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July 2024
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Tomatillo sauce with avocado

5 chillies, 300g tomatillos, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, 1 pickled chilli, 1 tsp salt, 20g cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped; 1 avocado, diced; 100g onion, finely chopped.

Place the fresh chillies in a pan of boiling water. After 5 minutes, add the tomatillos and simmer for another 3 minutes. Then drain and leave to drain. Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar and the pickled chilli and blend everything. Then add salt and cilantro and puree again briefly. Pour the sauce into a bowl, stir in the diced avocado and onion, and season the sauce again.

You can make the actual "salsa" in advance and store it in the fridge until ready to use. The avocado pieces are then mixed in just before serving. Tomatillo sauce is great with the classic jacket potato, summer barbecue, marinated shrimp and typical Mexican dishes.

 

Exotic vegetables in "Bioland" quality

For more than 25 years, Jo Jung and Ute Hoffmann are the owners of the "Biolandhof am Hasselbach". The former educator and the trained social worker came to farming as opponents of nuclear power and in connection with the environmental movement. "At that time, it was still difficult to buy organically produced products," Jung recalls. The couple had four children, which only strengthened the inclination towards "poison-free food", as it was called with nice clarity back then. The farm's acreage for vegetables is about two acres; with grassland, it's 35 acres.

That acreage is also needed, because they keep sheep on the farm at Hasselbach. "In the meantime, our flock with the lambs comprises more than five hundred animals, mixed of black-headed Suffolk sheep". Sometimes they graze on the meadows of the nearby farm estate Habitzheim.

Of course you can buy lamb meat, from young animals, especially now, in spring. The pithy salami and ham, on the other hand, come from sheep that are already six or seven years old. Their aromatic meat thus becomes a delicacy that has become rare. The first-class meat from animals which the Hasselbachers obtain from the Habitzheim and Patershausen farms (near Heusenstamm) is used to make home-made sausages and hams. Apart from a flock of chickens, there are no other farm animals on the organic farm at Hasselbach.

Jo Jung and Ute Hoffmann have extensively researched vegetable orchards that have somehow been forgotten. In Hesse, they are the only growers of Jerusalem artichokes. The tubers have their original home in North America, although they bear the name of an Indian tribe from Brazil. They were given this name in France, where the tubers, which are related to the sunflower, played a not insignificant role in the 18th century until they were displaced by the potato. In Germany, they only have a certain importance in North Baden, where they know how to distil a delicious schnapps from it.

Topinambur can be sliced thin and eaten raw, then it tastes "like lettuce hearts", Jo Jung tells. Steamed it reminds of artichokes, cooked of sweet potatoes and deep-fried of chestnuts. It is also winterproof, valuable for diabetics because of its inulin content, and the plants, which can grow to a height of two metres, also bear beautiful flowers.

This is in contrast to the small size of the tubers, their jagged shape and the tendency of the plant to spread unchecked. If you want to plant it, choose a separate spot for it and be told: "You'll never get rid of it!". If you still dare, you can dig up the tubers from September to April and enrich your kitchen list with them.

Then, along with lots of vegetables and salads, there are tomatillos. Their flavor is distantly reminiscent of gooseberries. The green tomato of Mexican cuisine goes well with ratatouille or other mixed vegetable dishes. Tomatillos are important ingredients of chillies, stews and sauces ("Salsa verde") of Central and South American cuisines. The cultivation is problem-free, diseases, Jo Jung tells, have not occurred so far.

The natural food store of the farm at the Hasselbach is called Ein&Alles. You can still find Jerusalem artichokes there now. Tomatillos are not available again until September through November.

 

Biolandhof am Hasselbach

Jo Jung and Ute Hoffmann

Wiesenstr. 6
64853 Otzberg-Ober-Klingen (Odenwald)

Tel: 06162-71909, Fax: 73428

Homepage: <link http: www.biolandhof-am-hasselbach.de _blank>

www.biolandhof-am-hasselbach.de

Mi 15-18.30, Fr 9-13 u.15-18..30, Sat 9am-1pm

from Waldemar Thomas