Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Herb Garden (recipe included!)
My inner farm girl got the itch to play in some dirt yesterday, so I went to my local garden center and picked up some new herbs for the herb garden.
The bunnies have now hopped on to greener pastures, so I felt it was safe to get digging. I needed to curb my rabid oregano and sprawling mint to make room for some other additions.
Sage blossoms, so unique and pretty!
I transplanted my chives to a more accessible spot, and added some oregano, lemon thyme, and boxwood basil to keep it company.
I'm leaving room at the back of this garden for some flowering perennials. Who says you can't be practical and pretty at the same time?
My herb garden is located just steps off the deck and a few feet from the kitchen, making it a handy place to snip something green and tasty to add to our meals.
Thai basil has an interesting purple flower. I planted it next to the curly parsley that reseeds itself each year. I also found a Stevia plant! My sister, Sue, told me that she'd planted it in her garden once, and I was happy to find it in our store. Stevia is a natural sweetener, and I've been using a little stevia to sweeten my herbal teas.
I am a huge fan of fresh parsley, which is probably why I love Mediterranean and middle eastern cooking, as they often include it in their popular dishes.
I stumbled upon a recipe for tabbouleh, but of course, I had to tweak it and add to it and make it my own. This is a really hardy and filling dish, especially when served on top of a bed of fresh greens. Yum! My oldest son and his buddy, Caleb, watched me prepare this dish, and I was shocked to hear them say "Wow, that looks good, even to us!" They tried it and gave it the thumbs up! So, if you can get college kids, who live on a diet of pizza and Taco Bell, to try something healthy, then you know it must be good!
Mary Rose's Tabbouleh
3/4 c. hot water
3/4 c. bulgur
2 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced pepper
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
lots of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 t. dry basil, or several T. fresh, chopped
2 t. dill seed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pour hot water over bulgur and let stand. Cook lentils in remaining water ( 2 1/2 c.) over medium heat, stirring often, until water absorbs. (While cooking, you can add onion and pepper if you want them softened, or add after lentils have cooked completely).
In a large bowl, combine lentils, bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes. Toss with dressing. Add feta. Scoop onto a bed of fresh romaine or lettuce, and enjoy!