Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

June 22, 2009


Cooking From The Garden

basilSummer is officially here and my small garden is actually looking good. I’m not what you would called an experienced gardener, but I seem to be spending more time out there, both working and enjoying what I’ve created. What I’m really looking forward to are the things I’ll be cooking with what I’ve been growing. It will probably be weeks before most things are ready to use, but I’m already thinking ahead to pasta with an uncooked sauce of chopped tomatoes, basil and garlic; grilled “caprese” panini with tomatoes, basil and creamy fresh mozzarella cheese; tomatoes stuffed with rice, sausage and herbs and baked in the oven; classic tomato-basil bruschetta with bread toasted on the grill; tomatoes slow roasted in the oven, tossed with pasta or atop savory tarts. There’s nothing quite like a summer tomato eaten right off the vine!
arugulaMy arugula has been going strong for weeks and we’ve been enjoying it in salads nightly. I love its peppery flavor and how it also perks up a sandwich. I’m experimenting with zucchini grown in pots and hopefully they’ll be a success and I’ll be marinating and grilling it; sauteing it with fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes; breading and frying it; slicing it ever so thinly and serving it raw, topped with basil drizzled with fruity Italian olive oil and slivers of parmigiano.
lemon treeAnd let’s not forget dessert! My dwarf lemon tree has been going strong and besides using the juice of this fruit in salads and marinades, I’ll be baking lemon squares; a tart of creamy lemon curd topped with fresh berries; lemon sorbet; lemon cookies and maybe even a birthday cake filled with berries and iced with a lemon cream cheese frosting! Here’s hoping that the sunny days continue and our harvest is a bountiful one!


4 thoughts on “Cooking From The Garden

  1. Your tomato looks very healthy and I love the dwarf lemon! I jused to live in L.A. and we had a big lemon tree in the backyard–fresh lemons are AMAZING! Have fun!


  2. p.s. Arugula has taken over 1/2 of my garden–it is amazing.

  3. How does the arugula thing work? Do you just go out there and cut off leaves for salad? Do they grow back? I’ve never grown salad greens before.

    • Margie-it’s so easy to grow arugula-it just keeps on producing-I have 4 plants and have to pick leaves off them everyday, however most greens do better in cooler weather so maybe you should do it in the spring. I hear you’ve been having some hot temps lately!

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