Saturday, 9 May 2015

It's not just flowers - veggies can be beautiful too!




Just look at the lovely rhubarb-pink of the stalks and the deep aubergine colour of these beetroot roots.
These were bought from the supermarket; the beetroot on the allotment are but tiny seedlings at the moment.
I have my fingers crossed. This past week they have had to survive an onslaught from our unpredictable British weather - sunshine followed by howling gales, followed by showers of hail.
But tiny seedlings are very tough it would seem and their ability to bounce back always amazes me.



Beetroot was not a vegetable we ate much chez fenland lottie until we started growing our own.
Now, they are a favourite, valued for their lovely earthy flavour and bright cerise colour.
I spotted a recipe for beetroot, new potato and creme fraiche pies in my Yeo Valley Great British farmhouse cookbook.


6 little individual tarts, baked blind, then filled with a delicious mixture as follows:
1 chopped onion lightly fried for 10 mins to which add
2 crushed garlic cloves, 
200g of thinly sliced waxy new potatoes,
120ml whole milk
120g creme fraiche
salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Remove from the heat and stir in 250g grated cheese ( reserving some to top the pies)
250g grated beetroot and a bunch of chopped chives.
 Season then spoon into the pie cases, top with the remaining cheese and bake at 200c/gas mark 6 until the cheese is golden and bubbling.


They made a very nice summery lunch.
Here's hoping that the beetroot seedlings on the lottie grow big and strong.


And talking of seedlings, last Thursday I finally planted out my climbing beans and courgettes.
The little plants have been on the windowsill for weeks whilst I tended to their every need. I am already 2 or 3 weeks behind my allotment neighbours who have already planted out their beans, but the truth is I was nervous for my little plants. So many difficulties lay ahead of them once they left the security of the windowsill; cold wind, potential frost, not to mention the unwelcome attentions of passing slugs and snails! Call me daft, but I lay awake that night listening to the rain coming down and wondering how they were getting on in the big wide world!
Today is another cool and very windy day. But I need not have worried; a quick trip down to the allotment earlier revealed that the bean plants are doing quite well - just a little wind damage to some lower leaves.
As I said seedlings are remarkably tough!

Happy weekend :)




9 comments:

  1. Those tartlets look mouthwatering.

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  2. Any ideas for what to do with a rather large batch of beetroot purée that a certain little lady is not too keen on!

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    1. There are chocolate cake recipes that use beetroot. : )

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  3. Those tarts look amazing, I will definitely be giving them a try. The weather has been strange hasn't it we still have some seedlings to plant on but are reluctant because of the winds and low temperatures.

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  4. Tiny beetroot seedlings here as well, I always wonder how the little plants survive what with the heavy rain and the wind and the cold. It's all quite miraculous. The tarts look delicious, a great idea. CJ xx

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  5. Those pastries look so tasty and so beautifully presented. I love beetroot (in soup, mostly) but would never have thought to use it as a tart filling.

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  6. The tarts looks fantastic, your pastry is very impressive! Mine is always so untidy. I really would love to try using beetroot more and you've inspired me :)

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  7. I love beetroot and always grow it so those pies will be going on my list of things to make this summer!

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