Battle with the garden has commenced. We may be winning but I’m not sure yet. I find it ironic that the stuff we don’t want growing in the garden are the toughest to get rid of. They are tenacious. Our grass never grows as well on the lawn as it does in the flower beds.
Some of it is our own doing and not understanding how invasive something can be. A few years ago, because we like to brew beer, we planted hops. One was very lackluster while the other is determined to take over the world. The first season or so wasn’t too bad, the hop plant just grew like gangbusters. Hops can grow a foot a day, which is crazy. But last year the hops broke the lattice that sort of held them and crawled across the rest of the flower bed. It wasn’t pretty.
This year we’re rethinking the hops. Not to get rid of them but we definitely need to put them elsewhere. In the meantime we are being brutal with them. The root system snakes everywhere under the soil. We were taken aback by the length and thickness of those suckers. They were like tree roots. I have a feeling there will be more battles with the hops.
Along with the work in the garden that comes with the warmer weather, the lighter dinners start up again. Which I am very ready for!
Recently I thought it would be fun to do a pan seared caprese stuffed chicken over salad. In a skillet heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add about a cup of sliced sun dried tomatoes and cook on low to medium heat for a few minutes. Finely chop 3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on size, and add to the skillet.
Saute for several minutes until the garlic is nearly cooked and then toss in a handful of shredded fresh basil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.
Slice 4 chicken breasts 3/4 the way through lengthwise. Evenly distribute the caprese mix between the chicken breasts. Season with sea salt and pepper and brown on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add fresh mozzarella cheese inside the chicken and bake until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve on top of a salad. A dish light enough for the warm weather but gives you enough energy to conquer the garden. Which we definitely need!