In my kitchen….

In my kitchen are broad beans and silver beet leaves. [You might call it ‘chard’.] While I was away the garden grew at a wild rate and now I have a tower of silver beet and a mountain of broad beans. Look at the size of the silver beet leaf. That’s a dessert spoon beside it!

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So I have been investigating, and inventing, recipes to use up the tower and the mountain.

Firstly I made a pesto with the silver beet. I used the fresh little leaves that were growing on the stem going to seed. I added in some parsley, because that is going wild as well; tossed in a handful of roasted almonds that were too stale to eat fresh, some pine nuts and some lemon zest; blitzed the lot and stirred into warm pasta.

With the pasta was a broad bean salad. I blanched the beans and put them with some salad veggies that had travelled around South Australia with us. I made a quick dressing with some of the lemon infused oil that I learnt how to make from some of you.

Last night I made a different broad bean salad. I based it on tabouli, but used quinoa as well as parsley and the beans, lemon zest and lemon oil. For this one I hulled the beans after I blanched them. I wanted the vivid green of the inside beans with the parsley and quinoa.

Silver beet makes a good soup too, although it does look rather like a science experiment gone wrong!

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Cook up an onion, potato, garlic and silver beet in stock. You wont be surprised to know that I also blanched some beans and more silver beet, pureed that and added it to the soup for extra thickness. The feta cheese crumbled in gave it a good tang. You may be curious to see that my secret ingredient was…….

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Yep, Vegemite! The jar was empty, but the scrapings were just too good to leave. I sluiced in some hot water to make some extra stock.

Spanakopita is the classic dish to make with green leafed vegetables like silver beet and spinach. I used the recipe on the back of the fillo pastry box and it turned out a treat.

  • Steam the silver beet. [How much is a bit difficult, as a large amount of leaves cook down to not much. The recipe says ‘a bunch’. I use as much as will fit tightly into the saucepan.] When it is cooked, let it cool and then squeeze out the moisture.
  • Cook an onion.
  • Add the leaves and the onion to 100g of feta cheese and 500g of ricotta [although I think my tub might have only been 250g]. the recipe says to add mint leaves too. They would have added a nice freshness, but my mint hasn’t grown wildly yet, so I didn’t have any to add. It also called for nutmeg, which I don’t really like. I didn’t put it in. Mix it all together
  • Then layer the fillo pastry sheets into your baking dish, spraying with oil as you go. Spoon in the mixture and smooth it out.

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  • If you leave some of the fillo over the edge of the dish you can then fold it over the mixture. Scrunch up a couple of other sheets of pastry and add as a flamboyant top to the pie. Spray that with a little more oil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 220 degrees C.

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Doesn’t that look fancy! Delicious with my glass of wine.

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Of course, the silver beet tower and broad bean mountain continue to grow. Any suggestions for recipes?

Thanks, as always, to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting In my kitchen….It’s the perfect place for food ideas and inspiration. Make sure you check out Celia’s recipe for her hazelnut, pecan and almond sourdough loaf. Oh my!

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About anne54

Botanic artist
This entry was posted in In My Kitchen and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to In my kitchen….

  1. I do wish I was as good at making food as eating it! Your recipes sound so matter of fact and delicious. I love broad beans, but we didn’t get too many this year. We did get a mountain of runner beans and I had no problem keeping on top of those, not getting at all tired of eating them almost daily. My excuse is that I spend all the time painting and haven’t got the time to spend on making food.

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    • anne54 says:

      That is an excellent excuse! And if your food was up to the same heights as your painting you would be a top class chef! As for my recipes being matter of fact….I just combine things that I have on hand. And I am lucky to have an uncomplaining partner….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. redandfound says:

    Funny that it’s the second time today that I encountered the word filo. I didn’t know that “wrap” is called filo. Just a few hours ago, I was talking to two of my colleagues who mentioned filo while we were talking about food. Two days ago, I joined a spring-roll making organized by some of the folks from work so that’s why we were talking about the “wrap”. 🙂 I enjoyed reading this. Maybe one day I can also make Spanakopita.

