26 July 2015

Braised artichokes and pearl barley with summer veg

I am a huge fan of artichokes. They have a great meaty flavour, and are much more versatile than many people think. I have written before about my attempts to grow artichokes, and they are a vegetable that I love growing. When we moved into our new flat earlier this year, as soon as some space became available, I planted half a dozen plants. One of these fell foul to some aggressive sabotage from a seagull, but the others grew well. By July, several small artichokes had appeared.

14 July 2015

Apricot jam

Mrs Room for a Radish and I recently took a road trip round North West France. France is well known for its strong culinary traditions. What I like most about the food culture in France is not so much the restaurants, but the quality of raw ingredients on offer. What particularly excites me is the markets. Even a small town will have a market once a week, and larger towns several. Often there will be stall after stall piled high with fruit and veg. Some specialising in onions and garlic, or salads, or maybe a fishmonger or two, a cheese stall, a charcuterie stall. The range and quality of produce is often high, and the prices reasonable. Canny old French ladies flit from stall to stall, comparing produce before deciding on what’s the best value for money.

2 July 2015

What's in season in July

Instead of listing what is in season in July, it may be easier to say what is not in season in July, at least in terms of fruit and veg. The high summer months of July and August are when vegetable growers reap their most significant harvest. In some cases being overwhelmed by gluts of beans, courgettes and other veg.