Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Punctuate the garden

A garden is more than just plants. Maydreams will tell you a garden needs Wanderability, Placeness,and Gardimacy among other things, but I think one of the things a garden needs is, well, things.

I have lots of things in my garden, big things like a tree and a trellis, a patio and a pond, and little things like a stone face or a clay snail, a literal white elephant (bought, yes, at a white elephant sale), and a couple of metal birds. Medium sized things like a sweet potato vine-breathing dragon and a gorgeous faience-blue pot shaped like a snail.

These small sculptures offer a little humor, a little focus, a little respite from the green and the work. They sneak up on you in corners or anchor a bed.

Find them all in my garden, or here.

Then there's the growing things. Here's what I made with today's harvest:

Harvest-stuffed Bell Peppers

Several large bell peppers (one for each diner)
Roasted beets, one per pepper
2-3 small onions, roasted
Andouille sausage for the meat eaters; leave this out otherwise
One medium eggplant, peeled and diced
Brown or wild rice
creole or other seasoning (a smoky herb like tarragon or sage would be nice with this)

To roast the beets, remove the roots and greens and thoroughly wash them. Place them in a foil-lined pan and drizzle with a little oil, then wrap them in the foil. Place them in a preheated 375F/190C oven and roast for about 20-25 (for smaller, fresher beets; longer for large or old beets), until tender. Add the onions about halfway through. Allow to cool, then remove the skins with a peeler (or just slip them off). Dice.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Slice of the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds. Blanch the peppers and tops in the boiling water, about 3 minutes only; drain and place upright in a roasting dish.

Cook rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, dice the eggplant and macerate it in olive oil (i.e. cover it entirely in the olive oil). Chop the sausage and saute it in a little olive oil. Add the eggplant and spices. When thoroughly cooked (eggplant will be tender) add the rice and beets. For vegetarian/vegan, leave out the sausage. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture, using any extra mixture to fill the dish between the peppers. Cover and roast at 325 for 25-30 minutes.

Serve over seasoned mashed root vegetables with avgolemono or hollandaise sauce.


  1. Hot dog! I'm making stuffed peppers today and I actually have beets, though I never would have thought to use them in this way. FTW!
    P.S. I do like a little whimsy in my garden. Hence, Pinky! :)

  2. Oh, totally forgot to take a picture of the flamingo from the Dollar Spot! On it!