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    • anne54 says:

      Isn’t it odd when that happens? Something that you have never heard of suddenly seems to be popping up everywhere. Filo pastry is very thin and delicate, and you need a few sheets to create a pastry base that will hold the moisture successfully. However, I find that I never need the whole packet, so I end up eating filo pastry for a while. In fact I am going to make another batch of spanakopita to use up the rest of the packet!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. acflory says:

    Wow – I am so impressed, Anne. I wish I had that much of anything growing in my garden and…I wish I had the energy to cook that much food! Btw the spanakopita looks simply sensational.

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  4. Wow. You’ve really put your haul of silver beet and broad beans to good use. I always make my Spanikopita with a mix of spinach leaves and silver beet. I love the flavour of silver beet and I think it gives the pie more structure. Plus, it grows like a weed in my garden and I’m always looking for ways to use it. Hence, I love your silver beet pesto.

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  5. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne, Last year I had a mountain of silver beet that I steamed and froze. I thought we would never get through it. I made a pledge not to grow any more until it was gone and now it has. I have one baby plant that will be more than enough for this year.

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    • anne54 says:

      I love this — a silver beet pledge!! I totally understand why you made it. 🙂 Freezing sounds like a good idea. I will add it to my list if Things To Do With Silver Beet.

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  6. Francesca says:

    I am alos trying to manage my own plague of these two garden goodies. I think silver beet is much better in a spanakopita than sinach- more rustic and tasty.

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    • anne54 says:

      “a plague of these two garden goodies” sums it up! It is just as well I really like both of them. But then, I wouldn’t have planted them if I didn’t. 😉 I also agree with you about the spanakopita, and rustic is a good way to describe it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. G’day! Gorgeous spanakopita! Great photo!
    Love your fresh ingredients and thank you for this month’s kitchen view also!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  8. Kirsty says:

    Anne, I am in awe of those who can work confidently with filo. I am scared of it! It always seems to tear or dry out for me. I must muster up the courage to work with it. Your Spanakopita looks wonderful. You have inspired me to give it another go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! : ) Kirsty

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    • anne54 says:

      I don’t have any tips, although they do say to put it in a damp tea towel while you are working with it. I love its silky texture, but tearing can be a problem. Certainly have another go, Kirsty. I’d love to know how you go.

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  9. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    That leaf is big enough to use as an umbrella! You’ve got a very busy kitchen with all this food!

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    • anne54 says:

      It is a whopper of a leaf! And there are a couple more on the bush. Unfortunately the silver beet tower is starting to be the Leaning Tower of Silver Beet, as the weight of it is gradually pulling it to the ground. 🙂

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  10. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    That spanakopita sounds delicious. Looks like your garden is doing well. We just had our first freeze last night so my season is pretty much done. I picked the last of the peppers to use soon. Also the parsley and basil to make some pesto and freeze it. Ah, how soon until spring when I can plant again?!

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  11. EllaDee says:

    I like how you’ve worked you way through what’s in your garden to your kitchen and on your didning table. All of it looks delicious 🙂

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    • anne54 says:

      It is the joy of having a garden with even a few things growing. And I know that your plan is to be able to walk out the backdoor and pick your goodies too. This time in the kitchen was also a product of coming home from holiday with very little in the fridge and mountains of the produce in the garden. It was what came to hand!

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  12. ladyredspecs says:

    Spanokopita with chard and fetta is far nicer than spinach. I need to make a pie, it’s been a while. I love peato made with an assortment of green leaves, it’s so versatile.

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    • anne54 says:

      I think silver beet/chard is more robust than spinach, and holds its structure better. Francesca described its taste as ‘rustic’ and I think she is so right. Have you made the pie yet? [By the way, I think “Ladyredspecs” is a fabulous name!]

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  13. that spanakopita looks amazing! I must grow some broad beans this year as well 🙂

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    • anne54 says:

      Broad beans are so easy to grow. It helps that the seeds are big, fat ones! I have since made some spanakopita parcels that didn’t look as fancy, but still tasted delicious. I added a simple tomato sauce to pour on them.

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  14. Your broad bean salad sounds lovely! I must try it with some of my leftovers. I’ve just made broad bean filled ravioli with the first crop from my garden.

