One of the bonuses of growing your own vegetables is that you can use all the edible parts of the plant instead of just the parts that are on offer in shops and on market stalls – salsify buds, beet tops, courgette and squash flowers . . .
and one of my favourite things, broad bean tops:
The Crimson-flowered Broad Beans are setting little pods and it's time to nip out the top cluster of leaves; I take them down to the topmost flower bud that's showing colour. Last night I picked a couple of handfuls of broad bean tops and steamed them over a pan of new potatoes (bought Jersey Royals, ours won't be ready for a few weeks), the broad bean tops are ready when they start to smell of beans. Take them off the steam and drain then.
I added the bean tops to an ovenproof pan in which I'd cooked chopped smoked bacon, onion, garlic and diced sweet red pepper. Sprinkle with chopped savoury (the perfect partner for any beans) and chive florets, make sure everything is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Scatter over broken up feta cheese, then add the eggs – I used five eggs and a splash of semi-skimmed milk beaten together – pour evenly into the pan and gently shake to get it mixed in. Bake in the oven until it smells delicious and looks golden and gorgeous, like this . . .
Served with a potato salad made with the Jersey Royals I cooked the broad bean tops over, mixed into plain yogurt with a spoonful of mayonnaise and lots of freshly picked and chopped Moroccan mint.
Notes From Epping Forest: July
1 hour ago