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Just made tonight – not yet eaten – a winter root coleslaw with a mustardy dressing.  I used a green kohlrabi, carrots, white cabbage, golden beetroot and Chioggia (pink and white stripe) beetroot.  All raw, just sliced thinly by hand and then cut into strips.

For the dressing I used up some creme fraiche and mixed it up with mayonnaise.  Then I added wholegrain mustard to taste – I wanted it quite tangy as it gets diluted the moment you mix it with the vegetables.  We’re having this for tea with a homemade lasagne – it smells delicious and I can barely wait!

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I am so happy to be back in my little blog home – it has been far too long and I have missed sharing my food adventures.

Since getting engaged back in September 2009, we have been steadily planning and preparing for our wedding.  As the date drew nearer – 21st May 2011 – I have just had little time to do much else (whilst juggling it along with my job and my website).

Here’s a picture of some of the cakes our family and friends made for our wedding – the big white one in the middle so beautiful decorated was made by my Granny!

To save me rambling on for too long, I’m going to do some bullets of what’s been going on in our lives for the past few months I’ve been missing from here, and then aim to follow with a nice post and recipe for a fab barbecue we had over the weekend:

  • Most importantly – we got married!  On 21st May 2011, I married Mr Rigg in my home village in Gloucestershire – we had a beautiful, rustic country wedding, with a party in my parent’s garden, lots of local cider and perry, AMAZING food (lots of it local) and just an all round fab day.  If you’re at all interested, photos and details will follow on my website.
  • We honeymooned in an incredible Canopy & Star’s hideaway for a week and took Buddy with us (more details and hopefully a couple of foodie posts on this to follow).
  • Sadly, Mr Rigg’s lovely Granny who was always so interested in what we were doing passed away.
  • After spending an exorbitant amount of time and effort getting our allotment covered in manure and getting rid of all the weeds over the winter…we have neglected it and it is now overrun with weeds – we are totally and utterly the worst looking allotment – gutted.
  • Although we haven’t got a lot growing (and the radishes all matured as we headed south for our wedding), we have got a couple of healthy pea plants, some small beetroot seedlings, potatoes growing (only just!) and quite a few courgette, squash and pumpkin plants.

I am just so happy to ‘be back’ and can’t wait to get growing and cooking some decent food – and to share it all!  I’ll leave you with a picture of my overgrown garden…

I so desperately want to have the time to write here again – I have a camera full of photos and lots I would love to share, I just don’t have the time.  I think I might pop!

We have, however, managed to plant some seeds last weekend – carrots, salad leaves, beetroot, radish, parsley, and peas…and today we spotted the first green pea shoots poking through!  So exciting!

So excited – treated myself to the new Jamie Oliver recipe book that was on deal in Waterstones!  It looks fantastic, loads of lovely meals and recipes, and I love his family-style sharing way of presenting food and eating it.

Can’t wait to try some out!  Anyone else made any of his 30-minute meal recipes?  Where should I start?

I love the sound of the kimchee slaw that goes with this green curry…

Or maybe his Swedish style fish cakes with zingy salsa…

Or this gorgeous platter of smoked salmon with beets and cottage cheese…

I am behind on sharing the good meals that we’ve been eating this week – mainly thanks to an inspiration visit to Bath Farmer’s Market last weekend.

This type of meal – nibbly bits, antipasto, food to share – is one of my favourites.  It always starts off feeling like a bit boring, eating up leftovers, making something out of odd bits in the fridge, but then it usually turns out wonderful.

We had melting delicious Coppa, Homewood Old Demdike ewe’s cheese and a candy stripe beetroot salad all from Bath Farmer’s Market.  The beetroot I sliced thinly, spread on a plate and lightly drizzled with olive oil, a spritz of lemon juice and some black pepper.

There was tiny slithers of garlic salami from Abbey Leys Farmer’s Market, and a tomato salad with quick-pickled shallot, black olives and capers.  You can quickly take the tang out of raw onions in a salad, by chopping them finely and soaking them in vinegar for 10-15 minutes before you need to use them.

Accompanied by the flowerpot loaf from Bath Farmer’s Market and some good quality salty butter, it was a quick but tasty dinner.  Not at all boring.

This past weekend we went to Bath for a weekend away with friends.  On Saturday morning whilst I was waiting for Mr Rigg to arrive by train, I ventured in to the Bath Farmer’s Market – and what treats awaited me!

Incredible veggies – like these pink stripey beetroot and mixed carrots.  I bought a bunch of each.

