People often ask (meaning I have been asked this once or twice) what they should grow. The simple answer is to grow what you like to eat. Of course, I really like to eat Lobster. But seriously, you should start by growing what you most like to eat AND that is easy and productive. But I will simplify this further by ignoring what you like to grow and focus on me. I like tomatoes and they are easy to grow. It’s true in this case that lots of people agree with me and that is why the are by far the number one home grown crop. (Oddly some people, Steve Scheidler for example, don’t like tomatoes. Weird.)
So let me add the next thing that you should try that you probably haven’t tried much of.
Nothing will make your cooking better, faster, than growing your own fresh herbs. Basil is easy and goes very well with tomatoes in a number of different ways that I will be blogging about this summer.
Seriously, dried herbs barely resemble their fresh counterpart. I remember hearing a cooking show on the radio and a cook was asked what is the one thing that people could do to immediately improve their cooking. He said, throw out all your dried herbs on the shelf and buy new jars. They only should last 6 months to one year. Yikes, that’s expensive and ineffective. I say, don’t throw them out or do, whatever. Just go out and grow the following herbs:
sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil. Now your food will taste good.
For now, let me give a good example that I used last night:
This is a dry rub that I prepared from the following ingredients: rosemary, marjoram, garlic and salt:
This was all from the garden except garlic and salt. (I should have used some green garlic growing right now and perhaps I will harvest my own salt soon enough)
What does one do with the dry rub? Rub it onto meats of all sorts, dry, without marinade and let it draw out the juices and infuse the meat with crazy flavor overnight and then broil or grill said meat.
Side note: marjoram is the best herb that you are probably not using. I had always found it flavorless, UNTIL I GREW IT IN MY GARDEN. Now I use it to make the best vinaigrette ever.
This is why I garden. I like food. I like food that tastes really good!