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Fruits and vegetables, gardens and greens

A quick trip to the market yesterday morning before we headed out of town was a happy adventure for me.  Just as the vendors set up their tents, I wandered over to say hello to our friends and admire their produce.  Quickly, our bag filled with one dozen duck eggs, one beautifully sweet strawberry onion (with green tops reaching up and over the bag itself), several varieties of heirloom tomato, and most memorable of all: a five pound daikon with greens still attached.  I had a little fun with the radish, bringing it home to Piper and telling her to hold her new baby doll.  Happily she cradled the pale thing in her hands, while Will and I rolled with laughter.

For brunch we ate some leftover chickpea curry along with quickly sautéed daikon greens.  Several days ago I cooked at least a pound of chickpeas to make hummus with and to have leftover for such things as curries, snacks, etc.  Piper and I loved picking at the warm beans just as they finished cooking.  They taste unbelievably better than canned beans, it is almost unbelievable.  Freshly cooked chickpeas have this rich, nutty flavor that keeps you coming back for more.  Recently, I follow Ottolenghi’s technique for soaking and simmering the chickpeas with baking soda.  I’m not sure the science behind it, but somehow it softens them and helps them to cook so much faster!  For the hummus I followed a fellow blogger’s recipe, and whirred chopped arugula and cilantro from last weekend’s market along with 3 cloves of garlic, plenty of olive oil, and the juice of one lemon in a blender until smooth and emerald green.  I added the chickpeas in batches and kept pulsing until everything was incorporated.  Finally, I blended in a generous portion of tahini to balance out the flavor of the bitter greens.  We spread the stuff on wraps, used as dip for freshly cut cucumbers, and even ate it plain.

One day last week when out in the garden, I decided to do some weeding and harvest those vegetables that looked ready to eat.  I pulled out two impressive cabbages and trimmed some broccoli as well.  Our tomatoes keep coming, mostly the small ones, though we do have two larger ones ripening out there now.  The cabbages are in the refrigerator taking up much too much space.  I want to cook them but I’m afraid because I found a little white spider in one of the leaves.  I want Will to cut and clean them, then I will cook them — haha!  Our collard greens are also growing really well.  Recently we tried a recipe of Alicia Silverstone’s from her book The Kind Diet, which called for cooking collards with olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and pine nuts.  It was really delicious and I’ll try it again with our own greens.  Finally, I want to figure out what to do with our borage.  I believe we can make a healthy tea from the leaves, so maybe that will be a good start to exploring its uses.

I must say one thing before I go — yesterday evening when driving back into town we ate at the Drunken Monkey coffee shop.  Sure, we enjoyed all of our pastries and tea, but what’s worth writing about is their tropical pineapple smoothie with spinach.  Served to the brim of a tall and icy ball jar, the green drink looked like a magic potion and tasted cool, refreshing, and yes, like something you’d want to drink after a long day at the beach.  I loved how much pineapple there was in it, as I feel that’s a really satiating fruit.

I hear my husband and daughter awake now and reading books in bed.  I’m off to join them — have a great morning!

Cabbage
Cabbage from our little garden
Collards
Collards
Tomatoes
Two tomatoes hold on for their lives; borage growing to the bottom right.
Chickpeas
Plenty of chickpeas for hummus, curry, and snacks.
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8 thoughts on “Fruits and vegetables, gardens and greens

  1. yes, we too throw in spinach into the blender when we make smoothies. it is a good way to get the tasteless veggies in with the fruit where all the flavor is.

    Pineapple is a great anti inflammatory. 🙂

    1. Yes, I loved the pineapple so much–I’m glad to hear that it is anti inflammatory. I’m still meaning to make those beans, I will let you know as soon as I do 🙂 Maybe this week some time. I’ve been enjoying your blog!

  2. As always, your blog makes me hungry! And what a cabbage! So jealous. I was never able to get one to grow that well when we lived in Connecticut.

  3. I too wonder at Ottolenghi’s baking soda tip, who cares it works!! Adds such great smoothness to humous. I love his book Jerusalem, a relatively new discovery for me.
    Your descriptive writing style is great, I can almost reach out and touch the vegetables myself!

    1. Thanks a lot! Yes, I love his book Jerusalem as well. I actually was able to take it out from the library for a while. What’s your favorite recipe of his?

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