Tomatoes and Basil, Together at Last

My husband made a delicious Caprese salad for dinner last night with store-bought tomatoes and basil. It’s one of our favorite dishes. He found plump, flavorful heirloom tomatoes, filled with juicy sweetness. Today, at last, we have our own ripening tomatoes on the vine and a healthy crop of basil.

I planted three organic starter plants on one side of the City Picker planting system, and three sets of seeds on the other. Everything came up. When the pumpkin vines took over the area between the garden beds, I simply rolled our tomatoes to a sunny spot on the walkway, something I couldn’t have done otherwise. I’ll definitely plant tomatoes in the box again.

Okay, all you tomato growers: are your tomatoes ripening on the vine?  Ours took 94 days from seed to red fruit.

Tomatoes and Basil from the Garden

Tomatoes and Basil

Tomato Quirks: I learned a thing or two from this article.
The Green Grower: Bonnie vegetable starters now come in biodegradable “pots” that go straight into the ground with the plant.  No more plastic pots!
The World’s Largest Tomato: A record holder at over 7 pounds.
Insalata Caprese: My husband usually just wings it, but here is a recipe similar to the one he prepared.

Blooming Thursday: Flowers that Shouldn’t

Flowering Basil

I checked on the basil a day ago and all was well.  Today it flowered!  Maximum production requires more pruning then I realized.  The flowers are pretty but the prize on the basil plant are those delicious leaves.  They are at their best, before the flower.

One of my favorite uses for basil is caprese salad, made with basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.  It’s also delicious in pesto.

So when the sun goes down, the pruning shears come out.  Can’t you just smell it?

How to make Caprese Salad.

Easy Pesto: Step by step

How to dry Herbs: I’ll stick with it fresh, but all you cooking gurus can give this a go.