Culture and Recipes
Salad Plants and Salads
Cakes and Puddings without Eggs
Successional Cropping in Small Gardens
Little Known Vegetables
Vegetable Cooking in Bags
Culture and Recipes
Scarlet Runner Bean
(Phaseolus multiflorus. Leguminosæ)
This noble bean gives the most reliable crop of late summer and early autumn vegetables. It is easy to grow, and cottage and hall alike enjoy its succulent fruit. There are many new and improved varieties, and it is now possible to grow beans a foot long, an inch deep, and as tender as possible.
The best runners are grown in soil trenched and manured some months in advance, but where space is a consideration we find that they follow spring cabbage well. By clearing the middle row of three in a bed of cabbage, room will be found to open a trench fifteen inches wide and two spits deep; this should be done late in April. Into the bottom of this trench a heavy dressing of very old, buttery manure (such as comes from the heart of an exhausted hotbed) should be dug deeply. The soil should then be returned and trodden firm, until the trench is four inches deep; rake the surface level and place the beans on it in two rows, the beans nine inches apart in the row, or even a foot will be none too far apart. Then return most of the rest of the earth, leaving a trench one inch below the general level of the garden. This leaves a useful depression for watering.
By the time the beans are well up and are ready for staking, the cabbage will be mostly cleared away, and will have taken no harm from their neighbours; indeed there need be no hurry to clear the last of the cabbages, which may prove useful to the end of June. A long, strong stake should be placed by each bean, and thrust a good foot into the ground. These stakes should incline inwards from each side of the double row, and be tied together at their intersection. These ties should be at a uniform height, and in the V-shaped crossing of the stakes other stakes should be laid lengthways, and also tied to the uprights. By these means a rigid hedge is provided, which will carry the great weight of haulm in safety. A second sowing may be made about the end of May, but if the beans are kept rigorously picked the plants will go on bearing right up to the early frosts. As the haulm reaches the tops of the stakes it must be pinched, in order to make it break from joints lower down. Weeds should be pulled up, and in dry weather a good soaking of water every three days will be a great help in promoting the setting of the beans.
Make a practice of gathering all the beans as fast as they come to perfection; it is important that none should be allowed to mature seed; one pod with ripe seed on a plant will certainly check the further growth of fresh beans.
French Beans en Fricassé. – Cut off the ends and strings of some young French beans. Cook them in salted water, then drain them well. Put them into a saucepan with two ounces butter and chopped onion, or if liked, garlic and parsley chopped very fine, with a little salt. Be careful to add some sauce if the beans dry up before they are completely cooked. Toss them in the pan for a few minutes, and before taking them off the fire add the yolks of one or two eggs (according to the quantity of beans) well beaten up, with a little water, the juice of a lemon, and some grated Parmesan cheese. Stir from time to time, never allowing them to boil, or the eggs will set. To keep the beans a good colour, put a pinch of salt, with a pinch of soda, in the water when boiling them.
French Beans al Pomodoro. – Take your French beans, cut off the ends and string. Wash in cold water, boil till tender, and drain. While still wet, put them into a baking-dish with some good olive oil, some chopped onion and parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Put the dish on the fire with the cover on, and cook slowly. As the beans dry add the juice of some tomatoes or some good tomato conserve. Take care they do not burn.
Beans with Cream. – Cut off the ends, remove the strings, and cut into two or three pieces. Wash in cold, water, drain, and boil until tender in salted water. Beat the yolks of three eggs, add half a cupful of cream, and a tablespoonful of melted butter. Heat thoroughly and add gradually a table-spoonful of vinegar; when smooth and thick pour over the beans, keep hot a few minutes, and serve.
Beans with Parsley. – String the beans, cut in strips, and cook until tender, then put them in melted butter. Sprinkle with minced parsley, keep warm for ten minutes, and serve.
Beans à la Bretonne. – Prepare according to directions given for beans with cream, using one quart of beans, drain and re-heat with a table-spoonful each of butter and chopped onion; brown slightly. Season with minced parsley, pepper, and salt, add the juice of a lemon and a cupful of white stock or hot milk. Serve immediately.
