What is it about summer and Rosé? They just seem to go together like baseball and peanuts, campfires and s’mores or fireflies and long summer evenings sitting on the porch. While you’re sitting on that porch slapping the mosquitoes away, you may as well enjoy an extremely affordable Rosé from the home of Rosé, Provence, France.
Last week while at Trader Joe’s I was looking for my usual affordable Rosé when Gerry, the wine guy, informed me they didn’t have any in but he had a wine he would rather I have, JL Quinson Rosé Côtesde Provence 2013. I was so excited to find a Provencial Rosé for just $6.99, I bought four bottles.
Bouquet of delicate apricot and peach while the palate shows stone fruit, citrusy grapefruit and a hint of tartness on the finish. A steal at just $6.99 at Trader Joe’s. Check your local wine stores to see if it’s carried.
When I think of Provence, I envision myself surrounded fields of fragrant lavender as I run, arms outstretched, releasing the intoxicating aromas. Lavender is one of my favorite herbs, so much so, I have over 40 lavender plants growing in the greenhouse. I also have some mature lavender that my husband used in fresh pasta, which was amazing. We tossed the pasta in EVOO with lemon and paired with Italian sausage. The fennel in the sausage and lavender in the pasta was a perfect match.
Since moving to the country, we’ve tried to grow and cultivate multiple veggies and herbs. The herbs have done well but we’ve struggled with the vegetable gardens. We’re surrounding by towering trees and suffer from lack of sunlight. We’ve already cleared a few trees and have more tagged to come down to bring more light to the yard. Last year we had too much rain, not enough sunshine and our seeds for the most part drowned or washed away. This year my husband built a greenhouse to get a jump on the growing season and we do seem to be faring better than the past two years.
With the price of vegetables going up my husband and I determined to grow as much of our own food as possible. While backyard gardens or large gardens have been around throughout the ages, foraging for food has existed since the beginning of man. I often wonder how many people realize the amount of free food they have growing in their own yards or alongside the road. Every spring wild onions pop up along the road and in yards, and still I’m amazed to see people mowing right over free food. I must admit though, the aroma of the cut onions is divine. Unfortunately I don’t have any wild onion growing in my yard but I have plenty growing along my country road. I’ve harvested a few and planted in my yard, hoping it will populate and come back next year.
Do you feel like your yard is sometimes being overrun by “weeds”? Why fight it, look and see what they are, chances are they’re edible. One edible “weed” we have in abundance is broadleaf plantain (leafy variety, not banana like variety), you probably have this growing rampant in your yard too. How many times have you looked at it and shook your head, sprayed it with weed killer, plucked it out and tossed aside or mowed over? Plantain isn’t a weed at all, it’s an edible herb, new shoots can be used in salads. The leaves tend to get tough and bitter as they get older. If this occurs wilt like you would spinach. When the weather turns cooler harvest, freeze the leaves, and use as you would freeze spinach or other leafy greens. Tear off the leaves you want to use and allow the plant to re-generate for future use. We’ve wilted and used with paneer for an Indian side dish as well as a substitute for spinach.
Still not convinced you want to eat something from your yard. I’ll take it one step further, plantain broadleaf is one of the most abundant medicinal herbs and widely distributed throughout the world. Healing properties include wound healing activity, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, antibiotic and immune boosting.
So when Mrs. Noseybody comes out in her house coat looking at you as if you’ve lost your mind, tearing leaves off the weeds in your yard, invite her over for a some tasty, healthy and free veggies. Don’t forget to get the Rosé chilled as well.
***Note wash thoroughly prior to use.