It’s that time of year. Some of our friends have vegetable patches. And they will often make a gift of their produce to family and friends. It is such a joy – and what better gift can there be than food?
Last week it was Wendy and Gus – friends who moved to Cornwall, who we used to know as neighbours in Beaconsfield (near London). We had various salads, a few tomatoes, courgettes and some rhubarb. The leaves and courgettes went very well with a flash fried steak. I did the courgettes in quite big chunks and stir fried them in olive oil for just 2 minutes. They were fab – just sucked in flavour – and really loved a bit of black pepper. They were fresh and juicy enough to just be a salad themselves – but warmed – the extra taste and just smell of unctuous gorgeousness was well worth it.
But what to do with the rhubarb? We’d had rhubarb crumple. So, I simply stewed it but with the addition of preserved ginger in syrup – chopped up a lot. I poured about a dessert spoon of the syrup in with the chopped up rhubarb and ginger, added a spoon or two of water and 5 teaspoons of sugar – low heat on the hob for 10 minutes. Fabulous! And made the ice cream seem rather superfluous.
There was some left over. had that with lunch today, cold with some cream. Tasted stronger and was more refreshing somehow. Funny – some things are better at different temperatures, and maybe depends on our mood too?
SO, on the way home from holidays we popped into our local – http://www.thecrookedbillet.com to be presented with a bag of runner beans, hot off the beanpole. through the bean-slicer, chopped a bit, 5 minutes boiling, then lots of butter lemon juice and black pepper.
The great thing with fresh produce like this is that it is not only lovingly cared for it is generously given. Which seems to make it taste better. But best of all, you only need to keep it simple and crunchy to keep all the flavours that the grower wanted to keep. Hope you get some gifts too!