When I was growing up, we always had a summer garden filled with fresh vegetables. It was fun planting the seeds with my siblings and watching the garden grow. Once the tomatoes were ready, I couldn't wait to pick one and eat it like an apple. That memory has stayed with me all of my life and it replays itself this time of year when I get fresh tomatoes. There's nothing like a fresh tomato from the garden - the aroma, flavor, and color just awaken the senses.
This year, I decided to grow herbs, tomatoes, and peppers in pots due to my environment. I live in an area heavily populated by deer and have learned that they will eat just about everything! So I have a very nice "balcony garden" high above the ground where no deer dare tread.
Growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables is really ideal because of the readiness and convenience when cooking. However, if your thumb isn't green, or if you're not able to grow a garden, you still have a way to incorporate the freshest ingredients into your masterpieces. Farmers' Markets, or Farm Stands. Even the big cities, like New York, have these great fresh markets. So really, no excuses.
Fresh from the garden just tastes better and it just screams Summer. I'll use frozen for the out-of-fresh seasons, but once Summer arrives I save my freezer space for ice cream!
The first recipe I'd like to share is an easy sweet corn salsa. Try it instead of just corn on the cob to change things up a bit.
SWEET CORN SALSA3-4 ears of sweet corn, husked and cut
1/2 cup of red onion, diced
1/2 cup of green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of a half of lime
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam the cleaned corn cobs in a shallow pan of water on medium high (about 5 minutes or just until the water starts to come to a boil). Allow to cool, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the corn from the cob by knife (you can do this easily by placing the cobs on the bottom of an inverted bowl inside a bigger bowl, or by using a bundt cake pan). Place the corn and all other ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well, but gently. Note: If you have a taste for a kicked up variation, try including jalapenos and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Culinary Herb Garden Set