Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Allotment holiday

 Parents have a way of getting things right and being impressive - and when it comes to the size of their vegetables, mine have definitely got something right in Greece. I remember when they grew rocket from seeds I sent and complained it tasted "woody" - when I visited I was presented with a small christmas tree of a rocket plant with foot-long leaves. Mine had hardly grown two inches before bolting in Scotland...

Anyway, this time Carol showed off her beetroot, while Wolfgang was worried two leeks might not feed 4 people. Under normal circumstances I would agree, but with these two, not a problem.

So, here are two tried, tested and much praised recipes for what to do with leeks and beetroots. Don't worry - normal sized vegetables will work fine, just tripple the quantity!

Leeks a la Nenya

2 of Wolfgang's Leeks (or 6 from the shop)
4tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
300ml red wine (Shiraz will work well)

Cut Leeks into 3cm cylinders, fry upright in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil on a low heat, covered with a lid, until the bottom half is soft. Take care not to burn - switch pan off and rest if necessary. Turn individually to cook the other side by the same method. Season with salt. Now comes the trick: increase the heat and add red wine, half a glass at a time, to cool the pan and caramelise the leeks on both sides. Serve hot or cold. Surprisingly very very tasty.

Beetroot salad a la Carol

2 of Carol's Beetroots (or 6 from the shop)
olive oil
garlic powder
tsatsiki mix (alternatively salt and dill)

Boil the beetroots, drain, peel and slice 5mm thick. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and tsatsiki mix. This salad keeps for a few days in the fridge, tastes better with time and keeps giving.