The Gardener's Kitchen: Tomato & Basil, Recipes Plus
basil and tomatoes
Anyone seeking to live an independent or self--reliant life needs to develop certain skills; among these skills are growing your own food; saving seeds and cooking that which you grow.
Tomatoes grow well with basil and as both are essential elements of a good tomato sauce it makes sense to grow them that way.
If you are new to gardening and want to grow some of your own food then you are advised to start out with this combination.
The CampJoy cherry tomato from Terra Edibles is one of my favourites and as it is an heritage tomato it will breed true from the seeds you saved. The CampJoy can also be grown indoors in an aerogarden, for example, and you could grow your basil right along with it.
Tomatoes can be grown in containers and will do very well, in any container that is about one foot deep and two feet across and once again you can grow your basil right in the container with the tomato.
Basil and tomatoes are known as companion plants which means that when you grow them near each other they complement each other. Even if this weren’t true, it is true that they complement each other in the kitchen and tomato sauce is but one dish where this combo shines.
Cherry tomatoes and this is the second reason I grow them, are great in salads and eaten fresh right off the vine. It is like picking candy and popping them right in your mouth.
Add a few cherry tomatoes to a romaine lettuce and cucumber salad maybe with some diced green pepper and a balsamic vinagrete dressing and you have a great taste experience and it is good for you as well. You can grow all the ingredients, except the dressing in containers.
The primary reason I enjoy cherry tomatoes is that they do not take up much space in the garden and depending upon the type can be grown up a trellis on a deck, for example.
Now if I want to make my own tomato sauce I will sue a larger tomato. It takes too many cherry tomatoes to do so.
Fresh Tomato Sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 3 medium onions, minced
- 1 green bell peppers, minced
- 3cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat;
- add tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, garlic, white wine
- add basil, sea salt and pepper
- Mix ingredients
- cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve, over pasta or for something different, baked potatoes, mashed turnips, cabbage or brussel sprouts.
Tomatoes are a great place to begin your gardening and cooking adventure. Tomatoes make delicious sandwiches alone or with cheese and lettuce on whole wheat bread.
Basil grows right along with them and adds flavour to tomato sauce and makes pesto which you can serve with crackers or on pasta for example.
Even a small space garden can grow these two companions.
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