There is nothing quite so satisfying as making a delicious, home-cooked meal that includes fresh herbs and parsley that were grown right out in your backyard or on your patio. Taking that extra step to make something good, and to grow it with your own two hands is so special – it keeps you connected to your daily life in a new way.
This week we are excited to share some recipes from one of our favorite culinary artists out there: Ina Garten. We chose a couple of recipes that you can make in your home while using fresh herbs and veggies from your garden to add the finishing touches. Keep reading to learn more.
Gardening for the Kitchen
Ina Garten is an experienced gardener, as well as being a master chef. In an interview with Elle Decor, she even says, “‘We designed the garden before we designed the house!’”. The truth is, creating meals with your own fresh produce is a unique and fulfilling experience.
In her vegetable garden she grows a beautiful variety of fresh vegetables and herbs that certainly inspire some of our favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Things like kale, arugula, chives, rosemary, and tomatoes. Ina says “pruning and planting can make you stronger, wiser and better fed”
As noted in a WSJ article “Ina waited until she was in her 40s to start playing with dirt.” In the story it is also noted that Ina grows a lot of cherry tomatoes, and she makes a lot of things out of the harvests like tomato gratin or a pasta with cherry tomatoes.”
Growing your produce at home is a wonderful way to inspire your seasonal cooking. Gardening is also a way for you to relax and reconnect with yourself and your home. When you see the fruits of your labor, and your hard work paying off in the form of a successful harvest, you deserve to further enjoy that with a home-cooked meal.
Ina Garten Inspired Gardening
You can use your Gardenuity Container Garden Kits to add fresh touches to the following recipes by Ina Garten:
By Barefoot Contessa
- Olive oil
- 4 center-cut boneless, skinless cod fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (15 crackers)
- 1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 9×9-inch ceramic baking dish (it should be just big enough to hold the fish) and tilt the dish to coat the bottom with oil. Place the fish fillets in the dish and turn to coat both sides with the oil. Sprinkle the fish with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the cracker crumbs, panko, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Set aside.
- Remove the fish from the oven and pour the wine and lemon juice directly on the fillets. Pat the crumb mixture evenly onto the fillets, pressing gently to help them adhere. (Don’t worry if some crumbs get into the sauce!)
- Return the pan to the oven for 12 minutes, until the fillets are just cooked through in the center, depending on the thickness of the fish. Sprinkle it with salt and serve hot with the pan juices and lemon wedges.
By Barefoot Contessa
- 30 large fresh mint leaves, torn by hand
- 3 to 4 thick slices fresh watermelon
- 12 ounces light rum
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
- Sprigs of mint and spears of watermelon for garnish
- Use a mortar and pestle to mash the mint leaves.
- Remove and discard the rind and seeds of the watermelon. Put the fruit into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and purée.
- Put the mashed mint into a large pitcher with 2 cups of puréed watermelon, the rum, simple syrup, and lime juice and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a pitcher for serving.
- Place ice cubes in 6 glasses and pour the mojito mixture into the glasses. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and spears of watermelon. Serve ice cold.
Start Your Garden
Bring some extra fresh energy into your life by spending time in the garden, and by growing something great. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it. If you are looking for a place to start, check out our available Container Garden Kits, which are catered to you and your climate. Get started today!