Saturday, 26 June 2010

Growing, eating and the green eyed monster

I love it when summer comes along and the cucumber, courgette and beetroot gluts begin. To pickle or to roast, that is the question. I’m only just tucking into last season’s sweet pickled beetroot and already I’m making plans for this season purple beauties. My new find is beetroot hummus – easy to make and even easier to eat.

Last year we were drowning in a sea of lettuce as I failed to follow the successional sowing principle. This year I’m successional sowing. And we’re still drowning in lettuce! The difference now though is that the compost heap has competition for the wastage in the form of four hungry piggies.

This week we paid a visit to Blaencamel organic farm, down the road from us. It was there that I met the green eyed monster. Row upon row upon row of fantastic tomato plants twining up to the polytunnel roof, a forest of courgette plants in a mist of humidity, sweetcorn that grows taller than 6 inches, and piles of swollen garlic bulbs. Ok so they’ve had 30 years practice compared to my meagre 2 years of experience, but I can still be jealous. Their secret is perfect manure. My secret is 2 parts hope mixed with 1 part pessimism. No wonder Blaencamel is doing so much better than me! 

In times of doubt I turn to pickles and preserves. Out comes the maslin, in goes the fruit, out comes scrummy citrus marmalade and jewel red strawberry & gooseberry jelly. Joy in a jar!



Anonymous said...

Hi Phil, could you post the recipe for beetroot hummus please?

Phil said...

Always happy to oblige our readers!
Recipe makes a large serving for 4 people.
1 tbsp cumin seeds - toast seeds in dry frying pan over medium heat until start to darken. Crush hot seeds in pestle & mortar. Break 250g crustless stale bread into chunks & whiz in food processor to crumbs. Add 200g chopped cooked beetroot, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tbsp tahini, good pinch of the crushed cumin seeds, juice of half lemon, salt & pepper. Blend to thick paste. Taste & add more lemon juice, garlic, tahini, cumin or s&p as desired. Fyi, the cumin flavour is stronger the next day. Enjoy!
P.S. I also have a great recipe for beetroot & horseradish pie and one for roasted beetroot with coriander.

Anonymous said...

That sounds yumski Phil, I will try as soon as mine are grown or maybe even before with some shop bought beets. Note to self, buy tahini, have run out. Maybe you could start a regular seasonal recipe feature on your blog?