A week of eating from the garden/ end of summer

A week of eating from the garden-001

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

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

quinoa and sourdough salad
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

roasted vegetables galette
The courgette was from the community garden and the thyme and chili from ours. Recipe here.

Tuesday: Andalusian soup salad with corn bread

andalusian soup salad with corn bread
Last “Ferline”tomatoes from the community garden, last cucumber from our garden, plus chilies and basil. Recipe here and here.

Dessert: Baked apples

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 with endive
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

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

almost candied quince
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

runner beans in tomato sauce
The beans were harvested in the community garden and I used this recipe, substituting runner beans for fava beans.

Saturday: Apple harvest menu

apples
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
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Salad of Belgian Endive, “Rajka” Apples and Roasted Hazelnuts
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Pizza with Goat Cheese, Thyme, Caramelized Onions and “Topaz” Apples
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Baked “Manks Codlin” Apples with raisins in rum and walnuts

5 comments for “A week of eating from the garden/ end of summer

  1. 16/10/2014 at 13:30

    This is such a lovely post – like you we are not completely self sufficient but I haven’t brought any vegetables since Spring and there is still plenty to pick at the allotment and in the garden. I love letting the vegetables inspire what I cook.

  2. 30/09/2014 at 14:00

    It all looks so delicious. During “the season” and even through the winter I get pleasure from noting what parts of any given dish we’ve grown ourselves. Sometimes it really is just one herb but it’s still a way to stay connected to the garden.

    • vera@gtc
      30/09/2014 at 15:29

      So true! We grow some winter salads in a cold frame on our allotment (mainly different kinds of leaf mustards) and the possibility of harvest lures us there even in the depth of winter – which helps to stay on top of things on the garden, too!

  3. 29/09/2014 at 17:28

    I’m really amazed that you cook like this all week. So much time and effort, especially considering that you GREW THE INGREDIENTS YOURSELF. My mind is boggled. (Do your kids eat all those veggies? That’s even more impressive!) You are on fire, my friend.

    • vera@gtc
      30/09/2014 at 15:34

      Thank you, Laurel! But my main drive to cook is that I have very specific ideas about what I want to eat (that and a lack of any decent take-aways around here:-)) which is perhaps less admirable… Plus cooking is a great way to procrastinate other tasks, I am doing something useful after all!
      My kids do eat all these dishes (though Sebastiaan was not happy about the bean & barley soup) whether that is because I am lucky or because they feel there is no choice, I do not know, but I will take it!

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