Courgette tart with feta…and a potager.

The courgettes are overflowing in the potager and we eat it every way we can, this time around as a courgette tart. I love salty tarts and this tart is right up my alley. I always have puff pastry in my freezer, so while the puff pastry defrosts, I make the preparation and the tart is assembled as soon as the courgettes have cooled down. It is really a no-fuss tart and it can be adapted to suit every taste. I hope you like it enough to try it.

Pinch of salt:

  • Add goats cheese instead of feta cheese.
  • Add slices of tomato to your preparation.
  • Oven roast the courgettes for a different taste.
  • Add pine nuts to your preparation.
  • The tart can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Reheat at 200 degr C for 10 minutes.
  • The tart can be frozen for later use.

Our potager is my husband’s kingdom. A potager is a lot of work and maintenance, so every morning he is out there, cleaning, planting, weeding or just paying attention. We have had some good rains lately, so the potager is green and lush and looking good, which means the weeds are looking good too. The following photos tell the story of life in a potager.

Health rusks and a lavender field.

There are few things as enjoyable as dunking a rusk in that early morning cup of coffee. It being a very South African tradition, no home in SA is without a cookie tin of rusks. It requires no yeast or kneading and is quick to assemble and can easily be adapted to your own taste. This recipe is from a book by Myrna Robbins called, Bushveld banquets, a feast of Lowveld flavours.

I have about five varieties of different lavender in my garden. My favorite one is the lavandin Grosso with nice dark flowers and which grows about 70 cm tall. Behind the pool I have a large patch of the large lavendula Angustifolia, la vraie lavande, which adds a whiff of lavender all around the pool and lawn…it says Provence! How I love lavender!

Orange flower cake and garden corners in December.

This is a very easy, very delicious, seasonal dessert.

  • 280 g ground almonds
  • 220 g sugar
  • 200 g soft butter
  • 100 g all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp orange flower water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 160degr C.
  2. Grease a pan of 35x24cm.
  3. Zest the one orange and lemon . Bueat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the zest.
  4. Add the eggs one by one alternating with the ground almonds.
  5. Add the flour.
  6. Pour the preparation into the greased pan and even out the top.
  7. Bake at 160 degr C for 30 minute or until a skewer comes out clean when piercing the cake.
  8. Prepare the syrup: Mix the juice of the two oranges, the lemon and two tsp of orange flower water and 2 tsp of honey unntil the sugar has completely dissolved. Baste the cake with the syrup until all the syrup is absorbed by the cake.
  9. Zest the an orange and sprinkle over the cake.
  10. Serve with some whipped cream on the side.

How time has flown by. We are at the end of 2019 with a few weeks left before we start the new year. My garden also realizes that we are in December.

A few chicks made their appearance late in the season and now they have to grow fast to outrun the cold coming.

Some garden lantens not yet packed away, a broken pot with water and a forgotten garden bistro chair.

An ever so proud rooster on the garden table.

Seedlings to be covered soon, a wire basket to be filled with butternut from the potager and a garden lamp.

In the potager, late tomatoes , butternuts and rhubarb await action.

The geese are ever present in every corner of the garden.

And the horses are amused by what’s happening around them.

Wood forthe fireplace on the chilly evenings.

Roasted peaches with honey and thyme.

At the end of every summer I have the disappointed feeling that I haven’t had enough of the summer fruits and then I go into a frenzy to get my qoata for the season in. And so we have a last chance to indulge in all the summer fruits, especially the peaches and nectarines, the watermelons and melons. All of them my favorite fruits.

If you haven’t had roasted fruit before, you are truly missing out on a great experience. It is so simple so make and brings out the best of a fruit in a different way.

There is no formal recipe for this dessert. I used a mix of peaches and nectarines.

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Use 2 peaches per person. Wash and cut each peach in half. You can remove the seed or leave some in.
  • Place the peach halves in a roasting tin.
  • Spoon some honey into the peach hamlves, drizzle liberally with lemon juice, sprinkle some fleur de sel and add lemon slices to the peaches.
  • Add lemon thyme branches to the peaches.
  • Roast at 200 degr C for about 15 minutes. Stick under the grill fora further 3 minutes if they aren’t browned enough to your liking.
  • Serve warm with créme fraîche of vanilla ice cream.

Pincée de sel:

  1. Use plums or figs instead of peaches.
  2. Use brown sugar or maple syrup instead of honey.
  3. Make a vanilla syrup of 1/2 cup water, vanilla pod and 3TBSP sugar . Leave to boil down to a syrupy consistency and add to the peaches along with cream. Omit the herbs.