How to Preserve French Beans. – The strings should be pulled off. Wash them, then cook them for ten minutes in boiling water. Take them out, and pour cold water over them, dry them, and put them into jars, and fill to the brim with salted water; cover, and tie up the tops, put the jars into hot water for an hour and a half without ever letting them actually boil or the jars might be cracked. They should be placed in a deep enough pan, so as to cover the jars to the necks.
French Beans Boiled. – String, and cut in cross-way slices two pounds of French beans, put into abundance of boiling water, to which one table-spoonful of salt and a piece of soda the size of a pea have been added; this preserves the fresh green. If there is not plenty of water the beans will not cook properly. Boil for twenty minutes to half an hour. Drain through a colander and serve on a drainer.
French Beans Sauté. – Boil as above; after draining, return to the saucepan. Add a sprinkle of pepper and a tablespoonful of butter; shake well for three minutes and serve very hot.
(Beta vulgaris, Chenopodiacæ)
As with all root crops, a soil fairly free from stones is preferred; a stony ground will produce malformed roots. A light sandy loam will grow the best beet, but any good garden soil will answer excellently. There should be no recent manure in the two upper spits, but a slight dressing of old manure beneath the second spit will work wonders.
A giant beet is far from desirable for cooking, as it requires such a monstrous great pan, since, if the taproot be broken, the beet will bleed and lose all its colour, and the cook will send anaemic-looking slabs of garnishing on the salads. Probably there is no better beet for private growing than Nutting's dwarf red. The turnip-rooted beets are compact, it is true, but we do not think they can compare with this for flavour or tender texture.
Sow beet during April in shallow drills a foot apart, single the seedlings in May, and thin out three weeks later to eight inches distance. Keep the ground free from weeds by means of frequent use of the Dutch hoe. The roots may be used as soon as large enough, and the whole crop must be lifted in September, or early October. Choosing a bright dry day, lift them with a long tined fork most carefully, trim the leaves off two inches from the crown, and store in sand in a cool, frost-proof cellar. The utmost care must be taken not to bruise or break the roots.
Swiss Chard or Leaf Beet. – Three hundred years ago, before the introduction of beetroot, beets were grown for their foliage only, and Gerarde, who wrote in 1597, tells us that "the leaves were eaten as salad with oil and vinegar."
The cultivation is much the same as for root beet, except that it can stand more manure, as it is the foliage which is required, and the ground does not need much preparation. At the end of the summer the leaves can be gathered, and, with a little protection from frost, the plants will bear for a long time.
The leaves can be eaten for salad or cooked like spinach with a little sorrel, and the midribs are treated as sea kale or cardoons. It will thus be seen it is a very useful plant. – W. F. Giles, Sutton and Sons, Reading.
Beet Leaves Boiled. – Take the young leaves of white beetroot, tie them in bunches, and put them into salted boiling water. They can be cooked in butter like Spinach, or served on buttered toast with Sauce Hollandaise.
Beet "Gnocchi." – Wash well and remove the mid-ribs of a bundle of beet leaves, boil, and then throw them into cold water, dry, and mince them very finely, put them into an earthenware pot with four ounces of freshly grated cheese, four fresh eggs, four ounces of curds or fresh milk cheese, a little grated nutmeg, and some salt. When thick, put it on a well-floured table and make a long roll the size of a finger, cut into pieces about two inches long, flour them well, and throw them into an earthen pot of boiling water.
As they come to the surface take them out, drain well, season with butter, a little grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and cheese. These must be cooked over a hot fire. – Leaves from a Tuscan Kitchen.
Boiled Beetroot. – Select small, smooth beets and clean without cutting or scraping them. Boil for an hour or two, and cool. Remove the skins, cut them into slices, and serve either cold, or reheat in melted butter with salt, pepper, vinegar, chopped parsley and a little chopped, boiled onion added to season it.
