Last of the winter veg

leeks in bucket

In between the freezing snow showers and persistent rain, that has so far been our late winter and spring weather, we have been attempting to clear out the allotment beds ready for the new growing season to begin again.

The pigeons have played their part, by stripping a couple of broccoli plants on either end of a row that weren’t fully netted. My fault, I can’t blame them. I was hoping these plants would prove to be of the purple sprouting variety, but now I’ll never know. In between these are some romanesque broccoli plants that unfortunately suffered (and were neglected by a fair-weather gardener) in the midst of the coldest spell, and I think are now heading towards the compost heap unless they make a miraculous recovery. I’ll give them a chance in case there’s life in them yet, but I think past experience tells me otherwise.

Brussels 1

I also lost a few small cabbages to the harsh ravages of winter, but the surviving heroes, that marched on bravely through the snow, are the leeks and Brussels sprouts.  They not only survived but continued to slowly push upwards and outwards, fattening up nicely and becoming sweeter, making them very welcome in my harvest trug.

So here is a new recipe for you, if you too have some winter vegetables to use up. I’ve made this a few times now and it works well with kale, broccoli, spinach, as well as leeks and sprouts. In fact any green leafy vegetables. It’s also a recipe that can be adapted in many ways; a spoonful of mustard or a little grated nutmeg in the cream, some thin slithers of garlic, a forked through tin of salmon or tuna, or if you’re a meat eater some crispy bacon or salami would work well too. Feel free to make it entirely your own.

Winter veg and gnocchi bake

Feel free to print this recipe in order to use it, and if you’d like a high quality, archival quality print for framing, it’s available to purchase from my Etsy shop.

As for progress on the plot, I have lots of seeds underway, the back windowsill and my mini greenhouse are full to bursting, potatoes are still chitting away, dahlias have been potted up in the shed, and I’ve been picking daffodils from the plot. I think spring is teasing us a bit this year, but she’s not far away. I have sown a few spring onions and early carrots on the plot and covered them over in the hope of keeping them warm and protected until they get going.

Hopefully there’ll be some rhubarb soon, and quite possibly a rhubarb recipe too. Watch this space.

4 comments

  1. This recipe sounds delicious. As a big fan of green leafy veg, especially with bacon, I’ll try this out. Thanks. Looking forward to a rhubarb recipe too – my plants are all quite small but my friend has a plant that’s huge – and she doesn’t even like rhubarb!!

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    • Oh good. I hope you do try it, it’s become one of my favourite recipes. My rhubarb is still quite small too. I was harvesting loads this time last year.

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  2. Those are some good looking leeks and Brussels sprouts! Although Brussels sprouts are a common crop on the coast (not far away), they do not do well here. Many of the cole crops grow ‘adequately’, but do not thrive where the air is more humid. Leeks dislike it here as well. Summer vegetables do great though!

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