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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today in the Garden: Havesting Mixed Lettuce and Tomatoes

It's a wonderful day when you can step outside, smell the fresh air of fall, and harvest goodies from the garden. I love farmer's markets, but there's nothing better than to "shop" around your very own garden and harvest fresh from the plant.

About a month a ago, I planted buttercrunch, red leaf, and oak leaf lettuce. When grown and harvested yourself, the lettuce takes on more flavor and bite. It's a bit more bitter and has better presence in salads. It's fun to toss with basil and dill(also growing in the garden) to really add dimension and character to a lettuce mix. Since lettuce grown in the garden is a bit more bitter than store bought lettuce, it should help kick up our digestive juices helping our digestion that much more.

The tomatoes I'm harvesting come from the Juliette heirloom tomato planted this past Spring. It seems the fruit coming off this plant is larger and more impressive than the fruit offered in Spring. I'm completely amazed how generous this plant is in offering its fruit. It is quite impressive! Please don't overlook next time you are shopping around for a tomato plant for your garden - if you see Juliette...grab it!

In this picture you can see the fury of blooms this plant has. It's ready to go at it, all over again, with yet another round of tomatoes. Incredible!

Try this simple recipe to spice up salads, sandwiches, or wraps:

Hill Country Salad Mix:
- a dozen Juliette tomatoes (quartered)
- 6 basil leaves
- 3 buttercrunch lettuce leaves
- 1/4 thinly sliced onion
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- juice from one lime
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste

Ribbon cut basil leaves and lettuce. Rough chop dill. Thinly slice 1/4 of an onion. Toss with quartered tomatoes and add the juice of one lime - salt and pepper to taste. Excellent on top of wraps or served as a salad with fresh crumbled cheese.

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