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.