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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Trying to keep up with the harvest

I spent most of yesterday harvesting and then podding and shelling and trying out a new recipe for broad beans. I had intended on doing a veg patch update but the weather was so dull, gloomy and cool that I wasn't in the mood for taking photos and wanted to stay inside as much as possible!

I have to say the broad beans, peas and mange tout are doing amazingly well, probably thanks to the above average rainfall since April and the wonderful thing is I haven't had to water them once! I can barely keep up with picking the mange tout whilst it's young and fresh and now have way too much in the fridge. You can probably guess what we're having for dinner. I don't know right now what with - probably lettuce! Oh yes I have lettuce. Lots of it. Many varieties. All almost at perfect hearted readiness. All at the same time. :-)

Back - broad beans, Middle - peas, Front - mange tout

The Belle de Fontenay early spuds are ready and are delicious. The way we like them best is a recipe I found in one of my Delia books. Just a tip though - add about 1/3rd teaspoon of sugar as it cuts through the lemony acidity and ignore Delia's salt and pepper - for goodness sake it doesn't need either as you have the strong flavour of grainy mustard in it!

I often make large amounts as this recipe is great eaten either hot or cold and will stay good for several days if kept in the fridge. If preparing in advance for eating cold then wait until the potatoes are cold before adding the snipped up chives, to keep their colour. You can also add chive flowers broken up into their individual little flowers, just to make it look a bit prettier. This recipe goes very well with fish.

A bit overcooked but it's hard sometimes when you have all sizes of spud.
It doesn't matter though as the broken potatoes soak up all the lovely vinaigrette.

Peas are all going straight into the freezer as they do freeze well. They're also getting away with me and have got a bit on the large side; no matter as I mostly grow them for my OH who will eat them any size.

Shelled broad beans next to peas still in their pods

Peas ready for the freezer (I don't bother with blanching - makes no difference)
and raspberries which I'd just picked

Anyway. Something I'd meant to try last year but never got around to it is broad bean puree, or hoummous, or hummus, or however you spell it. Not to be confused with humus or hummus or however you spell it, that is composty type of stuff you put in the soil to enrich it!

I sort of followed Nigel Slater's recipe which was the first one I saw upon googling and his recipes usually sound pretty yummy. Only I stopped adding olive oil after a couple of glugs as I felt that was enough as I was using middle range, bought in Spain, therefore cheap compared to here, olive oil. Nigel as we all know only uses the best of everything, and can afford to put OTT amounts in. I have no idea why his puree looks so pale in the photo? Actually it tasted rather bland, so I added half a large clove of crushed fresh wet garlic which finally gave it some oomph.

I think mine looks more appetising than his!

The verdict? My OH says: odd. I say: not bad, in fact quite nice. But would I make it again, with all the faffing about taking off all the skins? Probably not!

A last photo as this is an indoor post - just wanted to show you how my windowsill basil is coming along. I have far too many plants and can't keep up with using them so they tend to get leggy as I hate to snip them back to make them bush out and then throw away the basil! I'll have to repot them soon so will only keep some of them.

All but one here is Thai basil which I have been keeping well snipped so it's branching nicely.
The regular basil is the one on the left. I have loads more plants not in this photo!


  1. I've made Phil Vickery's Pea Hummous, and that was fresh and delicious, I can highly recommend it, it's in his 'Seriously Good Gluten Free Cookbook' - I wish I had peas to make it with the @&&@*# crows and pigeons ate the last three lots i sowed, I have now given up lol.

  2. Thanks Miss LB and growing things - I wonder if that recipe is on the internet. I may have to google and look at different ones. Sorry you haven't got any beans, what a shame. :-(