I am very proud to announce that my kitchen garden has just started producing the first fruit and vegetables of the season, so the recipes I want to share with you use a few of the things I’ve grown myself. They are all easy to grow and, more importantly, easy to cook.  It’s my third year growing fruit and vegetables and, for the first time since I started, my little patch is right outside my door. When we moved into our new house it came with a jungle of a garden out the back, which I had high hopes would become my little plot.  After a lot of strimming and cutting and snipping and chopping, there was finally room for some raised beds courtesy of Patchworkveg.com and, within a few months, I had a place to grow.

In my limited experience of growing, the three most important things I have learned are: only grow things you are going to eat; don’t plant all the seeds at once or you won’t be able to get through the amount of produce, and finally, choose quick-growing produce such as peas and lettuce to keep your attention, and keep you motivated.  There is a huge sense of achievement when you do finally get something to bring into the kitchen from your own garden.  These recipes make the most of some of the things that are already being harvested from my garden.

This weeks recipes are all garden inspired…. My pea, mint and pancetta soup is delicious and the ingredients are extremely easy to grow, but watch the mint — it needs to be contained or it will take over your garden.  Pak choy is my little wonder veg, mainly because I can actually get it to grow. It has happily produced for me and goes beautifully alongside some green beans and sticky duck for a delicious main meal.  There really is no better fruit that Ireland can produce than strawberries. It is the stunning red hero of the summer and goes beautifully with some cream in my mini strawberry pavlovas.  There is lots of inspiration here for you to cook through and hopefully get growing.

Continue to the recipe for Mini Strawberry Pavlovas…