“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” – Simon & Garfunkel
“Tip of the Week” is a new section to my blog, inspired by my recent post on Food Network Magazine’s 100 Greatest Cooking Tips. Each week I will offer a tip related to food or drink designed to make life easier and/or better. This week’s tip is “Grow Your Own.”
If you have not already planted your veggie garden, you still have time, but do it now (at least if you live in the Raleigh/Durham area.) There is nothing more enjoyable and satisfying than eating the fruits, vegetables and herbs of your labors.
At my former house, I could not wait to pick that first ripe beefsteak (or other variety) tomato and slice it, sprinkle it with bit of salt and pepper, and savor each and every delicious bite. Or make a mater sandwich (white bread and lots of mayo, salt and pepper - it’s a Southern thing.) Absolutely one of life’s best simple pleasures.
Alas, in our new home, I have extremely limited veggie-gardening space, since most of our lot is shady and wooded (although not having to mow grass is quite cool!)
Luckily, I do have a tiny corner of my yard that gets enough sun to at least grow some herbs in containers. And there is nothing better than being able to walk out of the front door and cut the herbs I need for a recipe, right then and there.
My herb container garden always has the following:
- Rosemary (lamb, stews, etc.)
- Chives (baked potatoes, salads, garnish)
- Peppers – banana, cayenne, etc. (many, many uses)
- Basil (pesto, salads, garnish)
- Mint (cocktails, salads, desserts, garnish)
Here’s one delicious way I put fresh mint to use in these pineapple mojitos (click here for the recipe):
I tried to grow cilantro in a container last year with no success. This year I’m growing some parsley as I have had great luck with it in the past, and I love it in my fresh tabouli.
For my readers who have absolutely no space (or desire) at all for gardening, please be sure to check out my next tip of the week on being a locavore.
Eat, drink and be merry!