Bring Up the Solanaceae

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Say hi to the Red Hot Cayenne Chilli Peppers! Sans socks!* One brave plant produced all five of these, but at this time of year they won’t ripen due to lack of sunlight, so I picked them rather than let the plant waste further energy on them. I’m not sure how long cayenne plants live, but as they’ve made it this far would be nice to give them a chance at fruiting when there’s some proper sun going. Heard from a casual Pilipino acquaintance that they use the leaves a lot there, as well as the fruit – might have to google recipes. It hadn’t occurred to me before to try these, but then I’m cautious about experimenting with unknown bits of plants of the Nightshade family…

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*Possibly NSFW
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Abbey_Road_E.P.

In between plant-wrestling I’ve knocked up a white bean bake. Enjoy.

White Bean bake
(this is a very distant relative of this: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/giant-chipotle-white-beans-recipe.html)
Tin butter beans, drained
Tin cannellini beans, drained
Chopped fresh spinach
Wholemeal breadcrumbs
Cheese (I used soft white, as that is what I have in the fridge, but grated cheddar or perhaps a mozzarella or feta…?)
Tin chopped or plum tomatoes
Tomato puree
Oregano
Paprika
Couple cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 100degrees.
Rinse the beans in fresh water, then add to a pan of water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, then drain.
Heat the oil in a wok, and add the garlic, then a minute later the oregano and paprika. Stir.
Add the tomatoes, big spoonful of tomato puree, salt and pepper.
Simmer until a thick sauce.
Add the beans and spinach, stir.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, and cover with the breadcrumbs and cheese.
Bake for 20-odd minutes, until crumbs lightly browned.

This does well warm for dinner, or cold in a lunch-box.

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