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My favourite harvest recipes
To celebrate Gardeners’ World Magazine’s Harvest Week, running from 12-18 September, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite easy harvest recipes. One of them is a salad – so isn’t technically a recipe – but it’s so good it’s worth a mention.
I love the way home-grown salads start off as a meagre collection of leaves in spring, then steadily grow as tomatoes, broad beans and other ingredients are ready to harvest. The watercress growing in my pond is always the first leaf crop I pick, followed by tiny amounts of mint and anything I’ve managed to grow indoors.
By summer I am able to make what my partner and I call a ‘Chef Salad’, based on a wonderful dish we once had while dining out. It consists of as many types of leaf as possible, plus tomatoes, broad and French beans (depending on what I’ve grown that year), plus marinated tofu pieces and cubes of feta or haloumi cheese.
For a comfort food fix, I combine the first of my potatoes with the last of the broad beans to make a fantastic warm, potato salad. I simply boil and drain the spuds, add lots of mayonnaise, a dash of mustard, some virgin olive oil and a splash of cider vinegar, then mix together and top with freshly picked, steamed broad beans and mint. Heaven.
With tomatoes, I whip up a wonderfully cheap and easy pasta sauce by frying halved cherry tomatoes in a little oil, adding a splash of cider vinegar and heaps of chopped rosemary, then garlic and chilli. I mix tagliatelle or fusilli and chopped up pieces of mozzarella into the sauce, and serve with a large sprig of basil.
Another favourite tomato recipe is Yottam Ottolenghi’s tomato gallette. This is a great one for the end of the season as you can add a few green tomatoes, too. One day I’ll sun-dry my own tomatoes to make the sun-dried tomato puree but, for now, I get these out of a jar.
What are your favourite harvest recipes?
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