With some relief, and a sense of great satisfaction, I have finally managed to clear my very full greenhouse of all the seedlings (flowers, and vegetables) I have grown, ready for the garden. The heritage tomatoes; Marmande & Mucha Miel which I dried and saved from last year's crop, are now in their big manure filled tubs and the cucumbers are delicately twining around their supports laden with 'pumped' fruit.
This year I have extended my usual flowers grown from seed repertoire of Nicotianas, Dahlias and Ammi Visnaga, to include
Salvia Blue Butterflies,
Salvia Blue Viridis,
All have been very successful and save considerable amounts of money. On the vegetable front, I have sown all my plants from seed either direct into the soil or in the case of beans & celery - in small pots. The current weather pattern of heavy showers and sunshine is ideal for veggie growers and extremely convenient as it means a night off from watering. In the case of my Crown Prince Squash, it is already raring to take over the plot and sprawl everywhere! The fruit trees and bushes are also in a very healthy state and unlike last year with its very late frosts, it looks as if I will be 'driving over damsons' once again this year. Just the thought of the Damson Jelly I can make later in the summer is exciting as the jelly is divine. However, it can't all be rainbows, and for me I have lots of 'disturbed' earth in my carrot rows with pheasant sized holes where they have decided the soil is great for scratching out a nice comfy place to sleep and brood away the afternoon. I don't mind too much at the moment but it reminds me that I do need to put up some more crop protection in addition to the netted fence around the beans, to deter deer. Crop protection is always a bit boring to do, but I have found that living in Fovant there is always plenty of wildlife ready to eat my vegetables, so I must be more conscientious about it.
During a quick foray into the chest freezer, I discovered some homegrown green beans from last year and as I already have courgettes, plus a plentiful supply of fresh herbs, this favourite summer midweek bake was an easy choice. Like most of my recipes it's easy to make, and all the ingredients are mixed together in a bowl. It can be eaten hot or cold and is delicious with a green salad for supper. My original recipe used parsley, dill and mint but as I don't tend to grow dill, I substitute this with fresh thyme, oregano or margoram instead. The herbs are the star of this dish and give the strongest flavour profile and it is super important that they are fresh not dried, and MINT is an absolutely essential inclusion whichever combination of herbs you go for.
Ingredients - serves 4 - 6 depending on how big you like your slices.
2 Medium Courgettes - trimmed and chopped - steamed for a minute or so.
4 oz Green beans - chopped and steamed for a minute or so
4 oz Spinach - prepared, chopped and steamed until wilted down (wring out as much water as possible)
2 Tbsp Parsley finely chopped
2 Tbsp Thyme finely chopped
2 Tbsp Mint finely chopped
2 oz breadcrumbs
200g Feta cheese, crumbled
S & P
A little cheddar or parmesan for grating on top
A little oil for greasing the cooking dish
Oven 180 Fan GM6
Prepare all the ingredients, chucking them in a big mixing bowl as you go. Stir together & Mix.
Grease an oven dish approx 12 x 8 inches and pile the mixture in.
Grate about an ounce of cheddar on top.
Bake for 35 mins until golden.