How Does Your Garden Grow?

Added by
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

If you’re part of the Nourish Network, you have a strong connection to your food. You like to know where it comes from, how it was produced and who was responsible for it.

And chances are, you also like to take matters into your own hands by growing your own food. Whether that means you cultivate a pot of herbs on a condo balcony (like me) or plant an extensive vegetable garden (like Lia), there’s no better way to know your food.

Whatever the size of your garden, you should check out the Union of Concerned Scientists’ new report, The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming From the Ground Up. It’s filled with practical tips for home gardeners – everything from skipping the gas-powered leaf blower and raking those leaves by hand to cultivating a planet-friendly lawn (yes, it can be done).

One of the smartest things you can do, says the UCS, is grow your own food. It saves miles that food has to travel from the field to your plate. And the food you grow extends far beyond the vegetable patch to include berry bushes and fruit trees.

We asked our Facebook community what they’ve planted in their gardens this summer, and it turns out Nourish Networkers are avid home farmers. Here’s what we’re growing:

  • Tomatoes. We have a passion for tomatoes of all varieties. Try ‘em in our Tiny Tomato Sauce, Pico de Gallo or Grilled Fish in Parchment (made colorful and delicious with juicy cherry tomatoes). For an ultra-simple treatment, pop a batch of Nigel Slater’s Parmesan Tomatoes (recipe below) in the oven.
  • Herbs. You don’t need much space (or much skill) to grow a pot of herbs. Of course, you can snip a sprig as you need it to flavor a dish on the fly. Bumper crops can be turned into pesto (which freezes beautifully for a taste of summer well into fall); try our Basil-Mint Pesto or spicy Asian Pesto. They’re great on pasta, of course, but also use a dollop to enliven whole grains, grilled poultry or fish.
  • Cucumbers. Raw cukes add summery crunch to salads and sandwiches. We love them pickled, too. Try our Spicy-Sweet Pickled Cucumbers. They’re great with barbecue!

What are your top crops? We’d love to hear. Share here or with our Facebook crew.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Nigel Slater's Parmesan Tomatoes

English cookbook author Nigel Slater reminds me a bit of Marcella Hazan. Like Hazan, Slater is adamant that he’s a cook, not a chef, and he’s a champion of simple, straightforward home cooking. The American edition of his book, Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch (Ten Speed Press) came out recently, and it deserves a place in your cookbook collection. His signature unfussy approach lets the flavor of seasonal produce really shine. Roasting summer-fresh tomatoes heightens their sweetness and deepens their flavor. Slater recommends serving these as a side dish with fresh mozzarella or basmati rice. They’re equally delightful served over sliced baguette as an appetizer or light lunch.

Nigel Slater’s Parmesan Tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Nigel Slater’s Parmesan Tomatoes

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound tomatoes
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. Sea salt, to taste
  4. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  5. 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 1/4 chiffonade fresh basil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut tomatoes in half. Place them, cut side up, in a baking dish large enough to hold them a single snug layer. Drizzle oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the cheese is slightly crisp. Garnish with basil.

Notes

(Adapted from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater.)

http://nourishnetwork.com/2011/07/06/how-does-your-garden-grow/