I think the penny has finally dropped.
This year’s garden is planted with vegetables that enjoy every kind of weather. After watching the brassicas (cabbage family) thrive last summer I finally realised they really were happy to grow in wind, rain or sunshine. As long as attacking beasties were kept in check they prospered.
We have a big selection of summer cabbages growing at the moment and there’s a nursery bed full of winter brassicas waiting for a full time location.
The spinach, beetroots and spuds that we have planted are very happy outside too
We have also planted out courgettes, which are under cloches, pumpkins, sweetcorn and fennel but to be quite honest the beans aren’t too keen and are looking a little wind burnt and the pumpkins are positively traumatised.
The tunnels are thriving. We have the ‘greens’ tunnel, which is slowly being transformed to the ‘bean’ tunnel. The greens – spinach, salad , rocket etc were very productive there in the spring but as soon as the temperature rises and the days lengthen they are better off outside. The beans, being a little more particular will enjoy the protected environment. The other tunnel is principally the tomato and basil department.. There is also a bougainvillea, full of purple flowers and a peach tree which is heavily laden with the most enormous peaches. We ate the first peach in there today while the rain was beating off the roof. Apart from the noise it could have been the Mediterranean.
This months recipe is for beetroot hummus. It’s very easy to make and I love the wacky purple colour and fresh flavour .It doesn’t matter too much the size of the beetroots that you use, it’s more important that they are fresh so don’t use ones that are pre cooked and vacuum packed.
Choose about three big or six small beetroots and trim the leaves leaving a short part of the stem intact. This will prevent the beetroots from excessive bleeding whilst cooking. Put the beetroots into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about forty minutes. A little less for small beets and maybe a little more if they are big. To test if they are cooked, pierce with a sharp knife and if the blade slips in they done. Drain off the water and allow to cool.
Tahini is a Middle Eastern variation on peanut butter but it’s made with sesame seeds instead. It’s probably been around for longer than peanut butter. It’s useful for making hummus, salad dressings and other sauces and also spread on bread with jam or whatever you fancy. It keeps well in the cupboard as long as you don’t contaminate it with a dirty spoon or knife.
3 big or 6 small beetroots, cooked and cooled
2-3 cloves garlic
the juice of 1 lemon
2tbs light tahini paste
large handful of chopped mint leaves
Peel the beetroots and put into the bowl of a food processor with juice of a lemon and the garlic. Buzz to smooth puree then add two tablespoons of tahini and a little salt. Stir in the chopped mint leaves and tatse. Add more salt or lemon juice if you think it needs it.
Tip into a shallow bowl. Decorate served with cucumber sticks or sour cream and serve with fresh bread or toasts.
One word of advice. Beware the purple poo phenomenom. This perfectly normal so don’t rush off to the doctors.
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