Eat your vegetables
Californians can take advantage of our abundant sunshine and temperate climate in order to grow fruit and vegetables they can truly call their own. Gardening has some very obvious rewards, giving gardeners the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs possible. If you are a cook, adding a garden to your backyard will pay dividends all year long.
In order to get the greatest benefit of this fantastic produce, make sure you tailor your garden to your own needs. No reason to raise a beautiful crop of broccoli or swiss chard if your family won't eat it! Tomatillos may be seen as specialty crop for some, but an important part of the garden for others. Plant what you will eat, so you will eat what you plant.
These onions came from a garden tailored to the cook's tastes. Onions and garlic are prevalent in the garden, as are zucchini, tomatoes, tomatillos and herbs.
As well as growing crops you will eat, think of the potential for storage for your produce. Handled correctly, both onions and garlic are receptive to long term storage. Tomatoes can be canned, herbs can be dried. Other crops like cantaloupe, honeydew, zucchini and corn are best eaten fresh. Plan your garden accordingly.
Getting your hands dirty in the garden is great- but at the end of the day, you need to eat. Cooking a fantastic dish starts with great ingredients. When those ingredients come from your own garden, things just seem to taste a bit better.
Roasted Chicken and Onions (A good way to use a lot of onions!)
6-8 chicken thighs. Bone-in, skin removed.
4 large onions yellow or red - sliced 1/4-1/2" wide
3 garlic cloves - minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
The following herbs to taste - recommend approximately 1/3 cup of combined chopped herbs, pick what is fresh and available in your garden.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Dust chicken with paprika
- In a roasting pan, casserole dish or dutch oven toss all ingredients in order to coat chicken and onions with oil and herbs
- Bake dish uncovered for 25 minutes, toss all ingredients again, and bake until done- approximately 25 minutes more. Ensure juices run clear when chicken is pierced with knife or fork.