Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Feasting from the garden

Tuesdays are one of our busy days. We have school, playgroup, ballet and "jobs to do". I suddenly realized this afternoon that we have nothing planned for tea...
We are very lucky that we have the space to have our own little vegetable plot so I go outside and see what we have. Here is our plot.

It has taken us a few years to set it up like this, when we moved here it was just a patch of grass. D dug and built the lovely raised beds. He is in charge of hard landscaping and watering, and I am in charge of production and maintenance (sowing, tending, weeding, issuing orders and directions that sort of thing). Usually it works pretty well, although this year I have not been on top of sowing things at all, life has been so busy with either one or both of the children at home most of the time that it has been a bit hit and miss but we have some things growing.

We have broad beans. There we go. For tea we will have broad beans in lemon pasta.
(Can you see the Sweet Peas ready to spring into action growing up the archway, I can't wait I love their fragrance...)
One more thing, do you notice anything about the broad beans?

No? Let me point it out! This is the first time ever I have not had blackfly! We don't use any chemicals at all, so everything is organic, and the only thing I can think this year is that 1) I actually pinched them out in time, or

2) the companion planting (recommended by Sarah Raven) of growing Summer Savory with them really worked! I will be doing both next year anyway.

If anyone else has broad beans in their garden and is looking for ideas for what to do with them, here is the recipe for Broad Bean Lemon Pasta. Its quick easy and delicious. You can also have it with asparagus.
The amounts here are for two persons, double it for a family.

Broad Bean Lemon Pasta

Enough vegetables for two persons (one or more of broad beans, peas, baby courgettes, asparagus)
salt and black pepper
30g unsalted butter
100ml double cream
grated zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pasta, enough for two persons (orrechiette or spaghetti works well but it can be pretty much whatever you like)
Finely chopped parsley to serve
Optional grated parmesan to serve

1. Prepare the vegetables. Cut the asparagus into short lengths, slice the courgettes. Steam or boil until tender. Rinse in dold water and drain. For broad beans slip them out of their skins.
2. Cook pasta until al dente.
3. While you are cooking the pasta, warn the butter and the cream in a pan over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked vegetables and lemon juice and zest. Take off the heat and leave for 5 minutes for the flavours to blend.
4. When the pasta is cooked drain all but a tablespoon of the cooking liquid, add the olive oil and combine with the vegetables and lemon sauce.
5. Stir, season and serve with chopped parsley scatterered on top. You can add grated parmesan too if you like.

Voila, quick, easy and delicious.

Now, that's tea sorted. This was just a quick pitstop, off to ballet!

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