Friday, 18 February 2011

Winter Veg

It's so satisfying, in the middle of winter, when we feel we've been neglecting the plot terribly, to go down there and see the rows of parnsips, swedes and leeks still standing faithfully waiting to be harvested! The past few weeks we've feasted on parsnip soup, parsnip bread, roasted root veg, creamed leeks - and we're still getting through the autumn's squash as well.

Parsnips seem to grow particularly well on our plot and with very little care. Here is just a fraction of our 'White Gem' crop.
 Of course, they're not all perfect.

The swedes suffer quite a lot of slug damage, but there are still plenty for us too.

And I was worried about our leek crop back in the autumn as there seemed to be a lot of onion flies on them - not something we've suffered before - but the cold weather seemed to see them all off, and the leeks have made a terrific recovery with very few signs of damage. Looks like I forgot to take any pictures of them yet, but I can show you the delicious creamed leeks I served here with cheese and chive mash and a lovely piece of lemon-and-herb-crusted pollack.
I used roughly the recipe from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, but it's a fairly standard recipe: just slice your leeks finely, fry gently in butter and olive oil for a few minutes until soft, then stir in double cream, a little mustard (I love wholegrain) and some salt and pepper. I do believe I sloshed in some white wine too, letting it reduce before I added the cream. Sarah's recipe calls for a sprinkle of chervil at the end, but sadly I didn't have any.


Sue Garrett said...

Anyone who wants perfectly shaped vegetables better go to the supermarket and buy the tasteless stuff. I've just made a shepherd's pie with parsnip and potato mash on top.
If you want to see another strange parsnip try the strange vegetables on my website here It's at the bottom of the page but comes with a health warning!

Monica said...

You are my root veg superstars. I never know what to do with them when they arrive in the box, which is a shame, cuz it seems like they're so easy to grow. Post more root veg ideas, please! =)

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