Monday, September 29, 2008

A Nice Spring Day

With a good drop of rain last week and the sun shining today, things have really started to move in the garden. There is still an abundance of broccoli, celery, English spinach, silverbeet, spring onions and beetroot while the asparagus, peas and rhubarb and now ready to pick. The broad beans are a little slow and I can see the first of the artichokes bursting out. I am really looking forward to the garlic maturing as last seasons is long gone and I can't find any Australian garlic at any nearby supermarkets.

We have been away to Albany for the weekend to catch up with friends and celebrate a 30th and a 60th which was really lovely. I love Albany on the weekend as they have a fantastic farmer's market every Saturday morning. I managed to pick up lots of goodies including leeks, apples, oranges, free range chicken, local milk, lettuce, jerulasum artichokes (not quite sure what to do with them?) and some potted herbs. While in Albs Lyssie and I snuck down to the nursery without baby Emme and picked up all our Summer seedlings. It is a bit early to put them in so they will have to wait in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks. I got a bit overexcited with the tomatoes I think.

Dinner tonight was a risotto cake. Had to get the cake cover out as it cooled as the blowflys have returned with the warmer weather. When I make a risotto cake I just put in whatever is in season and needs to be used. Here is a basic recipe.

Olive oil
3 spring onions (or an onion or leek, just happen to have lots of spring onions at present)
2 rashers bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock
a couple of cups of vegetables- usually two or the following, roasted pumpkin, broccoli, asparagus, English spinach, peas, mushroom etc
half a cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs
Fresh herbs chopped- whatever you have and like eg basil, parsely, chives etc
pinenuts and a sprinkling of parmesan to top
salt and pepper to taste

Gently fry off the spring onion, garlic and bacon in the olive oil. Stir in the rice and then the stock, cover and simmer 10 mins or so until the rice is softish, but still with a little crunch. Turn off the heat and add vegies of your choice (today I used asparagus and English spinach) and stir through with cheese. Let it sit for 5 mins or so and then transfer to a mixing bowl and let it cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180* and lightly grease a 23 cm springform cake tin with olive oil and line with baking paper. Stir through the eggs and herbs (today it was Italian parsely and chives), season to taste and transfer to the baking tin. Smooth the top and sprinkle with extra cheese and pine nuts. Bake for 40 mins or until top is gloden.

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