Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Herb Away

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...


High Desert Diva said...

I just bought & planted some pineapple sage which smells divine. Haven't tried it yet though.

Had oodles of chocolate mint at my old house....loved it.

Country French Antiques said...

Can I please come to dinner?
I planted some basil and unlike your tame mint, mine has taken over. I've got a few rosemary topiaries and I also planted some verbena this year. If you don't have any, I think you would like it. It smells devine!
Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

Oh I am officially inspired!
I will grow roma tomatoes and maybe even try an heirloom but not quite sure what that tastes like but they always look pretty at Bristol Farms. I don't think my herb garden will look as pretty as yours-i love use the wrought iron.

Anonymous said...

I have six types of heirloom tomatoes, potatoes and basil and sage and verbena. I don't grow mint because it always gets out of control but I like your suggestion of keeping it in a pot-I never thought of that! I will do so this week, too, so thanks for the push, Kathy!
PS LOVING the white iron chair and table! Is that marble on top??? How many chairs are there?

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I love herbs and cooking with them. I always attend our annual herb festival, looking for new ones to try. Thanks for visiting, T

My Castle in Spain said...

I'm enjoying all this green !!!

Would love to join one of these al fresco dinner...


ps: just saw your comment about the green bed. Yes, i use it in my dressing room now. it has a matching dresser. It's a lovely set for a girl's room. I bought it at my friend's Gym antique shop here in Andalusia

Anonymous said...

I don't cook! But I love the look of an herb garden so maybe a basil in a pot would look pretty on my outdoor table. I WANT THAT WHITE IRON SCROLLY SEATING AND TABLE I SEE WITH THE ROSEMARY!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy. We lived in Izmir Turkey for two years and loved it!! We ate alfresco all the time. The restaurants grilled right at our table and the lamb and veggies were so good!!! You go for it this summer!!!!