2010 has not been a stellar year for my garden. That is the way of gardening of course, good years, bad years, so-so years. But I had such high hopes (see my blog from May 10th “The Garden Party Starts”). I put in a variety of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, squash, basil, a couple of cotton plants for fun and some new mints & sages. Early on all was well, but then we had the Nashville Flood 2010 (way to much water) and since have had the unofficial Nashville Drought with record high temperatures (way to little water). But all was not lost and I did have a few small successes.
The Greens were short-lived, but plentiful.
So we made salads………..lots of delicious salads with our greens.
I found a few zucchini and pattypan squash hidden under leaves and have had a bit of a bumper crop of lemon cucumbers. Which I have decided are called lemon cucumbers because they look somewhat like lemons, but I do not get any hint of lemon flavor! I thought they would taste lemony? Tomatoes just a few at a time.
Beautiful, dependable Basil.
I have made & frozen many batches of pesto for winter meals as well making it fresh for simple summer dinners.
Fresh Pistachio Pesto with Bucatini. Yum!
The sage is rocking so I made Sage Drop Biscuits with homemade Ricotta.
Recipe for: Sage Biscuits
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour; 1 tbsp baking powder; 1 tsp salt; 1 stick chilled butter cut into small pieces; 1/2 cup buttermilk; 1/3 cup whole ricotta cheese; 1/2 cup med or sharp/shredded cheddar cheese; 1 generous tbsp dried sage; fresh whole Sage leaves to garnish.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
In large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder & salt. Cut chilled butter pieces into flour mixture using pastry blender or fingers until well mixed. In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, ricotta cheese, shredded cheddar cheese & dried sage. Make a “well” in center of flour mixture and add buttermilk-ricotta mixture to dry mixture using a fork. Stir until just mixed. Do not overwork or biscuits will be tough. You should have a rather wet, sticky dough.
Using a large spoon (a soup or serving spoon) “drop” biscuit dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart until all dough is used up. I dropped my biscuits onto parchment in an oval shape as I like the way that looked. Top each biscuit with a fresh sage leaf gently pressing into the top of dough.
Bake biscuits for approximately 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and puffy. They are delicious served warm with thin slices of ham or with your favorite jam or chutney.
The weather has finally cooled down after weeks of the upper 90’s, the garden is looking a bit more lively. This morning I found some hidden green tomatoes among the leaves, a few new random volunteer cherry tomatoes and the herbs are making a great comeback. My Habanero peppers seem about to bear fruit and the chard is again looking like it might make it. So as this August passes by I will just wait to see what happens next. Isn’t that the fun of gardening anyway?