An area by the water and oil storage tanks was cleared of rubble and weeds, levelled, and a water supply added. I sourced some large troughs and plenty of growing compost material. Packets of seeds were purchased from back home in England and in the spring I sowed my seeds.
We spend a lot of our time in Cyprus, in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Here, the summers are extreme; temperatures reach into the high thirty and forty degrees and usually without rain from June to late September. I decided that as well as an adequate water feed, some shade during these months was essential and erected a length of porous green material above the plants.
The seedlings were well established within weeks and I was fascinated to see my vegetables flourish: lettuce, spinach, hot chillies, and capsicums (chilli peppers), tomatoes, courgettes (zucchini), aubergine (egg plants), parsley and coriander.
I find there is nothing nicer than gathering fresh produce from my ‘allotment’ each day and because of the surplus I have made lots of different chutneys, ready for use within a month of putting into storage jars.
Growing fruit and vegetables and pottering in the garden is not only great for getting rid of stress and eating healthily, it enabled me to try lots of different recipe ideas – some of which I have made up! Next year I will try my hand with different vegetables too.
I have included some of my favourite recipes here. I hope you sample one or two and enjoy them as much as we do…happy healthy growing!
Faith’s Hot Aubergine Chutney
1lb onions sliced
3 tbsps paprika
6 oz sugar
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps salt
2 heads of juicy garlic sliced
1 pint white or red wine vinegar
6 dried red chillies sliced
2.5 kg of aubergine – cut into ½ inch cubes
4oz dried fruit
1 tbsps tomato puree
Slice aubergine, onions, garlic, chillies. Place sugar, vinegar, fruit, tomato puree into a bowl and mix. Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic and onions and fry gently for 10 mins. Add sugar mixture, stir until dissolved. Add any other ingredients and heat gently, simmer until thickened.Scrummy!
Bottle in clean, dry, warmed bottles and seal. Ready to eat in about a month’s time.
Faith’s Pine Nutty Spinach
About 1lb spinach-washed & torn
2 large onions sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves sliced
1 oz butter
1-2 oz pine nuts
Fresh nutmeg grated
Heat oil in pan, add onions and garlic, fry until soft. Add pine nuts and butter and cook until the onions are a lovely golden colour. Grate in nutmeg to taste. Steam spinach until wilted in another pan. Drain.
Serve the spinach with the onion and pine mix added and gently mixed together. Season to liking. Delicious!
Spicy Tomato and Courgette Salsa
12 ripe tomatoes - chopped
8 oz sweetcorn - cooked
2-3 fresh chillies – sliced
2 garlic cloves - sliced
2-3 young courgettes (zucchini)- sliced,lightly cooked if preferred
8 spring onions – sliced
2-3 tblsp fresh coriander - chopped
Juice of 1 lime
A little sugar to taste
Mix all ingredients and season to taste with lime juice and sugar. Can be made a few hours in advance, serve at room temperature. Scrumptious with barbequed meat and fish.
Thanks for dropping by and enjoy!