Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Toasted Oatmeal Strwaberry Tart

A perfect summer treat, mimimal baking involved in the crust and the simplicity of the topping lets the flavour of the strawberries through. Recipe is originally from oregonlive.com.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Growing Nicely

The peaches are fattening up nicely, now  I only have to keep the squirrels away from them.

 African Blue basil, a recent purchase which should florish in the Houtson heat.

I had enough tomatoes last week for one salad, but the birds nicked a few other ripe ones. These do need a lot of water and some tomato-specific food, the large thunderstorm we just had has done my watering for today though.

 My herb garden: sage; oregano; rosemary; thyme; mint and dill planted in the autumn have been added to recently by the less sturdy herbs of basil, coriander and flat-leaf parsley (I can't abide the curly stuff).

Farmers' Markets

One advantage of living at a laitude of 30 degrees is the longer growing season, our grass only stopped for about 2-3 weeks this winter (and it was a cold winter for here). The change in the seasons has become really evident in the last few weeks, a sudden explosion in the variety of produce available at the market. I stocked up yesterday morning and we then had a yummy bacon and leek quiche with a grated carrot salad (from Avoca Book 1) and Nigel Slater's cucumber, feta and radish salad (my all time favourite salad, 4th one down in the link).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feeling Peachy

For my birthday The Doc invested in some fruit trees for me. We bought them at the Urban Harvest sale held every January, they also run my local farmer's market. As we don't know how long we'll be in Houston we invested in varieties that will bear fruit in the next year, a Meyer Lemon tree, a fig and some blueberry bushes. A trip to Home Depot for some gardening supplies yielded a raspberry bush and a peach tree also. The peach tree has been a revelation, completely bare upon purchase only 8 days in the ground and it has blossomed beautifully.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Great Vegtable Side

My prize for 'best new cookbook 2009' would have to be split between Ottolenghi and Claire Clark's 100 Perfect Desserts. Ottolenghi contains receipes from the restaurant of the same name in London owned by two guys from Isreali and Palestinian backgrounds and their food contains all the flavours of the region. In particular there are some great salads and veggie sides.

Green Beans and Mangetout with Hazelnut and Orange
serves 6

400g green beans
400g mangetout
70g unskinned hazelnuts
zest of one orange
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • top and tail the beans and mangetout, keep them seperate
  • blanch beans for 4 mins and refresh - under cold running water (or a bowl of iced water)
  • blanch mangetout for 1 mins and refresh
  • dry both sets of vegtables
  • heat an oven to 180 deg C and roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 10 mins
  • rub nuts in a clean towel to remove most of the skin and then chop roughly
  • mix all ingrediants together in a bowl and serve at room temperature
Remember nut oils go rancid quickly so buy in the smallest size available and store in a dark place.