I dug up a row of shallots last month in haste because I feared they were rotting in the non-stop rain. This week I came across several clumps in the ground that I’d missed all undamaged by excessive rain and with much larger bulbs. So waste not want not I decided to make something of the immature crop and I spent some time peeling 500 grams of baby shallots. I caramelised them to eat with a roast and they were superb, sweet in the way that only shallots can be and with a sour note from the vinegar.
50grms butter + 50grms of brown sugar melted in a saute pan on top the stove. Add the shallots and cook gently for 20 minutes then stir in 2 tbls of red wine vinegar. Place the pan in the oven on 200C and cook shallots for a further 20 minutes till sticky and golden.
Gosh you’ve got to be quick with the camera round here – this was all that was left after four of us had tucked in.
The next day I decided to add them to a cream cheese mixture to make small savoury open tarts for lunch. It was a delicious combination and I served them warm on allotment salad leaves with a French dressing.
Pre-cook 8 individual puff pastry tarts for 10 minutes at 200C. Then divide up the caramelised shallots between the 8 pastry cases about 3 in each. Pour over a mixture of two eggs beaten with 100grms of fromage frais, 75gms of double cream, 50 grms cream cheese and S & P. Cook for a further 20 minutes at 200C till set and golden. The result was very good with the sweetness of the shallots contrasting well with the creamy topping.
The cut flowers this week are Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ with the lime-green un-opened flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’ and the blue-green leaves of Euphorbia wulfenii adding a contrast to the lime and orange.
And I am pleased to report that my courgette plants have started flowering again so I’m optimistic about more courgettes and the runner beans and beetroot are cropping well.