The Vegetable Fairy

I used to work with a woman called Di who had an (amazing) allotment, the spoils from which she used to share with all of her colleagues, including me. I actually have her to thank for inspiring me into and guiding me through my first forays into preserving. Di retired a little while ago (lucky her) but still pops in to my work from time to time to say hi. I went into work the other day to be greeted by a selection of veg on my desk- a bag of dwarf beans, a bag of runner beans and a pattypan squash. I recognised this immediately as Di’s own unique calling card (which I suppose makes her a bit like The Joker, but with veg. And with slightly less sinister overtones.)

I’ve never eaten pattypan squash before, so I did a bit of Googling and also asked Di if she had any recipe suggestions. She said I could treat it in the same way I would a courgette, so I ended up roasting it with some other veg (red pepper, red onion, a bit of carrot I had left in my fridge and a few garlic cloves- all sprinkled with fennel seeds, oregano, salt and pepper and drizzled with oil) and adding it to a bulgar wheat salad (cooked bulgar wheat with some added chopped spring onions and finely chopped preserved lemon). I griddled some halloumi to have with it as well:

Ready to go in the oven (gas mark 5 for about 45 minutes).

Bulgar wheat with roasted veg and griddled halloumi.

I usually add chopped fresh mint to a bulgar wheat salad, especially if we’re having halloumi with it, but I didn’t have any left on the balcony garden. Fresh chilli is nice in this as well, but I left it out on this occasion.

As for the other veg- I used some of the dwarf beans in a stir fry and the rest are going in a risotto tomorrow. I’m planning on having the runner beans with a roast over the coming weekend.

Thanks, Di!

Owen’s verdict on pattypan squash

Owen insisted on referring to the pattypan as a ‘pontipine’, which, in case you didn’t know, is a type of creature from In the Night Garden. (I’m not really sure how we even know what they are, considering we don’t have any children.)

He also commented during dinner that he kept imagining the chunks of pattypan were chunks of lemon, and got a bit worried about eating a big mouthful of lemon. He did say it was tasty though, so there you have it. Spoken like a professional food critic.