Greening suburbia

No-knead loaf with coffee grounds

A recent visit by friends from Sydney and a conversation about minimising food waste inspired me to save:

  • oil from marinated feta
  • egg shells
  • coffee grounds

I have reused the oil to make my own marinated feta. With the egg shells I made a tea to give succulents a boost. Also, combined banana skins, coffee grounds and eggshells in the food processor to make fertiliser.

How to make your own natural fertiliser using kitchen scraps

DIY fertiliser

Two of us drinking two to three coffees a day produces a lot of grounds! Not wanting to throw away the excess, I have been experimenting with what to do with them. This has successfully included grounds:

One of the friends from Sydney told me they had coffee bread at a restaurant. A quick search online yielded bread made with coffee liquid, not the grounds. Some discussion boards decried the idea, saying that the end product would be gritty.

Hey ho, throwing caution to the wind I added grounds to my latest batch of no knead bread. During fermentation the dough rose more than usual. Not knowing how well the loaf would retain its shape, I opted to use a loaf pan.

The loaf has been an overwhelming success. Being moist with an open texture and a slight espresso flavour, it is very dark brown in colour and grit free.

We have had it sliced with butter to accompany lunch and toasted for breakfast; avocado looked and tasted delicious on it.

7 thoughts on “Greening suburbia

  1. Torta di Radicchio (Radicchio Cake) – Dolce
    Rosemarie Scavo | Friday, January 11, 2019 – 08:57
    24 Google +0 3 5
    torta di radicchio
    Difficulty Level
    Cooking Time
    45-50 minutes
    I’m often asked what inspires me to cook. Do I wake up wanting to eat a particular dish? Do I plan my family’s meals for the week ahead? Not necessarily. It’s more of a case of visiting my local market in Turin after the morning school run and seeing what graces the bancarelleor stalls there. Once I lay my eyes on the seasonal fruit and vegetables on display, then I start to get ideas. When I’ve got a bit more time on my hands, I may take a fancy to a crateful of bulbous pale yellow-green quinces and consider making a jam or paste. If I see some embossed cypress-green leaves of spinach, I immediately contemplate washing, cooking and draining a good kilo of it for a pie, lasagnaor cannelloni filling. When time is more limited or I just don’t feel like stovetop cooking, I’m attracted to those pale green fennel bulbs which I slice finely and use in a variety of winter salads. Lately though, I just can’t seem to stop buying, prepping and cooking with the stunning dark red, white-veined cespi or heads of radicchio currently in season.
    In Italy, radicchio comes in several varieties, which are named after their towns of origin, almost all of them located in the northeastern region of Veneto. Perhaps the best known is the radicchio di Chioggia, a round variety from Chioggia, a town situated at the southern entrance to the Venetian lagoon. There is also radicchio di Treviso, a longer variety similar in shape to Belgian endive which comes from the inland city of Treviso, north-west of Venice. Radicchio tardivo, that wonderfully eccentric specimen with long, slender curled leaves resembling fingers is a late-harvest variant of the Treviso. Finally, there is the stunning Castelfranco, distinct for its pale, pink-speckled colour and the way its leaves resemble those of a rose as they grow and unfold. Not for nothing is it called the ‘Rose of Winter’ or the ‘Edible Flower’ by the proud locals of Castelfranco, another inland town in the Veneto.
    Depending on the variety, deliciously bitter radicchio can be cooked in risottos, grilled, sauteed or served in a salad. All savoury preparations I love and make on a regular basis in the colder months of the year. Yet, upon returning home from a market haul last month one morning, my eyes fell upon my copy of Tessa Kiros’ beautiful cookbook, Limoncello and Linen Water, and I was immediately reminded of a recipe I’ve long wanted to cook from it, her sister-in-law Luisa’s sweet radicchio cake, a specialty from the town of Chioggia.
    Friends and family are often sceptical whenever I mention the leafy star ingredient in my current favourite breakfast or afternoon tea cake. The most common reactions after eating a slice though are exclamations of surprise (‘I can’t believe it’s radicchio!’), approval and requests for the quirky recipe. Here it is, ever so slightly adapted from Tessa’s to fit a 22 cm diameter cake tin or the bundt tin pictured.
    for dusting cake tin
    150 g, softened, plus extra for greasing cake tin
    1 liter
    2 tablespoons, plus 150 g extra
    the juice of 1 lemon
    radicchio leaves
    200 g radicchio leaves (preferably from a round, Chioggia variety)
    4, at room temperature
    1 shot
    a good grating
    all purpose flour
    175 g plain flour, sifted
    baking powder
    2 tsp
    a pinch
    Heat oven to 180 ° C (350 ° F). Grease a 22 cm diameter cake tin (or a bundt cake tin) with a knob of butter. Dust with breadcrumbs so it is coated all over.
    Bring the water to boil with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add the radicchio leaves to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes to soften. Drain well, chop finely and leave to cool.
    Cream the remaining butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs in one at a time, then add the grappaand grated nutmeg, whisking well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, the salt and finally, the cooled radicchio.
    Pour the batter in the greased and dusted cake tin and bake for40 to 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the cake tin.

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