Stewed Beetroot. – Prepare according to the direction given for boiled beets, and cut into thin slices. Cook together a tablespoonful each of butter and flour, add a cupful of water and a tablespoonful of vinegar. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, heat the beets in the sauce, and serve with small button onions parboiled, and fried brown in butter and sugar.
Another method. – Prepare according to directions given for boiled beets. When peeled and sliced re-heat, with salt, pepper and vinegar to taste, a boiled onion chopped fine, and a little minced parsley; add a little flour cooked in butter and simmer slowly for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently.
Cream Beets. – Cook small white beets in salted water until tender. Rinse in cold water, rub off the skins, and re-heat in cream sauce, or cut boiled beet into dice and mix with the sauce, adding more butter.
Crême Sauce. – A mixture of Béchamel Sauce. (see Sauces) Let it cool and then add two table-spoonfuls of cream and the yolk of one egg.
Baked Beets. – Wash without peeling, and bake slowly until done. Remove the skin, cut into slices, and season with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Serve very hot, with a little vinegar or sugar added to the seasoning, or serve whole with seasoned, melted butter.
Beets with Sour Sauce. – Prepare according to directions given for boiled beets, blend a heaped teaspoonful of cornflour with a little cold water, mix with a scant cupful of vinegar, bring to the boil, and cook till thick, stirring constantly. Add a teaspoonful each of butter and sugar to the sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the beets, and serve very hot in a covered dish. Less vinegar may be used, adding water as needed, and the sugar can be omitted also.
Pickled Beets. – (1) Wash small beets, but do not cut or scrape them. Cover with boiling water and boil until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water. Rub off the peel with your fingers, cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with vinegar and let them stand for several hours before using. Serve cold.
(2) Boil two cupfuls of vinegar with a few cloves and peppercorns, a blade of mace, a tiny bit of ginger root. Take from the fire and add two cupfuls more of vinegar, and cool. Two table-spoonfuls of grated horse-radish and sugar to taste may be added. Prepare the beets according to directions given for boiled beets, and when peeled and sliced cover with the spiced vinegar. Let these stand for several hours before using.
Beets with Pink Sauce. – Prepare according to directions given for boiled beets. Peel and cut into dice, saving the juice. Make a drawn-butter sauce, seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Re-heat the beets in the sauce until the sauce is coloured.
Beet Sauté. – Prepare according to directions given for boiled beets. When peeled and sliced fry in butter, seasoning with pepper and sugar, serve hot.
Beets Green. – Use young beets, no larger than a walnut. Don't cut off the tops. Wash thoroughly in several waters, using salt water first. Cook quickly in salted water until tender, drain, cut off the tops, and skin the beets by plunging into cold water and rubbing off the skins. Drain the greens, cut them up, and mix with the beets, season with salt and pepper, add melted butter and vinegar or lemon juice. Garnish with slices of hard-boiled eggs. Serve cold.
Beets à la Barbette. – Wash the beets and cook in boiling salted water until tender, leaving on a portion of the stalk. Rub off the peel, slice, season with salt, pepper, and brown sugar, and a little caraway seed. Pour over vinegar to taste, and let them stand several hours before using. For a relish beets may be chopped fine and mixed with an equal quantity of grated horse-radish.
Beets à la Béchamel. – Prepare according to directions given for boiled beets, and reheat in Béchamel sauce.
Beets à la Chartreuse. – Prepare according to directions for boiled beets. Cut a very thin slice of onion for every two slices of beet, and sandwich a slice of onion between each two, pressing together gently. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar, dip in butter, and fry slowly in deep fat, or butter, or oil.
Beets à la St. Laurence. – Previously prepare according to boiled beets. Fry a chopped onion in butter, dredge with flour, add two cupfuls of vegetable stock or milk, and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add the beets, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for ten minutes; add two tablespoonfuls of butter and one of vinegar, bring to the boil, and serve.
Beet-greens or Tops à l'Anglaise. – Wash thoroughly and pick apart tender young beet tops. Cook until tender in a covered saucepan, using only enough melted butter to keep from burning. When tender, season with pepper and salt, add melted butter. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs.
