Cauliflowers, leeks and purple sprouting broccoli

That’s what we harvested from plot #103 on Sunday. We were surprised to find the last of the late late caulis had formed a nice little curd, and although it was a little brown, it tasted perfect made into a tiny cauliflower cheese pie with a puff pastry topping. If your caulis do tend to brown, you can always try bending a couple of outer leaves over the curd and clipping them to the leaves on the other side of the plant to protect the creamy colour, but in winter it’s quite difficult to keep caulis looking pretty and we count eating a fresh a baby cauliflower in February as a bonus, even if it wouldn’t win any bonny baby competitions!

The leeks were frozen, of course, but like most winter veg that gets hit by frost, once cut and cooked (straight from frozen) they made an excellent soup. The purple sprouting was delicious: plump and succulent and full of flavour – it’s a real winter winner with us.

The onions seem to be coping with the sub zero temperatures: this is one of the times that raised beds do come into their own, as they offer shelter from the scouring winds and the improved soil in the bed is less likely to heave as a result of frost action. Heaving is where clods of earth explode as the water inside freezes and expands – it’s good news for those who had digging heavy soils, as winter does a lot of the work for you, but bad news if your heavy soil is around the roots of an overwintering plant, as it can leave tender roots and stem areas exposed to the low temperatures.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, February 13, 2012

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