Once upon a time, I attempted to grow my own vegetables on an apartment balcony. I bought dirt and containers and bell pepper seeds and a watering can, then
patiently waited all summer for a bell pepper to appear. One.
One pepper grew out of all of those seeds. It was the world’s most perfect bell pepper, though. I looked at it one day through the glass door and thought to myself, I’m going to pick that and eat it tomorrow.
The next day it was gone.
The pesky squirrels had snatched it away and were probably busy sauteeing it for fajitas. So I told myself Never again! It’s not worth the effort! I’m just making a Whole Foods for the neighborhood rodents!
But there’s something about fresh, homegrown food that is hard to resist.
A few years later, rather than waiting months for a harvest that may or may not happen, I bought fresh herb plants and parked them on our balcony in a cardboard box, where they promptly got knocked over by the wind. I have not seen a squirrel on this current balcony, so I am cautiously optimistic that these plants may last longer than the ill-fated bell pepper of yesteryear.
They have at least lasted long enough to put together some Sweet Corn Salad, which is ridiculously easy to make and delicious. The secret ingredient is fresh basil- it’s also great in salads, as a pizza topping, or sandwiched between turkey, tomatoes, and mozzarella on a panini.
- A container of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 of a large cucumber, diced
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A large handful of fresh basil leaves, rinsed and chopped
- 2-3 T. Goat cheese
- 1/2 a can of sweet corn, drained
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir. Enjoy!
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