ugly tomahtoI am a fair weather tomato fan, and I mean that in the best way. I just think that the sad, cottony, flavorless orbs on offer in winter are simply not worth the trouble. I have learned to make due with grape tomatoes for the kids’ snacking and I am fine with tinned Romas for sauces. But I will never just buy a tomato from a grocery store in the winter and put it on a sandwich or a salad or anyplace else.

Flip the calendar to summer and I can’t get enough. All shapes, sizes and colors get thrown into salads, pasta, rice, eggs. Tomato sandwiches on toast with salt pepper and mayo? Perfection.

tomatoes, feta, arugula, basil, olive oil and sea saltThis salad is also perfection for me. Read More →


Back in the Spring, desperate for sunshine and warmth, I was so infatuated with my veg patch that I conveniently ignored that fact that I was leaving town for most of the summer.  I was in denial about the fact that the fledgling plants, already set back by the dreadful Spring of 2013, were going to have to go it on their own while I took the Fives back to the States to visit family and friends.

How did the crop fare?  Anything that grew faster than weeds thrived.  Anything that couldn’t was stunted.  Thought pretty much everything did survive.  Ain’t mother nature great? The biggest winners: rainbow chard, kale and courgette (zucchini for my American friends).  The Fives and I harvested bags full last weekend (along with twice as many bags full of weeds…).

Chard and kale will be with us for a while, but the curse of courgette is that when it is in season, it is so prolific that people run out of ways to use it.  So I offer you two ways to use up your courgette bounty without being bored to death.  First up, a simple salad that takes mere minutes to make and doesn’t require an oven or stove.  Tomorrow, I’ll share something a little more sophisticated. Read More →