I'm taking a slightly oblique look at this month's theme. Instead of thinking about the colours of the earth itself I'm focussing on the colours of things which come out of the earth*. Roots and tubers. Now is the season for them. I love root veg, full of nutrition, cheap, tasty and colourful too.
I grabbed my basket and headed to the farm shop to buy brightest coloured root veg I could find. There I found bunches of red radishes, fat carrots, ruby beetroot with their leaves attached, purple and yellow swedes (rutabaga) and pink sweet potatoes from America. There were also parsnips and celeriac both of which I love but were just a bit too monochrome for my purposes (I did, however, buy a 25 kilo sack of potatoes for £4.95. At 20p a kilo I'd have been daft not to).
First I made Carrot and Radish Pickles. Recipe here. I didn't use the three types of vinegar called for, I used half a cup (4 fl oz) of white wine vinegar and half a cup of cider vinegar. The pickles only keep a couple of weeks but they are easy to use up. They are great in a cheese sandwich or with smoked fish and they were really easy to make and look fab.
However, next time I make this I will leave out the coriander (cilantro) despite its prettiness in the finished pickle, because it quickly turned brown and unpleasant.
And I used some of the beetroot raw in a beetroot, carrot and apple salad.
The sweet potatoes were tunred into Tom's favourite soup -sweet potato and coconut. This soup is just as delicious made with carrots, pumpkin or squash.
I used the swede and the rest of the carrots to make a three root mash with some potatoes to top a shepherd's pie. I simply cooked all three veg together in a saucepan until soft, then mashed with a lump of butter. I threw some chopped rosemary into the lovely orange mash for contrast and to complement the flavour of the lamb.
And after that I thought of all the other things I could have done with my roots. I could have turned the carrots and beetroot into vibrantly coloured, health-giving juices, I could have roasted them until sweet and sticky, made them into tarts, put them on pizzas, made fabulous salads with nuts and tangy cheeses to balance their sweetness. I could have made warming spiced stews and curries and moist cakes.
What's your favourite thing to do with a root?
*Thanks Annie for the suggestion.
Don't forget to visit the rest of The Colour Collaborative and see what their take on this month's theme is.
What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways. We're excited by where this might take us, click on the logos below to find out!