Because our gardens are not big enough and because the time I can put into growing produce is limited, no matter how much I’d want to, we are not self-sufficient. If I planted all our raised beds with summer vegetables, we could be self-sufficient in summer, but I prefer to plan the crops so that there is always something to harvest, even in the depth of winter. How big a part of our meal is homegrown varies from day to day: sometimes it’s the majority, sometimes it is just the herbs used to flavor the dish.
Inspired by this post on the Belgian blog Mme Zsazsa, I decided to record what we eat for a week and also what part of the meal was homegrown. It was a week of transition, from summer to fall, from tomatoes and zucchini to kale and parsnips. I would like to do a similar post in the future, that will reflect what we eat at different times of the year.
Saturday: Colorful vegetables with cold herb sauce
These vegetables were just too pretty to do anything with except boil them shortly so that they would retain their color.
Cucumber, beets (red and “Di Chioggia”), beans (purple, yellow & green), herbs (mint, parsley, lovage) came from our garden, the purple potatoes from a garden I photographed a few weeks ago.
Sunday: Quinoa and grilled sourdough salad with Romaine lettuce on the side
A beloved recipe from the archives that I have made many, many times. Only this was the first time ever the quinoa, too, was homegrown! I harvested 4 plants which gave us 140 g quinoa – more than enough for the recipe. The cucumber, lettuce and herbs, too, were from our garden and the tiny orange and red tomatoes (varieties “Orange Currant”and “Matt’s Wild Cherry) were from the community garden.
Monday: Roasted vegetable galette
The courgette was from the community garden and the thyme and chili from ours. Recipe here.
Tuesday: Andalusian soup salad with corn bread
Dessert: Baked apples
The apples are from our edible forest garden, an old English variety called “Manks Codlin”, which is especially great for baking.
Wednesday: Potato mash with endive, fried eggs and quick pickled beets
Potato mash + vegetables is something of a national Dutch dish. It can be made with different kinds of veg, but I like this version with raw endive and a winter version with kale the most. Since our endive is growing really well, we will probably be eating a lot of this in the coming weeks! The beets, too, were from our garden.
Thursday: Fall vegetable soup with beans and barley
The pretty white/orange beans were grown in the community garden – it is an heirloom Dutch variety called “Wieringer”. It was thought to be extinct but is now being grown again – we are doing our best to keep it alive and give away seeds to others to grow. The parsnips, carrots, kale, lovage and one tiny zucchini also came from the community garden.
Dessert: Almost candied quince with Greek yogurt
The quince in our street that we planted four years ago has a lot of fruits this year, so I can try new recipes, such as this nearly candied quince.
Friday: Runner beans in tomato sauce with lots of spices & Basmati rice
The beans were harvested in the community garden and I used this recipe, substituting runner beans for fava beans.
Saturday: Apple harvest menu
On Saturday we had friends over for dinner and Esther came up with the idea to make the dinner apple-themed. We put together a menu of four recipes, each featuring a different apple variety. I even went all fancy and created menu cards for the occasion!
Sadly, I was too busy in the kitchen to take pictures, but since all the dishes were a success, I’m sure I will be making them again.
Here’s what the menu looked like:
Winter Squash Soup with “Glorie van Holland”-apple Confit
Salad of Belgian Endive, “Rajka” Apples and Roasted Hazelnuts
Pizza with Goat Cheese, Thyme, Caramelized Onions and “Topaz” Apples
Baked “Manks Codlin” Apples with raisins in rum and walnuts