Once again, as the first daffodils start to open, I wonder why I leave them to grow in the garden. In an edible garden they’re pretty much useless… the whole plant is poisonous – leaves, flowers and bulbs.
And they’re not great plants for the bees either, so I can’t justify their place on the grounds that they’re nectar rich. Daffodils aren’t popular with the early flying insects, unless there really is nothing else to eat. But, in their favour, they do brighten the place up on days when a splash of flowery bright yellow can be as close as we get to sunshine… ok, they get to stay for another year.
Along with the daffodils, the kale is just about to start flowering too. Which probably means an end to the leafy production we’ve been enjoying recently. But at least in this case the flowers are edible. There aren’t too many flowers forming… nowhere near enough to call a glut, but what I can harvest will be sautéed in some olive oil with a little garlic and chilli, then stirred into a bowl of freshly cooked pasta for a quick and easy meal.
Indoors, the house has been unnaturally neat and tidy over the last couple of weeks as we’ve been getting it ready to put on the market. While there are plenty of benefits to having a tidy house – being able to walk into the kids’ bedrooms without tripping over an assortment of clothes and books left on the floor is a major plus, de-cluttering has caused some problems too. In the rush to clear away before the estate agent arrived, the notebook that I use to write down ideas and recipes disappeared, and I’ve spent much of the last week looking for it. I wanted the book for a pesto recipe I’d been making with the last of the kale leaves… another quick and easy meal. The pesto also used up some cobnuts that have been sitting in a bowl on the kitchen side and gathering dust since they were harvested from the garden in the autumn.
The recipe below makes a good jar full of fresh, green pesto which will keep in the fridge for a few days. Stir generous spoonfuls of pesto into warm pasta, spread it on top of small pieces of toasted, crusty bread, or add some to bowls of tomato soup for a touch of extra flavour.
50g shelled cobnuts, or hazelnuts
70g young kale leaves, washed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
100ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ a lemon
50g parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
Put the nuts, kale, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice into a food processor and blitz until you have the consistency you like for pesto. Tip the pesto into a bowl and stir in the parmesan. See, quick and easy.