Friday, 21 August 2009

Who needs Abel & Cole?

I was going to blog about this a couple of weeks ago, but decided it was a bit too smug. But then I got over it. *

This little crate of loveliness is from my sister's allotment. We've had various 'deliveries' over the last few weeks, including : onions, both red & white, shallots, potatoes, runner beans, french beans, beetroots, a few carrots, broccoli and LOTS of courgettes. Oh and of course not forgetting the wonderful raspberries which I made in to raspberry ripple ice cream. Her produce is quite simply amazing and we are very lucky.

Together with our own 25 tomato plants cropping like an Essex chav shells out babies, we have been blessed. It has been a little challenging shall I say in using all of our bounty and creating something new and exciting. But knowing how hard my sister has worked on her allotment to produce this wonderful veg, we have endeavoured not to waste a single bean. I would be lying though, if I didn't tell you that there was a faint whimper from the other side of the dining table, when I brought in the 'Sunday roast courgette'. I jest, there's been plenty of carnivorous accompaniments. Mike is more likely to eat a vegetarian than become one.

With regard to our tomatoes, I know that 25 tomato plants sounds a lot, it is a lot but as they crop, those we can't eat while they're still fresh, I just roast, then use a wonderful contraption called a mouli, which sieves all the skins and pips out. It's then reduced down until it's a bit thicker and you have lovely fresh passata, which goes into the freezer to use during the rest of the year.

Anyway, here's a small selection of how we've used our veg.

Char grilled courgettes & pepper with feta & herbs

The start of a spanish omelette

Roasted tomato & bean stew

Tom & basil bruschetta

Courgette fritters

Roasted toms, courgette & bacon pasta sauce

Courgette pickle & chutney

*I should point out that this is by no means a dig at those who did accept the Abel & Cole produce (and I mean that). I also had their offer, but turned them down.


  1. Wow, wow and wow! Your sister is a talented lady. Bet it all tasted better for all her efforts.

    Still VERY impressed with your passata making. The sauce just tastes better with fresh tomatoes doesn't it?

  2. Ah lucky you! So wish I had an allotment, that really is a crate of loveliness.

    Great ideas for how to use up all those veggies, am now inspired to go cook something with courgettes languishing in my fridge :)

  3. Ah, if only we could all have allotments. Currently on my balcony I'm in the midst of a chilli glut, but the tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines are pretty dormant...

  4. Very very impressed by your wonderful looking creations. Why did you turn Abel & Cole down?

  5. Hiya Sis, what an amazing array of gorgeousness you turned those few veggies into.

    It was very sweet of you to give me a mention but you play a big part in the success of the allotment by taking the time to save all your kitchen and garden waste for my compost heap.

    It's no fun having a tubtrug full of peelings festering up your back passage but you suffer for the cause ;o)

  6. Did someone just make a back passage joke?!!! oooh missus - it's all gone a bit carry on allotment.

    Very impressive bunch of cooking Jan - all looks so good.....
    You seem to have a glut of courgette chutney there, you selling it? or is it for personal use?
    I'm mightily impressed - I want to pickle stuff and put it in jars as well....may have to pick your brains on that as you appear to be an expert.

  7. Wow, that's some seriously great looking produce there and such delicious looking food that you cooked as well! I would love to have a vegetable garden here, but alas, the rabbits would eat it all. We grow what we can in pots, but thats all.

  8. Oh crap, I hope you're not expecting such a fantastic haul when you come to visit for the WMPC exchange ;)

    Very interested in the mouli contraption, where does one get one?

  9. Fran - Thank you. Yes you're right, fresh is best! Trouble is, it spoils you doesn't it?

    Signe - I'm very lucky!

    Lizzie - That's a shame, but I'm sure they'll get there

    Diane - Thank you very much. Why did I turn A&C down? Well I knew that I was going to regularly receive all this, so it seemed a bit pointless really and in a way disloyal to my sister - if that makes sense.

    Lynne - I'll speak to you later ;)

    Dan - Yes it was. We have an odd sense of humour in my family! You'd be very welcome to some chutney. We're overdue for a meet up aren't we? I'll be more than happy to pass on any recipes and tips Dan

    Marie - Many thanks. How about growing stuff in some large pots? Might be worth a try.

    Food Urchin - They're brilliant Dan. We bought ours in France, but I've seen them here. Maybe a good cookshop or even the internet? Just a word of advice - don't buy cheap - if they're flimsy they're hard to use.

  10. I totally agree who needs A&C, when you have got your sisters plot. All the dishes look fresh, vibrant and delicious!