Pea, Mint and Feta Salad

Here’s a lovely recipe to use up some of the fresh produce that you might be harvesting at the moment: peas, mint, cucumber, garlic and salad leaves. Continue reading “Pea, Mint and Feta Salad”

Cucumber Dip for Reject Carrots

A couple of weeks ago, Ade came back from the allotment with a bunch of baby carrots.  He’d thinned the carrot crop to allow the healthier plants room to grow, and bought the rejects back to me in the kitchen thinking we could still use them.

Reject Carrots

I’m glad he did. Ever the champion of the underdog, I thought I’d find a way to showcase these little beauties and ensure that, even if they were never going to reach full maturity, they would still fulfil their culinary destiny! So they became crudités, and made a deliciously crunchy companion to this heavenly homemade dip which uses our home-grown cucumbers, mint and garlic.

As my grandma used to say, waste not, want not!

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Cucumber Dip

Cucumber Dip
Serves: 4  Prep Time: 15 mins

1 cup of Greek yoghurt
1 small cucumber (we’re growing the ‘Passandra’ variety), de-seeded, grated and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible (measures approx. 1/2 a cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tbsp. of fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Method:

Place the yoghurt in a bowl.

Chop the cucumber in half and slice each half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds. Grate the cucumber and place it in a clean tea towel. Squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can.

Add the grated cucumber to the yoghurt along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.

Garnish with a mint leaf and serve with baby carrots as a fabulous home-grown hors d’oeuvre!

(Click here for a print-friendly version)

Cucumber dip & baby carrots

Stand By Your Beds!

Another sunny evening at the shire (allotment) and all is well. The squashes and courgettes continue to blossom; I’m sure when I stop weeding, I can actually hear them grow. The beetroots are squabbling for space in their bed. So much so, that this could be the weekend I negotiate with Soph for some time in kitchen so I can create my pickled beetroot. My sweet, purple spheres of tangy delight, has it been a year already? How my salads have missed your pickled presence! And the onions? The pride I have for these fellows, both red and white, brings tears to my eyes!yes 2Now one vegetable which has, so far, been the ‘dark knight’ of the Shire, is my swede. I’ve watered, weeded and.. that’s been pretty much it.  But to my delight, these fellas are coming on a treat and have grown to play nicely with the other brassicas. They have suffered a little leaf nibble from a slug or two but are so far surpassing all my expectations.yes

I’m sure if vegetables owned smart phones we would be bombarded with veggie selfies at this point in the year, teasing us with the subtle reveal of a blushing tomato, or the firm touch of a bulging zucchini.  And don’t even get me started on the tweets from the titillating turnips.  Which reminds me, have you seen that the Agents of Field are now on Twitter?

But with August starting to peer over the horizon, I will soon bid a fond farewell to July, knowing that the next few weeks are going to be a busy month for all us outdoor growers. Whether you’re blanching beans, picking parnips or cutting cucumbers, this is a time of action and excitement.  We’ve waited all year for this moment.  Like finely tuned military machines, we’re itching to get out in the field and start harvesting.

PicMonkey Collage 1

So fellow allotmenteers: stand by your beds, and with trug in hand may you all receive your spoils of war.. Dismissed!

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