Friday, 22 June 2007

Little Foodies Veg Patch First Harvest

What better veg could you have than freshly picked from the garden. Cooked straight away and served.

This was our rather poor harvest of broad beans. I did have grand plans for what we would do with our broad beans but as the sum total gave us about 8 beans each, those plans were canned! The slugs had been having a field day, literally over night, despite our best efforts to keep them at bay. There wasn't enough for one meal let alone to feed a family of four. However, that said, the beauty of watching my husband and the boys pick them was unmissable. They brought them into the kitchen, where we shelled them together. My husband then lightly steamed them for a couple of minutes. We devoured our 8 broad beans each. They were delicious and next year we know to plant more and to stay well ahead of the slugs. Our beer traps will be a lot more elaborate and sneeky, we will outsmart those beasties!

This is our rather paltry entry for this month's Heart of the Matter event, which is vegetables. Heart of the Matter is a great blog which Joanna at Joanna's Food and Ilva at Lucullian Delights began. It has lots of heart healthy recipes and is worth a look even if you don't have any heart issues. Heart healthy food is good for a lot of things, including watching your weight... Go and take a look...

Another great dish using Broad Beans is Broad Bean Soup
(This would serve 2 adults and 2 small children or 4 adults as a tiny snack in cups.)
500g of Broad Beans
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
One pint of boiling hot vegetable stock
Half a pint of skimmed milk
1 Tablespoon of olive or sunflower oil

Lightly fry the onion and garlic in a tbspn of sunflower or olive oil or less oil if you have a good non-stick pan which we don't.
Add the broad beans and a little of the stock and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the stock and the skimmed milk and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Blitz with a hand held stick blender to the consistency that you prefer and serve.
It may need seasoning with pepper only to make it heart healthy.

Broad Beans are also great cooked with some chunks of Jamon Serrano (Spanish Ham like Italian Parma Ham) . But I don't think that's really heart healthy... Infact I know it's not, as my father in law had a major heart issue a couple of years back and he shouldn't eat it. But he does!


Asha said...

Cool! Looks fresh and so green! I got some Green beans and 1 eggplant so far!:))
Enjoy the harvest,wish you a bounty next month.

Pat said...

Thanks Amanda for the link to the Heart healthy blog. My gardening blogger friend said to help with slugs and snails is to keep all your egg shells. Wash them and let dry then crush and place around your plants. The slugs don't like crawling over the shells. I have started doing this in my garden and unfortunately I have clever slugs they are attacking from above by crawling on other plants to get to the ones they want. So need to come up with an alternative plan. I do go on a slug hunt and catch them and put them in the bin. That way they still have a fighting chance to escape and maybe they will help by eating the rubbish. I think that the beer traps attract them so to me that means more come to the plants. I want something where they are no where near them. But maybe if I put the beer traps in the neighbors garden.....hmmmmm

Meeta said...

Amanda, that is the cutest harvest ever. I bet your boys still enjoyed them. I also like your recipe idea with the beans.

Aimée said...

It is so fun getting kids involved in the garden, eh...

Peabody said...

So yard for me, so no veggie patch either. Lucky you.

Shaun said...

Amanda - How great that you grew these broad beans!! It must be so satisfying to grow something yourself and then use it. It is also a great way to prove to kids that food does not grow in packages.

Betty Jo said...

We love, love, love green beans so I will keep your recipe to try. You have a lovely blog and super photos. I've enjoyed my visit.

Elle said...

So satisfying to use your own veg, even if the amounts are small. For the snails there is something called diatomous earth (think thats how it's spelled) that you can put around the plants, sort of like pat's egg shells. If they crawl over it, it dries them out, but it is not toxic to other living things. I tend to plant extra for the critters. We get snails and gophers.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Asha, Enjoy yours too!

Pat, We tried the eggshells but they didn't work either. I think you might have something with the putting beer traps in the neighbours garden :)

Meeta, They did. Of course now they want to pick everything else even though it's not ready.

Aimee, It is, they love it.

Peabody, It's great but it stirs up a lot of emotion both good and bad.

Shaun, It is really satisfying but really disappointing when some die or get ravaged by GIANT slugs. The children are learning a lot from it though. Patience being top of the list.

Betty Jo, Thank you, you have a very beautiful blog.

Elle, Thanks for the tip. We're going to check it out this morning. We've had so much rain this week that they seem to be multiplying and getting larger by the second!

Thank you all for your comments.


Kelly-Jane said...

You grew them - that's great! I bought my first lot yesterday - love broad beans I put mine into pasta with leeks, bacon and creme fraiche :)


tash said...

Keep going! Don't give up with the veggies - we're having problems with slugs eating our courgettes, but I look at it pragmatically - a wild animal will eat these wonderfully tasty slugs and benefit. We always plant with slugs and pests in mind - two for us, one for the slug :)

But by far the best way is to go out with a torch at night, around midnight and pick each and every one off and either dispatch them or feed 'em to a willing host of chickens. It was a gory bloodbath when our chooks got their first taste of slug!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Kelly-Jane, That sounds delicious!

Tash, I hope we don't give up. It's hard though. It's funny I've designed herb gardens and a few kitchen gardens for other people but have never grown more than herbs and tomatoes for us.

Nora B. said...

Amanda, i am so envious of your broad beans. We only have hearbs and some lettuce in our garden. It's too small to grow more (we live in a ground floor apartment with a small garden in the front).

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Nora, It took a long time before we got our own 'proper' home with a garden. You'll have it too one day, I'm sure of it. Amanda x


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