Sow in March and April in any ordinary garden soil in shallow drills a foot apart. Thin out the seedlings to a foot apart and keep the ground hoed between. The young leaves are used for claret, champagne, ginger ale cups, and as flavouring and garnishing for salads.
Borecole or Kale
For culture, see under Cabbage
For culture, see under Cabbage
Boiled Broccoli. – To each half gallon of water allow one tablespoonful of salt and a tiny bit of soda; strip off the outside leaves, cut off the inside ones level with the flower; cut off the stalks close to the bottoms, and put the broccoli into cold salted water or vinegar and water, heads downwards, let them remain for about three-quarters of an hour, then put them into a saucepan of boiling water salted in the above proportion, and keep them boiling gently with the stalks upwards and the saucepan uncovered. Take up with a slice the moment they are done, drain well, and serve with a tureen of melted butter, a little of which should be poured over the broccoli. If left in the water after it is done the broccoli will break, its colour will be spoilt, and its crispness lost. If boiled too fast it will break.
Note. – It is a good plan to place a small piece of toast or bread in the saucepan in which green vegetables are boiled, as this absorbs the unpleasant odour generated during the cooking.
Broccoli au Gratin. – Boil the broccoli according to directions, put in a tureen, and sprinkle over a little pepper and quarter of a pound of grated Parmesan cheese, put in the oven for five minutes until the cheese is melted.
Mould of Broccoli. – Butter a mould, and put in the parboiled flower broken in smallish pieces, pour in a good white sauce in which two ounces of grated Parmesan cheese have been dissolved, a squeeze of lemon juice, and two hard-boiled eggs chopped up; the eggs should be placed among the broccoli; pour in the sauce, cover with buttered paper, and steam for one hour or bake for half an hour.
Good King Henry
(Chenopodium Bonus-Henricus. Chenopodiaceæ)
This is a perennial plant of easy culture. Sow in a seed bed early in April, and as soon as large enough prick the seedlings out six inches apart. When well grown plant out in permanent bed fifteen inches apart. The leaves are used in the same way as spinach.
(Brassica Caulo-rapa. Cruciferæ)
This may either be sown where it is to stand, in rows fifteen inches apart, or better, in a seed-bed in April and transplanted in May or June to its final home. Besides providing a turnip-like swelling of the stem, the greens treated in late winter, like turnip tops, are quite delicious.
Kohl-rabi is prepared and cooked in the same way as turnips and carrots, and the recipes given for these may be adapted for the cooking of this vegetable.
Italian Dish. – Take four kohl-rabis, one head of white cabbage, one head of kail, and some beetroot leaves, cutting away the stalks and the ribs. Cut the kohl-rabi into small pieces, and tear the leaves into bits. Wash well and put them into a saucepanful of water, with a little minced parsley, and salt to taste. Boil for one hour, then pour away nearly all the water, leaving just enough to cover the vegetables. Add one pint of milk – cream is of course better – and boil for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile pound twenty leaves of basil and one clove of garlic in a mortar; mix with two ounces of grated cheese and three or four tablespoonfuls of pure olive oil. Put one half of this into the soup when it has boiled for fifteen minutes, and the rest just before serving.
Cream Kohl-Rabi. – Peel a kohl-rabi; slice and soak in cold water for half an hour. Drain, cover with cold water, and cook until tender. Drain, and pour over sauce to which has been added the well-beaten yolk of an egg
Kohl-Rabi à l'Espagnol. – Trim and quarter a small kohl-rabi, and cook until tender in salted water to cover, adding a little butter. Drain, and reheat in a well-buttered espagnol sauce.
Stewed Kohl-Rabi. – (1) Put the tops in cold water. Peel and quarter the roots. Cover with cold salted water and boil until tender. Chop the greens fine, fry in butter, and add the roots cut into dice. Season with salt and pepper, add a cupful of stock, and thicken with flour which has been browned in butter.
(2) Wash, peel, and cut into dice a quart of kohl-rabis, and cook in salted water until tender. Cook the tops in another pan of boiling water until tender. Drain and chop very finely. Cook two tablespoonfuls of flour in butter, add one cupful of soup or stock, and the chopped greens. When smooth and thick, add the cooked dice, reheat and serve.
Cheese and Oatmeal. – Two cupfuls of oatmeal, one cupful of grated cheese, one tablespoonful of butter, one teaspoonful of salt, and pepper. Cook the oatmeal as usual; shortly before serving stir in the butter, and add the cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted and thoroughly blended with the cereal. The cheese should be mild in flavour and soft in texture. The proportion of cheese used may be increased if a more pronounced flavour is desired.
Cheese Balls. – One and a half cupfuls of grated cheese, one tablespoonful of flour, the whites of three eggs, salt, and pepper, and cracker dust. Beat the whites of the eggs and the other ingredients. Make into balls and roll in cracker dust. If the amount of flour is doubled the mixture may be dropped from a spoon, and fried without being rolled in crumbs.
Cheese Croquettes. – Three tablespoonfuls of butter, half a cupful of flour, two cupfuls of milk, the yolks of two eggs, one cupful of grated cheese, and salt and pepper. Make some white sauce, using the flour, butter and milk; add the unbeaten yolks, and stir until well mixed, then add the grated cheese. As soon as the cheese melts remove from the fire, fold in pieces of cheese, and add seasoning. Spread in a shallow pan and cool. Cut into squares or strips, cover with an egg and crumb mixture, and fry in deep butter.
Gnocchi Alla Romana. – Mix in a saucepan five eggs with three tablespoonfuls of flour, the rind of a lemon and two ounces of Parmesan cheese; and by degrees one pint of milk. Season with salt, and place the saucepan on the fire. Mix until the paste is cooked, then spread the paste on a dish which has been rubbed with butter. Let it cool, and then cut it into small squares. Boil them up in a French fireproof dish; spread a little butter and grated Parmesan cheese between each layer. Place in the oven for ten minutes and serve in the same dish. – Mrs. Ross, Leaves from a Tuscan Kitchen.
Another Gnocchi. – Melt a quarter of a cupful of butter, add a quarter of a cupful each of flour and corn-starch, a pinch of salt, two cupfuls of boiling milk. Cook until smooth and thick. Take from the fire. Add the yolks of two eggs and half a cupful of grated cheese. Pour into a buttered shallow pan. Cool, cut in strips, roll in grated cheese, and brown in the oven.
Ginger Spice Punch. – Stick about two dozen cloves into each of four oranges. Let them remain for two hours, then remove the cloves. Rub the yellow part of the rind from three lemons (after having washed them clean) with several lumps of sugar, then extract the juice from the fruit. Put the lumps of sugar into the juice, and add one tablespoonful of strained honey, half a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, half a grated nutmeg, a pinch of ground allspice, and one cupful of flaked pineapple. Keep on ice until ready to serve, then turn into a punch bowl, or glass pitcher, adding the juice from the spiced oranges, a pint of ice water, and a pint and a half of ginger ale. While it is still effervescing, serve in small punch cups with straws.
Grape Punch. – Prepare one pint of strong lemonade, add two chopped oranges, four tablespoonfuls of cold tea, a bunch of fresh mint, and a quart of grape juice; mix thoroughly and place in the ice box until cooled; pour in, just previous to serving, a pint of finely chopped ice; serve from a large cut-glass pitcher into wide-rimmed glasses, decorating with tiny clusters of fresh grapes that have been dipped into a boiled fondant frosting.
Lime Sherbet. – Squeeze the juice from four limes, strain, and add a cupful of fruit vinegar, two cups of sugar, and a pinch of powdered cinnamon. Cover, and place on ice for two hours, then pour in gradually a cupful of iced tea. Add two sliced oranges and the stiffly whipped whites of two eggs. Prepare a lime syrup, by boiling two quarts of water with one pound of sugar for fifteen minutes, adding the juice and grated rind of four limes. Remove from the stove and add to the other ingredients, pouring slowly over a block of ice that has been placed in a crystal punch bowl, and add small fruits.