Courgette & beet greens risotto

Growing my own food is still very exciting at the moment. This week I didn’t have to buy any veg, and what I did eat was delicious. I really enjoyed finding ways to use as much of it as possible. I only learned about a year ago that you could eat the greens on beets (though, no, I can’t tell you why it took me that long to work it out). Using them with the massive courgette in a risotto seemed like a great idea. As you may be able to tell, I had it with salmon (though as you can also tell, I am not good at cooking fish!).

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I started the risotto as usual, sauteeing the uncooked rice for a couple of minutes before adding a little bit of white wine and vegetable stock. In the meantime, I chopped up the courgette into quarters.

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I also washed the beet leaves, then roughly chopped them.

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I added the courgette first, because I know beet leaves taste a bit like spinach and, for me, don’t taste brilliant if they’re cooked for a long time.

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When the rice was nearly cooked, I added the beet leaves. I then finished cooking the rice as per a normal risotto, then removed it from heat and added a little bit of shredded cheese.

All in all it was pretty tasty & I would recommend it!

Have you been doing any creative cooking lately?

Sauteed potatoes & mushrooms – with homegrown potatoes!

I can now say I’ve had the pleasure of eating something I’ve grown myself, and it tasted delicious! There were about two hours between when we pulled them out of the ground and when I started cooking them.

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As you can imagine, I wanted to make something plain that would really showcase the flavour of the potatoes. I’d planned to make chicken that night and thought sauteed potatoes would go really well. They’re also quick, always a good thing.

The potatoes looked beautiful after I’d scrubbed the dirt off them. The skin was paper-thin and lots of it came off as I scrubbed. I think that was actually a shame, as I do like the extra crunch you get with potato skin.

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I then cut the potatoes into quarters and sliced each of them.

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They were then sauteed with salt and pepper in a pan over medium-high heat until they were cooked (i.e. translucent and slightly soft to the touch.). Then the mushrooms were added, along with some paprika.

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Once the mushrooms were cooked, I turned up the heat to make it all a little crispy. P1020175

It wasn’t perfect; the pan was overcrowded, so it didn’t all get as crispy as I would’ve like. Nonetheless, I think it’s one of the best dishes I’ve eaten 🙂

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Lachmajou

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I get bored eating the same things over and over, so I always look out for cookbooks or recipes from other cultures. Falling Cloudberries fits the bill perfectly. Recipes reflect Tessa Kiros’ family heritage – Greek, Finnish, Cyprian, South African and Italian. I first saw it in Waterstones, but couldn’t quite persuade myself to buy it at the time. Would I be able to find all the ingredients? Would I actually use it? Well, when it was donated to my local Oxfam bookshop, I had no excuse to resist as it was only £5.

It’s been a good investment so far. A few weeks ago I made pastitsio, which was absolutely delicious! Last week mince was on offer at my local shop, so I had a look for more inspiration. I settled on lachmajou. Kiros describes lachmajou as small pizzas. It’s basically spiced mince (traditionally lamb) baked on thin, light bread. I spent about 40 minutes making it, but if the meat had been prepared in advance it would only have taken about 15. I also added some chopped courgette to the meat to try to make it a little healthier (though I think it is pretty healthy anyway!).

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I was in a rush, so I didn’t make the bread and instead used pita bread. However, next time I will try making the bread, too. It’s a very simple recipe and doesn’t look any more complex than making pizza dough (which I’ve done & think is really quite easy). The pita was okay, but I think it made the lachmajou a little dry in spite of using the lemon juice recommended by Kiros. I suspect the texture was also different than intended. I think with a raita or other yogurt-based sauce it would be amazing, so next time I will have some handy.P1010866

Overall, lachmajou was a great, quick alternative to pasta, pizza, stir fries and curries, which are our weekday dinner staples.The flavours are unusual to my thoroughly American/English palate, which is also nice! My husband and I both enjoyed it, so I will definitely be cooking this again.