Jane's Delicious Garden Blog


Fresh and Easy

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the September 20th, 2019

Abundant spring herbs add flavour to any meal. Here a blend herbs, nuts and spices create a delicious feast.

I served this chunky cashew nut pesto with herbed cous cous, tramezzini, hummus and a fresh salad. But also try it on top of roasted eggplant

Chunky Cashew nut and herb pesto.

• roast cashew nuts in cast iron pan til just browned. Remove from pan and sprinkle with pul biber.

• roast cumin seeds in same pan til fragrant and add to cashew nuts.

• blend basil and coriander leaves with olive oil.

• add cashew nut mix and blend briefly so they are chopped but still chunky.

• add salt, lemon juice and Black Gold balsamic to taste

Cous cous with herb sauce

• blend basil and parsley with olive oil.

• add Moroccan spice, lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste

• mix with fluffy cous cous.

Humus

• blend one garlic clove and about ½ a teaspoon of salt with a quarter of a cup of fresh lemon juice. Leave to sit for 20 minutes. (This tempers the garlic.)

• Add ½ a cup of tahini and a tablespoon of cold water. Blend. Add another tablespoon and blend til smooth. Add more water if the tahini was very thick.

• Add ½ teaspoon of cumin, 1 Tbs olive oil and a can of drained chickpeas. Blend til smooth.

• Add more water and/or olive oil if too thick and blend. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice to taste.

• serve drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of pul biber.

Basic pest repelling spray

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the September 9th, 2019

Healthy organic gardens always have a few resident pests to provide fodder for predatory, beneficial insects, which in turn reduce the need for additional pest control. However, when these troublesome pests begin to destroy the garden, you need to take action. To dissuade them, grow strong smelling plants such as citronella pelargonium, artemisia, tansy and feverfew among your flowers and veggies. Use their leaves as pest repelling mulch or to whip up an inexpensive home-made spray.

Recipe
  • ½ bucket leaves and stems of citronella pelargonium elder, tansy, feverfew or African wormwood
  • just-boiled water
  • 2T dishwashing liquid

1. Add the water to the bucket of leaves and stems, stir and leave to stand overnight.

2. Strain, add dish-washing liquid and mix.

3. Spray onto affected plants every few days as this herbal insecticide breaks down quickly. Make sure you spray underneath the leaves as well as on top.

Tips
  • The spray will keep for up to a month.
  • Don’t discard the leaves and stems after they’ve been steeped in water, rather add them to your compost heap.
  • To increase the efficacy of the basic spray, include garlic, onion and chilli. Chop these ingredients up finely and add to the plants with the just-boiled water.
  • To repel wool-eating moths, dry the leaves of elder, tansy, citronella pelargonium, feverfew or African wormwood and place in single socks. Tie the top closed with a ribbon and tuck amongst your woollies.

Perfect Pizza base

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the August 25th, 2019
  • I love a thin crispy pizza crust and they are surprisingly easy and quick to make.
  • Here is my recipe.
  • INGREDIENTS

    •  ¾ cups lukewarm water
    • 1tsp instant yeast
    • 1½ tsp salt
    • 2 cups Tipo 00 flour
    • olive oil, for greasing

    METHOD

    1. Combine the water and yeast in a bowl and stir. Add the salt and flour and mix until combined.
    2. Turn the shaggy dough (and any loose flour) onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
    3. Shape the dough into a ball and place inside an olive oil greased bowl, turning so the dough is covered with oil. Cover and leave to rise for about an hour and a half, until doubled in size.
    4. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature.
    5. Place a pizza stone or baking tray in the lower middle part of the oven.
    6. Halve the dough with a dough scraper. Take one piece and form it into a large disc using your hands to pull, turn and stretch it. Place it on a 30cm piece of baking paper. If you want it even thinner, use a rolling pin. (It will stick to the paper, but when it bakes, the dough will release from the paper.) If the dough starts shrinking back, leave it to rest for five minutes before trying again.
    7. Repeat with the second half of dough.
    8. Add your toppings and place the pizza (with the baking paper) in the oven. Bake for about five minutes then rotate the pizza, removing the paper as you do. Bake for a further 5 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
    9. Repeat with the second pizza

     Makes two 25cm pizzas

    One bowl Wonder.

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the July 15th, 2019

    I love roasting a whole chicken and then using the leftovers for various meals. Tonight I made a meal served in one bowl, but each of the components is cooked separately with different flavours. This creates a wonderful mix when served over rice, with the different flavours popping out.

    It is all cooked in one pan, with each element decanted into separate bowls and kept warm.

    1. Chinese five spice eggplant.

    Cut eggplant into medium thick slices, quarter and toss with flour and five spice powder.

    Sauté quickly in olive oil until browned and soft in the middle. Remove from pan onto paper towel.

    2. Spicy carrots.

    Slice carrots into sticks. Chop garlic, ginger and fresh chilli. Segment a couple of naartjies. Sauté carrots for a minute or two until just starting to brown. Add the naartjie segments, garlic, ginger and chilli. Continue sautéing until the garlic is just starting to brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle with dried mint and a pinch of sea salt.

    3. Cashew courgettes

    Slice courgettes lengthwise into quarters. Sauté with cashew nuts until starting to brown. Sprinkle with pul biber and a squeeze of lime. Remove from heat.

