Monday, July 12, 2010

Herb Garden

I'm the queen of the black thumbs.  I once killed a cactus.  Yet, against all odds, I've been nursing a wee herb garden on my deck rail this summer.  Mr. Palindrome's grandparents and gardeners extraordinaire, made themselves quite at home in May on their drive up to Long Island.  We put them to work mulching, planting, cleaning, and shopping.  On our trip to the state farmer's market in Raleigh, they insisted I needed an herb garden to compliment my fledgling attempts in the kitchen.  Being the true Italians they are, they chose basil and parsley without hesitation.  They let me choose the third herb to round it all out and I chose Rosemary.
Before I knew any better, I had let my basil grow tall enough to flower.  Shortly after this photograph, I pinched off the flowers to encourage him to spread.
I can't lie, it's been hard to remember to water them.  In 100 degree heat for the past few weeks, sometimes I don't remember until I catch them drooping a little.  However, all three plants are still alive and that's a win in my book!
I've been building my weekly menus around my herbs.  Previously, I've used the basil to make Caprese Salad topped Hamburgers.  Tonight, fresh parsley will adorn my stuff shells.  Later, I'll try Rosemary Chicken Cutlets.  Any other recipe suggestions for my baby garden?


  1. Wow, your little herbs are coming along nicely! Especially in the summer weather! I would love to be able to grow rosemary, but I too have an extremely black thumb. And yeah, I killed a cactus before, several in fact.

  2. My mom just made this great little appetizer of goat cheese and chopped veg (scallion, pepper - maybe cucumber?) with a bit of cream cheese. You roll them into balls and then cover them with chopped parsley, and serve them alongside crackers.
    I've been baking bread with our fresh basil and other herbs (omg, so good) - basil is also great in strawberry salads. Parsley also is great liberally covering new potatoes, or over any seafood - especially roasted mussels.
    I haven't killed our basil yet - I've found the trick to doing herbs is to grow perennials rather than annuals - but I had the same problem with spreading. You definitely need to use it and not let it get too tall, although watering far more than the seed packet recommended has done really well for mine.

  3. @emily, thanks for the recommendations! yum, goat cheese! and yes, it does seem that frequent watering has been the key aspect to keeping him thriving.

  4. I make turkey meatballs with rosemary and parsley...and other things like chopped carrot, onion, breadcrumbs and egg.
    Basil...hmm let me count the ways I love thee. Perfect in a light pasta tossed with good olive oil, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
    In the cooler months, throw a few sprigs of rosemary with chicken or turkey when baking/roasting.