Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ocimum basilicum

That is basil to you and I.
This stretch of sunny weather inspired me to buy some seeds and start off some herbs. Basil is always one herb that I am sure to plant along with a few others in some very colorful pots to decorate my front deck.
The colourful combination of dark, leafy green mixed with blues, reds & yellows will only enhance the view from my living room window.
African Blue
Dark Opal
Purple Ruffles
Pesto Perpetua
Red Rubin
Thai Magic
To name a few varieties, all of which intrigue me.
Usually I get a starter plant, something that already stands about 5 inches in height, the hard work already done for me. The same goes for tomato plants and I bought four of those also.
There will be other herbs planted.
Garlic chives
and maybe some cilantro, all of which are common herbs I cook with.
There is nothing like going out to your garden or in this case patio to your potted fresh basil and plucking a few leaves will have a summer supply of basil at your disposal.
I am contemplating some edamame beans and perhaps some mesculan but I will have to wait and see how much room I will have.
To top it off, I have a railing around the perimeter of my deck in which to hang some additional pots. I already have plans to plant some trailing lobelia, imagining their tiny purple and white flowers adorning my deck.
I must remember to leave some room for a couple of chairs in order to take full advantage of our deck and the view.
I will end off with a recipe for a simple summer salad I made recently.

Spinach salad with strawberries

1 bag of pre-washed spinach
1 bunch of cilantro
some strawberries* as much as you like and I like...
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
a few ounces cheese
Empty the spinach into a large bowl.
Wash the cilantro, shake off the water and chop into chunky bits until you reach the stems and then chop finely. Toss into the spinach.
Add some sliced strawberries, some toasted almonds and some cubed cheese, say some Havarti or Irish cheddar. Toss with vinaigrette.
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
splash of sesame oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp liquid honey
salt and pepper
Mix all together, shake well. Toss into salad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your idea of a balcony garden in very appealing and so you say, to carry you through the summer with lovely fresh herbs. I like the tomatoe plant idea.
I must have a chat with my "green thumb" husband about making good use of our lage balcony. That is of course if "old man Winter" has decided to allow us some nice weather now. Today is encouraging ~ very warm and there is a hint of turning on the a/c soon.
Frest tomatoes at our finger tips ~ right from the vine. Yes, it is time to get serious about planting.
Mama Cookie