Showing posts with label Mint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mint. Show all posts

8 Aug 2016

Full of beans! Want an easy recipe for Broad Bean + Mint Hummus?

Broad bean hummus

Did you know there's a whole web page dedicated to bean words?  I came across it seeking inspiration for this post title;  let's face it,  there are only so many ways you can sell a post about beans!  My favourites? (and I will try and work these into future posts) Clan of the Cave Bean, Love me Tendril and The Unbearable Lightness of Bean. No? Alright, then.

But I digress... When the pods get too big or I have too many broad beans, instead of just freezing the pods, I dig out this recipe; it's quick, easy, delicious.  If I ever get time to loaf around with a glass of wine/beer/gin (not in the same glass or even sitting) one warm balmy evening, this would be the perfect accompaniment, dipped into with some flatbreads, pitta or other dippers of choice. I mean, why buy supermarket hummus when you can easily make your own - and even better if the veg has come from your own patch! I found the results good enough to justify growing beans just for this purpose. I do love my snacks.

Have I mentioned that I did a double sowing of broad beans this year? It was an experiment on several levels: I wanted to see if I could successfully extend the broad bean harvest with two sowings, and just over two months later, I'm very pleased with the results. I have a second crop of beans.

The seeds were sown direct in mid-May, every one germinated within a couple of weeks and the plants grew strongly. There were no pests (the benefit of late sowings) and the plants quickly matched the first sowing in height. Bonus beans that feed the soil with nitrogen ready for the pot grown winter brassicas to be planted once the beans are cleared.

Above: 5 weeks after sowing. Red Epicure in first rows in front of Karmazyn at back with pods.

18 Mar 2012

Impulse buying

Lime Mint in front with Broadleaf Thyme at the back
As part of my thoughtful gardening plan for this year, I went out shopping yesterday for some J Arthur Bower's seed compost.  It's the one that came out top for seeds and cuttings in recent Which? Gardening trials and, as I have to buy seed compost anyway, I want to get my plants off to a good start this year rather than sowing seed into any old multi-purpose compost and hoping for the best.

After checking various local sources, I found I could buy it in The Boma Garden Centre in Kentish Town, a small independently run company with friendly staff and interested customer service. I truly meant to just pop in for a bag of compost and come straight home...  but that wouldn't really be me though, would it?

Of course, having not been there for many years, I had to have a good look round, get a mental list of their stock tucked away in my head. Ooh yes, liquid seaweed:  I need some of that;  Bag of vermiculite? Oh yes please, excellent for topping small seeds, quickly past the seeds, whoops, no, back up, French Breakfast Radish? yep, add that to the basket.  Better have a check out back, it's not raining too heavily ... oh lawks, that's done it, I've found the herbs! Mmmm, hmm, hmm.... oh lovely, borage, better have some that just in case my self-collected seeds don't germinate; squeeze, pinch, sniff ... more thyme certainly but which variety?  Broadleaf looks good and excellent culinary usage, Lemon Balm? maybe later and ... ooh, what's this then?  Lime Mint?  I like a bit of the unusual and I hadn't come across this before.  Isn't it beautiful?  I had to have two.  One for the veg patch and one for my balcony.  There were many other lovely herbs that I regretfully left behind (I have masses of herb seeds in my seed box) but I may have to pop back for some violas from their extensive collection as I've just found a nice sounding recipe in Jekka's Herb Cookbook for Violet Apple Cake. (I have a few violets in the veg patch, planted there last summer but they're not quite big enough to start helping myself to the flowers yet.)

So, back to the new acquisition.  Lime Mint (Mentha x piperita f. citrata) will be a vigorous grower, up to 2ft/40cm, with purple flowers over red and green foliage. (Sounds heavenly.) Its leaves can be chopped up for cold drinks, fruit pies and fruit or green salads, yogurt and ice-cream; it has a strong flavour so a little goes a long way and it's best to use the young shoots.  It likes semi-shade in moist, rich soil and, like other members of the family, spread can be controlled by planting into a sunken terracotta pot. (Although, would I really want to restrict its growth?)

Now I just have to figure out where to put it and, preferably, in a slug free zone. (I'm finding lots of baby slugs and white catepillar-like larvae buried in the soil, this does not bode well for the veg patch this summer.)
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