Recipe inspiration comes to me in many forms. Random ideas often pop into my head when I’m out walking or taking a shower. I scrupulously study menus at restaurants in search of new-to-me flavor combinations. And a quick scroll through Instagram will have me jumping out of my chair and speeding off to grocery store for supplies in a heartbeat.
But nothing will get my creative juices flowing like a trip to the farm.
A few weeks ago, our chive fields were in full bloom. There was a seemingly endless sea of purple and green that stretched out from my feet for as far as the eye could see. And I was there for the taking (literally). Armed with my camera, a pair of scissors, a handful of small rubber bands and an empty shopping bag, this bumper crop was coming home with me. Well, at least a tiny portion of it was.
I snatched up several bunches of chives and once I found myself back in my own kitchen, I got to work experimenting with their blossoms. I made a chive blossom vinegar. I whipped some of the purple buds into a honey-sweetened goat cheese, which I then proceeded to slather on everything. And I started tossing them into salads, soups and side dishes. Chive blossoms have a delicate onion flavor and so far, I haven’t found a single savory dish that they don’t work well in. The possibilities appear limitless. Also, their cuteness factor is on point.
Today’s recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms is a variation of this green bean and apple salad that I created last September. I also took some cues from Brooke’s brilliant green bean and nectarine pairing, which you can find beautifully photographed and written up here. Her recipe is what really inspired me to give my previous version a facelift for Summer.
This is a dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and uses a minimal number of ingredients. But it’s anything but boring. There are several layers of flavors and textures, which makes eat bite something to write home about. From the slight char on the still crisp green beans (a cast iron skillet is your best option here for cooking the green beans), to the jam-sweetened dressing, to the fresh pops of purple and orange from the chive blossoms and apricots, respectively. It all just works in an effortless kind of way. Exactly how a Summer side dish should be.
This dish is great served either warm or chilled. And it’s completely dairy free (= no immediately spoilage concerns). Which, in my humble opinion, makes it the perfect dish to serve at an outdoor gathering. Those 4th of July parties will be here before you know it. Time to start planning.
And playing. I encourage you to try swapping out the apricots for peaches, plums or even cherries. And try adding in a handful of toasted almonds or walnuts, if you want more crunch.
I’m sharing this recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms as part of a very special event that’s taking place today on the internet today: the Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace organized by Saghar from Lab Noon.
This virtual event is a chance for myself and other like-minded bloggers to stand together and make our voices and opinions known. To deliver a positive message. To say “hey, I’d rather share a dish and a conversation with you, instead of fighting with you”. Or “let’s celebrate all the things we have in common, instead of battling over the things that make us different”.
My voice may be small. But it’s what I have. And I’m not afraid to use it. To say “NO” to terror, oppression and hate. And to say “YES” to peace, love and respect.
I hope you’ll be inspired to make your voice heard as well.
You can find out who all the other bloggers are who are participating in our Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace by clicking on this link. Or check out the hashtag #VirtualMidsummerPotluck4Peace on social media. You’ll discover a lot of uplifting messages and stories. As well as some wonderful Summer food and drink recipes that are perfect for sharing.
Because it’s Monday, I think we deserve a slice of homemade pie.
But, ideally, without all the actual work of having to make a pie.
So here I am today, proposing to you that we indulge our sweet tooth with these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars instead. I hope you say “yes”.
Kind of like a cross between a fruit pie and a shortbread tart, these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars might just be my new favorite Summer dessert (at least until I find my next favorite dessert). Sweet. But not overly so. With a good mix of textures to keep each bite interesting. AND they turned out to be the most perfect shade of pink (#millenialpink). Obviously, I’m feeling all the feels over these babies.
I also can’t stress enough how easy these are to prepare. No rolling, chilling or crimping required. And the fact that this recipe feeds a crowd (you get a whole 9 X 13-inch pan), makes these treats ideal for backyard gatherings and poolside parties. Or toss a couple in your picnic basket and get your butt to the beach. You’ll be glad you did!
As it turns out, rhubarb and cherries are a pretty good pairing. I’ve done the classic rhubarb + strawberries many times. And last year I played with rhubarb + raspberries. But this was my first time adding cherries to the equation. I’m not sure why I never thought to do that before. It seems kind of obvious to me now. But there is no sense in lamenting about the past. Instead, I’m excited to move forward and explore this combination in other recipes. And with cherry season on the horizon, now is the perfect time to do just that.
I also tried using pistachio meal for the first time (which I just made myself by finely grinding shelled pistachios in my food processor) instead of almond or hazelnut meal, which I typically reach for when baking. The pistachio meal compliments the rhubarb and cherries nicely. And I encourage you to give it a try. But if you’re not feeling it, you can substitute it with something else. These pie bars are very forgiving.
I’m sharing these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars as part of our monthly Eat Seasonal round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. At the start of each month, myself and some of my blogging friends create new recipes (links below!) highlighting all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. Additionally, Becky posts an extensive list of recipe suggestions over on her monthly seasonal eating guide. I hope you check them all out and find some inspiration for the month of June. As you can see from the image below, we were all in a bit of a “pink” mood!
Recipe adapted from my Blueberry-Thyme Pie Bars
June Eat Seasonal Recipes
Rhubarb & Orange Frangipane Galette by Simple Bites
Roasted Strawberry Yogurt Pops by Completely Delicious
Greek Three Bean Salad by Flavor the Moments
Chunky Citrus Guacamole by Foodie Crush
Strawberry Lime Chopped Salad by Vintage Mixer
Minty Sweet Pea Hummus by She Likes Food
Simply Strawberry Pie by Joy Food Sunshine
French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad by Letty’s Kitchen
Cherry Rolls by Kitchen Confidante
Pimento Cheese Spread w/ Pickled Green Garlic, Radishes and Rhubarb by Food for My Family