After several days of waiting out the rain and wind, we finally got our opportunity to get the garden boxes in the ground and filled with dirt, which left me with just one thing to do...
... get our lovely culinary and secret gardens planted! I haven't had a proper garden for a few years now, and I had forgotten just how much fun it is to play in the dirt. Before I knew it, I had spent two hours laying out the plan and an putting the seeds in the ground.
I even went around finding old bits of rock that had been left from a landscaping project to create a fairy path through the secret garden.
And when it came to the veggie garden, and I couldn't help but dream about all the wonderful meals I will soon be able to make from the delicious vegetables...
... like fresh and bright summer ratatouille. Traditional ratatouille does call for eggplant, but what I do love about this dish is its flexibility. Basically it can work with whatever vegetables you have on hand, and luckily most of them can be found in my new culinary garden.
Here's my recipe for a fresh summer ratatouille:
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 large yellow onion
2 bell peppers
2 small zucchini
2 small squash
1-1 1/2 cups green beans
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
3 Tbs chopped basil
1-2 tsp chopped lemon thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
*White wine or dry vermouth to taste (optional)
Start by chopping everything up roughly into same size pieces. Then saute the garlic and onion in a little butter and olive oil. Once the onions become translucent add start adding the veggies by order of cooking time, so bell peppers, then beans, then zucchini and squash and tomatoes at the very end. Leaving a few minutes in between each layer of veggies. Once all the veggies are in I add all the herbs and seasoning along with the lemon juice and cook for a few more minutes. Then take a bite, see if you like it and adjust from there. The beauty of this dish is it simplicity and flexibility, so have fun with it, use what you have, and if you are missing something, no worries!
What is also great is that many of the vegetables can be easily chopped with a butter knife or child safe knife, so kids can participate in the entire process, from seed to plant to harvest to meal.
P.S. Don't forget to enter out current book giveaway: Le Petit Prince!
*Last time in Nature: Seed to Plant