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Hot Topic: What's in your Garden? Lots of Green &Red! Baked Beets with Feta and Pesto

Folks want to know "What is growing in your garden?" If it was just up to the garden, and not the gardener... the answer would be weeds, weeds, weeds. However, with a quick check of my nail cuticles... you know that at our house it is a daily stretch out there, and the weeds get 'bucketed'. I do not know a better looking vista, than a neatly planted, well maintained vegetable garden. And hooray, this year we have a frameable picture.

Two new rows of lettuce are just popping out. 3 early plantings are so tall... that if I don't use them quickly (and giving them to friends is tone of the best uses) they will go to seed. I snapped 14 pounds of broccoli off of the healthy plants are stand tall, and are continuing to produce new crowns. Green Lake bush string beans are producing like there is a marathon race to see which plant can put out the fastest, longest and most beans. Not bad! Our rows and rows of carrots are tall, thinned and plumping up. Sweet, crunchy carrots - a pretty gift from the ground. Herbs have thrived: basil, rosemary and parsley. Oh they smell so good! And a fall crop of potatoes and Brussels sprouts will keep these quasi farmers happy.

Our tomatoes are our continual problem child. We have had the 'wilt' the shrivel, the bugs the ughs. But we still have plants - lots of them and some are producing fruit... I give the plants the excuse that it is cool, overcast and not prime time yet. (As I give them the pep talk, I want to yell "Get With the Program" - but that will not do a lot of good...)

The beets are beautiful. I love their leaves which I use in a tossed salad just as if it were a type of lettuce. In the past I did not thin them enough, so the plants were small as were the leaves. This year they have had room to relax and do what I do on vacation... get a bit wider. Okay, for them it is a good thing.

Baked Beets with Feta and Pesto

3 medium size beets, skinned and sliced

Put in a microwaveable dish with water to cover and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Drain.

Pesto:
1/2 cup basil leaves,
2 T sunflower seeds
1/4 c walnuts or pecans
2 T olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Whirl in blender until a crumbly paste has been formed. Set aside.

Place beets in a baking dish, sprinkle generously pesto. Crumble feta cheese over all. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil to keep a bit moist.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

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