So today is National Start a Garden Day!
…Just kidding. Its not. Is there already a day for this??
I figured if pancakes and Nutella get their own day so should starting a garden! So on behalf of all of the other procrastinating gardeners out there, I am officially establishing June 4 as “National You Waited Too Long So You Should Really Start Your Garden Right Now… Day”.
Kind of like a birthday. Maybe I’ll even light a candle. And make a wish I don’t kill anything….
I’ve been wanting to start a garden for so long. Every summer I get really excited about breaking ground, I google like crazy searching for what to plant.. when to plant… how to plant… and then I don’t know what happens but all of the sudden its August and I’m still eating cucumbers and peppers from the grocery store. So I’m really going to do it this year. I’ve got all my equipment good to go and I”m running to the flower shop tomorrow to buy my plants. So fingers crossed for me everyone!
(White House Garden in the pic above)
I was even more inspired to start a garden this year after reading through Michelle Obama’s new book, American Grown. And nooo, I’m going to get all political on you :) Her book is all about the White House garden and her “Let’s Move” Campaign to inspire healthy eating and living in today’s youth (and with the rest of us!). It’s full of gorgeous stories of community gardens, slow food, and conscious eating. We all know that vine ripe tomatoes straight from the farmer’s market are fantastic; but how self-satisying is it to eat your own little ripe tomato you nurtured yourself? It helps you appreciate all the work and care that goes into biting into a fresh vegetable.
I’ll give you all play by plays on my little budding baby and please please if any of you know anything about gardening I would love your advice :) I am building a garden based on google.
But I’ll jump down from my soap box now :) Because I have an awesome roasted summer veggie sandwich with my all time favorite pesto recipe. This little sammie will make you crave vegetables. I swear.
Portobello Pesto Sandwich Roasted Summer Veggies
Yields 4 sandwiches
For the Artichoke-Walnut Pesto:
The pesto can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept in the fridge. Otherwise you can freeze it for up to a month.
- 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- 3/4 cups walnuts, toasted
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted (I roasted my own in the oven, or you can use jarred), and sliced
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into long strips (about 1/2 inch thick)
- 1 small eggplant, cut into disks (about 1/2 inch thick)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mixed greens for topping
- 4 whole wheat buns (whole wheat gives an awesome texture with the veggies)
- Make the pesto – In a food processor, pulse artichoke hearts, basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup oil, and water until combined.
- To roast your own peppers –
- Preheat oven to Broil on High and place rack on the highest position.
- Cut red pepper into four big slices (one down each side of pepper).
- Place a layer of tin foil on a cookie sheet and put pepper slices on top.
- Broil for about 5 minutes or until the tops of the pepper are completely blackened. You will be able to smell when they are fully cooked, it smells fabulous! Remove from oven and use tin foil to tent the peppers for easy peeling.
- Wait 5-10 minutes then gently remove the blackened skin from the peppers.
- To roast the vegetables- Heat a medium pan, sprayed with cooking spray (I use olive oil), over medium heat. Add the zucchini and eggplant and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until lightly brown and tender. Remove from heat and cover in tin foil while you finish the rest of the veggies.
- Add the portobello mushroom to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes per side, or until tender and juicy. Do not overcook or it will get tough.
- Spread 1-2 tablespoons pesto onto top of bun, divide veggies evenly among the four sandwiches, and top with mixed greens… and enjoy!