You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘peas’ tag.

As promised, and as always, a simple recipe for a delicious meal.  A salad of lettuce, peas and ham inspired by Nigel Slater

If you’re a regular reader, you will have realised by now that original recipes always get changed in our house.  Sometimes you don’t always have all the ingredients at home or it’s not sensible to go out buying them all.  Sometimes you must make do and create new recipes from substitute ingredients.  This is the joy of cooking that I love.

A yummy way to use up a lettuce glut as we have.  You can’t beat the taste of homegrown lettuce and local peas.  The homemade French dressing recipe to follow.

A salad of lettuce, peas and ham

Fresh peas straight from their pod
A couple of slices of free range ham (thicker is better here)
Baby gem lettuces
A hunk of good quality white bread
A piece of Jarsleburg cheese
Homemade French dressing

Pod your peas and place in a bowl. 

Wash and slice your baby gem lettuces – add to the peas.

Shread the ham and cut the cheese into cubes.  Add these to the peas and lettuce.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a fry pan.  Tear up the soft inners of the bread (no crusts).  Once the oil is hot, add the pieces of bread and fry until golden.

Add the crispy bread to the salad and drizzle over homemade French dressing – you can add a little cream to the standard dressing if you wish, something that Nigel’s recipe calls for.

This week is all about eating lettuce.  We have some lovely gem lettuces that I’ve grown in the garden, but they are all starting to go wild and therefore we need to eat them – and soon!

So we got out the recipe books and here’s what we came up with…

So far we’ve eaten a salad of lettuce, peas and ham; wilted lettuce with broad beans which we teamed up with a quick ham omelette; and the lettuce risotto became a barley risotto with lettuce, pea tendrils, spring onions and peas.

Recipes to follow later this week, but here’s a sneak peek…

A salad of  lettuce, peas and ham

Wilted lettuce with broad beans and a ham omelette

Barley risotto with lettuce, pea tendrils, spring onions and peas

Here’s the follow up to yesterday’s post – our really local dinner.  Our local ingredients can be substituted with local produce from where you live or from your garden or allotment.

Grilled sausages, buttered new potatoes and a homegrown salad

Feeds 2

7 Locally reared sausages (3 for girls, 4 for boys)
A bag of earth covered Cheshire new potatoes
A bowl full of homegrown salad leaves
Homegrown Rainbow radishes (or normal!)
Local peas from about 20 pods
A giant spring onion (from Unicorn)
A bunch of parsley from the garden
Goat’s butter
Extra virgin olive oil
A dash a white wine vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper

Firstly, finely slice the spring onion and add to a large bowl.  Sprinkle with a dash of white wine vinegar and salt and leave to ‘pickle’ whilst you get everything else ready.

Preheat the grill.  Grill the sausages, turning regularly, until cooked through and a sticky brown colour.

Put a pan of salted water onto boil.  Scrub the new potatoes and boil until cooked.  Drain, add a generous knob of butter to the hot pan, let it melt then slosh the potatoes around until well coated.  Season with salt.

To the spring onion, add finely sliced parsley.  Clean and top and tail the radishes, then slice and add to the onion and parsley.  Pop the peas from their pods and add to the bowl.

When the potatoes and sausages are ready, add the salad leaves to the onion, radishes and peas and toss all the ingredients together with a glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Eat!

Yesterday was lovely.  It was one of those days when you feel whole, you feel content, you feel that life is good.

Mr Rigg and I spent the afternoon helping out the stall for our local Low Carbon group at the town’s May Queen Festival.  We are both involved in the group, me leading on local food.  We spoke to lots of people from our community, handed out information and lots of the ‘really local food’ maps I have produced. 

Then we headed up to Abbey Leys to get some eggs and bacon (I’m planning on making a Quiche Lorraine this week).  The sun was shining, the sky a dazzling blue.  The hedgerows are green and alive with twittering birds.  The hens and ducks at Abbey Leys were all down by the pond and sheltering in the shade of the trees.

Outside the farm shop was a bucket of locally grown Sweet Williams, a bunch of which now adorns our living room in an earthenware pot salvaged from the carboot.  Inside, Mr Rigg filled up two boxes with freshly laid eggs.  I found some outdoor reared Gloucester old spot streaky bacon in the chiller. 

We also filled up a bag with the first Cheshire new potatoes, still with earth clinging to them.  And then I saw them – a tub of locally grown peas.  I adore peas.  Peas plucked straight from the plant, popped out of their crisp pods and into my mouth.  Nothing is perhaps more delicious.

These were the first local peas I have seen, so we got a full bag.  By the time we got home I’d eaten about a quarter of the bag already.  Needless to say, they didn’t make it past sundown. 

