Food & Wine July 2012
In this month's column, executive chef at The Butler's Pantry, Niall Hill is enjoying the fruits of his labour. Chill'em or grill'em
With it’s beautiful colours and flavours gracing our kitchen tables, it’s no wonder July are fantastic months for produce with sweetcorn, aubergine, peppers and courgettes all standing out. Why not try a sweetcorn courgette serve them with tomato relish as a canape. For added flavour, grill the sweetcorn first or cedar plank grill (see last month's column) aubergines and make a smoked baba ganoush.
July will seethe of the asparagus gooseberries get making your chutney or simply freeze them. We also goodbye blackcurrants hello to blackberries and blueberries; jams, preserves and tarts are on the cards.August will see the finish of our new season potatoes and make way for our main crop -mine are Maris Piper -ideal for roasting, mash and fired. Tonnes of root vegetables will appear like celery, carrots, parsnips and swede. Beetroot is famed for its ability to purify the blood and kick start the liver. It also makes delicious ketchup, which goes fantastically with a rosemary grilled chicken. As expected lots of wonderful salad leaves are around, and if you fancy a summer soup a butter lettuce puree with smoked bacon will do the trick.
Leeks will also be hitting our tables August, a fantastic addition to a fish gratin or simply sautéed with some smoked bacon cream. Mackerel is still in plentiful supply so enjoy while you can. At the allotment it is time to sit back, chill, grill and enjoy the fruits of my labour.
300g beetroot, cooked & diced
1 tsp chopped garlic
200ml cider vinegar
1 onion, diced
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil
Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
Season to taste, chill and serve cold. This keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks.