Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Meera Sodha's Lebanese Tomato and Bean and Stew

Well homegrown tasty tomatoes keep on coming and some of you may have seem my link to some of my homemade tomato recipes, but I have also been seeking inspiration elsewhere and it came recently whilst browsing The Guardian's New Vegan food and drink section.  
The recipe for Lebanese Green Beans and Vermicelli Rice comes from Meera Sodha. 
It not only gave me the opportunity to use my homegrown tomatoes which are plentiful, but also green beans and runner beans that are coming by the bucket load.  

I did tweak the recipe just a little as I did not have vermicelli to hand, so used small star shaped pasta that I use in soups in place of the vermicelli for the rice.  I also kept some tomatoes back and added them in towards the end mostly for aesthetic reasons, and would you not agree it look darn delicious?! and it really was - really, really flavourful.  I served it with a generous dollop of labneh doused in za'atar.

I f I have tempted you, then please check out the full recipe by Meera Sodha's Lebanese Green Beans and Vermicelli Rice from her new cookbook East which is on my wish list.  Perhaps I will get it earlier, but I may have to wait for my Birthday, or later still - Christmas.  I wish...

Monday, 19 August 2019

Tumbling Plums and Unruly Beans

So another week and another harvest.

This week I am sharing plums from the garden. 
Those of you who came by last week will remember me mentioning that part of our plum tree was damaged in the high winds, taking a load of branches laden with unripe plums with it. I had left the branch on the side hoping the plums still clinging on it would ripen, well they did.  These are those plums and they have already been used in baking into Cinnamon Plum Cake, its one I make every year and more than once.  
I also wanted to show the difference between our plums and the neighbours plums.  The large glossy ones belong to my neighbour. Its the first year my neighbours plum tree has produced.
As well as our own plums, we are being gifted by plums from the neighbours tree too, as half the tree is leaning on our side of the garden.
I thought I'd share the flowered artichokes with you too.  See how pretty they are, blooming sharp and prickly too!
Half way through last week, we also harvested globe courgettes, a variety of beans in all sizes and of course plums.  
With the green beans I made Sarah Beatties Peixinhos da horta which translates as 'little fish from the kitchen garden' 

I also adapted Sarah Beatties Green Bean Korma recipe to include my homegrown round courgettes and runner beans.  
Finally from my husbands greenhouse, a colourful selection of  tomatoes.  Here's a link to some tomato recipe inspiration.  

I am sharing my homegrown fruit and vegetables with Dave at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week and I'd like to add he does a grand job at it too. 

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Bakers Dozen: Best Tomato Recipes

We have been growing our own tomatoes for nearly fifteen years, whether it was on our window sill at home, our greenhouse at the allotment plot  in Scotland or here, in our back garden in Wales, the passion for trying to grow some of our own, continues.   

This year the tomatoes are not as plentiful, but they are still tasty and bit like the courgettes, every year I wonder what am I going to do with all these tomatoes, other than making the usual soups , chilli red tomato chutneys, sauces and lasagne.  So if you are looking for some inspiration and are looking for something different than you have come to the right place.
First up is Rosemary Elliot's vegan Bloody Mary Jelly 
Next we have an Oven Baked Za'atar Tomato and Potato Frittata
Something light to snack on Pan Con Tomate - Catalan Tomato Bread
Something light to eat for lunch Red Pepper and  HarissaTomato Potatoes , the vegan  with VPud Black Pudding is optional. 
How about this Red Tomato, Fenugreek, Paneer Coconut Curry
Something to impressive your dinner guests with - Savoury Cherry Tomato Clafoutis
Savoury  Cherry Tomato, Paprika Mozzarella Muffins
Slow Cooked Balsamic Tomatoes and Butter Beans 
Sweet and Savoury Tomato Spring Rolls
Tomato Farinata with roasted aubergines and black olives
Tomato, Potato and Rosemary Bake
Vietnamese Tofu in Tomato and Black Pepper Sauce
Green Tomato Chutney

Do you have a favourite tomato recipe that you make year on year, please let me know.

I am also sharing 12 tomato recipes from my co-host of Eat Your Greens Veg Hog, as well as linking to the Guardian celebrity chef and food writer tomato recipes. 
The Guardian Part 1
The Guardian Part 2
The Guardian Part 3
The Guardian Part 4

Friday, 16 August 2019

Turmeric Courgette Blueberry Cake

Last weekend was dreadful weather wise and I think it is the same this weekend, weather forecasters have predicted rightly that there is more rain to come and it is falling from the skies as I type.  I have noted that its getting dark in the evenings a lot more quicker and its dark in the morning when I get up 6am in the morning - we seem to have skipped a season.  

