Picking greens and cooking with eggs

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This morning I helped Duncan with a new delivery of Falcon enamelware and among the bake sets, saucepans and mixing bowls were colanders, wrapped in tissue paper and nestled inside one another. The enamel colanders reminded me how much I love picking salad greens from the garden, giving them a wash under the tap and making an instant salad for lunch. So when Gryf and I arrived home we picked lettuce and flat-leaf parsley, added green olives, capers and balsamic vinegar and olive oil and served with last night’s left over Egg and Bacon Pie for lunch.

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I’d love to share the recipe for Egg and Bacon Pie (by Jill Dupleix) because it is great for when you have eggs in abundance. We are down from four to two Isa Brown hens thanks to the local fox population and illness (sour crop), but we still have a build up from time to time. Just yesterday morning Duncan suggested I “Cook something with eggs”. The Egg and Bacon Pie recipe works equally well for small individual pies, made in 16cm Falcon enamel pie dishes or a muffin tray. I love the way you can see the equivalent of a boiled egg when you cut the pie into wedges. It looks attractive on the plate and is delicious to eat. Be adventurous and adjust the flavours to please.

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Egg and Bacon Pie, adapted from Jill Dupleix

Ingredients: 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed, 2 tbsp oilive oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, five cloves garlic, finely chopped, 5 thick streaky bacon rashes, rindless, 10 free-range eggs, plus one extra, beaten, 100ml milk, 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped, 2 tbsp grated parmesan or cheddar, sea salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 190C. Line a lightly oiled 22-centimetre pie dish (or individual pie dishes, or muffin tin) with pastry, pressing any joins to seal. Chop onion and garlic and soften in olive oil until golden. Chop bacon into three-centimetre pieces and fry until lightly crisped, then drain. Whisk five eggs with milk, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Scatter half the bacon, onion and garlic on the pie base and pour in the egg mixture. One at a time crack five eggs into a cup and gently slip them into the mixture. Scatter with remaining bacon. Brush the pastry rim with some of the extra beaten egg and lay remaining pastry over the top. Crimp the edge with a fork, trim off any excess pastry and brush top with beaten egg. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Cut pie into wedges and serve with salad or cooked vegetables. Serves 6 (or four with leftovers for lunch the next day).

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