Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer greens and potato omelette but no salad

I came home from the garden yesterday with a fresh head of lettuce, a huge bag of broad beans and a generous helping of peas. Oh joy. Fresh peas. I also bought 2.5kg of strawberries, two smalle punnets of redcurrants and one of gooseberries at the market as well as six large apples - that worked out well as the guy who served me knows me by now and knows I buy a lot and was obviously feeling in a generous mood. I ended up getting the whole lot for ten euro which means I basically got the gooseberries and apples for free. That was nice of him.

As I was heading out to a midsummer night ritual yesterday evening I didn't have time to do anything with all this stuff as it was after three by the time I got home and I needed to leave again by five. I did hoover though, which made me feel heaps and heaps better about the apartment.

So today I had a lazy morning and afternoon, reading and surfing the internet. And obviously waited until it was the hottest part of the day (from about half-three the sun shines directly into my apartment) to start moving about. I did the washing up and decided to tackle the mountain of fresh veg. Which means I did the washing up and then spent twenty minutes curled up on the couch with a pile of books trying to decide what to do.

Finally decided on a mix between a Jamie's Home recipe and one from Good Housekeeping and tweaked it a bit to match what I had to use up anyway.

Quickly boiled about 750g new potatoes until just cooked, drained and left to one side. Put broad beans, peas and sliced courgette (400g in total) in a pan with 40g butter and 75ml water plus a pinch of sugar. Brought that to the boil for ten minutes and added the potatoes back in to simmer until the liquid was all gone.

In the meantime I had put the rest of the broad beans into boiling water to blanch them before freezing. It was only when running the cold water over them afterwards that I remembered the bit I had read in all those books talking about having to peel the beans unless they were very young. The way they wrinkled up reminded me and so I started peeling them (I did blanch and freeze some broad beans last year but I just put them straight into the freezer after boiling I think and ended up throwing them out a short while ago - so this is actually the first time I have cooked and eaten broad beans). And while I was peeling them it occurred to me to wonder about the beans that were cooking with the other veg. Sure enough some of them were looking a bit wrinkly as well so instead of leaving them and seeing what it would be like, I fished them out as well I could and peeled them as well. Which made my hands a bit greasy so that when I tried to take the pot of water from the blanching and put it into the sink it slipped out of my hands and I got water all over the place. Sigh.

Anyway, potatoes, beans, peas and courgettes are well and truly cooked now so it was time for the bit of dinner that was inspired by Jamie Oliver. I took the veg out of the pan and put it to one side. Added thinly sliced chorizo (which I bought from the fancy mediterranean shop down the road a couple of weeks ago before realising it is much too hot these days for the lentil stew I planned to use it in) to the pan and left it sizzling to get some of the fat out. There was a lot of it. And I have to say, I'm very unimpressed with this chorizo - it's not spicy at all and mostly has just added a greasy not to the dish. I really should make a proper search for good chorizo here.

Anyway, added the chorizo to the veg. Next into the pan were seven eggs, beaten and with a good splash of milk added. And then I put all the veg back in, spread it all around evenly and put it into a very hot oven. Of course, the amount of veg I had meant that I would have needed to use about a dozen eggs to make it a proper omelette but it would be a semi-omelette I thought. Oh, salt, pepper and a mix of herbs did go in there as well. Unfortunately, my rosemary died and I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet and that would have made a big difference to the greasy taste from the chorizo I think. Finally, just for good measure (and to use it up) I sliced the mozzarella cheese that was getting very close to it's best before date and put the slices on top of the whole lot. Left it cooking under the hot top part of the oven for a few minutes until it was starting to bubble. So in the end I ended up with an omelette on the bottom and lots of cheese on the top. But mostly veg and potatoes.

Have to say that apart from the greasy chorizo, it's really very tasty.

In another hour or so the sun should be mostly gone and I will get back into the kitchen and make some jam and fruit leathers. I ended up dumping the lettuce I got from the garden because it was full of slugs (at least three full size ones and lots of little tiny ones) who had actually eaten so much of it overnight that there wasn't an awful lot left to rescue. Still, at least the lettuce I bought last week is still fine in it's tupperware so that will be salad for lunch tomorrow I think.

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