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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Basil in My Garden

It has been so hot these past few days and I find that I’m just not feeling a heavy meal. Even lunch, which is usually not too complicated needs to be something light and simple. I have quite a bit of basil in my garden so I thought I’d take advantage of that fact and whip up a simple vinaigrette that I could put over some nice portobello mushrooms I picked up at the market the other day and some leftover tomatoes.

BasilTomato Vinagrette

I lightly brushed the mushrooms with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted them in my toaster oven. It’s just way too hot to turn on the oven.

A nice bed of spinach, a bit of chopped yellow pepper and some goat cheese and I have a nice meal.

Light Lunch

Ingredients
3-4 portobello mushrooms
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
10 heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1 small clove garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
Baby Spinach
goat cheese (optional)
2 tbs finely diced yellow pepper (optional)

Instructions
1. Preheat toaster oven (or real oven if you must) to 375 degrees.
2. Place mushrooms on a sheet pan and brush them with olive oil. Roast for about 15 minutes or until they are softened and juicy.
3. Place the basil, tomatoes and garlic clove into a food processor and give it a whir until chopped.
4. Add the balsamic vinegar, parmesan, salt and pepper and process until finely chopped.
5. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. The idea here is to form an emulsion.
6. Put some spinach on a plate, top with a mushroom, sprinkle with diced pepper and dot with goat cheese.
7. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and enjoy!

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Raspberry Stalks

Yup, that’s my garden, or at least the beginning of one. About two weeks ago my in-laws gave us two raspberry plants, um sticks. We planted them as soon as we got home but it’s taken me a little time to blog about it because two days later I had a badly infected wisdom tooth extracted. Then of course immediately following all of that winter returned; we’ve had icy cold weather and periodic snow since then. I hope they will survive.

I’ve been wanting to create a garden for some time and we even had a spot ready, thanks to the previous owners but for one reason or another I never got it started. Well, what usually happened is that I wouldn’t think about it during the winter and then by the time I did start thinking about it, it was too late. Not this time, thanks mom!

Anyway, I’ve never had my own garden so I’m in the process of gathering information about the best time to plant what. The only thing I did learn so far, and I found out before we planted (thankfully), is that I can’t plant nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) anywhere near them because of a soil disease. Not to worry, I have a different spot all ready for the tomatoes. I figure I’ll plant greens and perhaps some beans, peas or zucchini with the berries, not really sure yet. I bought a couple of planters that look like oak barrels for the herbs so I can move them closer to the door. But more to come.

Wish me luck! :-)

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