I plan to have a lot of al fresco dinner gatherings for the duration of the summer...and well into Fall. As with all my gatherings, they will consist of French hemp napkins, linen tablecloths, lots of comfy down pillows, an incredible quantity of glittering votives everywhere you turn, and more laughs than a stomach can handle...Of course, good friends, good food, and GREAT wine are a given!
The food is always seasonal and consists mainly of Tapas so that we can all enjoy a bit of this and that.
Herb-coated olives & mushrooms.... goat cheese drizzled with extra virgin lemon-infused olive oil & rosemary sprigs................. fresh buffalo mozzarella intertwined with heirloom tomatoes & basil leaves...... seasonal fish grilled into bite-size pieces married with lemon & garlic
I think growing a fresh herb garden is essential food for the soul. Even way back in my apartment-dwelling days I always had some sort of container garden with a variety of herbs. I now enjoy a decently-sized yard--large by beach house standards--and I used to have a long stretch of my yard devoted to a substantial vegetable bed. Now with dogs I prefer they have an abundance of room to romp and play, so for the past couple of years my veggies and herbs are in containers. Tomatoes and mint are especially invasive; I prefer they don't have free reign to grown like weeds throughout the yard year after year, so containers for these are a must.
As the long weekend approaches in America, you may find you finally have the time to start an herb "garden" of your own! If you already enjoy the benefits, perhaps try incorporating a new, unusual variety into the mix such as Pineapple Mint--it's delicious shred over vanilla ice cream, atop grilled pineapple or in a Mojito!
And who doesn't love cooking with Rosemary....not to mention how great it simply looks? While I have several Rosemary Bushes throughout my property, I love the simplicity of this potted version:
You can even try growing an Herb Garden on the windowsill started from seed if you prefer. The benefits of course are endless: Organic eating, Good for the environment, Therapeutic...not to mention easier on the wallet. (During a recent Whole Foods visit this week, they had heirloom tomatoes at $5.69/lb!) I for one plan to add a few new varieties to my ever-growing garden...perhaps a Jalapeno Mint to counter balance the Chocolate Mint shown below. I'd love to hear what unusual herb you have growing...