If I had to look back at my younger urban life, the idea that I would be growing a garden of vegetables and edible flowers would seem strangely…well suburban. I guess that is what ageing and children does to you. Whilst I still bristle at the thought of creepy crawlies I do manage to resist the urge to spray them with some kind of splat chemical. An organic patch is what we have in our little garden. Admittedly, Pierre is head gardener, the kids and I the chief foragers.
Here was our first harvest.
*They* (people who know about these things) always tell you nothing beats the taste of freshly dug potatoes. Well they were right. So tender and with skin that simply peels off as you dig them out, these fragrant beauties were quickly boiled and seasoned with Za’atar, a bit of argan oil and some slices of preserved lemon.
Most of the rest remains a hope and a promise. We have started picking at our salad leaves.
Though the carrots, onions, peas and tomatoes are a few months off.
These courgettes are growing nicely, these flowers appeared overnight!
Our apples and a solitary quince have long hurdles to pass and still seem stuck in the second trimester. Not terribly hopeful but these are young trees, newly planted.
Before the recipe, a quick note about Preserved Lemons
-You can make these easily. Wash clean some lemons. Roll them a little with the palm of your hand to soften them. Cut them in quarters NEARLY all the way but stop about 1 cm from the end so that it is like an unopened flower bud. Stuff each cut lemon with salt and pile them into a preserving jar. Cover with lemon juice, seal and leave for several weeks, turning regularly to distribute the juice. You can use both the flesh and the peel though most recipes use the peel alone. I rather like both. We sometimes add a star anise pod and a whole red chilli into the preserving pot. Unconventional and not sure if it changes the flavour but we rather like it and the lemon soaked chilli will make a nice ingredient for a salad some time. Once you start using these, you will find it makes a great accompaniment to salads, burger toppings, in casseroles, rice. A bit addictive really!
- New Potatoes 1kg
- 1 tablespoon Argan Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Chopped peel from 1 preserved lemon
- 1 teaspoon Za'atar
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- Wash the new potatoes and put them in a pan of cold water
- Heat to boiling point on the stove, then simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked
- Drain then toss in the oil, chopped lemon peel, Za'atar and chilli flakes
- Serve warm
Have you been growing things, and any quick and easy recipes to share?
Here are some other ways with New Potatoes –
Helen at Fuss Free Flavours has a similarly salty, sour vibe with a more mediterranean feel (capers and olives) here.
And this miso potato salad is a similarly simple salad, with a Japanese bent.
And Laura, who has been growing vegetables has a lovely potato salad with garden herbs
Finally, Michelle is keeping on the quick and easy theme but this time soup – a leek and potato. Favourite of ours.