I am so pleased that I don't have to get up and go anywhere tomorrow, so can snuggle up at home and watch some films. Well that is what I wish for my weekend, but we have lots of chores and housey things to do, so its not going to be relaxing as I wish, but still better than getting up and going into work. 
Well I made this cake last week, it was around the same time as the Turmeric Yellow Courgette Quiche, so yes I was inspired to stir in a teaspoon of turmeric to this Yellow Courgette Blueberry Cake as well.  
I adapted it from a Courgette cake I have made in the past.  D loved the dense rich buttery-ness.  You cannot taste the courgette as it lends moistness, rather than flavour, but you could definitely taste the turmeric which was pleasant and not overwhelming. 

Follow this link if you want to check out other Turmeric Recipes 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Yellow Courgette Turmeric Quiche

With the weather being so poor over the weekend, I found myself in the kitchen making the most of homegrown vegetable.  
I have made a Courgette Blueberry Cake made with the blueberries I picked last week and another Yellow Courgette Quiche. 

This Yellow Courgette Quiche must be the winner as the most yellowist quiche that I have ever made.  It was enhanced further with a teaspoon of turmeric. Pretty loud. 
We have had  the quiche over three days, served either with new potatoes and homegrown beans or just homegrown salad. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

Happy Sunflowers

The weather over the weekend has been dreadful.  Forecasters have predicted that there is more of it to come.

Part of our plum tree was damaged in the high gust winds, taking a load of branches laden with unripe plums with it.  
Well at least the sunflowers are still standing which makes me happy. 
From the garden we have tomatoes...not as big as previous years, but sweet nonetheless.

The beans have been coming in drips and drabs. I picked up some plums that had not been got by the wasps on the ground. 
Along with the variety of beans, we are still getting some blueberries. 
Just enough to enjoy with some Greek yogurt. 
I also have harvested some more yellow courgettes, but have not showcased them this week as they were used pretty promptly over the weekend.  With the weather being so poor, I found myself in the kitchen making the most of the homegrown vegetable.  I have made another Courgette Quiche and a Courgette Blueberry Cake made with the blueberries I picked last week.  I am hoping to share them in the next few days. 

I am sharing my homegrown vegetables and fruit with Dave who blogs at Happy Acres for Harvest Monday

Monday, 5 August 2019

Little Sunflowers

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the Russian Giant Sunflowers growing in my garden, well here are images of some of them.  
The Russian Giant Sunflowers have been a disappointment this year, not living up to their giant name - these should be called Five Footers, some are not even four foot.
Still its nice to see in the garden.  There is something cheerful about sunflowers regardless of their size. 
So here is my most recently harvest.  

Starting from the top: a round courgette, yellow courgettes, some tomatoes, green beans, purple beans, peas and runner beans
My plum tree brings all the butterflies to the yard,We have had a load of courgettes.  Some of which were turned into another Quiche.
This Quiche also has spring onions, garnished with nasturtium flowers. 
Yellow Courgette, Spring Onions and Twarog Cheese Quiche
For the pastry
120g butter
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon dried parsley
200g plain flour
For the filling
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
285ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 courgettes
180g soft cheese such as Twarog or Cottage cheese
Place flour and butter in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Add enough water to combine into a dough.
Turn dough onto floured surface and roll out to fit a deep greased 8 - 9 inch round or square tin.
Carefully place the pastry into the tin, pressing gently down and trim the edges.
Prick the base with a fork.
Chill for 30 minutes, then remove from fridge and cover with non-stick paper and weigh down the pastry with dried beans.
Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.
Then remove paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes till crisp.
Leave to cool.
When it is cool, scatter over the chopped courgettes and spring onions.
Evenly distribute the cheese. 
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard  and season to taste. 
Pour over the creamy egg mustard mixture.
Bake gas mark 4/180oc for 40 - 45 minutes or until golden. 
Allow to cool, before serving. 

Oh I should mention that the eggs used in this quiche came from this rescued chicken that belongs to the neighbour next door.  There are four of them, but this one always comes up and close to us when we are harvesting, in the hope it will get something to eat from us.  Have you heard of the pecking order...I understand it now, completely. 
The tomatoes are coming along nicely, but again, not quite right - even though they are super sweet and tasty, they seem to be growing the size of cherries, that you'd think we had planted cherry variety, but that is not the case.  Again, not sure what it is - perhaps the weather, perhaps the soil, perhaps we are not feeding them enough...
We have artichokes in the garden.  I am growing these mostly for ornamental purposes. 
The pear tree this year is laden.  Last year was the best year for pears for us, but i think this year may be the best so far.  I cannot say the same for the plum tree, this year is not its best, but we will still get some.
My plum tree brings all We also have blueberries.  I have been picking them every day.  Its not enough for a big cake, but maybe muffins. 

I am sharing this small harvest with Dave who blogs at Happy Acres for Harvest Monday