When I say I run an allotment (and I have said this, in many an interview), well, that’s kind of a lie. I did at one time have one together with my (now ex-) husband Matthew. Truth is, he did all the work (funnily enough, weeding and sowing seeds on a freezing cold, wet and windy Sunday in February doesn’t hold the greatest attraction for me) and I did the harvesting. Seems fair, doesn’t it? No, he didn’t think so either.
Even though we’re not together any more, he lives just around the corner and, with the boys coming and going between houses, we see each other and eat together a lot (food is the glue in our funny family). And I seem to have joint custody of the allotment (still harvesting only, you understand).
So at this time of year, when everything is getting ready, it’s kind of hard not to come over all Country Living/Martha Stewart. The rasps are over, but the beetroot (and garlic) are ready now. I know beetroot is a sort of Marmite (love it or hate it) food but I adore it in all its forms. Fresh out of the ground, you cannot beat this: grate two small beetroot and put in a bowl. Add a good few tablespoons vinaigrette made of 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, pinch sugar, s+p, 1 tsp Dijon mustard. (Make a batch in a jam jar and keep in the fridge to use as and when.) Add a handful of chopped parsley and a few toasted chopped walnuts. Put on a flat plate and serve with sourdough or flatbreads. Omg it is just yummy. I had to shout at Ewan to stop gobbling it all before anyone else had a go at it.
Matt keeps going on (and on) about all the millions of beans he’s going to have. My absolute fave thing is digging for potatoes. Once I start I sort of can’t stop and it drives him mad because if they’re not eaten within a few days they start to go green then have to be binned. I think I am probably a very annoying person to live with. Or at least to share an allotment with…