I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.
A few weeks ago we planted some autumn greens in the vegetable patch. As winter has been very slow in coming in our part of the world, they have taken off and we have spinach and kale and rocket and a variety of lettuces and Chinese greens a-plenty. There is joy in seeing this abundance, that has had very little to do with me, except of providing a rich soil, and netting to keep possums and other intruders away. Water and sunshine have done all the work, and left me with the simple pleasure of the miracle of growing things.
For lunch today I gathered a good handful of spinach and then foraged about for herbs – thyme, fennel fronds, parsley, baby nasturtium leaves and chives. I sauteed the spinach and herbs in a little butter and seasoned with pepper. A slice of toasted sourdough rubbed with a cut garlic clove was the base on which I laid the greens. A little finely grated pecorino was the final seasoning. It was deeply satisfying to make lunch from fresh produce from my own garden, and simply delicious.
There is no need for a recipe for this dish – it’s just about some beautiful spinach and whatever herbs you have to hand, gently and quickly cooked in a little butter, with the best quality grainy sourdough bread you can find, an earthy and delicious lunch for one. You could add a poached egg or fresh curd cheese for a more filling meal, but I prefer the absolute simplicity of the greens on their own.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/4633459332