Butterflies, a fox and a recipe!

swallowtail Papilio machaon

This is the other kind of swallowtail butterfly in my garden, it is not as proliffic as the other scarce swallowtail I posted earlier.

I have begun to harvest my aubergines; they are so wonderfully hard and shiny when I pick them. There are so many ways to prepare and cook them and they taste really different in every dish so I never tire of them.  Here is my recipe for Baba ghanoush.

Baba ghanoush

Baba ghanoush

Serves 4-6

3 large melanzane (aubergines, egg plants) about 1 kg

1 clove of garlic, crushed to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt

Juice of half lemon

3 tablespoons tahini paste

4 tablespoons good olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Piece the skins of the aubergines to prevent them exploding and grill whole over a hot barbeque (you can do this directly on the naked flame of a gas hob, or under the grill) until the skin is charred and crispy all over and the flesh is very soft.  You can also cook it in a very hot oven 220° C for 45 – 60 minutes but the result won’t be so deliciously smoky.
  2. Remove from heat
  3. When cool enough to handle, discard the tops and peel off the skin, scraping the flesh from the back of the skin.  Place in a food processor.  Add the other ingredients and blend quickly, I like a chunky texture so I do this for a very short time.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

When I have some I like to sprinkle the top with ground sumac but this is not widely available and not necessary.  Serve with toast, bruschetta or more traditionally flatbread.

Based on a recipe from “Moro the cookbook”

Something has been digging in the garden for the last few weeks and I hadn’t been able to work out what it was, then last week I was looking out of my studio window and I saw something moving under the mulberry tree; what was it? A cat? – no, a dog? – no – it was a fox, a little different to the English foxes I’m familiar with, not so red with longer sleeker legs and a dark tan colour but still unmistakably a fox.  One evening he came close to me while I was eating supper outside, he looked at me, for some minutes, as if I were the intruder in his garden, then moved a short distance away, checking me out again, then decided to turn and run. Since then I’ve seen him (I don’t know why I think it’s a male) most days.  I know,now, where he’s coming in, so this weekend is when the hole gets filled and the fence strengthened!  Sorry so far no photo!

2 thoughts on “Butterflies, a fox and a recipe!

  1. Poor Brother Fox, I expect he liked your garden ,but its not good when they dig and scent mark everywhere. I rather hope for foxes, as I have an on going rabbit situation. Love the butterfly.

    • Exactly, mr. Fox is well behaved enough to have created a toilet outside the garden, but he is scent marking; competing with the perfume of the roses, lavender etc.

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