I am dreaming of the day when we’ll have our own vegetable garden. I have wonderful memories of the food that my grand-father was growing in his back garden. Not only can home-grown food be delicious and organic but also, I love the idea of the process and effort that growing your own food involves.
Waiting for the day when we’ll have our allotment, we have been experimenting the last 2 years in growing a few things in pots on our balcony and in our flat. This year, we have been quite unfortunate: our plants have been invaded by black, white and then green flies. Our courgette and aubergine plants haven’t resisted and died pretty quickly. What we seem to have been the most successful at growing so far has been chillies. We both are fond of chillies and so it was naturally that we thought about trying to grow some. They are actually quite easy to cultivate in pots. This year we’ve planted some bird-eye chilli, scotch bonnet chilli and peperoncino chilli. This is such a pleasure to cut one from a tree and use it straight away in your cooking.
At this time of year, to make a change from all the rich food and cakes that we are eating, I like to cook healthy vegetable dishes. At first, this one should have been a stir-fry. Considering the ingredients I had at home I thought that I would rather make a stew. But when I brought it on the table, Luke pointed out that a stew is supposed to be liquid in some way – which was not the case of this dish. We finally decided to call it a vegetable hotpot. Ideal food for the soul.
Vegetable Hotpot with Home-Grown Chilli – serves 2 I am a bit vague in terms of quantities in the following recipe. I didn’t measure how much kale, broccoli and chestnut I used, but just used what I had in the fridge. Feel free to adapt the recipe with whatever vegetables you have at home.
• 3tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, sliced
• 1 red chilli, sliced
• 1 red pepper, cut in thin strips
• A bunch of Tuscan kale (cavolo nero), blanched and cut into strips
• A bunch of purple sprouting broccoli, cooked 4min in boiling water
• 2tbsp tomato purée
• A bunch of peeled cooked chestnuts
• A can of cannellini beans, drained
• Salt, pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or sauté dish. Add the onion, chilli and pepper and cook on a medium heat for 10min until soft. Add the tomato purée and kale, mix well, cover and leave to cook for another 10min.
2. Add the cannellini beans, chestnuts and broccoli and cook 5min. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.
Potée de Légumes au Piment du Jardin – pour 2 personnes Je suis assez vague en ce qui concerne les quantités dans la recette suivante. Je n’ai pas pesé le kale, le brocoli ou les châtaignes, mais j’ai utilisé ce que j’avais au frais. Soyez libre d’adapter la recette en fonction des légumes que vous avez déjà.
• 3cs d’huile d’olive
• 1 oignon, coupé en rondelles
• 1 piment rouge, coupé en fines rondelles
• 1 poivron rouge, coupé en fines lamelles
• Une poignée de kale cavolo nero, blanchi et coupé en fines lamelles
• Une poignée de brocoli violet, blanchi 4min dans une casserole d’eau bouillante
• 2cs de purée de tomate
• Une poignée de châtaignes, cuites et pelées
• Une boîte de haricot cannellini ou de haricots blancs, égoutée
• Sel et poivre
1. Faire chauffer l’huile dans une grande casserole ou dans une sauteuse. Ajouter l’oignon, le piment et le poivron et faire revenir 10min à fau moyen. Ajouter la purée de tomate et le kale, bien mélanger, couvrir et faire cuire pendant 10min.
2. Ajouter les haricots blancs, les châtaignes et le brocoli et faire cuire 5min. Assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre et servir.