CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for Recipes

Veggies sized right for a small- space garden; plus, a recipe using the teeny Thai eggplant

DSC01009Adaptability. To my way of thinking, it’s the most important tenet of urban gardening.

Translation: assess your space and find plants that work within said space.

I have a 5 x 12 foot balcony, so I can’t plant towering fruit trees or endless rows of corn. I can’t grow the huge purple aubergine so fabulous in eggplant parmesan, but I can grow the tiny but Read the rest of this entry »

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Cold comfort: Rosemary, Thyme, and spicy chili for a dreary day

Sunday was bleak here in Chicago. With sleet raining down on my once bountiful balcony garden and serving as a barometer of the snow to follow, it’s no surprise I sought a little comfort from the cold.

In other words:  A glowing fire in the hearth, a flavorful pot of chili on the stove top, and a diversionary DVD at the ready.

One collection that offers the perfect degree of light entertainment for the off-season gardener is the aptly named “Rosemary & Thyme.” In the 2003-2007 British series, two women of a certain age wind up partners in a gardening business after one is dumped by her husband and the other by her employer.

The title derives from the given name of the latter and the surname of the former. Rosemary Boxer Read the rest of this entry »

Tomatoes indoors? Plants keep producing despite relocation

DSC01025About a week or so ago when a freeze warning was announced I finally gave up the garden, leaving my summer pride and joy on the balcony to suffer the chilling winds of the changing seasons.

Some of the sturdy herbs I left out in hopes they’ll last till Thanksgiving when I can fold parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme into the traditional dishes.

But the basils, jalapeno and my fancy leaf geranium were pulled inside to be turned into pesto, pickled peppers and a favored house plant. Harvesting and saving a thing or two is pretty much a part of my yearly garden ritual, but I did Read the rest of this entry »

Quick pasta dish with heirloom tomatoes and freshly cut basil

DSC00878If you’re like me, you have countless stories of all-day prep-a-thons, followed by the all-day cook-a-thons that precede a big sit-down dinner for family and friends.

And when a holiday meal is in the works, the pressure increases with the number of place settings.

The rest of the time, though, most of us are just looking for tasty meals that don’t eat into busy Read the rest of this entry »

No small potatoes: garden herbs boost flavor of picnic side dish

Potato salad with basil pesto and dill is a tasty cookout side dish (see recipe below in post).

Potato salad with basil pesto and dill is a tasty cookout side dish (see recipe below in post).

Memorial Day weekend marks the official opening of Chicago beaches and the unofficial start of picnic season. Besides hitting the shores, we also hit the parks — armed with grills and coolers — for our first taste of summer in the city.

It’s not as warm as it could be this year (low 60s to 70 degrees), but the heat generated by all that outdoor cooking should raise the temperature. And then, the fireworks.

Along with the meats thrown on the barbie, no picnic is complete without the full complement of yummy side dishes, and potato salad is one of my Read the rest of this entry »

Four dollars and a dream: is a windowsill lettuce crop possible?

I'm hoping that this lettuce will survive and thrive on my condo windowsill.

Here's hoping this leaf lettuce will survive and thrive on the windowsill of my Chicago condo.

We’ve talked about growing heirloom tomatoes as an entree into recession gardening, well, now dare we dream of cultivating a companion crop of lettuce, too?

I recently read somewhere in cyberspace that it was relatively easy to grow lettuce on your windowsill — and to keep it going! And while I always assumed lettuce required lots of space, who am I to argue with the Worldwide Web.

So today, when glancing at the plant offerings on flats outside my local grocery store I stopped and took notice of the lovely cell packs of lettuce and thought: I have an empty windowsill, so why not Read the rest of this entry »