    4. Chicken with delish sauce

    Add shredded roast chicken to pan, add Indonesian sweet soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir through and taste to check it is the right balance of salty and sweet. Simmer til just thickened and add a squeeze of lemon.

    Hügelkultur – sort of!

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the May 16th, 2019

    Years ago I created a vegetable garden for my Dad, whose back was starting to give him trouble. I used an upturned swimming pool pump cover placed on an old table. Instead of filling the entire volume with costly growing medium, I filled the curved base with a thick layer of branches pruned from a Pride of India. These were covered with a deep layer of fertile growing medium. A year or so later my Mom said she “didn’t know what was going on with Dad’s vegetable garden. It’s full of Pride of India saplings! Where could they have come from?” 🤣

    Fast forward to this week in my garden. I have two new lovely raised beds from Rain Queen.

    I have been reading about hügelkultur and thought I’d try a version in my new raised beds. But I remembered my experience with Dad’s garden, so I used well aged logs. We split them and packed the base with them (positioned vertically) and covered them with leaves, wetting and squishing them to fill the gaps.

    This filled the raised beds about two thirds. I dribbled EM over the logs (Effective Micro organisms) and added some mycorrhizal fungi. The EM will encourage the logs to break down and the fungi will help the plants’ roots take up more nutrients.

    I then covered the logs with a rich layer of compost, coco peat and Fertilis, with some Talborne Vita Veg mixed in.

    And planted up the raised bed with seedlings.

    I love experimenting with new ways of doing things. We will see how this one grows!!

    Squash slices with haloumi, salsa and yoghurt.

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the March 24th, 2019

    • Cut squash into thick slices. Sprinkle with spices of your choice. (I used a mix of Herbes de Provence, dried chipotle chilli, salt and pepper.) Sprinkle with flour.
    • Heat olive oil in cast iron pan and cook squash until nicely browned on both sides.
    • While squash cooks, cut ends off red onion and cut in half. Cook in a smaller cast iron pan, turning a few times, until almost blackened on cut sides.
    • Cook haloumi slices in a little olive oil til browned.
    • Chop cherry toms, fruit salad plant fruit and jalapeño. Mix in bowl together with mirin, white wine vinegar, dried mint, salt and pepper. Toss.
    • Mix yoghurt with dried mint and a pinch of salt. Toss roast pine nuts on top and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with pul biber (Turkish red pepper).
    • Just before serving reheat squash slices and onion.
    • Place squash on bed of baby spinach, add halloumi and red onion and top with salsa. Drizzle with pomegranate concentrate.
    • Serve with yoghurt and crisp sour dough bread to mop it all up.

    Crunchy (sort of) Coleslaw

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the September 6th, 2018

    We eat with our eyes. This colourful salad has purple & green cabbage, psychedelic watermelon radish & kohlrabi. To balance all this crunch there is mozzarella cheese, avocado and a creamy, slightly sweet & peppery dressing. Roasted pine nuts round it off.

    Salad

    • Green & purple cabbage, sliced
    • Thinly sliced watermelon radish
    • Kohlrabi cut into sticks
    • Avocado pear slices
    • Chunks of mozzarella
    • Roast pine nuts
  • Dressing
    • Mayonnaise
    • Milk
    • Dash of sweet chilli sauce
    • Dried chilli flakes to taste
    • Lemon juice
    • Pepper & salt to taste

    Delishissness!

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the August 5th, 2018

    Best potatoes ever!

    Roast potatoes with sundried onion slivers, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of salt, on a bed of rocket with a squeeze of lemon.

    So yum!

    Rex Union Marmalade. 

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the July 2nd, 2018

    It’s marmalade making month

    I have a pocket of Rex Union oranges. Their claim to be “the World’s Best for Marmalade” is no hollow boast. They make the most delicious tangy marmalade. You can read more about their history here.

    I have recently heard that the new owner is looking after the trees and hopefully they won’t die out. Rex Union oranges are available from Cheese Gourmet.

    My easy marmalade recipe

    * Put 6 whole washed oranges in a pressure cooker and add water to half cover. 

    * Cook on high pressure for 20 mins and leave until steam is released. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place whole oranges in a pot, nearly cover with waterand boil until soft.)

    * When cool enough to handle, cut oranges into segments, remove any pips and thick pith. Slice finely. 

    * Mix chopped oranges and the cooking water together. Measure how many cups there are and measure equal number of cups of sugar. 

    * Mix together in a large pot. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. 

    * Increase heat to high and boil quickly, stirring often, until it reaches the wrinkle stage. 

    * Spoon into sterilised bottles and seal.

    6 oranges makes approximately 12 X 250 ml bottles.

    Psychedelic Salad

    Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the June 22nd, 2018

    The watermelon radish has to be one of the most striking vegetables I have ever seen. Tonight I made a salad of watercress, sliced watermelon radish and papaya. I served it with thin slices of ribeye steak drizzled with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, roast cumin seeds, five spice powder, sugar, salt and pepper. 

    Most Deeelicious. 

    Watermelon radish are an heirloom variety of daikon radish. They are as easy to grow as normal radishes, but take a bit longer to mature. They are super crisp with a mild peppery sweet flavour. 

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