Who says you need a lush backyard with sprawling greens to grow your very own herbs? Ever since we moved into our brand spankin' new digs here in Jersey City, we've been harboring a pretty open obsession with the terrace. We filled it with a grill, some plants, flowers and a sweet little herb garden. I might be using the term garden a little...liberally. All it took was a $6 long plastic flower box, some potting soil and some starter herbs from Home Depot. While I was in Brooklyn celebrating Kim's birthday girls-night style, Shaun was home putting our little garden-that-could all together. It started out looking something like this:
And within a few short weeks, we had a lush green herb garden of our own, complete with bright herbs that not only look gorgeous but smelled delightful to boot. From left to right, Dill, Basil, Sweet Peas, Parsley.
Anxious to get cookin' with our new herbs, Shaun concocted a fun twist on the classic caprese salad. Using our freshly grown basil, Shaun and our new best friend, Mr. Weber, fixed a warm caprese salad that has become a nightly staple in recent weeks.
Grilled Caprese Salad
large heirloom tomatoes
fresh ground pepper
Heat up your grill, be it charcoal, gas or Foreman. Slice the tomato into thick slices. Chiffonade the basil, place atop the sliced tomato and top with a thick slice of fresh mozzerella. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the tomato has a bit of char on the edges. Enjoy!
And now we're in the midst of concocting lots of recipes to utilize our fresh herbs. Once they get growing, they tend to spring up pretty fast. The only way to keep 'em alive? Use them up in delicious dishes.
So there you have it - how you can make a mini herb garden just about anywhere, even on a tiny terrace outside your urban dwelling. We're just about thrilled that we no longer have to splurge $3 for a bundle of dill just so we can use a quarter of it for dill and yogurt dip, while the rest goes bad before being put to good use. And my Shrimp Sautee with Orzo will surely benefit from some fresh sprinkled parsley, rather than a few dried sprigs. But what about you? Are you of the grow-it-yourself mindset?