We often have a large lunch on a Sunday. We eat it very late. It’s a bit of a throw back to when we had the restaurant and we used to sit down and eat the ‘scraps’ when all the customers had left.
Sunday lunch for us never begins before five and can be as late as six or seven by the time guest arrive and we sit down. Technically it could be called dinner but we still call it lunch as we operate a two meal only policy on Sundays. A large breakfast and a large lunch.
Yesterdays lunch was big on root vegetables and pumpkins.
We started off with roasted pumpkin on grilled polenta and salad leaves with borlotti beans and toasted pumpkin seeds with a pumpkin seed oil and a pomegranate dressing. The dressing was divine. We were given a bottle of the most amazing toasted pumpkin oil from Austria by one of our woofas last summer (thank-you Lucas) and I whisked that together with white balsamic vinegar and the juice from the pomegranate.
The second course was a beetroot risotto. I love beetroot risotto, the wacky colour alone brings a smile to everyones faces.We ate it with roasted parsnips and carrots.We have discovered that we have enormous parsnips in our garden so I roasted some of those along with some carrots and dressed them with a little maple syrup when they came out of the oven. The earthy sweetness of the beetroot went alongside the maple parsnips very well. The photo is rather messy as I had the bright idea of economising with the washing up and eatening the main course off the starter plates. Not such a pretty vision I think I’ll make more effort next time!
Dessert was a seductive truffley chocolate cake. It was bought by one of the guests and was delicious.We managed to polish most of of it off. I don’t know where we put it all!
Here’s the recipe for the beetroot risotto
2 medium onions
4-5 medium beetroots
25ml olive oil
400g Arborio rice
1 glass white wine
About 1.25 litres hot vegetable stock
100g parmesan cheese
handful flat leaf parsly.
Peel and chop the onions. Melt the butter together in a pan and add the onions. As soon as the onions begin to sizzle season with a little salt and turn the heat down. Cook gently for about 7 minutes. The onions should soften, not brown.
Peel the beetroots and cut into a fairly small dice then stir into the onions. Season with a little salt and cook for a further ten minutes, giving occasional stirs.
Add the Arborio rice to the vegetables and give a good stir, then add the glass of white wine. Allow the wine to bubble up and reduce then add a small amount of the hot vegetable stock. Cook for a couple of minutes then start adding the stock ladle by ladle. Stirring between additions. Keep the rice cooking, so that you can visibly see action but not like a volcano. The rice will be cooked after 15=20 minutes, Check and maybe add more stock, or water if you’re out of stock. If the rice has the slightest bite to it, take it off the heat and beat in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a sprinkle of chopped flat leaf parsley