Gardens and Seafood

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The combination of fresh vegetables and fish, lobsters, crabs and other seafood can make for a memorable meal. For example shrimp, oysters and many white fish are complimented by lemon while crab cakes are delicious with a fresh sliced garden tomato. Lobsters are served with a fresh corn on the cob. Other seafood items taste best with herbs such as cilantro, basil or oregano.

Many of the most famous seafood recipes are include garden fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in their list of ingredients. Shrimp Scampi is one of the most popular seafood dishes consumed in the USA. Most scampi recipes include shrimp with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs. Another famous seafood recipe, New England clam chowder combines seafood with garden tomatoes, onions and carrots.

A Seafood Enthusiast’s Garden

A seafood consumer’s garden might include greens, corn, lima beans, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, squash, onions, shallots, garlic, dill, chives, parsley, cilantro, oregano and more.

Enrich Your Garden

Discarded seafood parts can enrich your garden and provide much needed minerals to your soil. Shrimp, lobsters and crabs all have a hard shell that can be added to your compost pile or buried in the garden. Fish bones, scales, skins and carcasses are other excellent additions to your garden soil. Even seaweed, rinsed to remove the salt, makes a superb mulch or compost additive. These are all simple, environmentally friendly, natural ways to dispose of seafood discards while enriching your garden. The results can be amazing!

Other seafood by products may not be needed for compost but can be used or recycled in some way. Clam shells make great walkways, or other fill for other projects. Mussel and oyster and other shells can be crushed and made available to poultry that need the calcium in order to produce strong egg shells. The belly sections of many fish can be brined, frozen and kept for fishing bait. In some cases, entire carcasses can be saved for crabbing or other baits.

Seafood recipes that include fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs:

Grilled Shrimp Scampi


2 pounds medium shrimp

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. minced garlic

black pepper and crushed sea salt (optional) to taste


In a large, non-reactive bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Season with crushed red pepper, if desired. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

Lightly oil grill grate. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Clam Chowder with Garden Vegetables


12 large shucked clams and clam juice

8 medium fresh diced tomatoes

3 or 4 diced white potatoes

1 diced carrot

1/2 small diced onion (optional)


Shuck clams, catching the clam liquor as a base for the chowder.
Cut clams into small pieces using shears or a food processor. In either case, remove the stomach and discard.

Dice the vegetables.

Combine the vegetables, clams, pepper and juice in a sauce pan.

Add water as needed to maintain a soup-like consistency and simmer for 2 hours on medium heat.