Spinach Beet Growing In Veg Garden & How To Use It

I have been growing spinach beet in the veg garden this year for the very first time. The leaves have started to get big and so I asked Topveg when I could start to harvest the spinach beet leaves.

Once I knew that the leaves were ready to harvest I wasn’t sure how to use them so again an email to Topveg and this is the reply I got,

The tiny leaves are good as salad – just need washing. Better to leave them a bit bigger for cooking as they cook down to nothing. They are lovely cooked – but need draining well – squashing in a collander – excellent with poached egg (quail) on top – or v good in lasagne – Delia has it in her 4 cheese lasagne.

The beauty of it is that it keeps coming- if you take care not to spoil the growing centers of the new leaves as you pick the old. If you can’t keep up with it – you must trim it off to stop it going to seed. Once it does that it stops giving you fresh leaves.

Yesterday we used the spinach beet leaves in a salad with hard boiled guinea fowl eggs. Looking forward to a summer meals using spinach beet leaves. If you have any recupes you would like to share using spinach beet then please let me know.

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Seasonal Food For October

Seasonal food for October as recommended by FARMA includes: 

Apples
Blackberries
Beetroot
Broccoli
Cabbages
Carrots
Cauliflowers
Courgettes
Cucumbers
French Beans
Kohl Rabi
Mange Tout
Marrows
Onions
Peas
Plums
Potatoes

Raspberries
Runner Beans
Spinach
Strawberries
Sugar Snaps
Sweetcorn
Turnips

FARMA is the UK’s National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association. It “is a co-operative of farmers, producers selling on a local scale and farmers’ markets organisers.”

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information about this book or visit the Farming Friends Book Shop to go to Amazon.com.

Kitchen Seasons: Easy Recipes for Seasonal Organic Food

 

 

 

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Homegrown Tomatoes

My tomatoes have not been successful this year as the flood in June ruined alot of my vegetable plants. Some of the tomato plants that I have grown from seed got a tomato disease and the others that managed to survive were never transferred to growing bags.

So when I looked at the remnants of the tomato plants I was surprised to find a tiny crop of cherry tomatoes.

Homegrown Cherry Tomatoes

Carol @ May Dreams Gardens has a ritual of finding the tiniest ripe tomato and placing it on a throne before photographing the tomato for her website. This year, Carol’s tomato was the size of a nickel. I think that I have found a tiny ripe tomato in my garden that may just be smaller.

farmingfriends tiniest tomato 2007

My tomato is the size of the new 5p which is smaller than a penny and I think possibly smaller than a nickel. Thanks for the inspiration Carol, I will be on the look out for the tiniest tomato in my garden next year!

 

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Lemony Courgette Salad

My taste buds have had a real treat as I have sampled a number of interesting yet different courgette recipes recently.

The latest recipe I decided to have a go at was Joanna’s Lemony Courgette Salad.

Lemony Courgette SaladThis recipe got our taste buds really tingling. The tangy, zesty lemon mixed with the toasted pine nuts and the wafer thin courgette strips was delicious. So thanks Joanna for sharing this super, easy to prepare salad.

My husband and I highly recommend this for a light lunch, a simple yet sophisticated starter or as a refreshing side salad to your main meal. Get your taste buds tingling today!

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Courgette Soup

Yesterday I found a rather large courgette in the garden so decided to make courgette soup for lunch.

Large Courgette

Ingredients

  • 900g / 2lb courgettes sliced thinly.
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced.
  • Butter for frying onions.
  • 1tsp dried oregano.
  • 1 pint of vegetable stock.
  • 150g soft cheese.

Method

  1. Heat butter in pan and fry onions until they are soft but not browned.
  2. Add courgettes slices and oregano.
  3. Soften the courgettes over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  6. Stir in the soft cheese until it is melted.
  7. Blend the soup until it is smooth.
  8. Serve the soup in warmed bowls.

