As my tomatoes have now reached the top of the greenhouse (16 feet) I think it is a good time to review varieties I selected and how they have done. Here are the varieties I have grown and my comments on how they have done!
Apologies for the silence, I have been trying to keep up with work and all the vegetable picking in the garden. What has been most surprising this years is that my kale is still growing like crazy and it has not been attached by any of the many insects that often attach it every year. Lucky me!
I LOVE kale but I come across a lot of people who don’t love it so I am always looking to create recipes to convert people. Admittedly, I have failed more often than I have succeeded but I continue to try. I wanted to share the recipe which has created the most kale converts. Enjoy!
A good glug of olive oil
About 15-20 kale leaves
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of beef stock (chicken will do but beef is better)
1 cup red wine if using beef stock, white wine if using chicken stock
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
3 tablespoons of butter
Grated nutmeg (optional)
Black pepper (optional)
Strip the kale leaves from the tough centre stalk and discard the stalk. Roll the kale leaves up into a tube and cut the tube into slices (or just chop the kale). Cut the onions into two halves, then slice each half so that the onions are in long slivers. Chop the garlic. Heat a non-stick pan and add the olive oil. Add the onions and turn pan onto a low heat. Fry the onions until they are transparent and soft. Add the garlic and keep frying until the garlic and onions are pretty soft.
Heat the pan up until its hot and add the stock. Keep the pan on high heat until the stock reduces to about 1/10th of its original volume. Add the cup of wine and reduce that until its about 1/10th its original volume. You're trying to get something which is a bit thickish, not just liquid.
Turn the heat back to low and add the kale. Keep cooking the kale until its still bright green (not pale green) - probably about 4 -5 minutes on a low heat. Stir the onion and kale around so its all mixed in together.
Add the parmesan and stir.
When it looks like the liquid is just covering the bottom of the pan - its ok if its still a bit liquidy, but you don't want it to be a half inch deep for instance - then add the 3 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter is melted.
The butter and liquid should thicken slightly.
Turn off the heat and stir everything in the pan so that it is well mixed.
Grate more Parmesan over the top, grate some nutmeg and/ or black pepper, and serve.
I love squash and in the winter time I dream about an abundance of this stuff. In the summer my husband and I like to challenge ourselves to full 2-3 course meals that have courgettes in each course! I thought I would share some of these recipes with you. You will notice that my recipes are not terribly detailed in the sense that I don’t often give you explicit measurements.
Grilled Courgette Salad
This is a yummy option for a starter/appetizer or if you bring your lunch to work a great lunch option!
Zucchini/Summer Squash/Courgette - 2 -3
1 Garlic clove
Handful of milk
Salt and pepper
Fresh peas (handful)
Cheese (I like either goats cheese or parmesan)
First take a few zucchini and thinly slice them the long way and grill them on a griddle or on the BBQ (griddle pan is a lot easier!). Once you do this place them on a platter and don't overlap them as this will make them go soggy.
Mince the garlic and very thinly slice the chili and sprinkle over the courgettes/squash. Finely chop the mint and sprinkle over platter. Add some salt and pepper and then drop chunks of goat's cheese around the platter. If you are using parmesan you can likely skip the salt and thickly grate the cheese all over the platter. To finish drizzle a good amount of delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is a variation of a lasagne without the bechamel sauce, the cheesy breadcrumb topping makes this pretty tastey!
Zucchini/Summer Squash/Courgette - 4 - 5
Jar of tomato sauce (I can my own tomato sauce from my tomato crop but you can buy a jar as well)
No bake lasagne sheets
Bread Crumbs (ideally home made)
The first thing you need to do is thinly slice the squash, then lay it in a single layer on a baking tray and make sure it is covered (top and bottom) with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. You want it to be fully cooked but still firm and not mushy.
While this is cook grate a large amount of cheddar and parmasan cheese, you need enough to put some in the bake as well as some on the top, mix both grated cheeses together.
Start creating the bake by placing a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the 9x13 inch dish. Then add a layer of lasagne sheets, on top of the sheets add a layer of the squash. Next lasagne sheets, some sauce, some cheese mixture and then more squash. Continue this process until you have about ½ inch at the top. You want to have the top layer be the squash. Mix at least 1 - 1.5 cups of the cheese mixture with about 1 cup to breadcrumbs and then add this to the top of the squash...this should be a thick layer so if you need more cheese/breadcrumb mixture go ahead and add it.
I bake this at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes.