Dining on the Silver Linings of Failures

Besides running for around a month longer than they should have, the peas in this week’s veg box are also a wonderful payoff for our persistence – this specific block of them was sown 4 (!) times before we got a decent germination. It took the right temperatures and a few applications of lime (to raise the pH) for these guys to be happy, but they paid us back for our determination in spades (excuse the pun). Apparently the seed company knew this – turns out the instructions were quite clear on the packet. Ahem. Anyway, we’re claiming “successional sowing” was always the plan, in case anyone asks.

Another accidental surprise was a potluck bed of potatoes which grew out of a (seemingly) failed sowing 9 months ago, so well that they out-competed our poor beets.

The take home message for aspiring home gardeners is never give up! Even when you fail time and time again, you never know when the planets might align and the reward is well worth the wait. That, and maybe read the sowing instructions before diving in…

Tunis-coise Salad

Not content to just insult the French, we are also offending Tunisians this week as we apply their delicious national condiment to a Gallic favourite. Serves 3 generously.

  • 300g waxy potatoes, roasted
  • 250g cooked, oily fish (eg tuna, sardines, mackerel)
  • 100g french beans, halved lengthwise and blanched until just soft (about 3 mins in boiling water)
  • 50-100g salad leaf
  • 3 soft boiled eggs
  • 2 spring onions or 1 salad onion, finely sliced
  • generous handful of olives, halved
  • bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • juice of 2 lemons or 2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • big glug of olive oil

Step 1: Make the dressing by combining the harissa, lemon juice and olive oil. Adjust each ingredient to your liking.

Step 2: Toss together the remaining ingredients to combine, except for the eggs.

Step 3: Serve out the salad and break an egg in half on top each plate. Season well with salt, pepper and the dressing.