The Garden in Delight Plant Guide has two new beloved Middle Eastern spices, savory seeds fruiting from nigella and cumin flowers, unique plants you can grow in your garden. God’s Word cites these two crops in Isaiah 28, noting the details of sowing and harvesting these blossoming annuals after grains were taken up in spring.
Caraway [nigella] is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway [nigella] is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick. Isaiah 28:27
Nigella flowers bloom a delicate blue, gracing the garden throughout the summer with dainty, star-like petals and a wild tangle of pistil and anthers filling their centers. Along with wispy, fennel-looking foliage, nigella may remind you of love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) flowers. Pods emerge from fading flowers, large casings for the black, savory seeds. Their subtle, peppery flavor is best enhanced by a light toasting. Find more information about nigella in the Plant Guide.
Cumin may be an old favorite, especially if you love to make homemade chili. Why not grow this familiar spice in the garden? Its savory seeds have a distinct, earthy aroma, a contrast to the lacy, laidback style of the annual blossoms. Sow cumin seeds in spring; once established, cumin is a drought-tolerant plant standing up to your sunniest spot. Find more information about cumin in the Plant Guide.
Recipe for these Savory Seeds
Warm your appetite this winter for these spring plants by cooking up a hearty lentil recipe showcasing the savory seeds.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
3/4 C. diced chard stalk
1/2 C. diced leeks
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 C. chopped mushrooms
3 T. olive oil
a few shakes of salt
Once softened, approximately 5 minutes, add:
2 C. water
2/3 C. lentils
2 green bay leaves (fresh preferred)
1/2 t. crushed cumin seeds
1/3 C. chopped basil leaves
Allow water to come to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover with lid slightly open and cook for 20 minutes or according to lentils package directions.
Once lentils are tender, stir in:
1 T. lightly toasted nigella seeds
Add salt and pepper to taste
Makes 3 hearty servings
Delicious as a side dish to smoked meats
Tomorrow heat leftovers in a tortilla with Swiss cheese and sausage for lunch
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent. Isaiah 28:29
© Fomaa | Dreamstime.com Nigella Flower and seed pod
©2014 Shelley S. Cramm Nigella seeds are black, also commonly called black cumin
©2014 Shelley S. Cramm Cumin seeds have a distinct aroma, noticeable as soon as the spice jar lid is opened
Cautionary Note: It is best not to sow seeds packaged for the spice aisle in the garden, nor to flavor foods with seeds sold for garden. Herbs and spices sold for eating may be treated with preservative or anti-sprouting agents, inhibiting garden growth (Don’t bother, I already tried!). Likewise, seeds intended for the dirt will not be cared for according to dietary standards. All the more reason to grow your own! Then you will know.
Find more information about nigella at gardenndelight.wpengine.com/plant-guide/nigella/
Find more information about cumin at gardenndelight.wpengine.com/plant-guide/cumin/
Find more information about olive oil at gardenndelight.wpengine.com/plant-guide/olive-tree/
Additional Bible ingredients soon to be added: Lentils, Bay Laurel Tree, Garlic, Leeks