Almost all the remains of the vegetables – after peeling – allow preparations where the imagination reigns supreme. Radish, carrot and turnip tops; beet and cauliflower leaves; zucchini, cucumber, tomato skins; pumpkin seeds; garlic and onion peels; pea pods; broccoli trunks …
Garden and vegetable patch: the secrets of good mulching
Edible peels are endlessly available. On the other hand, never snack on tomato or rhubarb leaves, as they are poisonous. One regret if you taste all your peelings: there will be less green waste to put in the composter!
To be sure to eat healthy, grow your vegetables, in the garden or on the balcony. By sowing carrots, radishes and turnips today, the first harvests will take place in a month.
► Roots and tops: radish
Start with the “every month radish”, the famous little radish that you bite into with vivacity. Thanks to its large seeds, clearly visible and easy to grasp by hand, sowing is very easy to succeed. Sow every 15 days to stagger the pickings. It is a “root” vegetable, and prefers loose soil for good development, cool and humus. Crumble the soil, make a 2cm deep furrow, and drop the seeds one at a time every 2cm, or simply broadcast the seeds on the raked soil, making sure to space them 3 to 4cm apart. less, and tamp. Water with a watering can, and then make sure to keep the soil always fresh, otherwise the roots of the radishes spin or widen and lose their flavor. Just wait 3 to 5 weeks to enjoy your first harvest.
Radishes to enjoy, raw or cooked, braised. Leave 2 or 3 cm of greenery at the end, this too often neglected, lovely part is as good as the root. As for the tuft of tops, turn it into a soup, or into a pesto with olive oil, parmesan and almond powder. Or concoct a tabbouleh, replacing the parsley with the tops.
► Roots, tops and skin: turnip
Sow the turnip, for an early harvest in 6 to 8 weeks. If, depending on the variety, its flavor can be strong and spicy, like sweet and sweet, turnips are less and less present in vegetable gardens… but more and more on chefs’ tables! This is quite surprising, because it is rather easy to grow, and it brings very particular flavors to the kitchen. It is a “root” vegetable, and it needs loose soil to properly develop its taproot. His preference is for cool, humus-bearing soils, preferably acidic or neutral. Its seeds are very fine. To facilitate sowing, mix the seeds with fine sand, and sow the mixture in a furrow 1 cm deep. Cover with sifted earth, tamp and sprinkle in a fine rain. When the plants have 3 or 4 leaves, thin out to keep only one every 12 cm. Straw to keep freshness and avoid unwanted weeds.
→ PRACTICAL. Planning the vegetable garden is now!
If the turnip roots are eaten cooked most of the time, when they are young, they can be eaten raw, in carpaccio or in a salted crunch. Use the leaves like those of radishes, but also in herb tarts, in omelettes… Make crisps with the skin on. Skin to add to vegetable broth.
► Roots, tops, skin and flowers: carrots
The carrot is easy to succeed, as long as your soil is light and free of stones, otherwise, beware of the quirky appearance of the roots! Level the ground well. Make furrows 1 cm deep. The seeds are fine. To avoid squeezing these seeds too much in the furrow, mix them beforehand with fine sand, as you do for turnip. Cover with potting soil. Water gently in fine rain. It may take 2-3 weeks to emerge. Thin out to 2 or 3 cm when the seedlings reach 3 cm, then to 7 or 8 cm when the carrots are as big as the little finger. Keep the soil cool so that the roots do not dig in. In 8 to 12 weeks, you will be able to harvest them. ‘Forget’ a few feet so that they flower.
Raw or cooked, roots are part of our daily life. But what to do with those superb bouquets of fresh tops that smell so good? A pesto, with nuts and parmesan. Simply finely chopped in a salad, in mayonnaise or dispersed on cold meat, they bring a fresh and distinctive note. Also use the skins, to transform into spicy chips. They give personality to savory cakes and other vegetable cakes. As for the flower umbels, crumbled, they charm the simplest dishes with an eye.