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Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts

Broad Beans: my new favourite vegetable


Dan, digging a trench for the cucumbers & globe artichoke

What a gorgeous day.  Spent all morning at the plot and weeded weeded weeded.  So satisfying.  Really went to work on the flower cutting bed, the broad bean bed and the runners.... 3 hours squirrelling around, pulling out the usual suspects; bindweed, couch grass, thistles and mint (yes mint, it's is taking over our plot).

Dan set to work digging a long trench against the only fence on the plot for the cucumbers to scramble up.  I hope they do well there, please don't let the rabbits munch them!

The lottie is looking gorgeous at the moment.  We are so lucky with some established shrubs and plants that border our plot, so we get to enjoy them.  A gorgeous pink rose is just nudging over into my flower bed and is so welcome!


Smells as gorgeous as it looks



It's all getting exciting on the harvesting front too. We have so far picked:
  • Mangetout
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Salad
  • Strawberries
  • Nettles
  • Broadbeans
Oh my Broadbeans!  I am so very much in love with you!

For supper this evening I made:

 
Broadbean, Spinach & Bacon Risotto.

Ingredients:

1 onion
1 clove of garlic
knob of butter
200g Arborio Rice
2 rashers of smoky bacon
8 to 10 Broadbeans (finger size eaten whole in the pods)
6 spinach leaves
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 oxo vegetable stock cube
Boiling water
salt to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large pan, sweat the chopped onion and garlic.  Add the bacon (cut into small pieces) and fry til cooked and has a little colour.

2. Add the rice and fry til you can hear it crackle.  In the meantime put the stock cube and boiling water into a separate pan and keep on a rolling boil.

3. Ladle some the stock into the rice mix and stir continuously.  Continue to add the stock once the rice has absorbed, keep stirring.  You will see the rice slowly plump up and take on a creamy texture.

4.  Meanwhile wash the broadbeans and spinach.  Chop the broad beans whole into small half an inch size, and shred the spinach.

5.  The rice should have been cooking for about 20 minutes now.  Add the parmesan and beans, cook for a further 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and stir through the spinach, so that it just wilts.  Season to taste.

Enjoy!

 

Oh and I picked this gorgeous bunch of wild flowers from the neighbouring plot which has been left to become a meadow.

Please share your allotment recipes... cant' wait to try more!

Allotment munching

First radish & saladini leaves
What a weekend!  The plot looked like a jungle.. this glorious weather, amazing sunshiney days and then rain has made everything grow.
So, yesterday, the last day of May, we picked and ate at the plot for the first time.  Such a momumental moment.  First thing I ate...

The worlds most delicious Mangetout!
I hadn't expected to find one.  I was busily mooching around on my hands and knees, weeding... marvelling at the many flowers that the Mangetout had when I spotted a fully grown juicy green pod! YUM!  I held this precious little jewel in my hand and secretly walked over to Dan to share our first taste of the lottie.

That was it, let the summer of munching start!

So for lunch we all shared radish and salad leaves, packed into wholemeal pittas with hummus and chorizo.... ah bliss is allotment lunches.

So much more to come...

Purple Sprouting Broccolli

Not sure how I'm gonna get this into a pitta!

Whilst munching, I realised the plot had become very quiet.  Where was Charlie?


Charlie has discovered how the water trough fills with water and how it magically stops before overflowing... hours of fun with a stick, a ball stop cock and water.


Plot: Last Day of May

Plot is looking great, thanks to my wonderful Mr for cutting down all of the weeds with the shears, me I would have bought a strimmer!  The dedication!

What have you eaten from the plot so far this year?

Horray it's Friday!!!


Country Living Magazine - Edible Flowers

Okay it's been a tough week, and I am really exhausted... dunno what's the problem, whether it is the cold weather, feeling like summer is over again for another year (please no!!!)

or it could be the election, the uncertainty of it all, and watching the news every night isnt good for me, to dwell on the worlds problems keeps me awake.

So all in all, i've been feeling a bit blue, mojo missing, and incredibly grumpy.

Until this little beauty arrived on my doorstep....my monthly subscription to Country Living Magazine!

Yes I know I live in the city, but my heart is truely in the country.  I love Bristol and all it's greeness and forward thinking people, great shops, galleries and masses of great things to do.  But I am still the county girl at heart.

So when my mag arrived I made myself a special cup of Green Tea in a pot and sat down for a little me time... luckily eldest son was at pre-school and my youngest was playing diggers... phew!

Flicking through the articles on 'bringing back afternoon tea' (great cake recipes), wonderful gardens, gorgeous houses, when I spied an article on recipes using edible flowers.  Ahh so they've been watching Alys too!


Recipe for Blossom Vinegar

Such great recipes and beautiful photography, I will have to give them a try.  I really like the recipe for Marigold, Parmesan & Courgette Risotto, which uses the Marigold petals as an alternative to saffron as it leaches its golden colour into the dish and also giving the dish a midly spicy note too... yum.

Another recipe was to make a Blossom Vinegar to be used in a dressing for salads.  The flowers that Elisabeth Luard recommended to use in the vinegar were roses, violets, thyme, rosemary, marigold and oregano.  It looks so beautiful in the jar.

So after 15 minutes or so with a good cuppa and my magazine I feel slightly revived and ready for a better weekend...

Have a great weekend, make sure you give yourselves a little 'me' time, and if you can have a look at this mag... made me feel better anyway!

Long time no write

Hello! Sorry it's been so long since my last allotment instalment. Phew what a busy few weeks. We have had Easter, bitterly cold and not the Easter we were all so looking forward to. But the boys had great fun munching their way through masses of chocolate and having nearly a week of both parents around.

The last week before Easter holidays, the school had a blown Easter egg competition. So Charlie (with a tiny help from me...) made this wonderful 'EGGOSAURUS'!!!! He was so proud taking it into to school to show his friends. Little did he realise that his mummy and daddy had spent the evening before struggling to blow the contents of hens eggs out for him to decorate... not an easy task I can tell you. Whilst having egg yolk splashing me in the eye, I thought 'how many other parents are doing this right now'?

Eggosaurus.
Charlie's social scene has hit a new level. I think there has been a 4th birthday party nearly every week for the past month. In most cases it has been fancy dress, Charlie is either Pirate or Superhero. I think we are in need of some fancy dress inspiration!! His favourite is most definitely 'SUPERCHARLIE'.

Charlie using his x-ray vision.
Well Spring finally showed is sunny face didn't it? And what an absolutely glorious few weeks we have had. Every chance we have had we have spent it at our plot, and she is looking marvellous if I do say so myself.



The little row of saladini that I sowed a few weeks ago has popped up and is looking perky in the April sun. The rabbit nibbled purple sprouting is fighting back, thanks to the great efforts of my lovely other half, the rabbits seem to be kept at bay. The broad beans, mangetout, garlic and onions are coming along great too...it's all doing alright. (Now I think I am going to regret these words as they come spilling out! - did someone mention Frost?)

We have spent many lazy hours picnicing with friends and watching the world go by whilst our children make mud chocolate cakes or play with their diggers. Rufus has been introduced to the world of potties and has had the joy of running around the plot in his pants and wellies. I have loved watching his chubby little legs run around the place.





Yes it has been a great few weeks, and here's to more sunshine, picnics and eating the fruits of our labour.

Oh and I promise I will post more often....