It’s back! Luckily we nearly always have swiss chard. The new stuff I planted a couple of months ago is now getting big enough to harvest. I love it when it is this small and fresh. Although the downside is that the stalks aren’t very thick yet. You can use young swiss chard just like spinach or put it in salads. I have planted radishes in between the rows of swiss chard. We will be able to eat these before it the swiss chard completely takes over the space. I have to cover my chard as the pigeons like it as much as I do!
Further up under the enviromesh I have some lettuce, rocket, spring onions and radishes so we have plenty of salad stuff especially as the cucumbers are doing well now.
I have planted a variety of cucumbers. My favourites are the small Mediterranean-style ones, Melen and Iznik, but I also picked up two plants reduced to 90p and they are called burpless – they seem OK as well. I grow lettuce in front of the cucumbers and have also planted some peppers, aubergines and tomatoes in greenhouse number 2. I have climbing beans in the seedtrays in the middle!
Of course this just makes up for the fact that the disaster of the year is my squash. Despite my best efforts to fry them a few months ago, one of two have survived but whether we will get any squash from them who knows. To be honest I can’t be sure if these are squash or courgette as I mixed the seedlings up – rather I just didn’t bother labelling them!
So yesterday we had our first meal of new season swiss chard – to be honest apart from some fruit, salad stuff and onions (hurray for onions) there isn’t much else yet. I made lazy fish pie. It is called lazy fish pie as it doesn’t have mashed potato on top it has breadcrumbs. However, as I make bread with lots of seeds and nuts in our breadcrumbs always have an interesting texture and flavour.
Lazy Fish Pie for 4 (this way we can have leftovers tonight): firm fish (whatever you like), 250ml of double cream, some grated cheddar (I used the last of the Hafod), 1tsp mustard, juice of one lemon, 1 onion, couple of carrots, splash of milk, breadcrumbs, handfuls and handfuls of swiss chard. Fry the onion and carrot in a saucepan. Add in the double cream, mustard and bring to simmer. Add in the cheese and lemon juice and put to one side. Wilt the swiss chard in a pan. Chop up the raw fish and put in a shallow oven-proof pan. Mix in the swiss chard and pour the creamy mix over the top. Whizz up all your hard crusts of leftover bread and spread the breadcrumbs over the top. Cook until brown at about 180C – about 20 minutes – again this is very forgiving. You could serve this with other vegetables if you have some – we didn’t so we ate it alone. We will probably have a salad with the leftovers tonight!