From all this delicious local produce and some from our garden we ate a scrumptious, simple dinner – will post this separately.  This is how all days should be.  Should make you feel. 

Mr Rigg and I have had a lovely weekend with my family.  Yesterday before we left my mom and I made a delicious pasta dinner using green spring inspired vegetables.  Simply dreamt up with the ingredients we had.  Here’s how we made it…

Spring vegetable pasta

Feeds 2

2 small to medium leeks
Half a bunch of asparagus
Small bowlful of frozen peas
2 handfuls of shelled broad beans
2 spring onions
Long thin pasta for two
2 rashers of bacon (optional)
Parmesan to serve
Butter, olive oil, salt and pepper

Melt a generous knob of butter in a saucepan.  Finely slice the leeks and saute in the butter until soft.  You can also add a couple of teaspoonfuls of the pasta cooking water.  Season with salt and pepper.

If you are having bacon, cut it into small pieces and fry until crispy.

Put on a pan of boiling salted water and cook the pasta accordingly.  About 3-5 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the broad beans and peas.  Slice the asparagus diagonally into small slithers and add them to the pasta, peas and beans to cook for a few minutes.

Slice up the spring onions and add to the leeks. 

When the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain the water and tip the pasta into the pan with the leeks.  Stir well, add a little olive oil and season to taste if needed.  Add a little more butter if the pasta is a little dry.

Eat the pasta topped with crispy bacon and shards of Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Better looking photos thanks to the little sister’s camera!

A busy day of gardening both at home and the allotment. 

We planted out some pea seedlings that Buddy had tried to destroy previously – fingers-crossed they will survive.  They are supported with some chicken wire and bamboo canes.

I went to Kenyon Hall Farm and spent large amounts of money on beautiful herbs, more pea and broad bean plants, two Delphiniums and some asparagus for tea.

At the allotment I planted out six types of thyme:

Common

Lemon

Golden

Doone Valley

Redstart

and Vey

As you can tell I love thyme!

Next followed two chive and two heartsease plants. 

These are added to the lavender, tarragon and sage plants already dug into my new herb beds.

Happy digging!

P1130403

Over the last 24 hours I have seen my energy levels slowly creeping back up.  I was so fed-up of being stuck in bed all week, and felt completely starved of fresh air, that I took advantage of a spell of sunny weather yesterday afternoon and headed to the bottom of the garden.

My goal: clear the pea bed.  I have been very pleased with my peas this year.  They are undoubtedly my favourite vegetable and I have enjoyed podding the sweet peas from their crisp pods for the last couple of months.  Finally, they have come to an end.  I have been holding off clearing the bed to allow the remaining peas who had started to wrinkle to dry out.  My intention: to save them for planting next year.

So yesterday I spent about half an hour pulling out all the old pea plants and saving any remaining pods that I popped in my basket. 

Below are four pictures taken at different stages of clearing the pea bed:

peabed
1. happy peas growing earlier in the summer
2. peas dying back and me starting to fill the wheelbarrow with the old plants
3. the bed emptied and almost a basket full of dried pods
4. newly prepared bed planted with some late summer crops

N finishes at lunchtime on a Friday, so we have spent some time this afternoon finishing off the pea bed.  We raked it over, added a couple of bags of donated soil that we had left over, dug it in (there were loads of big fat worms!), and raked it again. 

Once the bed was prepared, we planted seven rows of late summer crops – we shall see what grows and what doesn’t: rocket; wild rocket; oriental saladini; spring onion guardsman; lettuce marvel of four seasons; spinach matador; and lovage.

We have covered the whole bed with some pea netting in a bid to keep the nasty fat cats off it.  Last time I prepared a bed and carefully planted a neat row of carrot and basil fino seeds a fat cat used it as his toilet the following night.  I was not impressed!

P1130406

 P1130204

You know it’s a good start to the day, when wondering to the bottom of the garden to harvest a lettuce for lunch you can stop to snack on freshly podded peas and the odd alpine strawberry.

My vegetable garden is really starting to produce now.  This week I have pulled the first spring onions and the first proper harvest of carrots. 

P1130175

The spring onions are Paris Silverskin onions, which bulb up for pickling, and are I have discovered quite mild in taste.  They are so beautiful and perfectly formed.

P1130227

The carrots are Paris Market Baron’s which are (like the spring onions) bulbous.  Rather than growing downwards they plump up into tubby round orange roots.  They are beautifully sweet and have matured much quicker than my Rainbow carrots which are still developing.

P1130226

Here are the first thinnings of the Rainbow carrots.  I was them under the outside tap and munch on the tiny sweet roots.  The carrot tops and any carrots too tiny for me are given to the lucky bunnies.

