Things have been a little quiet on the blog this month but only because we have been so busy at work, home and in the garden! Over the next few days I will try and do some catch-up posts. Today’s will focus on our recent harvests.
The zucchinis at the Patch have been prolific whilst the ones at home have been less so. Both gardens are growing the heirloom varieties we grew from seed and both were planted around the same time. The only differences we have noted that at home they are in the large galvanised beds and spend less time in full sun. We have planted zucchinis in those beds for the last three years so even though the soil is replenished constantly with fresh compost we may have an over-planting issue. Whatever the reason we have decided not to plant them in those beds next year and see how they go in the lower beds instead.
The button squash is planted in our other galvanised bed. It has also not been as prolific as previous seasons further highlighting the need for crop rotation. We haven’t photographed all that we have harvested – another time issue – but here are some with spinach, tomatoes and more zucchinis. Also pictured is a yellow crookneck zucchini; they are slower to fruit than the green and we have only had a couple so far.
This last week we have been picking a punnet a day of tomatoes. The Siberian are a small tomato but very nice. We have had loads of the cherry varieties: cherry roma, cherry falls, yellow drop and grape tomatoes.
The first of the leeks have been picked. The toilet rolls have certainly meant that they are longer and whiter but they are still quite thin. Not sure how to make them fatter!
And a beautiful lot of basil from my repurposed planters.
Harvests not photographed include the first of our Lebanese cucumbers, loads of mint, rocket and capsicums.
With all this fabulous organic produce there have been some memorable meals in the house. I thought I would share a few of the recipes I have been cooking these past few weeks. I never stay strictly to the recipe, I tend to tweak them, but I have included links to the originals in case you want to try them. The photos are from the source, as neither of us can seem to take good food pics.
A favourite with the family is this gorgeous Haloumi and Lentil salad. A great way to use all those extra tomatoes and cucumbers. I tend to omit the red onion and add extra mint.
A variation is this Haloumi, Lentil and Rocket salad. Also delicious, also a favourite. We simply can’t get enough of haloumi in this house!
I made tiny Zucchini Fritters as a finger food for a High Tea we had in early December to celebrate our daughter’s 21st. They were served with chilli relish, corn relish and sour cream.
The Pumpkin and Chickpea Quasadillas were fantastic! I cooked them in a sandwich press rather than a fry pan, much easier and less mess. Rather than the suggested salsa I made a black bean, tomato and avocado salad. The quasadillas were served with pickled jalepenos and a dollop of sour cream.
This Zucchini and Ricotta pasta is just one of the many pasta dishes I make during zucchini season. An easy dinner is to saute diced zucchini and squash in a little butter, once softened add a round of flavoured cream cheese, either garlic and chives or herb and garlic. Let the cheese melt, add 1/2 a cup of light cream and the sauce is done! Sorry, no photo of this one.
This Crustless Quiche is great for those who need to eat gluten free meals. It also tastes delicious hot or cold.
I couldn’t find a photo of the last recipe I want to share, Chilli Chicken with Basil and Coconut Cream. The recipe comes from the Women’s Weekly Thai cookbook and has been a favourite of mine for over 20 years. I do tweak it a little though. I use 300 grams of chicken tenderloins chopped and an entire can of coconut cream. It ends up like a chunky soup and is absolutely scrumptious! It’s also a great way to use up all the basil in something other than pesto.