Monday, May 30, 2011

herbs: to seed or not to seed

No, this is not what my herbs look like...
but, it's what I want my baby herbs to grow up to be! 

The basil seeds were sown under the big tree in our yard. I dug up a circular bed around the tree, amended the soil and added compost, then worked it all in together. Actually, I paid Dylan and his buddy to do it because I could hardly lift my arms after digging the initial 7 beds. I put marigold seed around the exterior of the circle then sprinkled them to divide the 4 different types of basil which I seeded between the sprinkles of marigolds. Sadly, as of yet no basil has popped up but the marigolds are coming up all over. Well, their greens are anyway. A sure sign of the bursts of color to arrive soon.

Sensing my basil seed failure outside, I seeded some indoors, too. And, that looks like it just might work. In fact, I can't help but to touch the little leaves when I walk by just to get a hit of that lovely basil scent. I'm hoping someday it will actually warm up here in Portland so I can move these outside. Although, I need to revisit my books to see how big they are suppose to be before moving.

A few weeks ago, I needed dill for a recipe. I grabbed a little carton from the vegetable section at the grocery store and it was $3.49. I tossed it in my cart thinking how ridiculously expensive that was for a few sprigs. Then, I had an epiphany. I went back and reshelved it and headed out to the gardening area. I was at our local one stop shopping venue, Freddies. I found a good size dill plant for $1.99. And, grabbed a packet of dill seeds that were on sale for 99c cents. I decided to do a little experiment. So, I trimmed enough sprigs for my recipe and put the plant with a few sprigs left into a garden bed. I planted some seeds inside and a few outside. No matter how things grow, it was the same price as the original carton I'd have purchased anyway.

I'm trying this recipe as soon as my sprigs have grown enough to pick.

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
(serves 2)
from Katerina over @ 
Daily Unadventures in Cooking

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
6 cups Romaine lettuce
1/2 apple, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Combine Dijon, honey, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and dill in a jar and shake until combined. (The dressing will keep for 3 days in the fridge.) Rip or chop lettuce into pieces and toss with apple and goat cheese. Drizzle on some of the dressing and toss. Let stand for a minute or two and then serve.

What about you seasoned gardeners out there?
Any preference for herbs from starts or seed? 
I'd love to hear from you!

And, check out Katerina's other great recipes: Daily Unadventures in Cooking.

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