Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Roasted Artichokes with Mustard-Mayo Dip

In Garden, Snacks on December 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm


This year was the first year that my artichoke plant decided to actually produce artichokes and boy did it produce! It’s unfortunate it decided to do this the year I had to leave my flat, but at least I was able enjoy some before I left. The three artichokes I used for this dish were the last of the lot; a wee bit smaller the first ones harvested but no less delicious! I had no previous experience of cooking artichokes – they aren’t something we see a lot of in New Zealand – though they seem to grow very well. Like any good 21st century girl, I looked to google for some answers.

I found this site as well as this site very helpful. All I did was trim the bottom of the artichokes, cut off the tips of the leaves (an optional step, but it does look nicer) and sliced off the very top of the centers. Then I peeled a few cloves of garlic and stuffed them in between a few of the leaves. Finally, I seasoned them with a bit of olive oil and wrapped them in foil, cooking them in a preheated oven of about 200 degrees for about an hour. How long you leave the artichokes in the oven will depend on their size (and your tastebuds, I suppose – the leaves can be quite tough!) The first time I tried roasting artichokes they were still pretty touch after an hour, but this time they were smaller and an hour seemed to work quite well. 

To serve, I simply mixed a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with approximately a tablespoon of mustard (about a 1:4 ratio). The first time I used Dijon mustard (which is probably a more classic choice) but this time I used wholegrain and it worked fine. I still think I have a long way to go before I can confidently say I can cook with artichokes, but for the moment – I’m still keen to try!




In Garden on March 17, 2012 at 1:59 am

I’m so sorry about the lack of posts recently – I will be doing something soon as I’m having someone over for dinner on Tuesday night. In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures of my first crop of butter beans from the garden. I love the beautiful buttery colour!

Relishing in the garden!

In Garden, Pickles & Preserves on January 23, 2012 at 1:13 am

SPOILER! Haha, yes this post is about making relish. See below for recipe

I’ve been giving my garden a good clearout. I’ve just got a tiny bit left to weed and then I’m planting my new crops – cabbage (lionheart), broccoli (midget), fennel and butter beans. I’ve planted cabbage and broccoli before and they did really well my first year, last year they were a dud. Hopefully I’ll get lucky this year. I planted fennel last year and it did well, and was a real treat. Butter beans will hopefully do well on my willow trellis.

I took out leeks, and the one decent courgette my plants have produced so far:

Leeks and my lone courgette

I also have a serious abundance of tomatoes, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I was weighing up what to do with them – many exciting options! Chutney, pasta sauce, passata and relish. My lovely friend Theresa gave me some chillis from the place she works in Waiuku, so I settled on making relish. I just used the recipe from the good old Edmonds cookbook. Here it is:

12 large tomatoes (or substitute 1 large for 2 small ones) – peeled

4 large onions

25g salt (approx.)

500g brown sugar


1 tbsp mustard

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp flour

3 chillis

1. The first step (which is not included in the Edmonds cookbook) is to peel the tomatoes. My method is to slice a cross on the bottom of all the tomatoes. Place in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 3 mins. Remove from bowl with slotted spool and plunge into a large bowl of cold water. Once all have been plunged leave for a couple of mins to cool. After that you should be able to peel them easily, using the cross cut of the bottom to pull from.

2. Once that is done, cut the tomatoes into four pieces, more for the larger ones if you think it necessary. Slice the onions into small chunks. Lay out, sprinkle with salt and leave overnight.

3. Next day, pour off the liquid and place the tomatoes and onions into a large saucepan along with the sugar and the chillis. Add enough vinegar to cover. Bring to the boil. Simmer 1 1/2 hours until reduced down.

Early stage of reducing down

4. Mix flour, mustard and curry powder with a little vinegar to make a smooth paste. Add to the mixture and boil 5 mins. Once combined, you could blend with a stick blender if desired. I decided to blend mine rather than leaving it very chunky (even blended, it’s still kinda chunky)

5. Pour into sterilized jars and seal tightly.

Relish! And more tomatoes ripening for the next batch...

Also, don’t you just love the jar? They were on special at Pak’N’Save this week for $2 and I just couldn’t resist. I still have one spare for the next batch of preserves – whether I make more relish or whether I go for chutney next time. I can’t wait!

Garden Update!

In Garden on January 3, 2012 at 1:52 am

Here’s an update on the garden – it was such a nice day and I felt like taking pictures. Plus I just weeded it. Now if only my tomatoes would ripen….but they are getting there!

Garden Update


Edible flowers




Tomatoes - hurry up and ripen!