c. sugar 500 mL
  • 7 tbsp. all-purpose flour 105 mL
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream 250 mL
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 5 c. finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained 120 mL
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 5 mL
  • Topping:
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened 175 mL
  • 1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 2 mL
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream whipped 250 mL
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture is like coarse crumbs. Press into a prepared 13×9 inch (22 x 33 cm) baking pan. Bake at 350 (180 C) for 10 minutes.
  2. While the base is baking, prepare the filling by combining sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream, eggs and salt. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust then sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350° until custard is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool.
  3. For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Makes three dozen small squares or approximately 12 to 15 dessert size pieces.
  4. Slice this bread and serve with cheese and fresh fruit on the side.
  • 3 c. coarsely chopped fresh rhubarb 750 mL
  • 2 tbsp. sugar for rhubarb 30 mL
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar 425 mL
  • 1 c. oil 250 mL
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla 15 mL
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour 750 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 5 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 mL
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans, optional 125 mL
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. Grease and flour two 8×4-in. loaf pans.
  3. Toss rhubarb with 2 tbsp./30 mL of sugar; let stand while preparing batter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat oil, eggs, vanilla and remaining sugar until well combined. In another bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder; gradually beat into oil mixture. Stir in rhubarb mixture and nuts.
  5. Place the thick batter into the loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 loaves.
  6. Each year our garden delivers an amazing crop of asparagus. I love plain old steamed or roasted asparagus, but sometimes a change makes this vegetable new again!
  7. Asparagus is loaded with antioxidants and fibre, helping our bodies to stay healthy!
  8. To prepare, simply bend the fresh spears with your hands and the asparagus will snap at the prefect spot for the best flavor, no cutting necessary. This method of preparation eliminates using the woody part of the spear.
  • 4o fresh asparagus spears
  • 1/4 c. olive oil 60 mL
  • 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese 125 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds (optional) 60 mL
  1. Arrange asparagus in a single layer in two foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pans. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sesame seeds if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 400 F (200 C) for 12-15 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning once. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4.
  2. Note: you can substitute butter for the 1/4 c./60 mL of oil
  3. Source:
  4. What to add some juicy roast chicken to the mix?
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh or thawed
  • 8 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar or cheese mix of your choice 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese 60 mL
  1. Heat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  2. Make cut in one long side of each chicken breast, being careful to not cut through to opposite side. Fill pockets with asparagus and shredded cheese.
  3. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; top with Parmesan.
  4. Bake 20 min. or until chicken is done (170°F). Serves 4.
  5. Source: adapted from

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