I never did tell you what I did with that beetroot or rhubarb.
Cut the beetroot into sixths and roasted in the oven brushed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for 45 mins. Fried a garlic clove and some chickpeas in a little olive oil then added some baby leaves (spinach, chard, anything will do). Continued cooking until the wilted then tossed everything (including the beetroot) with a little balsalmic vinegar.
Ate with lamb chops, bread and humous.
Whilst in the Netherlands, we visited Keukenhof, an enormous spring flower garden located just outside of Amsterdam. To be honest, I had been hoping to cycle or walk alongside the agricultural bulb fields in the North Holland countryside but it wasn’t to be. A stroll through these impressive gardens was a rather lovely second choice though.
Half of the Kabocha squash and the rest of the purple sprouting broccoli that I bought at the local market was turned into a bulgar salad. The recipe I followed looked a bit fussy and I was not at all convinced variety of ingredients would come together as a cohesive dish. Happily though, I was wrong; it was really, really, really good. Even David, who is not always enthusiastic about veggie food, loved it and didn’t even ask to top it with some chorizo. Result!
Recipe can be found here. I used bulgar rather than barley (changing the cooking times, obviously) and roasted pepper rather than sundried tomatoes (find the latter insipid).
There’s a Scottish saying: Ne’er cast a clout till May is oot. It means don’t pack away your winter clothing until the end of May. The following pictures show why this is sound advice in these parts…
Last Tuesday. 22 oC. Sunny. Still.
This Tuesday. 0 oC. Snowy. Windy.
Marco’s happy, at least. He loves the snow.
Purple sprouting broccoli is our favourite vegetable. Normal broccoli is lovely too, of course, but the purple stuff has a few advantages. Firstly, it’s purple and it’s pretty. That’s always good. Secondly, it’s a little sweeter and the texture is more delicate than normal broccoli. And finally, it heralds the end of root vegetable season. (I do love root veg but tend to be a little sick of it by this point in the year).
The purple sprouting broccoli I bought this weekend at the market was the first I’d seen this year and we wanted it to be the star of the show rather than a side dish. I was also feeling rather lazy last night so dinner had to be something easy. Settled on our favourite pasta dish embelished with lots and lots of our favourite veg.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Spaghetti with Garlic & Chilli
3 fat garlic cloves, chopped finely
1/2 tspn chilli flakes
Optional = 3 tablespoon chopped parsley
Three big handfuls of purple sprouting broccoli (it’ll look to much but it shrinks)
- Add the oil, garlic and chilli to a small frying pan and set over a low heat. Warm very gently until the garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley (if using – I didn’t have any last night) and a very generous generous pinch of salt.
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water. Approximately 3 minutes before it’s cooked (softened but still crunchy on the inside), add the broccoli. Cook for a further three minutes then drain.
- Toss with the oil mixture.
- Serve with parmesan cheese, if you like
The last Saturday of every month is market day in North Kessock. Organised by Transition Black Isle, the market takes place in the village hall and is a modest but wonderful assortment of local food and craft stalls. There’s a tearoom serving homebaking and in the warmer months plant stalls are lined up outside the enterance.
The market starts at 10am and I always arrive at 10am. My route around the hall seldom changes. First up is the hen lady. Her free-range, organic chickens always sell out quite quickly so I head to her first to nab a bird and some eggs. Next is the Strathpeffer bread stall to buy some seeded rye bread and a big sourdough followed by Macleod Organics for fruit and veg. David would freak if I came home without a joint of Highland beef from Bogallan Farm or some fruit scones so I head to those stands next. With all the “essentials” bought, I have a wee nosey around looking at the crafts and second hand books before buying some home-made onion bhajis or samosas to nibble on as I wander up the road.
It’s a very nice way to start the weekend.
Yesterday the bags I brought home from the market included:
- Brisket joint of Highland beef
- Whole chicken
- Kabocha squash
- Purple sprouting broccoli
Thought it might be fun over the next couple of weeks to write a posts sharing what I did with each of the above items. Not promising anything terribly exciting and some of the recipes won’t even be new to these pages but, hopefully, the ideas might inspire someone out there… Will start tomorrow with my favourite vegetable of all time: purple sprouting broccoli.