Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Making the most of the new season's veg

The harvests are starting to roll in - hooray! Today I just want to show you some of the veg "in action" as it were...

This is my first harvest of potatoes for 2014. They are a First Early variety called "Sharpe's Express". The tubers were nice and clean, with practically no blemishes. From planting to harvest it was exactly 11 weeks. This batch weighed 511 grams.


I cooked these potatoes very simply - boiled in salted water, with a couple of sprigs of Mint. Preparation was easy too: I didn't try to remove the skins (though it would have been easy to do so), I just washed them.


I had not previously grown "Sharpe's Express", so I didn't know what they would be like to eat, but I was very pleased with them. They were very light and almost creamy. I had to stand over the pan and test them frequently because new potatoes cook pretty rapidly and it is easy to overdo them.

On the same day I harvested a few peas. I have written about these several times before, so I won't repeat myself again. Here they are - 200g.


And when podded they came to about two tablespoonfuls:-


You can see in the corner of the photo above some Asparagus. Here's a better view of it:


Ten spears. I reckon that's about enough for two servings, as long as it's not the only veg you're having.

I made some Chive Butter to accompany the Asparagus. It is simply butter that has been melted, to which chopped Chive leaves and a few flower buds have been added. As it cools down, the butter re-solidifies. When the butter re-solidifies the milk solids form a whitish speckling on the top, which I don't think is very attractive. If I do this again I may separate the butter, or perhaps just soften it to room temperature before incorporating the Chives, rather than melting it completely.


I've just remembered that I haven't yet mentioned that I was planning to serve all this veg as accompaniments to some nice lamb chops...  In traditional fashion therefore, I made some Mint Sauce, using fresh Mint from the garden, white wine vinegar, and some sweetener. This is visible only in my photos of the finished dish (on top of the Lamb chops):-


As we were eating this meal, Jane pointed out that all the vegetable matter in it had come from the garden. Potatoes, Asparagus, Peas, Mint, Chives. That made me feel good!


Yes, we did finish all the 500g of potatoes between us - it was a 60/40 split between me and Jane. They were so good that I had to keep going back to get some more. I really love potatoes that have cooled to the lukewarm stage, so even after we had had our dessert (Gorgonzola cheese with crackers), I went back and polished off the last remining spuds!

13 comments:

  1. Oh that dish looks wonderful

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  2. It's a good feeling when practically everything on your plate is grown by you - shame you can't grow lamb chops too.

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    1. Elaine, I think you used to "grow lamb chops" didn't you? Or were the sheep just pets?

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  3. It looks lovely, I might have a rummage round for some potatoes on Sunday.

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  4. It all looks delicious. What can be nicer in taste than a plate full of home grown veggies, and it makes you feel pretty smug too when you've grown dinner yourself. One thing about Sharpes Express, they split really easily when boiling so you have to make sure you don't overdo them, other than that, they're a great tasting spud.

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    1. I watched the "Sharpe's Express" like a hawk! I think that for potatoes like this, steaming is better than boiling. It's certainly easier to test them.

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  5. Your garden is way ahead of ours...and bigger too. I live in Virginia near Washington, DC in America. Like you, I get such a kick in the pants from eating my own veggies. I have also discovered after eating at other people's houses, that we eat way more veg than others. I mentioned this in passing to my guy on the way home one day...my reaction at the dinner table was "...is that all there is?" in reference to the veg portion. I did NOT say this out loud ;-)

    I can't wait until we can harvest some of our potatoes. This is our first year growing them. Chive butter sounds great and I'm swimming in chives at the moment. I've made herb butter before with softened butter and then rolling it into a log in wax paper, parchment or plastic wrap. Excess can be stored in the freezer for extended periods of time. It tastes so good to slice some off in the middle of winter.

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  6. Our potatoes are beginning to flower so hopefully some will be ready some.

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  7. What a great dish! I must try boiling potatoes with mint, I wonder what they taste like :)

    Thanks for sharing nice cooking ideas!

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  8. Still trying to figure out if our potatoes are wilting because they are ready or just because it is so darn hot here. Going to have to get into one of the pots soon and see what I have. Yours look very nice. You had a pretty good meal from your garden. I do wish lamb was affordable here as I get tired of pork, beef or chicken.

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  9. That's a special meal. With all the vegetables from your garden, no wonder your plate look so good!!

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  10. That sure is a nice plate! And all the veg from the garden is especially gratifying! Nice work!

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