London Garden Treasures

If I’m honest, I never actually thought my vegetables would grow into anything edible, but look…. I grew this lot in a raised bed that is 15 inches by 4 (ish) foot. No special soil. No vast allotment that I had to fight and then pay through the nose for.

Tonight’s meal I saw when I picked up a random magazine on the train last night. It’s a version of Nigel Slater’s recipe. But I’ve slightly adapted it for my veggies and to what I had available.

Serves 2

6 or 8 runner beans
2 courgettes
2 large handfuls of brown rice (Italian works best)
1 shallot
25g butter
1/2 glass white wine
1 1/2 pints of chicken stock
5 cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
4 or 5 Mint leaves
Parmesan to grate

  • Grate the courgettes, place in a sieve, sprinkle with a little salt and weight down over the sink for 15 minutes
  • Heat the butter and a little oil in a medium saucepan
  • Finely chop the shallot and garlic clove and pop into the pan with the butter
  • Once softened add the rice, turn the heat down and stir to get all the rice coated with the yummy butter, onion glaze
  • Pour the wine into the pan and boil vigorously for about 30 seconds to get rid of the alcohol
  • Pour in some of the stock, and simmer until the liquid is almost gone and add some more – do this about 1/4 pint at a time – keep stirring the rice every 30 seconds or so – just to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan
  • Top and tail the beans, and cut into medium size bits, place in a separate pan, add water, bring to the boil and gently cook for 2 or 3 minutes
  • Once the rice is almost cooked add the tomatoes quartered and the beans after you’ve drained them (this will take around 30 minutes)
  • Take the weight off the sieve, run a little water through the courgettes to wash the salt out and squeeze all the liquid out of them with your hands
  • Add the courgettes to the rice pan and bring back to the boil
  • You will have what looks like a murky brown soup with gorgeous flecks of green from the courgettes and beans
  • Grate in a little parmesan and grind in a little pepper – stir through
  • Spoon the mix into bowls, and pour the remaining liquid into the bowls
  • Grate a little parmesan over the top

Ok so this isn’t the prettiest of dishes but it tastes gorgeous, is good for you AND if you’re going for a meat free meal once a week (ok, chicken stock isn’t technically vegetarian) – this is perfect. Oh, and – for my part – I grew the courgettes, beans and tomatoes myself, I used a shallot from the Boyfriend’s parent’s house, so it’s a pretty cheap dish (brown rice isn’t exactly expensive). Might make it again next week.

3 thoughts on “London Garden Treasures

    1. Aww, thank you! Do Raspberries need a lot of sun – we have very limited sun spots for veggies…
      I have so so so many beans and we’re still getting a courgette a day!
      Utterly gutted that all my tomato plants have suddenly got late blight and have ALL curled up and died (all 10 plants!)
      Love the new blog format by the way!

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