I don't have a standard recipe for this dish because it varies each time I make it, depending on what vegetables I have. But it's great for using almost any of the cool-season vegetables that are in abundance in gardens right now. It can be a vegetarian side dish, or you can add chicken or even ham to make a more robust meal. Vary the amounts to suit your taste and needs.
8-10 cups of chopped mixed vegetables, including root crops (carrots, onions, turnips), cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale) and greens (chard, collard, mustard)
2-3 cloves of chopped garlic (if you're a garlic lover, put in an entire head)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh thyme and oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried of each
salt and pepper to taste
Combine vegetables and garlic in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Combine olive oil and spices and drizzle over them. Cover and bake at 350oF for 45 to 60 minutes. If you add chicken or ham, increase the time as appropriate.
Serves 4 to 6.
Joshua Tree National Park
Although not devoted strictly to gardening, the Joshua Tree National Park Web site covers this striking desert park, located near Twentynine Palms in Southern California, in detail, including information on wildflowers. This year is a terrific one for viewing wildflowers, and Joshua Tree has both hiking and biking trails, as well as auto routes, to seek them out. Wildflowers combined with the unusual rock formations--and, of course, the Joshua trees--make for stunning scenery this spring.