Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Wickedly Good Basil
The lakehouse garden is a small disaster. We are trying to garden on a strip of sand that is resisting all attempts at small scale horticulture, and the deer are in full knowledge of every bean seed that germinates.
Big green worms attacked the tomatoes. Max and Finn and I stomped seven of them one evening. Lettuce seed wouldn't even germinate. Deer nibble on the bean rows, even the beans under wire covers. Some bug that likes the potatoes won't show its face. I forget to water the sandy soil and things get dry in one day.
But the basil is wickedly wonderful. Lush and green and plentiful, basil is the shining star.
We are enjoying it with heirloom tomatoes from a farm market and thin (well, maybe not so thin) slices of mozzarella. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with dark balsamic vinegar and sopped up with garlic bread, this is a salad that turns me into a vegetarian in August.
I put basil on my sandwiches, add the leaves to romaine salads, and chop the leaves into marinara. There are bouquets of basil, ready to eat, sitting by the kitchen sink. My skin probably smells like basil and I may be turning green (that would be wicked), but I really don't care. It is basil month at Cedar Bluff.
Wanda Hayes Eichler