Adventures in Small Scale Farming in an English Cottage Garden with Seasonal Tips and Recipes
Monday, 22 March 2010
Winter Really is Over, Almost...
As I said yesterday, I'm still thinking longingly of fresh spring salads, and herbs, and I've sown some Basil in my propagator, but as I don't expect to harvest any for quite some time, I've invested in a pot from Tesco.
I say invested as it pains me somewhat to pay over a pound for a small pot of basil. However I gain some satisfaction from potting it into a large pot, and if I water and feed it copiously, I find I can encourage the plant to continue to crop for several weeks, thus offsetting my initial investment. Clearly Tescos don't want you to do this, they would prefer you to buy another pot next week, and so they sell the plant at just short of it's exhaustion point in a tiny pot, and however carefully you water it, if you keep it in this tiny pot it will surely die. So make sure you give the plant plenty of new compost in a decent sized pot, and plenty of water and plant food. Take your crop, and leave it on a light sunny windowsill to produce a new crop of leaves. I made some pesto with mine as it reminds me of summer, and I've also just bought this little chopper gadget from Lidl.
It was only £10, and it's really very good. I had one of those little Kenwood mini choppers, but I found it too tiny to be of much use. This one is bigger, solidly built, easier to use, and cheaper.
Ingredients can be very variable depending on what you have in and what you fancy:
Couple of handfuls of basil
2 large cloves garlic
1oz/30g pinenuts or walnuts
100ml/quarter pint olive oil
parmesan cheese, grated to taste around a couple of ounces
Whizz everything in the chopper, or use a processor until blended.
Tip into a jar and keep in the fridge.
Ensure you use a crust of bread to clean the bits you can't get out of the bowl,
and eat it. Cooks treat.
Drizzle on salads, bread, with steaks, almost anything, (not Sherry Trifle obviously) and it will help you start to feel like Winter Really Is Over, Almost.