I love my veggie garden - I love planning what to plant, sowing the seeds, watching it grow and especially eating the spoils! But I'm not an amazing gardener; I don't have the experience, time or the money to have an incredibly productive garden. But each year I get better and better, I get more practice and I learn a bit of what works and what doesn't work (I learn a lot of the latter). Winter veggies are a challenge on my patience, because they grow so slowly! Last year I planted out a whole host of excited winter veggies. But I planted them too late in the season and didn't really water them enough, so I got virtually no rewards for my effort!
This year I had learnt my lesson (partly) and I made a better go of it. I planted (most) of them out nice and early, paid attention to the soil quality and made sure they got plenty of water. I planted out a whole variety of exciting winter vegetables and then I went overseas for 6 weeks (charging a friend with the duty of watering them!) and hoped that when I came back I would have lots of delicious vegetables to enjoy. Well - I did a little better this year!!
I got 2 lovely purple cauliflowers (although they were more like purple broccoli, but I wasn't complaining!), big bunches of Tuscan Cabbage (Cavolo Nero) and purple curly kale (both of which are still growing happily in my garden), lots of broad beans and some lovely English spinach. Not a bad haul, considering I neglected it for most of winter. I didn't have so much luck with some of my other veggies though - my broccoli were so small they were more like broccolini (we ate them anyway, of course) and I had no luck at all with my brussel's sprouts. It was very sad - but I know now to plant them much, much earlier! The plants themselves grew beautifully though and I had huge leafy plants - just no sprouts! As I pulled them up out of the ground I felt that it was a shame to let them go to waste, and they're essentially just like cabbage so I wrapped them up and put them in my fridge until I could decide what to do with them.
I'm sure you can see where I'm heading with this :) When reading up on Nepali dishes I came across a curry which is made with taro leaves or mustard greens, cooked up with chilli and spices in a simple but delicious dish. I don't have taro leaves or mustard greens - but I did have those brussels sprouts leaves bundled up in the fridge! I combined them with tasty curly green kale to make this dish of greens. You can use whatever greens you can get your hands on - spinach, chard, cavolo nero, kale, mustard greens, even Asian veggies like gai lan, choy sum and bok choy. It was delicious with the brussels sprouts leaves, so if you ever grow your own, don't let the leaves go to waste.
1 bunch kale
1 bunch brussels sprouts leaves (substitute any of the other greens listed above)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (you can do this to taste)
1. Wash the greens and tear or chop into medium sized pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a large frypan or wok. Add the chilli, garlic and fenugreek seeds and fry until the seeds are golden brown.
3. Add the turmeric and fry for another 15 seconds. Then add the greens and stir fry until they are just wilted (about 6-8 minutes should do it). Remove from the heat and stir through the lemon juice.
4. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 as a side dish.
This month I'm featuring lots of recipes from Nepal!
Check out my other Nepali/Nepalese recipe posts: