Plant-based recipes

Owner of the ac­claimed A corn Veg­e­tar­ian Kitchen in Bath, Richard Buck­ley en­cour­ages you to grow, and cook, your own.

Project Calm - - Contents -

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

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