Archive for August, 2011

Posted on 22nd August 2011

grow | leeks

By MEREDITH KIRTON

vegetable garden with leeks

The onion family has many delicious members, but none more so than leeks the welsh emblem. Their sweet white stalk is the part favoured by cooks, and this is achieved by mounding earth up around their stems as they grow, hense blocking out the sunlight and “blanching” them.
Sow seeds in late summer ready for transplanting in early autumn. Whilst waiting for your seedlings to develop, choose a full sun, free draining position. They do like a rich, organic soil so dig in manure or compost and mulch well. Replant these seedlings into a trench and backfill, so beginning the blanching process. Every few weeks as the leeks grow, mound more earth around their stems. After 4-5 months your leeks will be ready to start harvesting.

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Posted on 22nd August 2011

harvest | leeks

By MANDY SINCLAIR

harvesting home grown leeks

Storage:
Once picked leeks should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

What to do with glut

  • Freeze

Buttery leeks

50g butter
3 leeks, washed, trimmed, thickly sliced

Melt butter in a large frying pan on medium heat, until foaming. Add leeks and cook covered, for 5-8 mins or until leeks have softened.
Transfer to an airtight container and pour over pan juices. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw before using in soups, casseroles and as an accompaniment to veal, fish or lobster. Stir through scrambled egg or pasta.

Freezing leeks

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Posted on 22nd August 2011

Cook | Leeks

By MANDY SINCLAIR

Leek soup recipe

Chicken, leek & prune soup

1.6kg chicken
4 leeks, trimmed, washed
5 sprigs parsley
1 tsp peppercorns
18 pitted prunes

1. Wash chicken well. Place in a large stockpot or saucepan. Cut 1 leek into 5cm lengths. Place in pan with parsley and peppercorns. Add 8 cups of water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 mins, until chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Remove chicken from pan. Strain stock into a clean pan, discarding solids.
3. Discard chicken skin and shred meat from carcass. Return chicken meat to stock. Thickly slice remaining leeks and add to pan with prunes. Season well. Simmer on low heat for 15 mins. Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 6

Tip ….
for chicken noodle soup – break 100g spaghetti into pieces and add to stock in step 3.

try this ….
Leek & mushroom omelette
Saute 1 chopped leek and 4 chopped mushrooms in a little butter. Remove from pan. Whisk 3 eggs and 1tbsp thickened cream together. Season. Pour into same pan and cook for 2-3 mins, until set. Scatter over leek mixture and 2 tbsp grated cheese. Transfer to a grill and cook for 1 min, until puffed and golden.


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Posted on 1st August 2011

grow | broadbeans

By MEREDITH KIRTON

Broad beans

Growing Broadbeans

Broad Beans (Vicia faba), are one of the most useful winter vegetables, especially in frosty areas as they as very cold tolerant. Sown directly in rills in the soil 20cm apart, they grow between 60cm and a 1m depending on the variety over a 20 week period and are heavy yielding hardy.  They don’t need staking as such, but a frame on stake cage will give them the support they need, and wind breaks will also help as they can be easily
snapped in two.

Broad beans need a well draining soil, but will produce their own nitrogen, so addding nitrogen based fertiliser is unnecessary.  In fact, at the end of the season you can dig the plants back into the soil as they are a rich green manure and will help build up the soil in your patch.

There are a few types with pods available with either white or green seeds, and Windsors, which have round pods, are sweeter again, white or green.  There is also a red flowered broad bean called ‘Crimson’ which still produces beans.  The tender young pods are best, and older beans may
need to be double shelled (second time after blanching in boiling water) to be palatable.  New shoots also are edible and have a delicate broad bean flavour perfect for tossing through pasta, adding to salads or garnishing.

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Posted under grow
Posted on 1st August 2011

harvest | broadbeans

By MANDY SINCLAIR

broadbeans

Storage:
Once picked, place whole broad beans in a paper bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Compared to the weight of the whole bean the yield is quite small. Once podded, 200g of whole beans will give approximately 80g.

What to do with glut

  • Freeze

Podded broad beans freeze very well. Place in an airtight container or plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. Cook beans straight from the freezer in a large pan of boiling water. Drain and peel outer skin from bean to reveal a bright green, tender inner.

  • To dry

Leave the whole beans on the vine until shell is brown and dry. Pick beans and remove pod, the beans should be brown-green colour and smaller in size than freshly podded broad beans. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To use, soak in water overnight before boiling in salted water until tender.

  • To preserve

Broad bean puree

1.2kg whole broad beans or 500g shelled
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook shelled beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 mins, until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Peel beans, discard skins.
2. Place beans, garlic, cumin, coriander and ½ cup of reserved liquid in a food processor. Process until smooth, adding more liquid if needed. Fill sterilized jars and refrigerate for up to 1 week or place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.

Use as a dip topped with sumac and served with pita crisps. Spread onto bruschetta, top with a little grated parmesan and gill until golden. Stir through hot pasta and serve with shaved parmesan.

Makes 2 cups

Broadbean puree recipe

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Posted under harvest
Posted on 1st August 2011

cook | broadbeans

By MANDY SINCLAIR

broadbean recipe

Broad bean, pancetta & pine nut fettucine

500g broad beans, shelled
400g fettucine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eschallots, chopped
100g sliced pancetta, chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
¾ cup thickened cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan

1. Cook broad beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 5 mins. Drain, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid. Peel beans, discard skins.
2. Cook fettucine in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet directions. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan on medium. Cook eschalot for 2-3 mins, until soft. Add pancetta and pine nuts. Cook stirring, for 3-4 mins, until pancetta is crisp. Add broad beans, cream, reserved cooking liquid and parmesan. Simmer for 5 mins, stirring until thickened slightly. Add fettucine and toss to combine.

Serves 4

try this ….
Broad bean, garlic and chilli salad
Cook 300g podded broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water. Peel beans, discard skins. Place in a bowl with 100g baby rocket and 1 punnet halved cherry tomatoes. Mix together ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 finely chopped small red chilli and 1 crushed garlic cloves. Pour over salad and toss to combine.


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