Steaming veg

Situation: 12 short hours to next box delivery. Left in fridge: 1 fennel (all frond and no bulb), 1 trusty carrot, a single surviving courgette, half a punnet of mushrooms, the last sorry remnants of once-proud bunches of parsley and tarragon. Mission: produce a meal fit for a middle-manager.

Solution: steamed veg and mushroom butter

Ok, this should be easy…

1. Leave a few ounces of butter out the fridge to soften up. Once soft, use a fork to mash up and soften further. Add finely chopped mushroom, garlic, ham, tarragon, parsley. Season well, loads of pepper please.

2. Steam whatever veg you’ve got, chopped into thick slices or chunks. Tastes better if there’s a good combination of strong colours and shapes. Quartered fennel makes any dish of humble veg look handsome.

3. I didn’t think of this until too late, but… a neatly trimmed poached egg on top would’ve added a yolky richness to the dish.

Current music of choice in the VBD kitchen: Karen Dalton’s ‘You never know who’s going to love you the best’, Dylan’s new album ‘Modern Times’, Neil Young’s ‘After the Goldrush’. Can’t beat the old hippies.

Conversation topics of choice at the kitchen table: bathroom fixtures, the entertainment value of political melodrama (Blair vs Brown), best ever 7-letter Scrabble words, the genius of the opening credit-sequence of the TV show Shameless, crochet.