We have been eating our way through a magnificent crop of spinach that has lasted since last spring, all through summer into autumn, and now into winter. However, I can see that it is getting taller and thinner, and is starting to bolt and will be all flowers and seed heads as soon as the days get just a bit warmer and the day length longer.
So I have planted a row of new seeds to get a follow-on crop. These have been a bit slow to germinate, as it is a little too early and the ground is still very cold. We are past the solstice now, so the days are getting longer and they will get a good start for the next summer season. That is if they don’t bolt straight to seed – which is a distinct possibility.
I have also planted broad bean seeds for a spring crop. They are quite particular about their flowering and bean set requirements. If I plant them too early, they will come up and flourish and flower, but not one single bean will set on those prolific flowers, not until the weather is warm enough and the chemical enzymes switch on. Then and only then will they set fruit. They can flower for a month or more waiting for that chemical trigger. Then they set beans for about a few weeks only and suddenly stop as soon as the weather gets too hot for them.
I should have also planted some peas, but I have been too busy making work for my joint show with Sandy Lockwood and Meg Patey at Sturt Gallery in a couple of weeks. I‘ll get round to it as soon as the show is up and running. I have put so many things on hold for this show. I’ll be flat out busy for some weeks catching up. But then, I’m always a bit busy. I’m that sort of bloke.
I picked an arm-full of spinach for dinner, about 30 or so leaves. I finely chopped the stalks and sautéed them in a little EV olive oil with onion and garlic. Janine came into the kitchen and stopped dead in her tracks. “That smells delicious! What are you cooking? Just smelling that makes me hungry! What is it?” I tell her that it’s just olive oil, onion and garlic so far, but it sure smells like every great meal that you can remember. There is something so essential and flavourful about it. I’m starting to make a simple spinach and 3 cheeses dish for dinner. I don’t want to see any of that wonderfull spinach go to waste. it’s a simple, quick and healthy meal. I gently fry the onion mix for a few minutes to get it soft, then add all the roughly chopped spinach leaves and a tiny dash of water, turning them often to steam them and sweat them down to a soft state. Once softened, I add 100 grams of gorgonzola dolce for the delicious sharpe tang and a little sweetness, some grated cheddar which melts out into the sauce and finally, I add half a block of fetta, as small cubes, this is for some texture in the finished dish, as fetta doesn’t really soften. It also adds the only salt in this dish. It all mellows out into a lovely creamy sauce all through the sweated spinach.
I served this with a few steamed potatoes dressed with a little olive oil. A simple and quick evening meal.
We have a little left over that I put in the fridge for lunch tomorrow. I take one sheet of puff pastry cut into small squares, add a dollop of the spinach mix and fold over diagonally, then bake at 180 for 15 mins or until golden. These little traditional parcels make a warming and easy lunch instead of a sandwich. Nothing left over and nothing wasted.
While I wasn’t cooking lunch and dinner, I have been making pots for my show at Sturt with Sandy and Meg, opening on the 24th.
Sericite porcelain dishes with pigments and on-glaze gold, platinum and copper lustres
You must be logged in to post a comment.