Early May

The star of this week’s box had to be the green garlic, not least because the aroma was so powerful! No vampires near my house recently.

I had a very nice time disposing of the pungent plant and here’s how I did it.

 Green Garlic & Cheddar Omelette

 I cannot make omelettes in anything other than a non-stick skillet, and I rarely make more than a 2-3 egg omelette at one time; large omelettes are simply too hard to handle. This is a nice meal for one, or a few, since it should be eaten immediately and prepared one at a time.

For 2 omelettes:
1 green garlic, rinsed and patted dry
4-6 eggs
A pinch of sea salt
A splash of milk
Unsalted butter and vegetable oil, for cooking
Cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 2 tbsp per omelette)
Chopped fresh parsley and fresh ground black pepper, to serve

Trim the root end from the garlic. Cut off the white bulb from the green stalk, then halve and slice thinly. Slice the green stalks into small pieces. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk half of the eggs until frothy. Add the salt and a splash of milk and whisk to blend. Set aside.

Combine the white and green garlic and a generous knob of butter and a splodge of oil in a small non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just beginning to colour. Transfer to a small plate.

Heat a generous knob of butter in the same skillet used for the garlic over medium-high heat. When sizzling, pour in the whisked eggs and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, without disturbing the eggs for a few minutes, until a firm layer begins to set on the bottom. With a thin-edged rubber spatula, lift the edges of the omelette and tilt and swirl the pan so the runny egg from the top goes underneath to cook; try not to tear the firm layer which has already set. Do this all around the omelette, lower the heat near the end so the egg cooks but does not go too brown on the bottom. It should still be jiggly on top when filled.

To fill, imagine a line down the middle of the omelette, and spoon half of the cooked garlic and a small handful of grated cheese just the other side of the middle, on the side away from the handle (which will make it easier to slide onto the plate). Using the spatula, fold over to enclose the filling and slide onto the plate. Serve immediately.


Sautéed Cabbage with Green Garlic, Bacon & Cream

 It is GCSE season at my house so my teenage son has had a fair few grumpy days. To help soothe frazzled pre-exam nerves, I offered a rare treat in the form of one of his favourite meals: a big slab of meat. I served this cabbage with a pan-seared sirloin steak. My son wouldn’t touch this, but he appreciated the steak.

 1 head cabbage, blanched (see End April post)
Unsalted butter and vegetable oil, such as rapeseed or use olive
1 green garlic, rinsed and patted dry
1-2 thick slices smoked bacon
200 g thick cream, such as crème fraiche
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley

Chop the blanched cabbage into bite-size pieces.

 In a large sauté pan, combine a large knob of butter and a good glug of oil and heat until melted.

 Add the garlic and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden.

Add the cabbage and stir well. Season and cook until wilted, 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the cream, heat through and taste for seasoning. Adjust as required, stir in the parsley and serve.


 The huge bunch of farm-fresh parsley was also inspirational and it cropped up in most things last week. There is 1 small sprig left as I type, but I still have some of the salsa verde as this keeps well. A very good use for a large bunch of parsley.

 Serve the salsa verde with plain roasted or grilled meat, poultry or fish. It was also very nice spooned over simply steamed new potatoes, the ones from the box of course. Most recipes call for olive oil but I used organic (British!) rapeseed oil and it tasted gorgeous. I’m using this oil more and more, to wean myself off the expensive olive stuff, and it is working. The other diversion is the fresh chilli; it is not traditional but I quite like it in this sauce.

Salsa Verde with Green Garlic

1 green garlic, rinsed, patted dry and coarsely chopped
2 heaped tbsp capers
1 tin anchovy fillets, oil and all
Huge bunch parsley
About 8 sprigs basil, leaves only
About 8 sprigs mint, leaves only
1 small green chilli, trimmed (optional)
4 tbsp wine vinegar
At least 150 ml oil, probably more
Fresh ground black pepper
Lemon juice, optional

 Put everything but the oil in the bowl of a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream. If the sauce is too thick, add more oil gradually until it has a consistency you like.

With a spatula, transfer to a serving bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning as required, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice if it seems necessary.

You can use the sauce immediately but it will taste better if it stands for at least an hour or so before serving. Keep covered in a cool place or in the refrigerator.


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