Owner of the acclaimed A corn Vegetarian Kitchen in Bath, Richard Buckley encourages you to grow, and cook, your own.
Take a carrot and hold it in your hand. It's a carrot, right? Yes, but before that it is a root vegetable and before that it is part of a plant. Broadly speaking, all plants are the same. They have roots in the ground, stems to connect and support the various parts, leaves to capture the energy from the sun, f lowers to help them reproduce and fruits and seeds to create more plants the same as themselves. There is infinite variety within this, but the structure remains the same.
I live in a cottage in rural Somerset, England and my beautiful little garden is a never ending source of inspiration through the balmy summer months. Looking out through the kitchen window I can see a profusion of herbs, peas and beans all clambering for space, climbing the walls and tumbling out of pots. My recipe for chilled pea and herb soup, over the page, is an attempt to capture that feeling of verdant abundance in a little bowl. The combination I’ve used is simply what I can lay my hands on straight from the garden, so mix and match depending on what you have available, either from your own patch or locally, and what is best in season.
My beetroot, walnut and dill pâté on page 25, has big, bold flavours and nods to northern Europe with the flavour combinations. Beetroot is actually very similar to carrots in terms of their structure and their starch and sugar content. The layers you can see in a beetroot are the same thing as the core and outer of a carrot, just many times over. This means that any technique that works for a carrot will almost certainly work just as well for a beetroot.
We've shared pea and beetroot recipes as these veggies are among the easiest to grow. Sow your seeds between March and June (up to July for beetroot). You can support growing pea stems with canes and chicken wire, ready to harvest from June to August. Pull up your beetroot between May and September.
Plants Taste Better: Delicious Plant- Based Recipes, From Root to Fruit, by Richard Buckley is published by Jacqui Small (£25). Readers can order a copy at the special price of £20 with free UK P&P. Please call 01903 828503, quoting 'QPG495'. quartoknows.com