As the winter is slowly coming to an end, the homegrown provisions are running low and it becomes impossible to harvest enough for a full week of meals. We are digging up the last parsnips, cooking the last homegrown dried beans and opening the last jar of apple butter. But it still makes me happy that even at this fairly barren time in the garden, there is enough to put several, at least partially, homegrown dinners on the table.
Luckily, it’s almost time to start sowing again and let the new garden season begin.
As per usual, on Sunday we went to the allotment and this was the harvest we brought home:
Borecole, leeks, parsnips, chard, land cress, corn salad and winter purslane.
Later I went to the community garden and harvested more kale and chard, and some rocket. I filled a bag with Jerusalem artichokes, too.
On Sunday I sat down to make the meal plan for the week.
This is how I go about: first I make a list of the vegetables. Next to it, I brainstorm meals that can be made from them, taking into account the wishes of other family members. Then I allocate each meal to a specific day in the week. Usually I try to use up the leafy vegetables first and keep the roots for later in the week, since their quality does not diminish so quickly in storage. But I also have to take into account my schedule on any given day: when I’m working during the day and teaching in the evening, I want something quick and easy and not an elaborate meal I have never made before.
(I usually write all my notes in a confusing mix of three languages which makes them mostly impossible to read for anyone else)
Even though a meal plan requires quite a bit of time to put together, later in the week I am so glad I have one. After a busy work day, it is not the cooking itself that I mind, on the contrary, I quite enjoy a bit of mindless chopping and stirring. It is having to think about what to cook that becomes too much for my over-heated brain.
Sunday breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with apple butter
Sunday is the moment for a more elaborate breakfast – the rest of the week it’s either muesli, smoothie or porridge. The apple butter was our last jar, made in the fall with windfalls from our neighbours’ garden. The recipe for the pancakes can be found here.
Dinner: Omelette with cheese, potato mash and a salad of winter greens
Omelette is a what we make very often for dinner on Sunday – it’s easy and quick and everybody likes it. Often I make it with sautéed chard leaves but this time I wanted to safe the chard for another dish. The salad greens (land cress, rocket, winter purslane and corn salad) were all home grown.
Monday: Tagliatelle with winter greens, brown butter and walnuts
The greens (kale and chard) were home grown, the walnuts from our friends’ garden. Recipe here: tagliatelle with chard kale and brown butter
Tuesday: Bean stew with kale and rosemary
The last dried beans from the community garden and some homegrown kale. Rosemary also was from our garden.
Also: Thumbprint cookies with red currant jelly
Esther got sugar cravings and baked these thumbprint cookies using up our last jar of red currant jelly.
Wednesday: Leek tart in buckwheat crust
Home grown leeks and thyme. I started with the intention of making a tart dough, then ran out of time and so made the brilliant crust with kasha (buckwheat groats) which takes just minutes to prepare and is healthier, too. Recipe for the crust here.
Thursday: Parsnip soup with parsley pesto
Homegrown parsnips, some of the last though.
Friday: Roasted Jerusalem artichokes with sage, tomatoes and Kalamata olives
A brilliant Ottolenghi recipe and probably my favourite way of preparing Jerusalem artichokes. The chokes and sage were homegrown.
It is fun to see how what we eat changes with the seasons. Here are the previous “A week of eating from the garden” posts: