Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hello, Herbs!

The tomatoes have certainly gotten a lot of attention on the blog lately, so I want to give a shout out to the other plants that are thriving out back.

When I used to receive herbs in my CSA boxes, dried or otherwise, I often put them in the pantry only to forget they were there. They were like the black sheep of each delivery, as I focused more on eating the veggies first and rarely planned meals that used the herbs in tandem.

All that changed when I decided to pick up some fresh herbs for the grand grow-food-on-the-back-deck experiment this summer. With visions of pesto dancing in my head, I purchased a basil plant.

Admittedly, I haven't made pesto yet. But I did make this: vegan tahini basil pasta salad. If you like simple pasta salads, you should make it too. Colorful and light, it's the perfect dish to bring to a picnic.

Sage came next. One of my favorite recipes to make is pasta with butternut squash and sage. Since this is more of a fall dish, I was interested to see what summer recipes I could pull off with it.

I found it a little trickier to find summer recipes with sage that I wanted to make, but I settled on this simple side dish, beans, tomatoes, and herbs, to go along with a sauteed chicken breast. Since I used canned instead of dried beans, it was quick and easy, and works any time of year, I think.

Now, with these herbs growing out back, needing my care, I no longer ignore them. I often incorporate these flavors into meal planning. Sometimes I even glance out the window as I think about how one or both might taste in this recipe or that.

What I find so interesting is how the grand grow-food-on-the-back-deck experiment has not only proven that I can grow food back there, but it has impacted what I decide to make. Flipping the "out of sight, out of mind" expression on its head makes me wonder what else I would eat more of if only it was growing on my back deck.

1 comment:

Karl Miao said...

What a nice blog this is! We should spend more time out on the back porch!


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