DEFYING WINTER / PASTA CON BROCCOLI

F4C3750D-884C-4C80-905D-5620F6F5CF0CIrrespective of the cold winter weather Dunedin is encountering at present, the garden seems to defy the seasons and continues to produce, which keeps me healthy and out of the supermarkets with some spare change in my pocket.

BROCCOLI PASTA

This is a quick, very easy and delicious Garden Meal

  • 1 Head of Broccoli – Washed, dried and broken into pieces of about 25 mm in diameter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic – Chopped finely
  • 1 Fresh Chili – Chopped finely
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana Cheese – Grated

While you boil the water and cook the pasta in salted water, prepare the Broccoli sauce. In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and fresh chili and cook for a few n minutes until soft, but not coloured (about 1 minute), then add the Broccoli and toss well in the oil and cook until the Broccoli is soft but still crispy and not mushy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Ad salt and black pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta al dente to the pan with the Broccoli, garlic and chili and toss well.  Serve immediately while still hot and dress with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grated Parmigiano and crushed Black Pepper

ENJOY !!

Do not forget the homemade red to wash it all down.

 

 

 

HARVEST OF THE DAY

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It is officially winter here in Dunedin and from the temperatures, snow, mist and sleet I can vouch for that. Nevertheless the garden keeps on producing and I was more than pleased with the organic harvest of today. The soils are healthy and for the first time in four years I have large numbers of earthworms helping me.

GNOCCHI

It definitely is Gnocchi time again in the BYF household (Use the gnocchi link to go to the recipe). We have been using our own home grown potatoes for about four months now on a “dig when required” basis and must have consumed well in excess of 15 – 20 Kg of beautiful, fresh and organic potatoes already – my grandsons are addicted to roasted potatoes.  Today I needed the space where the rest of the potatoes were still underground as I am preparing soil for further planting and I also cleaned Quail Cages leaving me with about 200 Kg of manure and bedding material which I had to dig into the potato patch. I have today harvested another 28 Kg of potatoes and this, plus what we already consumed, will probably be enough potatoes for a whole year – all of this from only about 4 square meters.

ROASTED POTATO

This simple recipe never fails. Wash the potatoes well and boil in well salted water until almost done, but not soft. Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half. In an oven baking tray melt (do not burn) a generous amount of butter – about 50 g per small tray. Now place the potatoes in a single layer – cut side down – in the tray. Ad a fist full of rosemary and enough unpeeled garlic and bake at 200 C for about 5 minutes until the butter is sizzling and the potatoes have absorbed some of the butter. Now flip the potatoes over with the cut side up and put them back into the oven until they are golden brown. Dribble with good extra virgin olive oil, some chopped up parsley, salt and black pepper and ENJOY!!!

Do not forget the home made wine to wash it all down.

Cavolo al Forno (Italian style Roast Cabbage)

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I am harvesting a lot of cabbage. Cabbage is by far not my favourite vegetable, but Mrs BYF really loves cabbage in all forms. She is determined not to waste any part of the cabbage I brought in, so we have had the outer leaves stuffed yesterday, half of the cabbage fried along with some left over roast potatoes the day before, and today the other half roasted. The tastiest effort in my opinion was the roasted cabbage.

Ingredients

1 Head of cabbage sliced in 25mm thick slices, salt the slices very lightly on both sides

1/2 cup olive oil

1 pinch of salt

1 finely chopped chilli or pinch of flakes

4 cloves of peeled garlic

1 handful of fresh herbs from the garden i.e. oregano, thyme a sprig of rosemary

Method

Heat the oven to 200C

Crush the garlic and add to the oil. Add the salt and chilli and drench the bunch of herbs in the oil. Use the herbs as a brush to coat the slices of cabbage on both sides with the oil. Place the cabbage on a baking tray or pan, pour over the rest of the oil, and toss in the bunch of herbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until some of the outer leaves are crispy and the rest shows some brown colour. The herbs will be delicious also.

We ate fresh baked bread with the dish, because one needs to sop up all the lovely juices from the plate and the pan

Do not forget the home made red wine

ENJOY!!

Foglie di Cavolo ripieni di Carne (Meat filled Cabbage Rolls)

The harvest from our organic Back Yard Farm continues and every time Mrs BYF delivers.

Carefully remove the larger outer leaves of the cabbage and blanch them in boiling water until they are soft and flexible

Ingredients

1 small onion finely chopped

1 cup of pork mince
1 thick slice of white Italian style bread, dipped in milk, squeezed and crumbled
1  egg
1 handful of mixed fresh herbs, parsley, oregano, bit of thyme,  a sprig of rosemary, whatever you have, finely chopped
1 pinch of chili flakes
salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Method

Mix all the ingredients together well
Shape the mixture into rounded patties and fry until brown in a pan with some olive oil. Then lay each patty in the center of a cabbage leaf and fold the leaf so that the filling does not escape. Put the leaves folded side down in a pot that will hold all the rolls in a single layer. Add a few spoon fulls of good meat stock or water if you do not have stock. If you have a Dutch Oven or a heavy pot with a tightly fitting lid you can simmer the dish on the stove for 30 minutes until tender, adding a spoon full of good meat stock or water if you do not have stock, when needed. The rolls can also be baked in the oven at 190 C for 30 minutes.
We ate the rolls with polenta, but brown rice cooked with a hand full of lentils would also be good
Do not forget to enjoy this wonderful meal with enough home made wine
ENJOY!!

12 Bits and Pieces Vegetable Lunch

Today we needed a quick light lunch. I have come to the conclusion that the more vegetables I bring in from the garden, the more innovative Mrs BYF becomes. I decided to post this recipe that can never be repeated because it was delicious and used up all the bits and pieces I have produced and harvested.

1/2   cup thinly sliced swede
4     handfuls radish tops, washed and picked. Discard the bigger stems and eat the radishes
8   small tomatoes some not fully ripe, some over ripe
2   handfuls of very tiny potatoes
4   very small zucchini and whatever flowers are left, diced
1   small but evil chilli
1  thumb nail sized bit of fresh ginger
1/2  medium onion
1   tablespoon or much more chopped garlic
 4  tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
1  sprig of rosemary just because I got it for free from the museum foyer on Anzac Day
3 fried quail eggs (runny yolk) on top of each serve. The egg is optional but makes all the difference according to Mrs BYF who can eat eggs for every meal, every day of the week
Method
Put the washed radish tops in a pot , cover and fry until the leaves have wilted. In the mean time, fry the onion until translucent in the olive oil along with the garlic, chilli, ginger and rosemary.  When the onion is ready add the potatoes (boil them first if they are bigger than your pinky nail)  and the swede. Fry quickly until all is soft and integrated. Add a spoonful of water if necessary. Lastly, add the tomatoes and fry for a minute. Serve when everything is soft and just before the tomatoes burst. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a ladle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cracked Black Pepper and enjoy while washing it all down with a glass, or two, of home made Cherry and Black Current Wine. Scoop up the sauce with home made bread.

Garden of Eden

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Only a portion of today’s harvest

The hot and wet summer of Dunedin this year, combined with good healthy soils which we are achieving after four years of constant organic soil development, have changed our garden into the Garden of (Dun)Edin.  Pumpkins and Potatoes, which are both in abundance, are being stored in a dry and dark place to be enjoyed throughout the year.