Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas dinner

We haven't been very good allotmenteers lately, we have 2 one armed bandits in the house which makes it hard to get anything constructive done. This week however we have persevered and with teamwork from the little P's the veggies which were so lovingly tended (until recently) have been harvested ready for the big event later today..... Christmas Dinner!!

So what did we grow?

For the first on plot 45 we have grown parsnips and they are monsters! I am very proud to say most of them are straight and only a couple grew legs. (Mr P did the soil prep for these, yes he can have bragging rights, he earned them!) They were lovingly nurtured by myself, KP and JJ and most are as wide as my hand and between 8 and 12 inches and weighing in at 5kgs from 15 parsnips. We are cooking traditional honey roast parsnips. Can't wait!

A firm favourite with all the little P's, carrots! Yes we eventually got them going and Mr Rabbit kept away from them long enough to develop into monsters although I don't think I did the best job of digging down deep enough given the legs they have grown, one looks like a giant grotesque hand. Still tastes good though ;)

We were finally able to see if our Tom-tato experiment produced many potatoes. Sad to say we only managed 5 good sized spuds and a couple of wee ones. Very disappointing but for £1 we had to try, we did however get masses of very sweet cherry tomatoes so still worth the money :)

Last but not least, we harvested a few beetroot. The mild weather has meant they are still thriving.

As regular readers of the blog know we have to cater for 3 allergies/food intolerances in our house and add to that my personal aim to be vegetarian it is not always easy cooking for everyone. KP and I decided this year to make our own veggie alternative to turkey, we choose my beetroot and goats cheese tart.

I found the recipe a while ago online and made small adaptations to our taste.


Ready made puff pastry,
2 large red onions sliced into half rings,
1 clove of Oak smoked garlic from the garlic farm,

1 large beetroot boiled and sliced to about 5mm thick.
A sprig of rosemary,
1 Goats cheese
Handful of chopped walnuts,
Salt and pepper to taste,
1tbsp granulated sugar
1tbsp brown sugar
A generous knob of butter.


Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and cut to the required shape. (we cut ours in half to make 2) and bake in the oven about 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the sliced onions, rosemary and chopped garlic. Stirring occasionally. Season to taste and cook until soft.

 Add the sugar to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until browned and slightly sticky.

Take the pastry out the oven and gently push down the centre of the pastry.

Layer the topping on the pastry starting with the onions.

Next layer the beetroot.

Add the goats cheese. Finally sprinkle the chopped walnuts.

Bake in the oven for a further 20 to 25 minutes until pastry is cooked and risen again.

Normally I would serve the tart drizzled with balsamic glaze, salad and sweet potato wedges. Today we will be serving the tart with all the traditional Christmas trimmings minus the balsamic glaze. Other variations to try chilli infused honey drizzled over then bake. You can also play around with different herbs and cheeses even try adding figs.

A great team effort!

Whatever your plans for today, wishing you peace and happiness wherever you are. Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas from all of us here on plot 45.