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    • anne54 says:

      Well, I am heading over to your blog to check out the ravioli. Sound delicious, and another one to add to my recipe page “One hundred and one things to cook with broad beans”!

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  15. Anne, we end up feeding a lot of our rainbow chard to the chooks – they love it, and we get bright yellow yolks as a result. It really can take over a garden, can’t it! I love all your recipes for using it up – I usually throw it into soups, and sometimes I add it to dumplings as well. I had to scroll down and see if Glenda had left a comment – her mountain of chard last year made me laugh! 😀

    PS. No-one in the house except me will eat broadbeans!

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    • anne54 says:

      That’s the thing with growing veggies, there is often an over-abundance, and you have to be inventive with using it! Thank heavens for the chooks 🙂 I must investigate Glenda’s chard mountain.
      What a shame that no one else eats broad beans. They really are quite yummy, but one of those vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, that you either like or detest.

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  16. fergie51 says:

    I hated silverbeet when young, think it was mums method of murdering it as it’s in my top 10 list now. Spanikopita looks sensational! Thanks 🙂

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  17. After seeing your beautiful food photos, I’m hungry! Especially for the Spanakopita. I lived in Greece for five years and it was my favorite dish!

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    • anne54 says:

      I doubt that I make the spanakopita as the Greeks would make it 🙂 Lucky you to have lived there. My elderly neighbour is Greek, and sometimes brings us in little treats that she has been baking. Delicious!

      Like

  18. Kim Bultman says:

    Anne, I’d eat your “science experiment gone wrong” soup any day! 🙂 Thanks for all of your recipes, too. Your spanakopita photos are breathtaking!

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    • anne54 says:

      The soup was tasty. Thanks for the comment about the spanakopita. I was impressed at how it looked, because it was so easy to do. 🙂 Now, thanks to wonderful bloggers, I have more silver beet and broad bean recipes to add to my repertoire.

      Like

  19. Moya says:

    Anne the silver beet is amazing. When I was young my Dad grew broad beans, so lovely to grow some of your own produce. 🙂

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  20. I would love to live closer & help you eat all your broadbeans, silverbeet leaves & parsley 😉 There’s an Ottolenghi recipe with meatballs & broadbeans, I make it quite often, from his Jerusalem cookbook & it’s delicious! I made spanakopita at school yesterday & I have some leftovers to make a pie like yours – yumm! See you next month at IMK

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      If you were close by I would have pressed the veggies into your hands, as I am doing with my neighbours. I have contemplated sending food parcels of broad beans off overseas. Imagine the surprise of opening a package and having broad beans tumble out! Meatballs and broad beans sound delicious. Time to check it out. See you next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. emily0830 says:

    Hi Anne! Your Spanakopita looks great! I also like using a mix of Chard, Kale, and Spinach; I feel it gives the dish a rounded taste. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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    • anne54 says:

      That would be a great mixture of filling. The kale would help to give it more structure. Thanks for dropping by. (Sorry it has taken a while to approve this, but your comment went into my spam section 😦 Certainly not spam!)

      Like

  22. i love this post anne. everything looks so fresh and delicious. i simply can’t believe the size of that silverbeet leaf. a giant! that spinach pie looks absolutely wonderful. i could just dive right in. oh and those broad beans. what a feast.

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    • anne54 says:

      That silver beet leaf was enormous! Like something from a rainforest 🙂 Thanks for visiting, and making the comment about the freshness of the produce. I love being able to pick something from the garden and eat it that night — or indeed, right there and then!

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  23. Elizabeth says:

    Yummmmm! Everything looks delicious! I had the same problem in my garden with spinach and kale this year…. I’ve just chopped blanced and frozen my last batch for the freezer, so I can make spinach and cheese bake over the summer! 🙂 thanks for sharing!

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  24. Sandy says:

    Wow you sure have been creating some marvellous things in your kitchen!
    That silverbeet leaf truly is massive! Looks so so fresh too!. I love using lightly boiled silverbeet leaves as “wraps” 🙂

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    • anne54 says:

      That’s an interesting use of the silver beet leaves. They would be tough enough to hold things together. Thanks for dropping by, and sharing a virtual cuppa with me.

      Like

  25. Pingback: How does my garden grow? | Anne Lawson

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