The fruits (or veggies) of my labor...
With August nearly here, I thought I would update all of you on my venture into container gardening. For those lovely new followers of mine, a little background: There's really no place in my yard for a garden, but I wanted to grow fresh vegetables, so I decided to try growing them in containers. And I am happy to report, everything except the cucumbers are doing quite well. (Seriously, is there a trick to growing cucumbers? Because I am lost. Any tips welcome.)
I started getting my first ripe tomatoes a couple weeks ago, and my green bean plants went to town about three weeks ago. They are now rejuvenating and readying a second round of deliciousness, bless them. I have always purchased fresh green beans at the grocery store, but I discovered there is simply no comparison to them and eating ones just picked before dinner. I am a total convert to just picked freshness.
My herbs are all doing wonderfully - it's a joy to be able to snip a little basil, rosemary or some chives to add to a dish, I must say. Not to mention they look beautiful in my kitchen windows. And my onions seem to be doing well, too. My peppermint plant had a small bug issue a few weeks ago, but a little dish soap and water did the trick. All in all, the container gardening is really working out well.
With all the delicious goodies my labors are bearing, I thought I'd share a light pasta salad I developed that uses quite a few of the veggies and herbs I am growing.
Summer Pasta Salad
Prepare pasta of your choosing according to directions, enough for about four to six people. (I used a mixture of whole grain and regular pasta). While pasta is cooking:
Dice a tomato or two and put in mixing bowl. Chop fresh basil, chives and onion to taste, and add to bowl. Add about a tablespoon of flavored vinegar (I use fig-infused vinegar) and a dash of lime juice. Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of Italian dressing to the bowl and stir everything together. Add a little water if necessary (a tablespoon or so) and stir. Add about a half cup of dried cranberries, stir well, and refrigerate.
When pasta is done, drain and cool. Add pasta to wet mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You may need to add a splash more Italian dressing before serving.
Wishing all of you time to enjoy the fresh beauty of summer!