Monday, December 16, 2013

Just when you thought it was safe!

To go back into the garden, that is!

My last marrow post I ended with this note: "Only two more to go!" Well that was before I went to pick more that were growing.

We have loads more and while we have given many away, we were left with a huge amount which is exciting because even though we may be tired of having marrows with almost every meal, we can now start the grating and freezing process with clear conscience that we are not wasting fresh veggies.

I freeze them in portions and use them in veggie bread, fritters, pasta sauces, stews and soups in winter and gauging by the new flowers on the plants we have a while to go with harvesting and collecting this worthwhile vegetable.

I am also keenly aware that very soon the summer plague of mildew will hit my squash leaves which is always a sad event and even though I have tried numerous cures over the last 5 years we tend to let it take its course and then pull the plants up around the beginning of January.  If there were no mildew on the leaves we would have wonderful composting material but these leaves are thrown into the bin instead.

I do want to share this simple easy oven ratatouille recipe with you as it was simply delicious. Traditionally you use good layer veggies like egg plant and marrow but I only used marrow and sweet peppers.

I made a rich herby fresh tomato sauce by frying up about 4 crushed garlic cloves and one finely chopped onion then adding about 10 chopped tomatoes. A whole handful of fresh herbs - basil, thyme, oregano - went in along with 4 bay leaves and bubbled gently away.

Then I sliced up 4 large marrows and 6 peppers of different colours. I placed them in an oven dish, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and the tomato sauce and a good grating of Parmesan and then baked it for about 50 minutes. It was so delicious and the left overs were even better the next morning with fried eggs :)

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