This is the first in a series of blogs where we are looking at vegetables suitable for Autumn planting. We have decided to go with a colour scheme for each blog and the first colours we are exploring are Orange and White. Colourful vegetables contain phytochemicals which give them their colour and provide healthy nutrients in our diets.
When I was thinking about these colours for the blog, carrot and parsnip mash was the first picture that jumped into my head. Not really a favourite on my plate as a kid, but at least it was edible without retching (unlike brussels sprouts) and now I make it myself because I like the sweetness of the combination. I'm sure some of you have similar memories of this combo.
Cauliflower Orange Bouquet
This particular variety is a beautiful colour with a slightly sweet flavour. It has 25 times more vitamin A than the white varieties, so something that healthy is always going to be a good choice for your garden. The colour is retained when cooked so it is excellent for adding colour to your plate.
We have a wide range of carrots but one of the best ones to grow in autumn is Carrot Touchon. This particular variety is a French Nantes type that is core-less and great for juicing, cooking or eating raw. This versatile vegetable prefers to be grown in very loose soil with little or no compost.
Did you know that raw carrots provide you with 3% carotene when raw but when cooked, pulped or oil is added, this increases to 37%. Carotene is what gives the carrot its orange colour and provides us with vitamin A, antioxidants and good healthy retinas.
SwedeSwedes were developed in the 17th century in Sweden and originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They are sweeter than turnips and many countries eat the leaves, whereas in NZ we tend to eat the edible root. The other common names are rutabaga or yellow turnip.
Before pumpkin became readily available in Europe, swedes were carved and hollowed out as lanterns for Halloween, to ward off evil spirits.
A few of us here at Kings Seeds like swede as a raw vegetable. Grate it into salads, chop it into thin rounds or sticks to scoop up dips or just eat it like a peeled apple. It is lovely and crisp and when I have included it in a platter, people often enquire as to what it is after having eaten and enjoyed it.
Beetroot Golden Globe
This beetroot does not bleed like the red varieties and is best harvested when golf ball or tennis ball size, so it's a nice addition to your garden if you like growing baby vegetables. The green tops are also tasty when steamed or boiled, with a similar taste to spinach.
If you are looking for a low-carb substitute for potatoes, cauliflower should be on the menu. It provides a very similar mouth feel, but a lot less starch. To maintain the beneficial nutrients it is best steamed, microwaved or stir-fried, rather than boiled.
Try roasting florets of cauliflower that have been tossed in generous amounts of crushed garlic, oil, pepper and salt. Add toasted pine nuts before serving - delicious.
Parsnip is a vegetable that tends to polarise people. It is a root vegetable that belongs to the carrot family and has been grown in Europe since Roman times. Parsnips have a sweetness that is much enhanced when roasted or thinly sliced and quickly cooked in the oven to make parsnip crisps.
We have two white turnips in our range Tokyo White Cross and Snowball. The first one is great for harvesting as a baby vegetable and the second is also best before it gets too large. The small turnips can be cooked or used like radishes in salads.
Turnip leaves can be referred to as "turnip greens" and taste similar to mustard greens.
This type of fennel has a bulb like stem and is used primarily as a vegetable. The leaves can also be used as a herb. The bulbs can be used raw or cooked, and have a mild anise flavour.
Sliced and used like cabbage, it gives a nice change of flavour when sliced into salad. Sautéed or steamed, it is great sliced or whole with fish and other seafood dishes.
The Italians call this fennel "finocchio". The varieties we have are Romanesco (in our organic range), Milano and Orion.
Thai Curried Vegetables
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp oil (rice bran or peanut)
1 large potato, cubed and boiled or microwaved
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup peas
2 tsp Thai curry paste (red or yellow)
330g can Coconut cream
3 Tbsp chopped coriander (optional)
1. In a medium pot, cook onion in oil until just transparent.
2. Add curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add vegetables and coconut cream.
4. Cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are required firmness for your taste.
5. Stir in coriander and serve.
This is good as a side dish for 4-6 people or main meal for 2-3 people.
I hope you get to try out some of the recipes scattered throughout this blog. I have included these because they are quick and easy which is always a must when cooking mid-week in our household.