Garden fast food

20 January 2013
Written by Kath Irvine | Images by Kath Irvine
Print Email

I love this time of year for all its fast food. The garden provides lots of light, quick, nourishing teas – eggs, salads, new potatoes, fresh garlic, red onions, carrots, beetroot, radish, beans, zuchinni, cucumber, the first tomatoes and herbs galore – perfect for a time of year when it’s too hot for cooking long involved meals.( I’d rather be in the river or garden or fishing.) Besides which, preserving season is here. We’ve been busy processing redcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries and beans – that’s enough kitchen time for me when the sun is shining.

From now on the fridge will always have a big jar of pesto in it. We love it stirred through hot new potatoes (jersey bennes on the menu at the mo.) Of course pasta pesto is another good option. Even a big spoon of when passing through is good (no double dipping though). It’s so cheap and easy to make, and homemade has none of those additives our modern industry insists on feeding us.

Pesto can be made from any green leaf. Our two favs are basil in summer and flat leaf parsley in winter. Basil performs best when constantly picked to stop it going to seed – a kind of use it or loose it deal.

For basil pesto we do this:

> Into the food processor toss 2 tightly packed cups of basil leaves, a few cloves of new seasons garlic, 1/4c of grated parmesan, 1/4c of walnuts and pinch of salt.
> Whizz it all up while pouring in 3/4c of good olive oil.
> Taste and adjust.

For a more fiery pesto have fun making this nasturtium leaf pesto. Nasturtiums pack a punch of nutrition so make the most of these nourishing plants over the summer. Shred the leaves through a salad or sandwich, nibble on a flower or use them to decorate your plates.

Into your food processor put 55g washed nasturtium leaves, 3 mint leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 6 green nasturtium pods, 6 T walnuts or seeds, 70g grated parmesan or hard goats cheese, 1/4c lemon juice and 2/3c olive oil. Whizz, then fold through a good pinch of salt and petals from 2 calendulas. Taste and adjust to suit.

Strawberries are such a beneficient plant

For something so small they produce an extraordinary amount of produce. Second best to eating strawberries naked is this delicious treat which we just call Best Strawberries.

> 500g fresh strawberries
> 3T sugar
> 1T balsamic vinegar
> Sprinkle sugar on strawberries and toss together gently.
> Chill for a couple of hours
> Just before serving stir through balsamic vinegar.




Add comment

Security code

  • A warming cup of winter Chai
    19 June, 2014

    Chai becomes my favourite cup at this time of year.  I’ve tried lots of pre mixed teas but none comes close to own made. Such a warming and nourishi...

  • Tomato Miso Soup
    19 May, 2014

    This soup is my current addiction. One of my favourite cooks Rachel de Thample had this idea, and it’s so good that I’m slurping it nearly everyday ...

  • April In the Kitchen
    20 April, 2014

    Easy, delicious and useful - these words are my guardian angels when choosing how to best preserve my harvest. There are many enticing sounding recipe...

  • Fried Haloumi Salad
    20 March, 2014

    Alexis, of Curious Cook fame, gifted me some haloumi. I adore haloumi. It’s an easy cheese to make and as I have access to all this glorious organic r...

  • Summer Plum Cake
    20 February, 2014

    Gardeners are so busy at this time of the year. Add a job and a few kids to the mix, and cake baking, which should be near the top of the priority l...

  • In the Kitchen
    19 December, 2013

    Asparagus and Mint Pasta Bowl

    Here’s a delicious pasta bowl teaming up the stars of the day - asparagus, broadbeans and mint.

    A packet of penne
    A b...
  • Spring Broccoli and Leek Tart
    20 November, 2013


    A vegie tart today. Perfect timing to use up the forest of broccoli shoots that pervade the spring garden. Add some sweet perennial leeks (at the...

  • Fish, Apple and Herb Cakes
    14 October, 2013

    Today I am sharing a most delicious fish cake. This recipe comes from Rowan Bishop of the Vegetarian Adventure cookbook. Pair it with a lovely spring ...

  • Two Cabbage Salads
    19 September, 2013

    Get a spring in your step with some raw food meals. A salad is lovely for lunch. If you pimp it out with some nuts or seeds you’ll feel full in a ligh...

  • August in the Kitchen
    20 August, 2013

    Hands up those who grow silverbeet and don’t use it - go on don’t be shy! Many a kiwi garden sports unused silverbeets. Here’s a delicious soup that u...

  • July in the Kitchen
    19 July, 2013
    Rhubarb Cake

    Winter is cake eating season, especially suited to warm cakes straight out of the oven with something creamy a top. In honour of this I ...

  • In the June Kitchen
    20 June, 2013

    It stores well (no preserving required hallelujah), and is so damn versatile I celebrate the excess (unlike zuchinnis for instance). I always steam ...

  • Ratatouille
    19 May, 2013

    This month I’m making you a delicious Autumn Lasagne. An inspired combination of excesses – excess milk led to a batch of ricotta; excess aubergine, z...

  • Gluten free coconut cookies
    20 April, 2013
    Gluten free coconut cookies

    A sweet little cookie to help you through the last days of your Winter Preparation Ironman!

    We love these gluten free co...

  • In the Kitchen
    19 March, 2013

    The solar drier is never empty – we’re making the most of this hot weather. It’s fun having a play with different fruits – like orange and strawberry....

  • Ginger Beef Salad
    20 February, 2013

    Preserving tomatoes and peppers are about to take over my kitchen life, so quick nourishing meals are it. I love the easy style of kiwi couple Anna an...

  • Garden fast food
    20 January, 2013

    I love this time of year for all its fast food. The garden provides lots of light, quick, nourishing teas – eggs, salads, new potatoes, fresh garlic, ...

  • Broadbeans and Beetroot
    20 December, 2012

    Not surprisingly heres a broadbean recipe – very simple, just a frittata. Infact does it need an actual recipe? (probably not), but here goes. Eggs an...

MyMag this month...

...your magazine for inspiring stories, beautiful spaces, networking, sharing & celebrating community...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Zealand


MyMag is your Mag! Subscribe today - it's FREE.  
Subscribe and receive our monthly newsletter keeping you up to date with the latest edition.