Dear readers, I have an important announcement to make. Wait, make that two.
1. I am now officially a gardener (and have the dirty fingernails to prove it!)
2. We are getting a new kitty to keep dearest Ellie company after JD's sad demise a few weeks ago. Come on, who doesn't love a baby kitten?*
But we're going to focus on the first announcement for now (watch this space for kitty spam over the next few weeks though). After a few years in a flat managing - barely, at times - to keep our cacti collection alive & happy and killing various herbs along the way, we have graduated to a *real* garden. On terra firma. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.
Now, I have to mention at this juncture that both TheHusband and I are complete and utter garden noobs. No, make that gardening retards (refer prior herb & fern massacres). So when we set off for the nursery on Saturday it was with a strange mixture of excitement and just a little trepidation. Luckily we had a super helpful nursery salesguy, who pointed us in the direction of the hardy flowers (gotta love those) and gave us some tips on the actual transplanting and care bit. You know, the part where we usually mess up.
Back at home, TheHusband was instructed to do the manly thing and rip out the grass in the corner
In went all the flowers and herbs and many
Because let's face it - it just doesn't get better than fresh herbs from your own garden. Truly. Try and wrap your mind around this: soil, a few seeds and a sprinkling of water can produce a brilliant array of colours, textures, flavours and scents. Magical! And when you're so caught up in the wonders that Mother Nature brings, it seems only natural to celebrate with a medley of seasonal ingredients - fragrant, sweet, velvet-y fleshed pawpaws, crisp greens and a handful of herbs. Chewy quinoa and nutty pumpkin seeds adds the final layer of texture to this beautifully fresh and healthy early summer salad. Hey, something's gotta make up for all the festive season indulgences. *ahem*
And while you're waxing lyrical about the delights that your garden will bring over the next few months, spare a thought for the garden 'tards (i.e us), because trust me, we're going to need all the good vibes we can get if our plants want to make it to 2011!
*I will be updating my flickr account with pics of the new kitty, stalk away if you're a cat lover.
Rich Mineral Salad
Adapted from Scandi Foodie
Serves 4 as main, or 6 - 8 as side
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups boiling water
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups (approx 150g) mixed greens (I used spinach, rocket/aragula & lettuce), finely sliced
1 small pawpaw (papino), peeled and cut up into chunks
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt, to taste
a handful (or two!) of pumpkin seeds
1. Add quinoa and boiling water to a medium sized pot and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft, yet chewy. Allow to cool down while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a large salad bowl, toss together onion, mixed greens, mint and quinoa. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together and pour over salad, then toss again to combine. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
3. Sprinkle liberally with pumpkin seeds and serve. Will keep for up to a day in the fridge.
Do as I do and add a smattering of nasturtiums to your salad to get you into that festive mood.