I used to follow the Yates Garden advice and plant seasonal vegetables according to when the best time to plant them was. That's OK in theory but in practice whatever is the ideal time for planting vegetables and when they will be ready coincides with when the supermarkets will be awash with the same vegetables and on special. In December, January and February, peas, beans, tomatoes, cabbages and all sorts of things will be cheap as chips. Potatoes (see that segue?) are always reasonable priced and if I want some zucchini or corn then I'm sure there will be lots about.
What I decided to plant was based upon two principles:
- What was always likely to be expensive
- What I can pluck as needed without having to use up the whole plant.
To this end I decided to plant:
- broccoli, broccolini, capsicum, chilli, spring onion - based on the fact that they are always expensive, and,
- lettuce and spinach as I can pluck leaves as needed. When buying these at the supermarket I invariable only use a third or half and the rest is wasted.
So today I had a hankering for a salad. I knew that I could pluck the lettuce and spinach leaves I needed while leaving the bodies of the plants growing. I checked out the fridge and the pantry and added to these items with things from the supermarket. I had:
- Green beans
- Hard boiled egg
- Chicken tenderloins (I couldn't find any fresh tuna in the supermarket).
The result was a variation on a Nicoise salad.
I sliced the tenderloins and marinated them in crushed chilli, teriyaki sauce and wine.
I boiled the potato and let it cool and then chopped. I sliced the capsicum. green beans (quickly steamed), mandarin segments, grapes, olives and hard boiled egg. I mixed all in with the spinach and lettuce leaves and drizzled some freshly made dressing over it (lemon juice, olive oil, cider vinegar, rose wine). Result - magnificent.
This went perfectly with a bottle of Villa Maria Cellar selection Pinot Noir Rose 2017 that The Wine Guy provided. He wrote a review of this wine HERE