seafood friendly pesto…or what to do with a surplus of english peas?

a spring green pea pesto…

a spring green pea pesto… (photo courtesy of SHANE ALBRENT/

happy spring, dear readers…

here at the burgeno-berman household we have a few yearly garden rituals.  one being that every year at the end of march (today) we harvest what’s left in the winter/spring garden beds and prepare the triangular beds and soil for the planting of dahlia tubers.  this year we were happily blessed with bowls full of tender and colorful lettuces, spicy arugula, chioggia beets (with delicious beet tops) and hearty rainbow swiss chard.   however, this year the most bountiful crop by far were the plump and spring green english peas.

over the past months i’ve added them raw to soups; i’ve created pasta dishes with peas as the edible focal point; i’ve blanched them for salads and grain dishes…and we’ve eaten the raw peas straight from the pods.  today i experimented with creating a “pesto of sorts” with the peas.  since we are having unseasonably warm weather (unlike most of the country) i thought some grilled shrimp tacos might be just the vehicle to deliver the pea/cilantro pesto to my readers…and to our dinner plates tonight!

i kept the consistency rather chunky to show off the texture and color of the raw peas…and because we love texture in our food.  (if you prefer a more “hummus-like” consistency, by all means add a bit of water, olive oil or vegetable broth).

the ingredients are few and the prep and clean-up are VERY easy.    the taste is fresh and evocative of a pesto, but with non-traditional “pesto” ingredients.  though the goat milk feta is optional, i feel it gave the pea pesto just the right amount of saltiness.


1 cup shelled english peas (not frozen); 1 cup packed cilantro w/stems; 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar; 1/4 cup raw pine nuts (or unsalted nut of your choice); 1 large peeled garlic clove; 2 tablespoons goat milk feta (optional); salt to taste.  puree all ingredients in a food processor…voila!  told you it was simple!

yields approximately: 1 1/2 cups pea/cilantro pesto

NOTE:  the pesto would be tasty (and vibrant) on toasted baguettes; wholegrain crackers; tossed with some spinach pasta; dolloped on an egg dish; or as a seafood condiment (see above photo).

i hope you will try it and let me know what you think.  keep checking for blackberry recipes (going to be harvesting in a month) and, of course, for photos of the magnificent dahlias that will gracing our front yard in july/august.





earth day planting…

can't wait for summer 2013 dahlias!

can’t wait for summer 2013 dahlias!

happy and healthy earth day everyone…

in “celebration” of earth day (which in my opinion should be celebrated everyday), we planted sixteen dahlia tubers yesterday.   the bouquet pictured above are a few of last year’s blooms.

this season i chose sixteen dahlias of varying shapes, sizes and plant heights…all extremely “colorful”.    sometime in july/august we will be cutting dahlias by the dozens to share with friends, neighbors, family, local businesses, co-workers.  maybe i’ll give away dahlia bouquets on the street corner?!

though there is a fair bit of prep on the day of planting (turning the soil, digging the holes and amending the soil, planting the tubers horizontally, staking them, deciding on placement) once they’ve popped through the ground we just stand back and are amazed and thrilled with their prolific growth.    ***see link below for our favorite dahlia source***

yesterday the elements conspired perfectly with our dahlia planting “mission”.   it was a beautiful spring day…sunny and warm with a slight breeze.  though we have a variety of plants growing in our yard:  flowers, fruit trees, vines, succulents, vegetables, herbs…the dahlias hold a special place in my heart.  you see, my italian nonna (grandmother) grew dahlias.   she would take me and my siblings out to her extensive garden and as she clipped the blooms, she would hand them to us for bouquets.  thinking about those days in her garden, i can hear her chatting in italian (animated!) and instilling in us a love for nature, food and the bountiful earth.    thankfully she and my nonno lived only one mile away and visiting was frequent and fun.

i hope you enjoy this bouquet of dahlias…and perhaps be inspired to plant a few yourself!

elena island dahlias)

sweetpea bouquet for you…and clarification

elena's garden...spring sweetpeas

elena’s garden…spring sweetpeas


hello there, colormykitchen readers…

for all of you who have commented on my blog and those of you who have already signed up for weekly posts via email, i thank you!  all of the positive feedback has been wonderful and encouraging.  i am sending you a small sweetpea bouquet from my garden.  (by the way, sweetpeas are super easy to grow and the colors and perfume are intoxicating…)

however,  for those of you who are not as technologically savvy as me (i’m being 100% facetious here) i apologize for not clarifying exactly where the “subscribe to” button is located on the main page of   when you are on the main page, on the righthand side under the logo there is a FACEBOOK button and an RSS (feed) button.  if you click on the FACEBOOK button you will be directed to my newly launched page.  if you click on the RSS button, you will be directed to another page with a subscription option on the righthand side.  you will be asked to enter the email address to which you’d like to receive my weekly blogpost “updates”.  so… for those of you who ran into difficulties signing up, i am sending you a sweetpea bouquet as well!

keep in touch for next week’s recipe/garden news:  “all kale’s broken loose!”  you guessed it, a kale recipe or two coming your way.

warm thanks for your support in my new endeavor…and a special thank you to my dear friend sandra who gifted me with this beautiful and “colorful” vase for my flower and herb bouquets!




time to “spring” the blog!


hello friends, old and new,

i am pleased to announce the official “launch” of my website… which is primarily a recipe blog inspired by the colorful and nutrient-rich produce that is bestowed upon us with each changing season.

please take a few minutes to read my ABOUT ME and FAQ sections so that we may become better acquainted and you will understand my motivations for initiating the project.  i am hopeful you will subscribe to my blog via the easy RSS button which will deliver new posts/recipes to your email address on a weekly basis.  i will post simple, flavorful, vibrant recipes, kitchen tips, food-related trends and nutritional updates.  feel free to contact me with specific questions, ingredient requests or recipe comments.

as an added bonus, i will hold random gift drawings from time-to-time.  the gifts might include a specific food item, kitchen tool or cooking class in your own home.  let’s get started with a subscription and possible prize now!

if you are one of my first 100 subscribers and randomly chosen, you will receive a much coveted baker & olive “zing flavor box” which contains two fresh olive oils and two aged balsamics with fantastic pairing suggestions.

follow me (now!) for a weekly serving of color-infused recipes and creative tips from my kitchen to yours…

buon appetito,