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eating the seasons

Recently I've been amusing myself by cooking from the garden. It's been pretty productive, especially the nasturtiums and vine leaves; disappointing performance from the courgettes and aubergines, though. I found myself absent-mindedly eating my first grape this evening, when one was soft under my fingers when I checked for ripeness. I think they'll taste good, if autumn lets them ripen properly. Here's a typical sort of recipe that's coming out of all that, which as an added bonus uses up some BBQ leftovers and looper-damaged tomatoes.

garden bouillabaisse

Fry up some bacon and tuna steak in a little creole spice and spice parisienne, a pinch of dried red chilli and a generous sprinkle of sassafrass. Put on the potatoes and yellow beetroot and bring to the boil. While they’re cooking (uncovered to thicken and reduce the potato water) go back to the main pot and add in whatever came in from the garden (we had baby squash, mini courgettes, nasturtium seeds, achochas and a mild chilli), give it a good stir, and let it sizzle. When it starts to stick, add in cooked tomato to deglaze (I had cooked some slug and looper damaged orange tomatoes the night before with garlic salt and fresh rosemary and left them in the fridge overnight), and then simmer. Chop and add equal amounts of fresh underripe and red tomatoes. Leave that to simmer low, slice up the delicate garden fare and any herbs (I had courgette flowers, nastertium flowers, baby vine leaves, thyme, winter savory, some fronds of fennel, rosemary tips and a little late parsley) and add into the mix, stir and add the potatoes, water and all. Drop in the mussels, simmer, sprinkle with feta, simmer some more. Eat with white wine and brown bread.

It was so tasty that I may be cooking variations of this until mildew completely claims the greenhouse and frost turns the nasturtiums to slimy mush.

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