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Simple Complements

This fish was really good – and simple. Lyle brought home two huge tilapia filets and rinsed them off while I tromped out to our little garden and snipped a fragrant handful of herbs, in this case savory. I sprinkled the fish with lemon pepper and plopped them on the herbs, directly on the grill plate over the flames. They cooked/steamed for about 10 minutes, until the filets were flaky.

The bad news is that when we tried to take the fish off the bed of herbs, which by that time looked like trees left behind a raging forest fire in Tucson, the fish fell apart so it didn’t look very pretty, but it didn’t matter. Every morsel was moist and infused with a wonderful taste and aroma of the savory. Thyme would have worked well too and perhaps even rosemary, but I get a little stingy with my rosemary. If you by chance live in an area that rosemary shoots up like overgrown junipers – also in Tucson or the south of France, give that a whirl – perhaps with a stronger fish that can stand up to the pungent nature of that herb. I have a feeling that salmon might work nicely, but it is only an inkling given I’ve never actually cooked salmon with rosemary. Cilantro would also work quite nicely, but mine has torched in the summer sun, and what little remains at this point I’m hoping to use for salsa.

If you’ve never been much of a cook or gardener, give perennial herbs a shot. They are as easy as growing crabgrass in the Midwest, and the results will make you want to sign up for culinary classes.

I bought a plant each of thyme, oregano and savory last year when we constructed our first raised vegetable beds, and with just a wee bit of abuse they have absconded with nearly half of the entire four-by-eight bed. I have enough to share with every neighbor who walks near my house, well if I had the gumption to take out a machete to hack my way through the tangled mess. That’s the kind of fail-safe gardening I like – easy, sturdy and tasty.



4 Responses

  1. My husband planted a few herbs this year. I wonder if we will figure out what to do with them.

  2. Perennials, huh? I failed miserably with my garden this year. 😦 I need all the help I can get.

    The fish looks wonderful. Thank you for the good (and simple) ideas.

  3. Karen – Stay tuned. I feel a cooking run coming. I created a new recipe tonight with zuchini, eggplant, oregano and basil

    Gina – the perennial herbs are those that come back – rosemary is one depending on your climate. Thyme, oregano, savory and fennel grow like weeds. I need to figure out what to do with the fennel though


  4. Hmm, maybe I would have better luck with herbs than I had with tomatoes and cucumbers. 🙂

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