Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cook what's available.

I used to do my weekly grocery list with an idea of what the family enjoyed to eat. Roast, with a salad, and baked potatoes, for instance. The list saved me time and headaches, organized by aisles in most cases, so my stop in the supermarket was efficient.

When I started to raise my own vegetables, everything changed. I use what is ready to be picked, at its optimum. We may have salads for lunch and dinner week in and week out, until  the greens have all bolted.

I plant enough varieties to give us different combinations on a daily basis, and what I can't eat, or give away, I turn into soups, boullion cubes, or freeze. Salads greens, however, are best eaten at their peak.

I only plant what we like, by the way. Rhubarb, not on my list.

Lettuce and assorted greens will become my star attraction in every meal I cook in the next few weeks. I will rush to make dressings to accompany my salads, and add different protein choices as well.

Notice the choices I have:

-arugula, all different sizes, including arugula flowers.
- fennel, in bulb form, in fronds.
-bibb, butter, endive, frisee and varieties of romaine.
-edible fruit and flowers, nasturtium, roses, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, pears, apples, berries, artichokes, broccoli, beans, kolrabi, potatoes, cabbage, swiss chard, spinach, rapini.

On the menutoday, everything home produced except for the goat cheese, the trout and the bacon:

Fennel bulb carpaccio with goat cheese crostini. 
Blueberry and yogurt compote.

Peas and bacon risotto.
Grilled trout.
Frisee and strawberry salad.
Pear crumble.

What's on your table today?


  1. Salad from the garden but no lettuce! Nigel is not a lettuce fan so I use spinach, chard, rocket, sorrel etc. Cherry tomatoes, Courgettes, yes more courgettes, grilled tonight. Baked potato (home grown) and left over meat from last nights barbecue.

  2. Your garden looks so groomed. Ours is a jungle now, but we're still harvesting. Now it's more like a treasure hunt. Our lettuce has all bolted, as have radishes. We're still eating tomatoes, onions, cucumbers. Soon there will be squash. I cooked a pumpkin for the first time last week and made purée for muffins...I've got 14 more huge pumpkins to go!