Autumn is most certainly on its way. Have you noticed the leafs starting to turn from an earthy green into a mustard yellow and falling slowly from the trees? The nights and morning are beginning to draw in too. I awoke at 5.30 am this morning with a little-wet border collie nose rubbing in my face. The dog in question was desperate to play. I was less than impressed. When I squinted my eyes open I was surprised to see that it was still dark outside, maybe not dark; it was more grey. However, It gave me the sense that the lovely summer was over and colder times were in the pipeline.
Autumn is my favourite time of year. I make no apologies for my dislike of summer. It's not the summer itself that I dislike. It's more of the anticipation of summer. The expectation that this summer is ' going to be a good yin'. Much to my surprise, this summer was ' a good yin'. However, this year was the exception. The one thing I do love about summer and the only thing that you can consistently count on every year are the light nights. I love being able to sit in the garden enjoying the crispness and calmness in the air that you only get late in the evening when the night is drawing in. I wish the light nights stayed with us all year round. However, with the end of the summer comes Autumn. I love Autumn due to the variety of colours it brings to the landscape. It can be a somewhat dramatic transformation. Plus my Birthday and Wedding Anniversary are both in Autumn so whats not to like.
To help you ease into the colder weather and the darker nights be we created another polytunnel recipe for you to enjoy. This recipe combines the best of Summer and Autumn. A Beetroot Gazpacho. You often see Gazpachos popping up on restaurant menus during the summer, its a lovely and refreshing cleanser during the sticky summer weather. Adding beetroot into the mix propels the dish from a Summer savoury to Autumnal delight. No flavour says Autumn better than Beetroot. Well maybe Mushrooms, but they give me the heebeegeebees so we will stay clear of them for now. As with all of our recipes you can find the majority of the ingredients growing in our polytunnel.
Four medium size beetroots (leafs removed)
One red onion
Four cloves of garlic
250 ml of cold veg stock
Salt and Pepper
a chunk of cucumber
1. Prepare a pot of boiling water and place the beets inside. Allow the beets to boil for around 15 mins, and then simmer for a further 45mins.
2. While the beets are cooling prepare your stock, if you have homemade veg stock in the fridge then use that. If you are using a stock cube, prepare your stock with hot water but let it cool.
2. Once the beets are soft, remove them from the pot and let them cool so you can handle them.
3. While the beets are cooling roughly chop one red onion and a few cloves of garlic.
4. Once the beets are cool, remove their skins. Roughly chop your beets leaving a small handful at the side to be used for your garnish.
5. Place your beets, onion, garlic, and the cold veg stock in a blender. Chuck in a reasonable amount of salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth.
6. To make the garnish finely dice the remaining beets, cucumber and radish.
7. To serve to pour the mixture into a cup or a bowl and sprinkle the garnish over the top. Swirl in some olive oil.
The mixture should produce around four servings.
We aim to have a polytunnel recipe with you every month. If you need any advice on growing your own or recipe information, please don't hesitate to get in touch.