Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our herb garden and Grilled Pesto Potatoes recipe

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Instead of maintaining flowers in the bed out front of my house and vegetables or herbs in a separate garden I decided to plant my herb garden and a few tomato plants right in my front beds. I mixed in some gold and yellow marigolds and crimson snapdragons for color. We get a lot of sun and the soil is pretty good in those beds since we've amended it so much over the years. The same can not be said of the soil or shade anywhere else in our yard. Here's a side view and then a front view. If I had it to do again I wouldn't plant the snapgdragons. Apparently they're toxic, and I've caught the kids trying eat them while they're grazing on the herbs. Green good; red bad, boys.So the two plants right of the lavendar (above) are my sweet basil plants. Two plants in these beds produced more than when I planted six plants last year in my shady raised garden out back. The basil started to go to seed so I probably should have harvested these two weeks ago but we've been on vacation off and on this month.
 I left a couple sprigs of basil behind, hoping to have some to use for salads still this summer. I'm also thinking about re-planting basil and making more pesto at the end of the summer.
I picked these during nap time so the bees and bugs were in full force. I sprayed the plants down lightly with the hose to cut back on bugs and then took the picked basil inside to rinse once more in the sink and dry on towels.
Here's my post from last year with a recipe for the pesto. I made a double batch this year. I was short on lemons and the leaves turned brown quickly (thank you, oxidation) so make sure you use fresh lemon juice and plenty of it! I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts this year and I wonder if the acid in the walnuts affects the color of the pesto? Another way to keep the pesto nice and green is to blanch them--toss them in lightly boiling water, then ice water immediately. Never tried it but know some who swear by it.
A little side note. I squeezed the lemons in a reclosable sandwich bag. It makes it a lot easier to pick out the lemons and if you have any abrasions on your hands then you avoid the pain of squeezing lemon juice into them.
So now that you have lots of pesto, what do you do with it? Well, freeze it for the rest of the year, but you can also try this: Grilled Pesto Potatoes. I served them with roasted green beans and grilled chicken. Enjoy!

Grilled Pesto Potatoes
6 medium red potatoes
olive oil
sea salt, cracked black pepper
4 Tb fresh pesto
  1. Wash and slice the potatoes in 1/4" pieces.
  2. In a bowl, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the potatoes on medium to high heat until blistered and slightly crispy and tender in the center.
  4. Return to the bowl. Add the pesto and toss lightly. Serve hot with extra pesto drizzled over top if desired.


  1. I am so trying that this week!! red potatoes were on the menu :)

  2. I love it when herbs are mixed in planting beds it looks so natural and beautiful. Can't wait to see if for myself. This recipe looks yummy!! Thanks for sharing


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