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Dear Lovely People who gathered to cook and eat at the last Global Gardens workshop and supper on 29 July:

I really enjoyed being with you all, and wanted to follow up with some thoughts and reminders about what we cooked together celebrating the mid-summer glut.

We talked about cucumbers and courgettes.

We showed how salting and letting them sit concentrated flavour.

We showed how both can be eaten raw or cooked.

We made a raw grated courgette salad with rice vinegar, olive oil and fresh mint.

We ate a Courgette Panade, usually a layered bake incorporating stale bread, vegetables, egg-based custard and cheese. Ours, of necessity vegan, was simpler: salted courgette (so fluid reduced), tomatoes, stale sourdough bread, layered with olive oil and herbes salees-- onions on top, baked in a hot oven-- the veg release their juices and soften the bread….

We enjoyed a pickle of fermented courgette in the style of Aubergine Kimchi.

We also ate a salsa of a Korean cucumber dish, Oisobagi, that had fermented in time in the fridge, and was pleasantly tangy.

We prepared cucumbers by peeling them, and pulling them apart with our hands for a different flavour, removing the seeds. Vaida made a delicious stir-fry with them, roughly based on this recipe.

We had a lovely relaxed salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions...

We had loads of garden greens, particularly piles of Chard and Kale. We prepared them together, understanding stems as needing to be cooked a little longer than the leaves. We talked about how various herbs, wild greens, weeds (ex nettles, dandelions), veg tops (from carrots, beets, turnips etc) can be added to the mix. We “blanched” the greens (boiled, then drained and shocked back from further cooking by very cold water), squeezed out excess liquid so they would be dry enough to hold a dressing, then we explored three dressings:

-Classic olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper

-A version of this which included sesame oil.

We made Herbes Salees, a French Canadian herb preserve/ condiment, from Parsley, Salad Burnet, Tarragon, Mint, Sage, Rosemary, Chives… Hopefully these will be part of the next Global Gardens gathering…

Our feast took place upon beds of simple flavours: short grained brown rice, and buckwheat noodles. Healthy, whole, delicious.

Thanks for a wonderful time, and anyone feel free to contact me with any questions. I hope all this functions as a useful aide-memoire, and hopefully see people again!

Annie Levy

Annielevyevermore at gmail dot com

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