Discover more from ingredient by Rachel Phipps
How the Black Death gave birth to British pub culture, the secret to ordering the best thing on the menu, and why we should not bother making naan at home.
Welcome to Nibbles where once a month I share everything brilliant I’ve been reading on the web as well as some general updates from my kitchen, my vegetable garden during the growing season, and other miscellaneous ‘you really need to know about’ updates.
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Why you should not be making naan at home. You should be making roti instead:
Julia shares both a brilliant hack for making many, many finger sandwiches at once, and makes me glad that I can count on one hand the number of pre-made / meal deal / service station sandwiches I’ve eaten in my life, none of them by choice:
A delicious looking Indian vegetable dish with a beautiful story behind it:
I’m all about pasta salads at the moment and the clever simplicity of this one has me bookmarking it for when the home grown tomatoes arrive:
What I’ve been cooking: On the blog this month I’ve shared an easy weeknight Creamy Pea & Pancetta Penne Pasta recipe, and as we start to turn towards summer eats I’ve got an unbelievably simple restaurant-style Charred Tenderstem Broccoli Caesar Salad, and an easy Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad, perfect to enjoy on its own for lunch, or as a simple side dish to barbecued chicken over the upcoming long weekend.
Also, over at Project Meal Plan if prepping lunch to take into work is a concern for you I’ve got a brand new Greek Chicken Salad Meal Prep which is bright, vibrant, and full of so many delicious colours and textures - it makes a great dinner salad too when the chicken is warm from the grill.
What I’ve been growing: There was a period where we thought we would be moving house which for the moment we’ve given up on so I’ve only just in the last week or so got going on this years vegetable garden.
I’m anxiously waiting for beetroot tops (my parents gave me an old pack of seeds I’ve never managed to get actual beetroot from but lots of delicious salad leaves), spring onions, French breakfast radishes, cut and come again lettuce, Tom Thumb lettuce, sunflowers, sugar snap peas, green peas, borlotti beans, parsnips, rainbow carrots and sweet peas (I have some from a village fete but they were not split early enough so I planted them out with so little root I don’t have strong hopes for their future) to sprout, but elsewhere I’ve had a little help I’d not usually seek.
As I’m the only one in this house who loves courgettes my parents usually raise for me a single plant - not this year - but I managed to pick up a pack of 2 plants for just £1.99 at the garden centre whose vegetable starts I usually avoid that seem quite happy. I have got my usual ‘raised by dad’ tomato plants, but he’s given me a couple of spares so it is going to be a pick and mix year for varieties!
Something I do usually buy in is corn on the cob starts - these now sadly out of stock seedlings to be specific (I’m still linking you as they have seeds still in stock!) - which always produce unrivalled corn. Also coming from Sarah Raven (they had a sale!) are more herbs as last years heatwave and subsequent hosepipe ban put paid to all my herbs other than my two sage (which I am very proud of as I raised them from seed in my parents greenhouse during lockdown), a tiny barbecue rosemary, my chives, the lemon balm and the salad burnet. Eager to be resupplied with mint, Italian parsley, more rosemary, and coming to my garden for the first time next month, French tarragon.