Good news for those who suffer in silence at my crappy photographs. The massively expensive Nikon SLR I put on our wedding guest list for a laugh has been bought! I couldn't quite believe it, but there it us, under "items purchased". So my Canon Ixus' reign of terror will be over soon.
So - exciting vegetables. They're a thing we should do more of, while we're doing this planet-saving thing of eating less meat.
They do make a difference, exciting veg. It's the difference between something tasting a bit like everything you've ever had before and a memorable lunch.
On Sunday we had Sue Perkins and Julia Churchill over for lunch and I thought I'd make a small roast leg of lamb with crushed carrots with cumin and goat's cheese and spiced celeriac - both from the Riverford Farm Cookbook.
Apart from a tense moment in the kitchen when communication over division of labour betwen me and Giles broke down (Is "you're being such an arsehole about the celeriac" the most bourgeoise thing I've ever said, or what?), it all went superby well and I recommend both of these veggies as accompaniments to any roast. The crushed carrots can be eaten with pitta bread as a dish on their own.
Crushed Roast Carrots with Cumin and Goat's Cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground (I didn't do this)
2 tbsps pine nuts, toasted (I burnt these & had to use hazelnuts and flaked almonds instead - v nice)
75g goat's cheese, crumbled
some chopped mint to sprinkle over the top
1 Peel and cut the carrots in half, lengthways. Put them in a roasting tin and toss with olive oil. Put in a 180C oven and - the recipe says - cook for 50 minutes. But after 50 mins my carrots were still like fucking bombs. So if I were you, I'd allow at least 1hr 10mins for these to roast properly. Or, as a reader pointed out to me, par-boil them first.
2 Mash the carrots roughly and mix with the cumin (I'm sure bought ground cumin is fine). Spread the carrots on a plate and sprinkle with the goat's cheese, nuts and herbs.
Spiced celeriac with lemon
Another winner from the Riverford Farm Cookbook - although it tastes a tiny bit like Heinz Cream of Tomato soup. But not in a bad way.
1 large-ish celeriac
oil for frying
pink cayenne pepper
pinch ground cinnamon
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 Peel and chop celeriac into chip-sticks
2 Heat the oil and fry celeriac for about 15 mins
3 Sprinkle with the spices, zest, juice and 100 ml water.
4 Simmer for 10 mins, season to taste and serve. As usual, they were much nicer than the picture suggests.