The Colour Collaborative: September ~ Earth

Thursday, 19 September 2013

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.




Beetroot and Apple Relish
Next I dealt with the beetroot. I made a variation on the apple and mint relish here adding diced, cooked beetroot and mixing it with crème fraîche.




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!

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful colours... and flavours to keep us happy as the nights draw in and temperatures fall.
    I'm inspired to make soup today!

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  2. Um. Salivating here. I was reading your post thinking yep, that's why I could be a vegetarian until I got to your pie and now it's that's why I could be a vegetarian *most* of the time. Wonderful ideas and beautiful images.

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  3. This is exactly what I like: an idea, a hint of a recipe rather than the detailed instructions (for which I have no patience). It makes me rethink dinner.

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    1. I'm so glad you said that Mise as I sometimes worry about not giving more precise details. I like ideas and hints too it allows for one's own creativity.

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  4. Butternut squash lasagne. Or roots Anna - an old Martha Stewart recipe that's basically dauphinoise but with lots of soft slices of root veg instead of spuds. Or a root boulangere, which is what I cook when I really want dauphinoise but can't justify the cream ;-)

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    1. I can always justify the cream but I do like the sound of a mixed root boulangère.

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  5. I am now craving a bowl of that soup! But my very favourite rooty bowlful is borscht ... I love the stuff!

    Fabulous post Sue, and you're welcome re. the idea :)

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  6. Such a great idea to look at colour through food and to interpret it in this way. Your interpretation is as creative as what you actually created!! Still not sure about all this food on blogs though. Every time I read I end up so hungry....

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  7. Deliciously 'yum' Sue - wholesome and nourishment from the earth.

    Must make myself some soup.

    Nina x

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  8. Oh, Sue, so much inspiration and colour here, thank you! I'm also a fan of root veg (and wrote about them today, too) but often can't think beyond soups. I've never tried pickles like this - they do look fab in that jar of clear vinegar. I imagine you must have the best stocked larder. And the most colourful. x

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  9. Oh please come and cook for me Sue! :)

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  10. Oh yummmm! I want to try many of these ideas for root veg. The first one I'll try will be the sweet potato and coconut soup. I can almost imagine how good it will taste.

    Starting my list for my next visit to the farmers market right now!

    (I also appreciate the ideas others have given in their comments.)

    xo

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  11. Oof, such warming, comforting and yes, earthy dishes. Such a wonderful idea to put a three root mash on top of you pie. I fried bubble and squeak cakes last Friday - made with roots, cabbage leaves and leeks. So good.

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  12. Anonymous4:43 pm BST

    Lovely, inspiring post. May I ask if you use a processor or do you prepare (grate, slice) by hand?

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    1. I use a food processor to grate if I'm preparing a lot of ingredients, but if I'm making a salad say for one meal I'll probably use a hand grater. I sliced the carrots and radishes for the pickle by hand because I only made enough to fill one jar.

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  13. The beetroot ideas are inspiring me, thank you Sue.

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  14. This post comes under the heading of "Duh! Why didn't I think of that?" I loved the idea of the three-root mash for shepherd's pie. So much more colourful and appealing than just using potatoes. I'm also coveting your giant, wooden cutting board. I love cutting on wood, but can never find one big enough for my need to spread out.

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  15. Anonymous2:12 am BST

    An eye opener. It is rather extraordinary that there is so much color hidden under the soil. A great set of recipes to encourage more nutritious color in the diet, and a lovely color study.

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  16. Interesting beetroot recipes.... Yesterday a friend was telling me about a beetroot and chocolate combo cake. Have you heard of it? It seems rather odd but apparently it is quite nice.
    Enjoy the weekend! Pati x

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    1. I have tried it Pati -not my fave.

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  17. Yummy looking recipes, much more interesting than anything I usually do!

    S x

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  18. I am suddenly craving beetroot. Though the last time I ate any, I tipped stain-y juice all over my friend's kitchen floor - mortification.

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  19. suddenly I'm thinking carrot cake............

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  20. Beetroot is my absolute favourite root and honestly the only thing I've managed to properly grow this year. I love the leaves in summer and the root itself later on. My freezer is full of them, to be added to frozen individual portions of feta and puy lentils, taken to work and mixed with salad leaves and balsamic vinegar. Also with walnuts! And spinach! And sliced on pizza with caramelized onions and cheddar.

    There are lots of other things too. I should have a beetroot Pinterest board. I have never, ever, wasted them in a cake, which can be made very well with cocoa powder and butter without any need for my precious beetroot.

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    1. Excellent, I still have several beetroot to dispose of.

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  21. That shepherd's pie looks very tasty indeed...

    I love beetroot, either mashed up and mixed with a bit of horseradish (great on a ham sandwich) or in soup like my Polish grandma made. It had soured cream added and onions which had been fried until very sticky and sweet.

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