Tales of a Pretend Gardner

So I don’t garden. Although, I do want the world to know that I have planted several plants this year and they are ALL still alive. So me and Joanna Gaines = same person. Anyway, I don’t garden, but I do HAVE a little garden because my dad does garden ~ very well actually. I literally reap what he sows and I’m not sorry so let’s just move on.

On this, America’s birthday, we ate grilled burgers and sat by the pool all day like true Americans. We aren’t communists or anything. But late in the afternoon we were hungry again (these children eat like SEVERAL times a day, for the love). And like manna from above, I got this bounty of goodies from our little garden.

Tomatoes and Jalapeños
Fresh basil 🌱🌱🌱

Luckily, even if you don’t have a dad who shows his love in gardening and superb lawn care, don’t fret. One quick trip to the farmer’s market this time of year can fix you right up. After you get back, I’m going to tell you how to make these few ingredients taste like they were grown in Jesus’s corner of heaven. Basically, you add bread and cheese just like you always do to make things the best version they can be, but if that’s not enough information … details below.

First, I made this quick one hour French bread. You guys, it’s sooooo sooooo sooooo easy. I’m not kidding. Anybody can bake this bread. And it’s good! You can also just buy a loaf of crusty bread, but at least read the recipe to see how easy it is to make your own. It just adds the perfect touch to these little pieces of bruschetta perfection. (I think bruschetta has to be Italian bread but I say what I want.)

🥖🥖🥖🥖

Next, roast your tomatoes. I’m not a fan of raw tomatoes, but if you’re like Kimbro and raw tomatoes is your major food group, feel free to skip this step. I just slice them up (throw the cherry ones in there whole) and toss with olive oil and S&P in a 350 degree oven until they’re done. I don’t know how long that is ~ maybe 30 minutes. I’m not a clock person. I can’t be good at everything, people.

Take them out of the oven when they look like this. 🍅🍅🍅

Next up, basil pesto. Basil is my very very very favorite herb and nobody else is even close. Mint and parsley and thyme are all respectable but basil goes with tomato sauce and pizza perfectly and nothing could ever compare to that. Even for a pretend green thumber like me, I’ve grown basil in mason jars in my utility room before my very own self. It is foolproof. And I love it.

In my pesto, I put basil (big handful); garlic (couple cloves smashed); small handful each of walnuts and Parmesan; S&P; and then I drizzle olive oil in my food processor just until it comes together. I like a less oily pesto so you have to watch it closely while you drizzle. If you like a more liquid consistency, go crazy with the oil. But also, don’t do that because oily pesto is yuck-o.

This literally takes two minutes, including time to peel your garlic. 🌱🧄🌱
This is the consistency I like. 🌱🌱🌱

I’m not a pepper person. I don’t understand why bell peppers are even a thing. They’re beautiful colors but unless you’re using them to decorate, I’m don’t get it. I do not like them. The only peppers I eat are jalapeños and the only way I eat them is chipotle-d in adobo and turned into candy. Candy is the best way by far.

I used this recipe for Cowboy Candy with the jalapeños we picked a couple of weeks ago. You do need to let the candy sit in the fridge for at least two weeks (four is better) so this is a make ahead step. If you don’t have these made ahead of time, you could always pickle your peppers while your bread and tomatoes are baking. Super easy. Or raw is fine. I can’t imagine they taste good raw, but you do you.

The rest is just assembly. I added fresh mozzarella cheese to my tomatoes and pesto and cream cheese to my jalapeños. I toasted my bread after I sliced it because if my bread doesn’t crunch, I don’t even want it. (I also peeled my tomatoes because I’m precious about this. I don’t care what anyone says, it really does make a difference. Let’s fight about it.)

Y’all, it’s so good. I’m a pretend gardener and also a pretend baker but this is good in real life. Grow it. Bake it. Roast it. Candy it. Toast it. Put it together. Eat it.

How American is that? Happy 4th! 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

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