Eat your greens

Green vegetables definitely make up the central ‘spine’ of our garden. They grow all year round and even through our Canberra winter, but … we don’t always use them as much as we should.

How good are these red mustard greens, lush and full of goodness, ready to eat.
How good are these red mustard greens, lush and full of goodness, ready to eat.

We can easily justify growing all these greens because even if we don’t eat them our chooks do, especially anything from the brassica family. So it is with a somewhat guilty feeling that I’ve decided to have a real go at eating more of our greens. Thankfully several articles about how to best use these vegetables have turned up int the last few days.

The first recipe that I have used is from issue 125 of Fine Cooking magazine, where Maryellen Driscoll gives a series of recipes for kales, collards and mustard greens, all members of the brassica family. As we grow all of these greens at Chez Fork it’s wonderful to get some new takes on how to use them. I made Mustard Greens with Chorizo and white beans (all the recipes from this article can be found on the Fine Cooking website). Not only did I have those red mustard greens growing beautifully in the front garden, but TB was also able to contribute a chorizo that he had made last year.

Mustard greens and chorizo, ready for lunch.
Mustard greens and chorizo, ready for lunch.

All I needed to add was a can of white beans which I had in the storage cupboard. This turned out to be a very easy meal which only took a very short period of time to cook, about 15 minutes all up. This made a tasty, if somewhat rustic lunch, perfect for a day when it felt more like winter than spring.

Amazing, it even looksa bit  like it did in the magazine!
Amazing, it even looks a bit like it did in the magazine!

I did try eating this on top of TB’s sourdough bread, but shortly after I took the photo the whole lot toppled into my lap.

Now on the bread, soon to be in my lap.
Now on the bread, soon to be in my lap.

Now that spring is here the chickens are going into full egg production and while we are giving quite a lot of eggs away, we still have plenty for our own use. So tonight we made an omelette stuffed full of red mustard greens, fresh tarragon and flat leaf parsley.

Omlette fixings.
Omelette fixings.

We quickly sauteed the stems of the mustard greens, followed by the leaves. These were then put aside while the eggs were beaten and then cooked with the tarragon and parsley. Just prior to folding the omelette over the sauteed greens were added. Fantastic, another fast, easy and tasty meal on the table.

Mustard green, tarragon and parsley omelette.
Mustard green, tarragon and parsley omelette.

And coming soon to our dinner table, the first asparagus of the season.

The first asparagus of spring makes its appearance.
The first asparagus of spring makes its appearance.

 

Ready, set, go!

Whoa! spring has arrived. First wonderful sunshine, up to 19 degrees C mid-week, now howling gales and flooding across SE Australia. At Chez Fork we have recorded 80mms of rain since Friday evening, 65 mms of which fell between early Saturday morning and 5.00pm on Saturday.

Today was still pretty wild on the wind front but there was sunshine between the low clouds. A quick tour of the garden revealed some welcome sights. First and foremost we have our first asparagus spears poking up above ground.

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However I was a bit surprised to see that something has been having a bit of a chew on two of the spears. Normally not much has a go at this vegetable.

Next I took a really good look at my Purple Sprouting Broccoli. This has appeared to be somewhat of a non-starter. It has had lots of sprouting leaves but not much else. I know that one despairing friend has given up on hers and has been feeding the plants to her chooks. By contrast friend M, (she of the warmer micro-climate), has been harvesting her plants for weeks! Just when I was about to write mine off I had a really close look at the crown of the plant and discovered that at last some flower buds are developing. Well better late than never.

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The Tarragon that had been transplanted at the start of winter to allow us to work on building new garden beds has clearly survived the harsh weather and has started sprouting.

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Finally one last, and most unwelcome first for the season. I killed my first Cabbage White Butterfly today. I’d spotted some earlier in the week so now the long battle against their caterpillars will commence!