About 3 weeks ago we made our first attempt at growing some of our own greenery to garnish our dishes and we feel that we can safely say that, despite some concern about our gardening abilities, we are making some good progress...
We'll keep this a short and sweet one but as part of an attempt to keep our food looking, and of course tasting, delicious we felt inclined to grow some of our own micro-greens. For those not in the know, these are basically young greens of some pretty tasty plants and have become a staple in fine-dining over the last 10 years or so. They adorn some of the most beautiful plates of food out there at the moment and I can safely assume they will continue to do so for a while longer. These can range from aromatic herbs like parsley & coriander, to the more delicate red-veined sorrel, to the playfully fresh and colourful leaves of rainbow chard and red-mustard. With each having their own unique flavours they are an attractive way for us chef-folk to finish some dishes with greens that, in their adult-form, would struggle to find their ways onto some more delicate dishes.
Taking the idea from the above video from the guys over at ChefSteps we got to work ordering and setting up our home-brew garden. The plan was to have greens ready for our Spring Popup event, (checkout our photo gallery) although sadly that wasn't to be the case for some of our little greens, but some were ready. The slideshow below shows our setup on Day 1:
We got our seeds from Nicky's Nursery and as this was a practise run we decided to get a small selection, including things we haven't used before. The full list that we purchased was:
Red Russian Kale
Red Radish Leaf
Purple Basil Ruffles
Edible Carrot Leaf
Red Veined Sorrel
Swiss Chard Greens
Lemon Sherbert Tomato
Brown Berry Tomato
Some had to be held back as we felt they might benefit from some warmer weather and we knew they wouldn't have matching flavours to our spring menu. After 3 hard weeks we've got some success and the tomato plants have even started off. The radish greens, as well as red tatsoi were ready to go and made it onto the menu! We're holding out for some good results from the carrot, pac-choi, red-veined sorrel & swiss chard. The total spend came to £16.74 (including shipping) which, especially if the tomatoes come to life, will definitely save us a hell of a lot of money over the coming months as Smoke & Salt continues to grow. We'll definitely keep you updated on our tomatoes and hopefully the cucamelons will come to life too! R.