Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Growing for the table


We have been eating the microgreens from the roof farm with dinner every evening for the last week or so. Admittedly I am the real fan. The Frenchie eats leaves with reluctance. He does love broccoli, though. I dress them very simply, just drizzling good EV olive oil over them, a dusting of salt and pepper, and a light squeeze of lemon. The radish leaves turn maturely furry quite fast, and feel a little strange on the tongue, but the chervil is wonderful - feathery and anise-y. Ironically, the chervil in the microgreen mix germinated with no effort, while the designated chervil packet struggled to pop out a handful of seedlings. Hot mustard seedlings pack some punch.


Usually I take scissors to the roof and snip my leaves, but last night I forgot and so just pulled my handful of greens out and cleaned carefully. The previously snipped seedlings are toughing it out and the radishes actually seem to be making radishes... I love them so may sow some just for the fat little tubers.

We ate the first 'big' tomatoes last night. Ripe ones, that is. I've nibbled some crisp green ones (but not fried any, yet). They were genuinely good, if rather battered by circumstances.  But then, who isn't?

And last night I tested a recipe for a fresh herb rub. I often write down recipe approximations after I have cooked and sometimes my estimates do not match what really happened. A pinch* soon becomes a teaspoon which is larger than one thinks, at 5ml. So I'm making sure. It's quite interesting, with some unintended results. Anyway, this one worked, and the recipe is at (the Food). Parsley, savoury, thyme, lime slices, sugar (it was the amount of sugar that was in question) and garlic. 


* Apropos of a pinch: Pugil: do you know that is? It is as much as fits between thumb and first two fingers. 

Still, that leaves quite a wide range.  This courtesy of Stephen Maturin in A Thirteen Gun Salute, Patrick O'Brian. I confess I am on my third reading of the 20 book series. But just to sound more serious (O'Brian is very easy, buoyant - literally - escapism, with some interesting home truths via character analyses, as well as some excellent period detail), I'm also reading Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, which kept me awake all of last night because it made me Think. It really annoys me that Oprah chose it. Now it's going to be everywhere with stickers on it. Good for Mr Franzen's sales' figures, and pretty funny given his (previous?) opinion of Ms Winfrey's benediction.

So is a boxer a pugilist because s/he keeps thumb folded over fingers? Ah, no. Pugnus = fist in Latin.


  1. i am slightly addicted to micro greens. i can just feel the vitamins and minerals seeping into my blood as i eat them! how fab to have them so close at hand.

  2. Karen - yes :-) especially the spicy ones...

    Frank - grazie mille

    Y'all feel free to point out my egregious typos, anytime, btw. Wow, there were lots. I am the worst typist, bar none :-(

  3. OK...several things to say this time. Firstly- you are most certainly NOT the worst typist. (Or, if you are, you're a diligent editor!)
    Radishes- I'd like to know whether you think the globes are much hotter than the long-root kind.
    And the "pinch" measure: I was told by an old country cook that it was any fine-ground stuffs that could be picked up between thumb and middle finger.Hardly accurate!

    I have great difficulty in relaying recipes as I tend to make so many adjustments. Seat-of-the-pants cooking, I suppose.

  4. mmm crunchy spicy fresh greens...wonderful!

  5. POB just loved to show off his superior vocabulary:

    'pugil, n.1 Now rare (arch. and hist.). [< classical Latin pugillus handful < the same base as pugnus fist . . A small handful, or a large pinch, of something.  From the 17th cent. technically defined as in quot. 1657.
    . . 1657 Physical Dict., Pugil, as much in quantity as may be taken up between the three fore fingers and the thumb.
    . . 1989 P. O'BRIAN Thirteen Gun Salute (1992) ix. 275 It was a shame to fritter away so much as a pugil.’ [OED]


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.