My plan to empty and enrich one whole bed ready for May planting meant I had to lift two rows of baby leeks. They’re always a treat especially when griddled as in this recipe from a River Cafe cook book.
Heat a gridddle pan.
Trim and wash the leeks and cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.
Dry very thoroughly on kitchen paper.
Place the leeks on the hot pan for 2 minutes then carefully lift to grill the other side for 2 minutes.
Drizzle with olive oil plus a squeeze of lemon juice, black pepper and chopped parsley.
A little burst of sunshine on Tuesday had me on the allotment emptying the well-rotted contents of a compost bin over the asparagus bed (yet again). I treat this bed to all manner of care and attention ever hopeful that this will be the year I get a decent crop. There’s nothing to see above ground currently so a quick weeding session with a hand hoe left it looking immaculate and buckets of compost left it looking nourished. I covered the bed with tarpaulin which I’ll leave on till the end of March.
I also planted five Jerusalem artichokes to increase my perennial vegetable stocks. I chose ‘Fuseau’ since it’s not too knobbly to prepare and makes a good gratin or soup and can be grated raw for salads. As members of the sunflower family they grow up to 3m so I planted them next to the rhubarb which will crop before they’ve put on too much height. Fruit bushes make up the rest of that bed and again these should crop before the artichokes shade them in late summer.