8 March 2014

In my kitchen: March



The intense heat of summer is slowly fading. The cooling of the air, in the late evening and early morning, signals the start of my favourite season, Autumn. One of the reasons why I love March, is because the rich brightly coloured summer produce is at its best. Tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini are bursting with the warmth of a long, hot summer. Lush, ripe figs are just starting to fill the market, along with dark, velvety black currants. The olive oil and wine harvest is on the horizon, only a few short months away. The leaves haven't fallen from the trees yet, but they are just starting to turn. When they do, the market will be filled with similar hues in the form of plump squashes and pumpkins



In my kitchen this March...
...there are many, many jars filled with fresh passata. At the very end of Feburary, the long eggplant shaped roma tomatoes were at their best and it was time for tomato day. This year, Madame Zen joined in the fun - now we both have a stock of 'summer in a bottle' for the winter months ahead. Inspired by my recent Italian travels, I would have loved to have been able to use traditional San Marzano tomatoes for our passata. I have vowed to use them next year and I have the seeds ready to plant when early Spring visits, later in the year. I did however get to use the 'Emanuel 3 il passatutto, food mill, which I bought back from our travels in Puglia, to help purée the tomatoes. It was magnificent.

In my kitchen this March...
...there are also some jars filled with 'druken figs'. Using my grandmother's old recipe, we will have a stock of figs - soaking away in white port - for chilly winter days, when fig season has long passed.



In my kitchen this March...

...there are loaves of homemade olive bread, called eliopsomo in Greek. I was given the recipe for this bread on our recent trip to Lefkada. It is filled with dill, onion and of course, Greek black olives. I used the last of some of the olives we bottled at the end of Autumn last year to fill the dough, before rolling it into a spiral. The dough itself is very simple, just self raising flour, good Greek olive oil and beer. The recipe can be found on my Instagram account @mrs_mulberry.








In my kitchen this March...

...I also had the pleasure of cooking a meal for a group of beautiful friends, who indulged us with some truly amazing French wines. It was a great excuse to whip up some traditional French dishes including a twice baked garlic soufflé with garlic confit and an apple tart with vanilla bean pastry - and some rich homemade chocolate gelato.




In my kitchen this March...

...we also celebrated shrove Tuesday. Instead of the traditional pancakes, we had little pikelets, with lemon and sugar, just like my grandmother used to make. You can find the recipe here. We also celebrated with some traditional Greek Lenten bread, lagana. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you some traditional Greek Lenten dishes. This week though, it was lovely to celebrate Mr K's Greek traditions with my own Irish-Australian traditions - in the same kitchen, only days apart.


A big thanks again to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting in my kitchen this month. Why not head to her blog and have a look at the the kitchens of a number of cooks from all around the world.

7 comments:

  1. Ella, it's so nice to visit your kitchen! Everything looks wonderful (you always take the best photos), including the jars of passata and drunken figs - wish I'd known your recipe when the neighbour had a ripe tree full! Your apple tart looks amazing, as does your olive bread! :)

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  2. So many lovely things in your kitchen, Ella. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Hello Mrs M, your kitchen is incredibly beautiful as always...passata, figs, bread and a gorgeous tart. It really doesn't get any better! Pikelets are a favourite in our house too.

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  4. Oh, you're making me miss summer! This is a beautiful post!

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  5. What utterly beautiful things are in your kitchen! Those jars of preserves are gorgeous.

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  6. Drunken figs! Beautiful passata! Olive bread and pikelets! Everything looks so good- but I'm intrigued with the drunken figs! Great post- thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. Ahhh, the olive bread. I want some now.

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