Remember the sad little patch of red dirt outside my side door that I posted a picture of a few months ago? If not, click here for a reminder of what it looked like then. Now, you can see why I am pleased with the development that has occurred since.
Having never built a raised bed before, this required some book consultation, many trips to Lowe’s, some cursing and one smashed thumbnail. But Voila! Now I have a place for my kitchen herb garden and a few vegetables.
Granted, it’s not a big enough garden to have a corn crop, or even a row of zucchini. But I think it’s often better to start slow and learn as you go along rather than tilling up a whole chunk of the yard and blowing money on a bunch of plants you can’t take care of. So far, I have two green pepper plants and four yellow tomato plants. For experimental purposes, I’ve planted two tomatoes in this bed (on the very sunniest end) and put two in pots on the other side of the house. I’ll probably round this out with a few bush beans.
The best part, so far, is the kitchen herb garden (below). As you can see, I have rosemary, thyme, sweet basil, common sage and Greek oregano. I’d like to eventually add dill, parsley and cilantro. I also put in a clematis just because I wanted one and it seemed like a good place for it. Let the pinching and cooking begin! Who else has planted an herb garden right outside the door closest to their kitchen? If so, how is it going? Below the jump, I’m going to share a recipe that I plan to try very soon with my fresh herbs.
Scallops with Shallot and Basil Sauce
3/4 lb. fresh scallops
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 shallots or green onions, white part only, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. dry white wine or vermouth
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
2 Tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, chervil or chives
If using sea scallops, remove muscles and cut into quarters. Sprinkle scallops with lemon juice. In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat and saute shallots for 1 minute.
Add scallops and saute until browned on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, wine, 2 Tbsp. butter and basil, stirring to blend ingredients. Spoon into small scallop shells for appetizers (serves about 12) or large shells or ramekins for entrees. Sprinkle with parsley, chervil or chives.
Source: “Cooking with Fresh Herbs” by Lou Seibert Pappas.