Pick vegetables and herbs in the morning because they’re most nutritious then, I’ve read. No wait, pick them in the afternoon because they’re most nutritious then, I’ve read. Pick them after a rainfall. Pick them after a short drought. Pick them on sunny days. Pick them on foggy days. Pick them on partly cloudy days with a thirty percent chance of thunderstorms.
Or you can do what I do and pick them when you want. I’ve been known to grab a flashlight at midnight and snip basil in the light of the full moon. Hasn’t killed me yet! When you’re lucky enough to have a garden with ripe tomatoes and fragrant basil, you don’t wait for an ideal time because the ideal time is always now.
My breakfast this morning: Fresh-picked Roma tomatoes, fresh-picked basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. If I’d used mozzarella instead of parm I would have had a Mozzarella Salad Caprese, but I’ve yet to find buffalo milk mozzarella in my town, and cow milk mozzarella doesn’t impress me much. Odd as it sounds, homemade paneer (fresh Indian cheese) works well in salad caprese, albeit rendering the dish untraditional, but I didn’t have any milk on hand this morning, and Parmigiano-Reggiano’s crunchy salty butteriness works well. Besides, I wanted my tomatoes and basil now.
Ever notice how you always see lots of tasty Before pictures but rarely see any After pictures? Well here’s an After picture. Good god, look at that carnage—that poor basil never had a chance. You won’t see a During picture because it was too terrifying, with the olive oil smeared all over my fingers, my chin, the table, the camera…