GARDEN GOODIES: Red sauce with bee balm

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Vegetarian meatballs made it to the menu for this week’s Garden Goodies segment! Chief Meteorologist Justin Loew says it was a bit of a mistake but Josh and Neena say they turned out yummy!

Bee balm, or more commonly known as wild lavendar bergamot, is a member of the mint family, but does not have as strong of a minty flavor. Some varieties are a bit more savory, a bit more like sage. It grows almost anywhere like most mint plants, from partial shade to full sun. Any reasonably fertile soil will support most mint.

Bee balm is often used to make medicinal oils or teas but is sometimes baked into bread. Today we are enjoying vegetarian meatballs with a tomato sauce prepared with chopped bee balm leaves, diced onions, and olive oil. This is not a typical preparation. It was a mistake. Justin originally thought it was French tarragon, which is more typical for sauces, both red and white, however, the French tarragon originally planted in that area had died out and the bee balm took over. Justin accidentally cooked up the bee balm in the red sauce but it ended up tasting pretty good.

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