DIY Herb Garden & Lemon Verbena Basil Pesto
Hello, hello! Lauren here from LaurenKelp.com and today is a total treat! Today we are going to show you how to be a farm to table chef no matter where you live. Downtown apartment, country house, condo on the beach, whatever you living arrangement, it’s no excuse to not amp up your eating habits. We are pulling a page straight out of Farmer Tucker‘s book and planting our own culinary garden!
Ready to get your DIY green thumb on? We’ll show you how! Best part, we will even give you your first homegrown recipe …
In the past two years, we’ve lived in Austin, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, and Chicago, Illinois. Those are three crazy climates with temperamental growing conditions and, to be honest, I was a little discouraged about trying to grow a little garden. But, thanks to our visit with Farmer Tucker, I am convinced anyone, anywhere can have their own culinary garden!
This is where the windowsill herb box comes in! Not all of us have plots of land ready to be farmed, but we do probably have a window that gets decent light somewhere in our house, deck, patio, or office, right?
So find your perfect spot and let’s get to planting! For the full breakdown on planting herbs, check out our nifty little DIY guide HERE! We promise, this guide is simple, easy, and totally inspiring. You’ll have your culinary garden kicked off in no time flat!
Plus, you never know, start with one windowsill of herbs, and maybe you’ll get inspired to plant more!
Okay, you’ve made the plunge, you’ve planted your first crop, and it’s time to reap your harvest. The best way to harvest a leafy herb like basil or lemon verbena, cut down to three or four leaf nodes (the spot where the leaf meets the stem).
Now it’s time to eat! You know the drill, pour yourself a glass of wine (we love the Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay) and step to it. This pasta dish is absolutely divine and it’s the perfect introduction to your new culinary garden.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2½ cups lemon verbena leaves, tightly packed
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Using your food processor, mince garlic cloves for approximately 10 seconds
- Add lemon verbena leaves, pine nuts and salt, and process until finely chopped
- With the processor on, slowly add olive oil to mixture
- Stop processor and add parmesan. Process briefly
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- *Recipe makes 8 cups
Photography by Constance Higley