P1130121

And here is Lovage wondering why I keep trying to take his picture…

P1130209

P1120396

I’m going to start my weekend posts with a fresh, vibrant salad that will help you spring into summer.  This salad was dreamt up from standing in the aisles at my favourite grocery – it uses the produce that was freshest and just said ‘eat me!’

It is so simple – just peas, radishes, cherry tomatoes and spring onions.  Now I know that my cherry tomatoes are way off even flowers forming, but these cherry tom’s were from Sicily, which I appreciate isn’t very local, but they were ruby red and calling to me.  So anyway, less rambling, more recipes and I hope you try this one out – especially if your radishes are bulging out of the soil like mine.

P1120394

Pea and Radish Salad

Feeds about four hungry mouths

Couple of handfuls of fresh peas
Bunch of radishes (about 10)
200-250g cherry tomatoes
3 large or 5 small spring onions
Cider or white wine vinegar
Salt

Finely slice and chop the spring onions and place them into a pretty serving bowl.

Sprinkle over the onions a good scattering of salt and a couple of glugs of vinegar – mix well (the vinegar and salt pickles the onion slightly, which takes the edge off that strong onion taste).

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the onion – you can also sprinkle a touch more salt over the tomatoes (it intensifies their taste).

Set the onion and tomatoes aside, grab a bowl, find a comfy seat and take your time to pod those peas. This is a job, which is not really a job, it is a moment to yourself, a chance to slow down and dream. Sat on my granny’s terrace, podding peas and preparing string beans are some of my best childhood memories.

Cut the radishes into quarters, and add them and the peas to the salad. Give the whole thing a good stir and serve. You could add a grinding of fresh pepper, a glug of extra virgin olive oil, but it really doesn’t need adulterating. If you use fresh, quality ingredients then this salad will sing without any extras.

p1120068

I must admit that although I did have time to post last night after the stinky boyfriend went to bed, I instead curled up on the sofa with a very cuddly bunny to watch recorded episodes of the Great British Menu.  Borage was unusually friendly last night, and even relaxed enough to rest his chin on my arm – he even had a little snooze and did lot of eye fluttering and paw twitching…I can only guess he was running through lush green meadows in his dreams.  Funny bunny.

Borage watching tv

Borage watching tv

It was only two weeks ago when I posted my April garden update and yet the garden has changed so much since then – the photos were in fact taken at the beginning of the month, but still the changes are notable.  The incredibly warm sunny weather we have experienced recently has probably has something to do with the growth spurt.  I realise my last garden update was pretty dull, so I have taken lots of photos this time – I do enjoy documenting the changes that the garden goes through as things sprout, grow, fruit and eventually die back.

Those delicate little lettuce seedlings that I bought and carefully protected under improvised cloches are doing really well, with gorgeous glossy leaves.  You might notice I’ve suffered two losses of the green batavia (one rotted early on, and the other snapped off, but left a couple of tiny leaves which seems to be recovering well if a little behind the others):

p1120058

It is becoming very difficult to resist picking these luscious frilly leaves:

p1120055

The first set of radishes are starting to plump up nicely into small rubies:

p1120066

These are small cos lettuces that I have sown from seed:

p1120081

And beautiful burgundy coloured red oakleaf lettuce:

p1120083

This is one of my raised beds.  I have planted to rows of peas, and in between them rows of different salads – some baby leaf, some whole lettuces. 

p1120054

The peas are doing so well and I can’t wait to shell my first pod and pop the first pea into my mouth:

p1120053

I adore the way they curl their tendrils around the pea sticks and twine.  You can almost watch them stretching out their delicate tendrils, and wrapping their fingers around whatever they can find.

p1120084

I have sown two types of spring onion – ‘Guardsman’ for salads and ‘Paris Silverskin’ for pickling.  Both rows are looking healthy:

p1120060

The tiny carrot’s have unfurled their frothy green foliage :

p1120064

The rows of oriental saladini and baby leaf salad are starting to form their individual leaves – some round, some spiky, some lush green, others deep purple:

p1120080

p1120072

Enough of salads and onto fruit.  My strawberry and raspberry ‘jungle’ has transformed from just a month ago:

strawberrybed

The wild strawberries are flowering and the raspberry’s have sent up lots of new suckers:  

p1120093

I will certainly be netting my blackcurrant bush this summer – last year the birds got most of the fruits:

p1120097

In the ‘greenhouse’ the seeds that I have sown are coming along.  There are sweetcorn seedlings:

p1120116

Uchi Kuri squash:

 p1120118

Jack-Be-Little pumpkins:

p1120120

And my first cucmber seedling has sprouted:

p1120122

I will leave you with this lovely shot of Mr Blackbird sitting on ‘his’ spot as he does every evening as the sun sinks, singing his beautiful tune to us.

p1120103

Bookmark and Share

Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona