It's easy to be swept away by gardening books. Everything seems so fun, and if you're lucky enough to fall for plants that are easy to grow, everything after that is a breeze. Only when autumn comes do you realise that you have a problem. Suddenly you have squashes as big as rugby balls*, the chard are bigger than you and your turnips are humungous. Being a newbe you realise that those glorious gardening books may tell you that this and that vegetable tastes good, but they seldom expound on how to cook them. What do you do with all this? How do you prepare them to make them taste good instead of just being healthy?
An indoor vegetable gardener has to find the answers fast, because the gardens produce all the year around, and if you're not alert you'll soon drown in leaves. (You may remember that I had problems with a lively sage last year.) My nasturtiums are now big enough to harvest from, so I've started to make up recipes. Nasturtium tastes like cress, a strong flavour that lends the plant to use like something in between a spice and an leaf ingredient (use it like leek, if that's a better description). It grows extremely fast, so I haven't any other homegrown vegetables to combine with.
Thanks to tomatoes from the grocery store (don't worry, they are ecologically grown), I've been able to experiment with a bruschetta. I've yet to find the right balance between tomato, nasturtium, salt and olive oil, but I wanted to share so I urge you to have fun experimenting with the recipe. (My big dream is to use not only homegrown tomatoes, but homegrown oil from the tiger nuts.) This is what I had for breakfast this morning.
Indoor Gardener Bruschetta
- 1 slice of white bread
- 4-6 cherry tomatoes
- 4-6 nasturtium leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Chop the tomatoes and the leaves together, put them on the bread (toast it if you have the patience and want to add some extra luxury), drip some olive oil over it, put on some salt and eat.
*I've yet to see a newbe harvest their squashes when they are the right size, ie. 20-25 cm (8-10 inches).