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