Courgette Soup

Serves 4-6

My husband said after the first mouthful that it was “delicious” and he liked it so much that he had 3 bowls before he announced he was full.

Click on this link for more courgette / zucchini recipes.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seasonal Food For September

Seasonal food for September as recommended by FARMA includes:

Apples
Blackberries
Beetroot
Broccoli
Cabbages
Carrots
Cauliflowers
Courgettes
Cucumbers
French Beans
Kohl Rabi
Mange Tout
Marrows
Onions
Peas
Plums
Potatoes
Raspberries
Runner Beans
Spinach
Strawberries
Sugar Snaps
Sweetcorn
Turnips

FARMA is the UK’s National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association. It “is a co-operative of farmers, producers selling on a local scale and farmers’ markets organisers.”

 

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information about this book or visit the Farming Friends Book Shop to go to Amazon.com.

Seasonal Food: A Guide to What's in Season, When and Why

 

 

 

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A Vegetable Portrait

This morning Charlotte and Freddie from The Great Big Vegetable Challenge asked if anyone would like to create a face using vegetables.

This was my creation at teatime tonight…..

A Vegetable Portrait

 

 

 

……Preparing tea has never been so much fun!

If you would like to have a go at this activity or have a look at other vegetable protraits from around the globe then visit The Great Big Vegetable Challenge right now for more inspiration.

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Courgette and Green Tomato Chutney

Back in early September 2005 I decided to use up some of the courgette and green tomatoes which kept growing in my veg garden by making courgette and green tomato chutney. I had never made chutney before but I thought I would give it a go. I am pleased to say that this chutney is delicious. It is great in a cheese sandwich, to accompany a salad, added to a curry/casserole or smeared over chicken breast which is wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven. I highly recommend making it so if I have tempted you then here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1kg diced courgettes.
  • 1kg peeled and diced green tomatoes.
  • 500g peeled and diced onions.
  • 500g peeled, cored and diced cooking apples.
  • 500g soft brown sugar.
  • 500g sultanas.
  • 600ml white wine vinegar.
  • 1 mulled wine sachet.

Method

  1. Put all ingredients into a large saucepan with the spice sachet.
  2. Bring ingredients slowly to the boil making sure that you stir occasionally.
  3. Leave the pan uncovered and simmer for 2-3 hours – stir occasionally so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
  4. The ingredients will reduce down and the chutney will be ready when it has thickened.
  5. Remember to remove the spice sachet before bottling.
  6. Sterilise jars in a hot oven for a few minutes.
  7. Put the chutney in the sterilised jars whilst it is still warm.
  8. Make sure the jars have plastic lids because the vinegar will react with metal lids.
  9. Leave the chutney to mature for at least 2 weeks and up to a couple of months.

This recipe made 3kg of chutney so as you can imagine we had alot of jars. This courgette and green tomato chutney makes an excellent homemade gift for your food loving friends and family. My friends and family thought it was so delicious that they kept returning the empty jars in the hope that I would swop them for more full ones!

Click on the book image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

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Fried Courgette

This lunch time we enjoyed our third courgette from the two flood damaged courgette plants. As we have not had many courgettes we are still enjoying them and want to taste the vegetable and not find other ways to use them up!

Cut the courgette lengthways.We decided to cut the courgette lengthways.

 

 

Fry courgette in olive oil. Then we fried the pieces in a little olive oil.

 

 

Fry courgette with a little balsamic vinegar.We added a dash of balsamic vinegar.

 

 

Fried courgette served with cheesey mince and pasta.The fried courgette was served with cheesey mince and pasta.

 

 

The courgette tasted great and made the dish more interesting and attractive. Click on this link for more great courgette recipes.

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Courgette Harvested

Last night Steve harvested my first courgette from the flood damaged courgette plants that managed to survive a week under water.

 Courgette Harvested

We only used half of this beauty which we just boiled and served with mince, new potatoes and cabbage.

I will consult my courgette recipe list for more ideas on what to do with the rest of this courgette and any future zucchinis.

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