It's almost unbelievable, but summer has finally arrived in the UK! I can't describe how happy and thankful I am. After a couple of weeks of constant rain even P. had started to feel depressed. Our kitchen garden and lawn have been watered deeply and heavily, however I could see they were longing for the sunshine same we were.
When I saw the weather forecast for the past weekend, I knew instantly we wouldn't be staying at home for a moment longer than necessary. On Saturday we decided to take a photo walk to test my new zoom lens. So far I've been exclusively using prime lenses for food shots, however I started to feel the need for a zoom lens for taking pictures outside. I haven't yet fully explored the possibilities of the new lens, but I can already say I like it.
On Sunday, we went to a pick your own farm to get some fruits and vegetables which we don't grown in our mini kitchen garden. We picked lots of beets, some spring onions, baby courgettes, baby broccoli and gooseberries. I'm actually eating the gooseberries as I sit here and write this post. They are so sweet and delicious, and bring back so many memories of my childhood.
There was a reason for the huge amount of beets we picked. I'm planning to make beet chutney. I love beets in any form, but I've never tried to make beet chutney yet. If I like it, I will definitely share the recipe here. I also started using beet greens recently. I used to just discard them without realising how delicious they are! To be honest, I didn't know they are edible! Beet greens are very similar to chard leaves or fresh spinach leaves, and can be substituted for each other in many recipes. P. goes crazy for beet greens sauteed with garlic and chilli, seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. He doesn't really care too much for spinach though. Beet greens are particularly flavourful and rich in vitamins and minerals. They are wonderful in salads and soups, but they also make a great base for savoury tarts. We love savoury tarts in this house. However, I decided to make a crustless version to save time as we were too hungry. But you can use the recipe together with your favourite tart crust.
Before I leave you with the recipe, there's someone who wants to say hi! :) Have a wonderful week.
Naked (crustless) beet green quiche
2tbsp mild olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
500g beet greens, stems removed, coarsely chopped
3 slices smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
6 spring onions, finely sliced
150ml sour cream
65g cheddar, grated
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
Lightly butter a tart pan and preheat oven to 175°C.
Heat oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and sauté until soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili pepper and cook for another minute. Stir in beet greens and cook until they are wilted and soft, for about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid. In the same pan, fry the bacon over medium heat until slightly crispy. Add the bacon and spring onions to beet greens and toss well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, milk, cheddar and nut meg. Add the beet green mixture and stir to blend. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake until eggs are set, for about 30-40 minutes.