Wonderful cured meats and sausages – bottom right is pancetta and Coppa, both of which found their way into my shopping bag, along with some Italian pinwheel sausages (back top left). 

Mushrooms of all kinds – I bought a box of those teeny tiny ‘Paris Browns’.

Cheeses of all kinds, including the award winning Bath Soft Cheese – somewhere between a Brie and a Camembert.

This is the lovely oil man, selling rapeseed oil made from his farm’s crops, and also making a selection of delicious dressings.  I usually make all my own salad dressings, but I couldn’t resist a bottle of his creamy Quince and Cider dressing.

The quince lady…well that’s not her real name (a bit more on her soon) selling a selection of beautiful homemade quince products.  Syrups, jellies, sweets and quince paste.

The choice of vegetables available at the farmer’s markets is outstanding.  All farmers markets around the country should have this kind of choice.  Everyone around the country should have access to vegetables like these.  Dark bunches of cavolo nero and pumpkins of all sizes and colours.

The aforementioned flowerpot bread – cheese and herb I think, baked in a terracotta flowerpot to give it that unusual shape.  Also deliciously tasty!

If you ever thought winter vegetables could be boring, here’s a picture to change your mind – amber pumpkins, pinky-purple onions, muddy carrots, fat beetroot, stalks of sprouts, bundles of spinach, dark curly kale, crisp stalks of celery, fresh broccoli, and the wrinkly savoy cabbage or those tinged violet.

And this stall selling their own cheeses, and various cheese products and accompaniments – chutney, cheesecake, soft cheese, and curd tarts.  I bought some of their ewes cheese which was incredibly delicious.

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The second in my series of simple summer salads, a delicious plate of young beetroot with a delicate tasting goat’s cheese crumbled over the top.  For dishes with so few ingredients it’s essential to choose high quality produce with fantastic flavour.

These smallish beetroot are around in my local grocers and farm shops, and are about the size of plums.  The goat’s cheese I used, and would recommend if you can get hold of it is called Picandou and is from the Périgord region of France.  It is a fresh soft goat’s cheese with a smooth creamy texture.  I bought mine from the Barbakan in Manchester.

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I have made this salad twice in the past couple of weeks.  The first time, when the photos were taken, I accompanied the beetroot and goat’s cheese with some roasted Cheshire new potatoes (I parboiled these first, and tossed them in olive oil and a little salt and pepper before roasting) and some salad leaves – this served as our evening meal.  The second time, when my parents visited me for the day, I served the beetroot and goat’s cheese on it’s own, with only a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of marjoram leaves from the garden – this accompanied a smoked trout and dill tart that I’d made (more on that another day).

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So the recipe is as follows…

Beetroot and goat’s cheese salad

Serves 4 as part of a meal

approx. 8 medium beetroot (use two per person)
3-4 small Picandou goat’s cheese (or if using other goat’s cheese, about a tablespoon per person)
extra virgin olive oil
marjoram or thyme leaves (or whatever you fancy from the garden)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Remove the tops from the beetroot – leave about an inch of stalk and don’t cut of the rooty ‘tail’ – otherwise the beetroot will bleed.  Scrub well in water. 

Take a roasting dish, fill it with about 5mm water then place the beetroot into the dish.  Cover with foil and pop in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender.  (Don’t be tempted to remove the foil…I did the first time and the beetroot dried out and didn’t look very pretty!)

This dish is best at room temperature, so let the beetroot cool.  Once cooled, remove the stalky bit and the ‘tail’ – you can also remove the skin if you want, but this is messy and if you’ve scrubbed them well I don’t see any issue with eating it.  Cut the beetroot into quarters, or more if the beetroot is larger.

Arrange the beetroot on a nice platter, and crumble the goat’s cheese over the top.  Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, a little black pepper and some marjoram leaves to finish it off.

*Also great served with rosted new potatoes and some green leaves*

Hidden at the bottom of the garden, these beautiful beetroot (Chioggia Candy Stripe and Golden) have been plumping up nicely all summer.  A last minute salad was needed for a shared lunch at work, so after a wet walk to the bottom of the garden I settled on these.  I just had to take a photo, in spite of the rain, because of those fantastic colours.  I spent half an hour in a rush before work madly peeling them into wafer thin curls – we had them for lunch, simply dressed with a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon – lovely.

candy stripe and golden beetroot from the bottom of the garden

candy stripe and golden beetroot from the bottom of the garden

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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