Tomatoes alla Nonna Nuccia

In the green house I still have a few plants of tomatoes ripening now: for the first time I have been able to make this recipe, one of my favourite memories of summer lunches at my Nonna Nuccia’s house:

4 Tomatoes
2 Cloves of garlic
1 bunch of parsley
Oil
Salt
1 hard boiled egg

Place the tomatoes on a cutting board, cut them horizontally and deseed them.
Put a little salt in each hole and leave to drain upside down for a few minutes up to half an hour ( if I am in a hurry I don’t bother with this step!)
Chop garlic and parsley with a chopper, then fill each hole with a pinch of herbs.
Warm up some oil in a frying pan, put the tomatoes  skin down in the pan and let them sizzle for a few minutes then cover with a lid lower the flame and let cook for about 15 minutes, basting them with their juices every so often. If they dry up add a little water.
In the mean time hard boil an egg  and slice it  into thin slices.
When the tomatoes are very soft but still keeping the shape put on every half a slice of egg and baste one more time with the juices. Increase the heat and let the water evaporate without the lid and switch off.
Serve straight from the pan.IMG_7293red

Summer is still here…

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A surprise to find still courgettes flowers in October, these last few weeks of sunshine have made the miracle, I fear it will soon be dark and cold and wet though…

Quiche with Chard and courgette flowers as in my book My corner of Italy, with the addition of decorative courgette flowers filled with ricotta:

300g chard
1 clove of garlic
Oil
Ready-made puff pastry 1 packet
2 eggs
Bechamelle sauce
Choice of cheeses

Fry the garlic in oil and when it starts to brown add the chard. Add some salt and close the lid. When all the vegetable water has come out take off the lid and finish off the cooking until it has gone.
Prepare a baking tray with a rim and lay in it the puff pastry, covering the sides.
Prepare the bechamelle sauce.  Beat the eggs, add the bechamelle sauce, the vegetables and the cheese and pour into the baking tray. Sprinkle generously with parmesan (or other cheese) and bake for 40 minutes at 160°C.
This recipe works as well also without the pastry crust.

Strawberries

It is a long process but it is very rewarding. Every year I clear my strawberry patch select the best plants and then cover the soil between them to avoid too many weeds and slugs. I cover the bed with nets against the birds and then forget about it for three month. Suddenly I notice the red appear and then I have to wait patiently until they are ripe all over. There is always a white patch on the underside. Another challenge is to get all the way home without eating them…

Tonight it is the first time we have a reasonable amount to eat for dinner and served in my “Wave” bowl ( see http://www.ldbceramics.com for more detail on the bowls)strawberries

40 tomato plants

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We had a few days of sunshine and the little plants were struggling to grow in the individual pots, so i took the courage and planted them outside, covered at night with a plastic tunnel. They seem very cold though, we have had a week of chilly winds and much lower temperatures than the week before. Let’s hope they survive…. The cabbages, peas and sprouts are happy though, but no sign of carrots even under the environmetal net….

April is a stressful month at the allotment!

First courgettes (plants)!

I was worried because none of my seeds had sprouted, then a surprise! 4 lovely plants of courgettes have appeared, so now I transplanted them in bigger pots and one in the floor of the greenhouse, so more seeds are now ready to be put in the propagators.

It is a stressful moment when the seeds are not coming up, because the window is so short and  the plant would not produce in the Summer if they don’t sprout now.

I have continued the potato planting and the strawberry patch cleaning.

Spring is rushing me

Suddenly everything is growing, the grass, the weeds and even the vegetables.

I have started to clean the strawberry patch and move the plants to a new bed, Seeded more chard and beetroots in the same bed and some rocket. I transferred some salad in less crouded pots still in the greenhouse and my battle agaist snails and slugs has begun.

I have already changed the plot plan from the original

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