Sunday, 21 December 2008


You know it is summer when people start trying to give away zuccinis! No, not me, because mine are just beginning to flower, but Sally from gardening has given me about a kilogram's worth. So while I was at the market on Friday I bought some mushrooms and a packet of lasagne sheets and decided to make one of our favourite summer dishes, Zuccini and Mushroom Lasagne.

It is so much tastier than it sounds..... somehow the flavours are just right and blend to form a dish that it greater than the sum of its parts. It is a bit fiddly, especially if you use the non-instant lasagne like I do, and you brown all the zuccini slices but it works OK with instant lasagne and with raw zuccini. In fact if you were going to use raw zuccini I would use instant lasagne because it would soak up the juices really well. But if, like me, you enjoy an excuse to put on some music and spend an hour in the kitchen, this is a recipe for you.

I usually now grow either the yellow zuccini or the yellow fluted squash....which are just all the same flavour, but with different jackets on and in different shapes. My favourite colour is yellow and if there is a yellow version of anything I can never resist it!

Today is quite hot and after many weeks of cool weather it is making me think of summer food and BBQ's etc. I think my favourite foods would have to be Middle Eastern and I have on my lap one of my favourite books, that Maggie wrote about once, called "Taking Tea in the Medina". The photo on the cover of the book almost oozes with the juice of the pomegranates..... and the recipes and the writng entice me to go outside and pick mint and coriander and parsley and start cooking chick peas and eggplant and adding my own garlic and lemons. I have a lovely, quick recipe for puris which, although Indian, would be fine to scoop up hummus and babaganoush and slow-cooked feral goat marinated in yoghurt..... I smell dinner.....I have some feral goat in the freezer.

Oh dear..... none of this will be ready for lunch today and I am starving now! We will have to finish off the lasagne and pick a salad......and thaw that goat. 

ps I did thaw the goat and marinade it in yoghurt and lemon peel and juice and tomato paste and other stuff I have forgotten..... then baked it for nearly 3 hours very slowly and covered for most of the time because feral goat is VERY lean.... and we had it for dinner with vegetables from the garden. It was divine.... one of those recipes that is so simple but so good and only requires cooking time, not preparation time. And that to me is the perfect meal.


Rachel said...

hmmm... the lasagne sounds delish. My zukes are just starting to go; I'm feeling really good because last year, the ones I planted from a cheap punnet didn't do that much. But this year should be good.

I have a question for you all. My friend in the US sent me a link for Asian Winged Beans. They look absolutely fantastic - and apparently, the leaves and the tuber/root are edible in addition to the pods. They're also apparently extremely high in nitrogen (even for a legume). I'm wondering if anyone has come across seeds here in Australia. I'd love to give them a go.

Thanks for help/input!

Kate said...

I have some info on that bean but it says it needs very hot, humid conditions and you can eat all of it. If you wanted to look for it I would suggest Green Harvest Seeds as they are in Qld and have lots of tropical stuff. We grow snake beans and quite a few other Asian vegetables here but I have not seen any of these winged beans.Good luck Rachel, let us know what you discover and how you go growing them if you find any.

Unknown said...

I would recommend Taking Tea in the Medina to everyone. It is a great book

Rachel said...

Thanks, Kate. I'll definitely try Green Harvest Seeds, although I have to think first. Hot I can do in my backyard; the specific microclimate is very intense because the house is built with the backyard facing east and most of the courtyard is concrete. But, as you can imagine, "humid" is a problem. "Arid" was more the name of the game until I started digging in bokashi compost and mulching like there was no tomorrow.

But there is one corner by the hot water service that just might do.

How are snake beans? Do they requite humidity?

Kate said...

Snake beans seem to like Adelaide so I would say no, humidity is not so important, Rachel.

Rachel said...

Good to know. I have a bunch of beans that I ordered from the Diggers, including flageolet for that taste of France, yum, yum. But I'm hoping there's room for more! ;-)