I have a confession: I’m not much of a gardener.
I know I’m supposed to love it, but frankly I’d rather be whipping up something in the kitchen or, let’s be real, shopping.
So, every spring I spend exactly one day planting my container herb garden, and it’s a breeze thanks to several years’ experience.
Last year, I bought two large planters from Home Depot and a few bags of organic potting soil. So this weekend, all I had to do was clean out the containers, stir up the remaining soil — it was full of earthworms, which means it’s well aerated — and plant away!
I love basil — it’s by far the most versatile herb for me. So I planted two basil plants in one large planter — it can grow really tall. The second large container is my Italian herb garden with oregano, flat-leaf Italian parsley,and dill.
In a smaller pot, I planted fragrant rosemary. And in a tiny pot I decided to try out some cilantro this summer,even though it’s really hard to grow.
It took about 20 minutes to arrange my herbs and nestle them into the soft soil. One bit of advice: follow directions on your plants for spacing, etc. Amazingly, I learned that the experts know what they’re doing!!
I can’t wait until my basil grows in. I’ll serve up some of my famous (and very garlicky) bruschetta.
Bruschetta for Two
Three or four ripe plum tomatoes, or about 2 cups cherry tomatoes (heirloom varieties have the best color in the summer)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste — I’m a garlic freak!)
4-5 large basil leaves (or about 7-8 medium leaves)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (now’s time for the good, more expensive stuff)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Seed tomatoes, and cut into a chunky dice (for cherry tomatoes, simply cut in half or quarters)
2. Julienne basil by rolling leaves into a cigar shape, then cutting crosswise into tiny shreds.
3. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and basil to tomatoes. Stir.
4. Serve with slices of toasted baguette, crackers or as a garnish to fish, chicken or whatever. It’s usually gone before we get to the entrees!