The potager shed

The potager shed

Hi.

Welcome to my blog. This is just my personal garden and food diary. I’m a flexitarian, vegetarian at home, but more flexible when with friends. I’m trying to grow our own food so we leave a lighter footprint on this precious planet.

Over the past six years I have been transforming a one acre former vineyard on a steep hill into a garden. There are distinct areas; an 80m2 vegetable garden, a small orchard, a pond and a sunken path flanked by two long mixed borders.

We are in a small hamlet near Faugères in the Occitanie (formerly Languedoc) region of France. Our soil is rocky schist. Summer temperatures can reach 40℃ and in winter sink as low as -10℃. Water comes rarely but is diluvial when it does.

Lizzie

Use what you have....

Use what you have....

The 40℃+ heatwave resulted in some of the tomatoes, quite literally, cooking on the vine. They felt hot and squishy but I guessed that they would be perfectly edible if used immediately. At the same time I picked some courgettes, pink chard, spinach, onion and garlic.

A very wilted harvest

A very wilted harvest

We’d also brought back cep mushrooms, eggs, parmesan & olive oil from Genoa. Twice we were given eggs free when we’d bought groceries in local shops - including six huge white eggs, so I was keen to use them.

I decided to make a frittata, so I began by using mushrooms & thinly sliced onions cooked in butter and olive oil, followed by the addition of a few leaves of spinach, then seasoned. I added that to four eggs beaten with 40ml of milk and lobbed it in a buttered tin. That went into the oven at 180℃ for about 25 minutes.

Tomatoes reducing nicely.

Tomatoes reducing nicely.

Now to the tomatoes. I chopped them along with some garlic and reduced them in some olive oil until they were completely cooked, and squishy. Then I passed them through a sieve, retaining the juice and putting the rest into the compost bin. I cooked the sliced courgette in a dash of olive oil before adding the tomato liquor and reducing it a bit further. Then I seasoned it with salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar, before wilting the rest of the spinach and chard in the pan with a lid on it.

Tomato liquor, garlic & courgettes

Tomato liquor, garlic & courgettes

Cep, onion & spinach frittata along with tomato, courgette, chard & spinach

Cep, onion & spinach frittata along with tomato, courgette, chard & spinach

With liberally grated fresh parmesan

With liberally grated fresh parmesan

Once it was all served I grated some delicious Genovese parmesan over the vegetables. Buon appetito!

The state of play

The state of play

Frazzled

Frazzled