Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Veg in One

Allow me to introduce you to the Three Little Pigs. Tempted as I am they will not be individually named- but if they were then the middle one in this photo would have to be called Happy! These guys (yes, they are all boys) arrived this week and came from our friends Tim and Jen's farm and when the time comes we will give one back as a thank you….in freezer bags of course.

The veggie garden is still growing well and this week I picked the first baby beetroot of the season. I think beetroot is a beautiful vegetable. The cooked bulbous root is silky in texture, sweet and earthy in taste and vibrant in colour. It can be steamed, baked, braised and even eaten raw. Then there's the leaves- which unfortunately, are often wasted (in Australia at least). I like to cook beetroot leaves the same way that I do silver beet, which is stir fried with a bit of garlic. In fact, mixing the two leaves together works well and is a good option if you haven't got enough of one or the other.

I reckon silverbeet is one of the best veggies for the home garden. It's as tough as old boots, grows most of the year round (even here!), is really good for you and, I think, it tastes delicious….although I haven't managed to convince my sons of this! However, they will eat it if I make it into a mornay….in other words, smothered in cheese sauce!

It's a good idea to strip the leaves from the stalks before cooking either silver beet or beetroot leaves. This way you can slice the stalks separately and give them a bit more cooking time than the leaves. A wok is ideal for cooking these greens in because the wide top makes it easy to get the bulk of raw leaves in the pan. They don't take long to wilt down and don't need any water added to the pan, just a bit of oil and/or butter. For something different you can give it an Asian twist by adding a glug of oyster sauce towards the end of cooking. Yum!!

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