Saturday, 4 August 2012

Balcony bounty goat's cheese salad

When Ben goes out of an evening, as a creature of habit, I tend to eat one of two things; cheesy garlicky spaghetti or a goat's cheese salad.  Cheesy spaghetti, being my ultimate comfort food, is something I could happily eat everyday, but when push comes to shove, doesn't seem to rate highly in the sophistication stakes according to anyone other than me. With salad, well - at risk of making a huge generalisation - boys don't like salad that much, do they?  They wolf it down in ten minutes and spend the rest of the evening rummaging around to see if you've hidden a sausage or a baked potato somewhere.  So I tend to have a bit of quality 1:1 time with these two dishes when Ben goes off to twiddle with guitars.

Neither of my single lady dinners would usually warrant documentation on this blog, but this particular goat's cheese salad, which I made this week, was bit more special than the usual, as I grew some of it!  Yes, my first balcony harvest is in.  Don't laugh....

I said don't laugh, haters. Yes, if I was self-sufficient I would die, no Charlie Dimmock isn't going to have to start wearing a bra and find a new job, but it's undeniably food! Actual edible food! Food which I grew! A few glorious peas, a tiny courgette, some purple radishes and a tomato.  You'd be forgiven for thinking that the tomato is hideously unripe, but it seems that I have, in fact, albeit accidentally, grown a zebra tomato. Yeah that's right, A MOTHERFUCKING ZEBRA TOMATO! They're meant to be green, and, well, look a bit zebra-ey as far as I can tell from google image searching. Turns out it also happened to be hideously unripe, but how the Bob Hoskins is one meant to know when a green tomato is ripe? I sure as hell don't know.

I was having a lovely time with my vegetables, stroking them and giving them all names, until some jerk came along and decided he wanted to get a piece of the action.


When you have a such a small select haul of produce it's kinda hard to decide what to do with it. Especially as the weather is so crappy at the moment that this is probably all I'm going to get. The great thing about homegrown (veggies, not the Neil Young album) though is that you don't really need to do much, it's a bit of a waste to cook it and cover it in stuff.  So I didn't. I threw it together with some leaves and some goat's cheese and some yellow courgettes from the market (check out Norwich market getting all vegetable trendy) and that was about it. Oh, and I topped it off with a pansy, to up the ponce factor a bit.

Unfortunately it turns out, that although very pretty, the radishes tasted of actual fire and I picked them all out.  So what with the unripe tomato and the radishes of Lucifer, I basically ended up with 20 peas and a small courgette.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Courgette, goat's cheese and balcony salad

The contents of this salad are kind of dictated by whatever nice, fresh, colourful veggies you can get hold of, but this what I did.  For one.

Two small courgettes, one green, one yellow (shave into ribbons with a potato peeler)
Handful of baby chard leaves
Sprinkling of fresh peas
Sprinkling of sliced radish, if you can take the heat
Dressing made with one part lemon juice, two parts rapeseed oil
About 80g crumbled goat's cheese


  1. What you have here is what is known as "baby vegetables" in all poncey restaurants. Congratulations, tastier and almost free, instead of fiddled with by a thousand sous chefs and costing you a mortgage payment.

    Oh, and if green zebra tomatoes are good enough for Jamie, Raymond, and Ware, then a home grown one is a real treat. I can almost taste it.

  2. Unfortunately I have since discovered that Zebra tomatoes are actually meant to be red too, which would explain why the green one tasted so rank. And I'm not so sure how cost effective my baby vegs are so far, but as mastercard would say, "Cost of seeds, pots, compost: £X.XX. Smug sense of self-satisfaction: pricelss"!