Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Salad From a Sunny Window

Nasturtium leaves, rocket, leaf lettuce, pea shoots-all from pots in my dining room window.

This is how I manage until spring in my part of the world, though admittedly we had a rather mild winter. Figs and Manchego cheese, and a dressing of oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, preserved lemon peel, and a few flakes of red pepper came together as a nice first course. Yes, they do the salad course first, and I've been unable to sway them.

The main course was a spicy chickpea stew in roasted tomatoes, carrots, paprika, and preserved orange peel over fried slices of polenta (what most people call, "mush"). It was nice. We have leftovers (also nice). I am completely uninspired of late, but thankfully have shelves of jars I put up earlier. That takes much of the guesswork out of dinner beyond, "which jar shall I open?" The freezer is stocked as well. I don't think I could face a supermarket this week-I know I couldn't.

If you've never grown nasturtiums, I really encourage you to try. They like a sunny spot, and grow happily in pots. Mine are trailing up the sunny window, but have yet to produce flowers. That's fine with us, as we prefer the spicy leaves to the blossoms. They grow quickly, and the tiny buds can be gathered to pickle as false capers (I did that near the end of last summer).

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