Pete Bufo understands the importance of gardening and in particular, communal gardening. “A communal garden serves as a hub to bring people together and as a bank of knowledge, while providing food for the local community. It is also important to have a safe place to work and socialise,” says Pete.
Pete has been involved with Northbank Community Garden since it’s inception in 2008 and is the current President. The garden utilises permaculture premises, with a focus on sustainable agriculture rather than broad acre farming. “It is independence for the people.”
Not only is Pete a great gardener, but also a mean cook. Many of us follow his culinary adventures on social media with envy. This week he is sharing his very own take on Silverbeet, Mushroom and Feta Pide, accompanied by Steamed Beetroot in Lemon Dressing with Puy Lentils. Yum!
Silverbeet, Mushroom and Feta Pide
Ingredients for Pide Dough
3 cups plain flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
Put the yeast, sugar and cup of warm water together in a small container, put aside until frothy.
In a large bowl (or food processor) add the flour, salt and oil together then add the yeasted liquid. Mix together into a pliable dough. 10 minutes of hand kneading will suffice, though only 4 or 5 minutes in the food processor will do too. Put the dough aside in a bowl, cover with a wet cloth for an hour or so until it has risen.
Ingredients for Filling
400g steamed and chopped silverbeet
300g crumbled Greek Feta
100g sliced mushroom
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
4 medium eggs
Salt and pepper
Steam the chopped silverbeet for 2 minutes until wilted and refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.
Add the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Squeeze the silverbeet to get rid of most water. Add to other ingredients and mix.
The dough is enough to make 4 Pide, so roll the dough into 4 portions, rectangular in shape, about 30cm long by 20cm. Add filling to the middle and fold up the sides making sure to barley cover the top, it is an open pie. Taper the ends to a point. Brush with oil and bake in the oven at 180Â°c for 20 minutes or until brown with some crispiness to the bread.
Many types of salads can accompany this, using many fresh local produce. Try this as an example….
Steamed Beetroot in Lemon Dressing with Puy Lentils
Juice of 1 lemon and same amount of olive oil
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 large Beetroots, sliced into wedges and steamed for 20 minutes
Half a cup of cooked Puy Lentils according to packet instructions
Combine lemon juice, olive oil and sugar for dressing, mix well and set aside
Combine hot beetroots, dressing and lentils in a large bowl and mix
Allow to cool and refrigerate. Add salt. The beetroot sucks that flavour up!
Slice Pide diagonally and add to serving plate with a large handful of rocket leaves. Â Arrange salad on side. Drizzle the liquid from the beetroot mix over everything.
People can get involved with the Northbank Community Garden by contacting us on our Website or our 2 Facebook pages. At the moment, we are developing plotsÂ to have individual gardens. We are also planning on re-introducing our community work days which really used to get the people together. Also, some of us still regularly work at the garden. Pop in!