I've just finished the latest (for me anyway) of Martin Walker's Bruno, Chief of Police, series - The Shooting at Chateau Rock. What a delightful read, an exciting storyline, evocative and full of inspiring food and drink! A good summary here from the Publishers:
"In Walker's outstanding 13th outing for St. Denis, France, chief of police Benoît "Bruno" Courrèges (after 2019's The Body in the Castle Well), 70ish retired rock star Rod Macrae, his much younger wife, and their college-age children, Jamie and Kirsty, are spending a last summer together at their country house, Château Rock, before the parents amicably divorce. Jamie is joined by his girlfriend, Galina, a Russian oligarch's daughter. When a sheep farmer dies and his children learn that they've been disinherited, Bruno investigates. He soon suspects there's a connection between the farmer's suspicious death and Galina's father, whose shadowy shell businesses may be a cover for illicit activity throughout the Mediterranean and the E.U. Meanwhile, the obliging Bruno helps plan and prepare meals, teaches children to swim, and considers breeding his pedigree hunting dog. Francophiles will relish the evocative descriptions of the Périgord region and its cuisine."
It's like old home week, reading a new novel in Walker's series. The familiar characters once again come to life, joined by some very interesting newcomers. His books are always especially inspiring in the gardening, food and wine departments. Sometimes it's just hard to know where to start. I take notes on the meals and wines. For today, we'll begin with gardening. Bruno always spends some time caring for his fruit trees and vegetable patch. I can use encouragement in that area. You can see below that weeds need to be pulled.
So, an introduction to my new garden addition, Spigariello Broccoli, an old Italian heirloom leafy green. But don't let the title fool you. Here's what The Food Republic has to say:"The vegetable is long-stemmed with curled green leaves. When mature, it can produce edible flowers, but never florets like regular broccoli. The flavor is mild, grassy and sweet, without the characteristic bitterness of many of its cruciferous cousins. Restaurant chefs are going crazy for Spigarello; it has been featured on the menu of San Diego restaurant Table 926 and Tom Collichio’s NYC restaurant Craft. The greens can be used in a similar way to kale, so if you get your hands on this hot new variety, toss it in salads, soups and sautés."