Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The last of Winter, the beginning of Spring

All around me are signs of change.
I wake early to an abundance of light.
My head is heavy with pollen.

There is laughter from children around me on school holidays.

In the veggie patch there is abundance of green.
The broad beans have begun to give their jewelled green pods.
The silverbeet is heaving, happy to be regularly trimmed to allow new stems to mature.

My legs are bare of coloured & patterned tights but there are still as always, clogs upon my feet.

The fire is no longer being lit.
It is the end of the Winter's season of giving & the beginning of the Spring bounty.
Changes of season are always a time of reflection for me. A noticing of things I enjoy and will miss.

Citrus are coming to an end & so I am eating the last of the Oranges, keen to savour every last mouthful of flavour.

Growing your own food gives an extra sense of the fragility of our food system, an understanding of how it ebbs and flows all the while relying on factors out of our control.

This morning I harvested a large armful of silverbeet keen to have a green brekky.
I had some bread that needed to be re-utilised (here as breadcrumbs) and some oranges I was keen to use. And so here is what I made.

It is so special being able to eat a meal that no more than 30 minutes before was growing in your yard.

Gremolata is an Italian topping- probably most commonly known on top of the classic peasant dish OSSO BUCO.
It is a mix of Parsley, Lemon peel, and Garlic. I make mine the way I have always known according to the classic cook book by Ada Boni with the addition of Anchovies to add a salty richness to the mix. HEAVENLY.
Today though I didn't add anchovies and substituted the lemon for Orange rind.
A perfect match for the Silverbeet.

This is a delightful dish. Bold enough to stand on it's own or a perfect accompaniment for fish, eggs  or lamb.

  • a bunch of silver beet
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a bunch of parsley
  • zest and juice of an orange
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
In a food processor blitz the garlic, orange zest & parsley till mixed together and chopped fine.
Add 4 tablespoons of the gremolata to the breadcrumbs and set aside.

Chop the silverbeet including the stems- there is no reason to waste them!
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan to a medium heat.
Add garlic and cumin seeds and fry gently for a minute.
Add the silverbeet stems and fry for another minute.
Now add the leaves and the reserved orange juice.
Cover and steam till silverbeet is wilted- this will only take a minute or two.

Place the silverbeet in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the breadcrumb/gremolata mix over the top.
Place under the grill until breadcrumb browns.
Serve immediately.

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