Grown at Home: Red Apron’s Garden Wall

Garden Wall at The Red Apron
This marks Red Apron’s third year growing some of  our own herbs and edible flowers in our backyard vertical garden wall! We are excited to use the thyme and basil on our Pizza’s each Wednesday & Thursday evening, and the flowers to decorate our baked goods.

The garden wall was originally designed and installed by Asia, a former member of our team, and we’ve had help from knowledgeable friends along the way. This year Randi from Ferme Pleine Lune assisted us by starting our plants at her farm, and helping us plant the wall. If you’re seeing colourful flowers on something from the shop, chances are they are grown in our own backyard. Talk about hyper-local!


 

 

 

 

This year we’re growing Nasturtiums, Calendula, Basil, Mint, Parsley, Thyme and Sage. We know many of you are familiar with most of these plants, but we thought we’d chat a little about each one, and offer some fresh ideas for using them in your own kitchen this summer.

Nasturtiums
While many edible flowers have a subtle flavor, nasturtiums have a strong peppery taste. Not only are the flowers and buds edible; the young leaves are tender and edible as well. Nasturtiums are popular with chefs and home gardeners because their colorful flowers not only dress up a plate, they’re high in vitamins A, C, and D.

Try using the flowers to garnish a salad, or baked goods (or anywhere that could use a pop of colour), and the small green buds in a jar of Pickled Nasturtium Buds.

Calendula
Calendula (also known as Pot Marigold) is prized for its saffron-like nutty, bitter and spicy flavour and its eye catching orange flowers. It can be tossed in a salad and cooked in an omelette for some extra flavour and colour.

Try using it in this Calendula Tea.
Sweet Basil
Fresh basil has an initial subtle peppery flavour that turns slightly sweet and aromatic. Basil should be eaten raw or added at the very end of cooking time so it doesn’t lose flavour an become bitter.

Try it in this Basil Granita with Peaches.

Mint
The flavour of mint is refreshing with a sweet, mellow flavour and hints of lemon. It has a fresh, slightly sweet and tangy fragrance with a strong menthol aroma.

Try it in these Grilled Chicken, Red Onion and Mint Kebabs.

Parsley
Parsley has a vibrant green, aromatic flavour and is typically added toward the end of cooking as heat can destory its delicate flavour.

Try it in this Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Corn and Parsley Pesto dish.

Thyme
Thyme has a piney and peppery taste with bitter, slightly lemony and minty notes. It has an herbaceous and slightly floral aroma and loses its aroma quickly with heat.

Try it in this tangy, refreshing Thyme Lemonade (or substitute lime juice from something different!)

Sage
Sage is a savory herb that’s slightly peppery with flavours of camphor. The taste is astringent and warm, faintly bitter and has an assertive flavour. A little sage goes a long way so be careful not to use too much.

Try it in this Sage Butter Summer Squash dish.