Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, a whizz in the kitchen or are just looking for a new project to get your hands dirty with, nothing quiet beats the feeling of growing your own produce and then devouring it in a yummy dish!
You don’t need to have a green thumb or large space to create some garden magic. With a few herbs and veggies, and the right advice – you’ll be well on your way to whipping up your own home grown meals!
Revell Landscaping’s Director, Jenny, has put together some of her favourite beginner backyard plants and a few simple, but incredibly delicious meal ideas so you can impress those around with the goodness.
Ah basil – the staple of the humble ol’ herb patch. Basil is a fantastic herb to grow, and will reward you with beautiful a beautiful harvest if it’s planted at the right time. It’s not one to tolerate the cold evenings, so it’s best planted in Spring – when the minimum temperature starts to rise.
Recipe Idea: Basil, tomato and bocconcini salad
- 1 cup basil
- 3 tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 220g baby/cherry bocconcini – drained
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply slice up your tomato, tear up your basil and place in a serving dish with baby bocconcini.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic.
Perfect summer time entertaining salad!
Mint is such a versatile addition to your garden. Enjoy mint in salads, cocktails, meat dishes, and even ice cream! What’s not to love, right? It’s a great addition to summer iced teas and winter pastas. Easy and fast to grow, mint should be planted where the plant can receive morning light, as well as some afternoon shade – they grow at a fast rate, so it’s best to grow it in a separate pot to stop it running rampant amongst the rest of the veggie patch.
Recipe Idea: Mojito
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2tsp brown sugar
- 8 mint leaves
- ¾ crushed ice
- 45ml white rum
- Soda water
- Fresh lime wedges
Place lime juice and sugar in glass – stir until dissolved.
Next, add the mint leaves and lime wedges to the glass and use a muddler to crush them in together.
Add ice, white rum and top with soda water. Stir to combine all ingredients together.
Garnish with a wedge or lime and mint sprig and enjoy!
Tasty and nutritious, cherry tomatoes from your garden can be enjoyed fresh or even bottled up for use year-round, no matter the season. The optimal amount of sunlight cherry tomatoes should receive is at least 6 hours per day. Adding cherry tomatoes to your garden can also add a touch of décor as they can look particularly beautiful cascading down from hanging containers, baskets or pots. Delicious décor, anyone?
Recipe idea: Cherry tomato pasta sauce
- ½ onion – diced
- 2 clove garlic – minced or finely chopped
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pasta of your choice
- Grated parmesan – for serving
- Basil – for serving
Put a pot of water onto boil for your pasta, add a pinch of salt and cook as per packet instructions, or until al dente.
Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over medium – high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes start to burst and form a sauce – around 6-8 minutes.
Combine sauce with cooked pasta and add the basil and parmesan.
Buona cena – enjoy your meal!
Whether you call them green onions or spring onions, we can all agree on one thing: it adds a delicious touch or extra garnish to your meals. They’re super easy to grow from seeds, and only take about 8 – 12 weeks to mature. Spring onions can grow up to 30cm – 50cm, which can add a sense of depth and height to your garden.
Recipe idea: Asparagus and Spring Onion side dish
- 2 bunch of asparagus – sliced diagonal
- 1 bunch spring onion – sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- Sliced almonds – toasted
Prepare the asparagus and spring onions, being sure to discard the bottoms of each vegetable
Heat a fry pan over medium heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Once melted, add spring onions and sauté until soft – around 2 -4 minutes.
Add the asparagus into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and make sure all the ingredients are coated with butter
Leave to sauté uncovered in the pan for a further 7- 10 minutes, or until asparagus is soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.
Once ready, add the toasted almonds and enjoy as a side dish.
You can never go wrong with some leafy greens. Whether it is for a salad, a sandwich or a summer serve of san choy bow, lettuce’s planting schedule is, well… all year round! However, depending on the lettuce variety you’re planting (check seed packet for more info), they’ll likely need partial shade to thrive during the hotter months. Revell’s General Manager, Mark suggests getting organised now as leafy greens are great to grow throughout Spring and Summer. Be sure to water your lettuce and leafy greens regularly as they have shallow roots, and lap up all the water they can get!
From your own garden to your dining room table, these easy-to-maintain plants provide you with freshness, nutrients and a decorative touch. Gone are the days of buying days-old mint for $4 at the supermarket. Planted with care and sown with love, your cosy dinner parties will definitely be a hit all year round!