Working on the seedlings this morning — I’m really excited about the Thai sweet basil and the lemongrass. I’ve grown Thai basil before, but usually I’m hunting for it in nurseries when the small plants come out, and some years, I can’t find it, which is very frustrating, because Thai cuisine is one of my favorites on the planet, and their curries are just so much better with fresh Thai basil. Growing my own means I don’t have to worry about hunting it down.
Growing lemongrass is new for me this year. I was recently listening to an episode of Milk Street (podcast from the people who do America’s Test Kitchen), and they were talking about how in Vietnam, they would just mince up lemongrass and put it in straight, but the kind of lemongrass you’re likely to find in American supermarkets will be much tougher (presumably because it’s older and bred to be hardy for shipping?) than what’s growing in Vietnam.
So for their recipe, they had you do something else — I don’t remember what, exactly. But I’m hoping that if I grow my own lemongrass, it’ll be beautifully tender and perfect for using in Vietnamese dishes. Fingers crossed! I’m hoping to cook more Vietnamese food at home — the flavors are so crisp and fresh and the cuisine overall is healthy in its approach. As Kevin and I head into our 50s, we’re trying to incorporate more fresh veggies into our daily meals, and the Vietnamese approach to cuisine makes it easy.
These seedlings look so beautiful right now, I just want to gobble them up.
(Garden club folks, see my giveaway post this morning if you’d like some; I have more than I have room to plant. Also peppers, both sweet and hot, and a few leftover artichokes and leeks.)