Friday, 24 July 2015
Growing root vegetables is more exciting than you'd think. Really, it is. All that effort, with the frisson that you have no idea what is going on beneath the surface. Is there bounty or have critters destroyed everything?
We're not actually growing much in the way of veg. Most horticultural effort is ploughed into the bonsai and we don't have space for much else aside from the usual couple of chilli plants. But Paul decided he wanted to have a crack at garlic. It was a little late in the season to make the decision, but we planted some Red Duke cloves in spring and several plants duly popped up.
We've spent a couple of weeks now dancing from foot to foot in anticipation, reading everything we could find and consulting noted garlic growers (i.e my mother and aunt) trying to decide when we should harvest. Eventually we had to bite the bullet and pull up a bulb to see where we were. It was plump and perfect.
I broke it into cloves. We tasted a little slice from a raw clove and it was wonderful - really bitey and hot. I tossed the rest in olive oil, salt and pepper with chunks of aubergine, courgette, red pepper and harlequin squash and baked it in a hot oven for 45 minutes, then pulled it out and added cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and crumbled feta and put it back in for another 15 minutes.
We had the vegetables with lamb loin fillets, simply pan-fried until pinkly tender. The garlic sang, but each element was delicious.