Being botanically curious, each season we seem to wind up with a few vegetables that we've nurtured, grown and harvested and then had no idea what to do with. You know the ones... khol rabi, mizuna, gourds, new guinea beans to name a few. Some of these end up becoming staples in the patch once you get the hang of how to cook them (hello khol rabi). Others end up oddities, worthy of little more than talking points for visitors to the patch (looking at YOU new guinea beans).
Well this season's crop of odd vege comprises the black radish, purple cauliflower and scarlet flowered broad beans. To update you on our progress with these thus far... the black radishes have proven themselves to be a spectacular failure in the kitchen. Sure... they were easy to grow, germinated early, grew fast, required little care but we gotta say, the skin tastes as rough and bumpy as it looks and the flavour is kind of average to boring. Not to be thwarted, I cruised Pinterest looking for any exciting recipes for radishes in the hope of discovering some new, exciting dish to present to the family as their new favourite 'thing'. It turns out that pickled radishes are a 'thing' so I thought I'd give them a whirl. I carefully sliced the radishes, layered them with thinly sliced onions, added vinegar and sugar then lovingly selected some lemon thyme and juniper berries to add a little piquant specialness to the whole affair and popped my concoction in the fridge, as per instructions.
In theory, they were gonna be fab. They looked the business and (to begin with) they smelled the business too but by the end of the day, each time someone opened the fridge an odd odour came out. And it got stronger every time! Truth be told but they smelled like (...farts...). Needless to say, no-one really felt like gobbling them down or adding them to a sandwich. We sadly offered them to the chooks but I don't think they took up the offer either.
Nevermind, a few weeks down the track, we peeked inside the cauliflowers and found these most perfectly formed and beautiful heads of royal purple. I'm stoked to report that apart from looking darn spectacular, they're pretty awesome in the taste department too. I'd go so far as to say, I prefer them to the regular white variety.
As for the scarlet broad beans, well, time will tell. They're well over 2 feet tall now and we're yet to see any signs of a pod but I must admit, I'm in no rush, they can take their time and flower and flower until their little green hearts are content because, look at them... they're gorgeous!
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