August is the most ironic time of the year, when we have top-quality best veg at the farm, boasting an impressive diversity, yet our customer numbers plummet due to holidays, allotments and seasonal abundance.
We have had questions about New Zealand Spinach, what it is and how to eat it. It has almost nothing to do with the usual spinach, apart from needing steaming and growing just as easy and fast. I love it steamed, served with butter and seasoning, or as a filling in lasagnas, stews, pastry, you name it. I don’t think eating it raw does it justice. But, luckily, it is more bulky and substantial when steamed, compared to the true spinach.
Courgettes are a bit too many this year. If you have the same problem, try quick-pickling them with a hot marinade of cider vinegar (120ml), water (40ml), pinch of salt and 1 dessert spoon of sugar, one garlic clove thinly sliced. Firstly cut the courgette in sticks of £1 coin thickness. Put the sticks in a small jar, adding baby chillies and black mustard seed. Pour the hot marinade and leave to cool. Keep in the fridge and eat the pickle within one week.
Another way I invented using courgettes is making Courgette Lasagna. Basically, use your favourite recipe of lasagna, but instead of pastry sheets, use sheets of courgettes, which have been peeled, sliced lengthwise and slightly fried in a bit of oil on both sides.
Broad beans are a real treat, especially very young. But they tend to mature really fast, so what I do with them is boil for 5 minutes (shelled), then plunge in cold water and take the tough peel off. What is left is a tender, bright green flesh, which is beautiful in Risotto, pasta, stir fry or whatever else you may fancy in summer. If you have time, make a vegan pesto, using the flesh, minced garlic, lemon juice, almond flour, salt and pepper to taste. Sumptuous! In fact, I discovered that you can make pesto with any raw veg that will mash well, adding the above ingredients. Then keep it in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar and use within days.