Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'BREAD FEEDS THE BODY ... FLOWERS FEED ALSO THE SOUL' ~ BERGENIA (FRESH TOMATO & BASIL BRUSCHETTA)

"... BREAD FEEDS THE BODY INDEED, BUT THE FLOWERS FEED ALSO THE SOUL."
~ The Koran


Bergenia
(the perfect companion plant)
____________________

FRESH TOMATO & BASIL BRUSCHETTA
~ a delightful appetizer, perfect for all seasons

Bruschetta

Italian bread or french baguette
1 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/2 -3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Tomato Topping

3 1/2 cups chopped & seeded ripe plum tomatoes
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of coarse salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt & pepper. Let stand at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Blend butter, parsley, salt & pepper. Spread on bread. Dip bread in grated Parmesan cheese to cover surface. Bake 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Slice bread in serving size pieces and top with tomato mixture.

Bergenia

(Grown for cabbage-like leathery foliage, this hardy low growing plant spreads by rhizomes and can be used as ground cover and edging along borders ... looks best in mass plantings. Perfect for a shady spot getting morning sun or in full sun.)

26 comments:

marmee said...

never seen this flower...it sure looks sturdy. planting flowers feeds the soul too.
happy april dear friend...your garden looks amazing.

Carolyn Gail said...

Lovely, Joey. The Bergenia in my garden look especially good this year as we had a mild winter. Love your photos and the yummy recipe.

Rick said...

I've never seen these before joey - they look lovely. Not sure they'd be happy with the weather we got today though.

Connie said...

Gorgeous photos. My soul is hungry for flowers!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Lovely recipe, simple and fresh and herby. It's summer in your mouth. Right, that's my lunch sorted!

beckie said...

Joey, your berginia are lovely. And such masses of those beautiful flower laden stalks. Mine does not seem to be spreading, even after several years. It did however have glorious blooms this year. Hugs!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Baked Bruchetta, sounds wonderful! I had Bergenia at my last house. It certainly never looked like yours. I probably had it in too much sun and too exposed.

Eileen

Cameron said...

Love the recipe--basil and tomatoes--yum!

Bergenia is on my "maybe someday when I have grown more shade" list. I had to move my pulmonaria once spring came as they were going to get toasted under my magnolia!

joey said...

Indeed it does, dear Marmee. I love bergenia for its versatility. Not only an eye-stopper companion plant with spring bulbs/flowers, once the flower fades the leathery foliage is summer amazing then in autumn turns a lovely bronzy red.

Thanks, Carolyn, happy yours are doing well too. You might find working in the nursery that bergenia are often overlooked. When around someone that looks interested, I always encourage them to give them a try.

Wow, I saw your snowstorm photos, Rick. Hang in there ... the weekend is coming!

Thanks Connie ... my soul is hungry for your beautiful lettuces!

Hello IG ... do give this a try. It's especially delicious when tomatoes are in season. Though too early to plant in the ground, because of our short growing season I purchase basil started and keep it outside on a warm day and cozy inside at night (had frost warnings last night).

I'm delighted you too are enjoying bergenia, Beckie.
I think the mild winter was a blessing for the gardener (unfortunately, not the Great Lakes, which has an effect on us all)!

It's indeed yummy, Eileen. Actually, this is my daughter's recipe, something she always prepares for me, and I should give her credit! I would imagine you would have had bergenia at your old house ... very well suited to an old established garden.

Hope you do give it a try, Cameron, and an added plus for you is that bergenia are deer resistant! I have them in several areas but my happiest bergenia get lots of morning sun.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I almost never see bergenia for sale in garden centers here in my area. I can't imagine why, it is beautiful in your photos.
Marnie

Gail said...

It's a beautiful flowering plant~One that I haven't tried to grow since dismal failure years ago! The recipe sounds easy and tasty~gail

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Amen to that... I think that bergenia is the perfect companion plant, too. :)

joey said...

Thanks Marnie ... as I've said so often, it's a year round favorite.

I know you would love bergenia, Gail ... it's as lovely as you are :) Sorry it didn't behave for you :(

Amen again, Kim!

Kala said...

I don't know too much about this flower, thank you Joey for sharing these images!

Kate said...

Hi, Joey;
I have never tried growing Bergenia but your lovely photos are tempting me. :) Excited to test out this recipe over the weekend. (In spite of frigid temps, we're going sailing on the Great Salt Lake - that's what Utah landlubbers do... )

Chad said...

You always have such beautiful floral pictures. I have come to believe they are all taken from your yard. Not only are you a great photographer but a wonderful gardener. I don't know how you find time for both. I have a fairly large yard. A vegtable garden, over 40 fruit trees, and 300 roses. I don't know how my yard work and photography is going to mesh this summer. I'd love to see a picture of your yard.

Rosey Pollen said...

I just found out I have been mispronouncing bruschetta all these years.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Yummy. I'll take flowers over bread any day, especially if that bread is wheat. Now, cornbread, I might eat. :) ~~Dee

joey said...

Bergenia seem to be very popular in certain areas ... many shy away, not realizing their beauty and versatility.

You are not alone, Rosey ... many people do.

Thank you, Chad. Unless stated, all these photos are from my garden. I can't possible post everything in bloom but do try to recap mid and end of month. Occasionally, I post from a trip or photos from our neighborhood. I have many posted photos of my surrounding gardens and sure many more will be coming. Sounds like you have your hands full too!

Way to go, Kate, sounds invigorating :) Enjoy the warm bruschetta!

joey said...

Ah, that's right, Dee ... because you are such a dear and I don't want you to miss out, I found this gluten free Italian bruschetta. Perhaps you might give it a try, especially when tomatoes are in season (http://tinyurl.com/2f3lpeg). Gluten-free hugs :)

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Oooh, thanks Joey. I will give it a try. I love bruschetta.~~Dee

Rose said...

Thanks for all these lovely photos of bergenia, Joey! I don't have any of these plants, but they would be a perfect addition to my shade garden. I have made bruschetta once--yummy! This will be the perfect recipe at the end of the summer for all those tomatoes and basil I hope to grow.

garden girl said...

Yum! I'll definitely be coming back to the recipe when the garden tomatoes are ready. I LOVE bruschetta. (At first I thought there might be bergenia in the bruschetta - that edible plants seminar I went to last weekend has me looking at certain ornamental plants, and even weeds, in a whole different way.)

joey said...

Consider bergenia, Rose. I know you would love it. I have some that have been here for almost 30 years! I can never wait until tomatoes are in season to make this. Whenever imported look decent, I make this.

Have always been into edible plants, Linda. So many delightful ways to use them as I'm sure you learned. Have fun enjoying :)

EAT! said...

Your flowers and photos are amazing! Living in an area with a similar climate as Michigan, you give me inpiration to tackle my neglected garden. Now just to keep the deer away so they do not eat their way around my yard.

joey said...

Thanks EAT! We are fortunate to not have deer in my garden (have plenty at the lake) but we are blessed with many other rascals like rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks that do plenty of damage.