A while ago my friend asked me to make her a veg packed sauce for pasta and pizza that didn’t seem packed with veg. I came up with “A Sauce for Jenny“. Full of tomato, carrot, onion, garlic and squash it packed a punch in the vegetarian sauce stakes and was a hit with her vegetable phobic son. I have since found out that a number of other friends have been making the sauce and having equally as positive results with it.
Pasta is a staple in our house but tonight it was the turn of the rice and a mild vegetable curry to go with it.
I had some left over new potatoes that needed a culinary use so I combined these, sliced up, with a can of chick peas, a couple of roughly chopped carrots, half a de-seeded and finely chopped red chilli, some frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, some very finely sliced greens, a teaspoon of mild curry powder and about 200 ml of coconut milk to create a mild sauce that is packed with vegetables.
There is no hard and fast rule about what vegetables can go in it or in what quantity but I always serve it with a little boiled rice and some warm flat bread as the novelty of scooping up the curry and rice with the bread helps get most of it in J’s mouth and less of it in the bin!
- 5 boiled new potatoes, halved or quartered
- Can of chickpeas, drained
- Clove of garlic, crushed or chopped
- Half a red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- A cup of frozen peas
- A cup of frozen sweetcorn
- A handful of finely sliced spring greens
- A tablespoon of olive oil
- 200 ml of coconut milk
- Teaspoon of mild curry powder
Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and add all the ingredients apart from the coconut milk. Saute the vegetables until beginning to soften (or warm through the potato) before adding the coconut milk. Pop on the lid and cook for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice and warm flat bread.
I was sifting through my photographs the other day and I realised how many pictures that I have taken of my chive patch. It may be because, aside from my strawberries, they are one of the only things in the garden not to have been nibbled by beasties, sat on by my cat or dug up by my boy.
Last year I bought two tiny pots of chives from the garden centre. They looked sad and spindly, just a few stems on each. I planted them in a newly dug border at the patio end of the lawn. They grew well over the summer and provided us with many, many cutting of the delicious onion-y flavoured herb (delicious with buttered new potatoes, stirred in to a garlicky mayonnaise, sprinkled in salads and tossed over fritatta). When the winter arrived the bed filled with water and didn’t drain for weeks.
One of my main reasons for wanting a border of chives was for their beautiful, purple flowers. I got the idea of having an edible border was from Alys Fowler’s The Edible Garden. I liked the idea of having a pretty patch that provided colour as well as food. I also planted other cut and come again herbs, a small lavender (lavender flowers are delicious mixed in to ricotta cheese and stuffed into canelloni or ravioli) bush and some spring bulbs (for early colour, not edible). All but the chives perished in the boggy border.
In early April I decided to dig them out. I moved the chives to a pot on the patio and in to a corner of one of my small raised beds. The ends of the chives were yellowing and straggly so I cut them right back, being careful to avoid cutting off any flower heads. Within a few week the flower heads were beginning to turn purple, the recent spell of hot weather brought them into bloom and edible stems are plump and juicy. The boggy border has dried out a bit and has been grassed over. A new site for the edible bed has yet to be determined.