The allotment at long last is nearly cleared! This late burst of sun we have been getting over the last few weekends has done me many favours in terms of getting on with the back breaking hard slog of clearing the plot. Mr. Scott and myself have really been putting in the hours in a desperate bid to get the ground cleared before half term descends.
I think we’ve done it, almost, as near as, just about! If ever you want to have a good night’s sleep, I suggest a dose of heavy duty gardening. It’s so physically demanding that after a day of working the soil, you will drift off into the most well deserved slumber. There is nothing better for you than a day outdoors to clear the mind as well as getting the heart rate pumping, muscles working and body stretching. The perfect workout that is completely free!
Looking around the allotment, I have noticed pumpkins and squash galore. The apples keep on coming. The grapes have now been harvested and turned into wine. A neighbour is attempting to make cider for the first time. There are cabbages and cavolo nero in all their glory. Masses of walnuts and proud looking leeks.
Sadly, none of this plentiful harvest comes from our own plot. But, lets hope that this time next year I shall be telling you about the successes and failures of my very own first growing season. Watch this space………
Here is my adaptation of a recipe for Autumnal gnocchi. It is based on a recipe from the Capricorn goats cheese recipe booklet, using the spare Goats cheese I had left over from making Beryl the Goats cheese pizza. It uses seasonal butternut squash, to which I added some leeks, dried chilli and rosemary when roasting the vegetables. I also add a large handful of torn basil just before serving. It really lifts the dish and produces the most beautiful sweet herb aroma.
Roast butternut squash, leek & Goats cheese gnocchi
Ingredients :~ Serves 2
- 100g butternut squash peeled, de-seeded and cubed
- 1 large leek cut into medium sized discs
- 1 red onion cut into chunks
- 1tsp Rosemary ( 1/2tsp dried )
- 2 dried red chillies broken up or sliced
- olive oil
- 100g Capricorn Goats cheese
- 25g butter
- 250g gnocchi
- Large handful of torn basil leaves
- Salt & Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Place the butternut squash, leek, red onion, chopped dried chilli, Rosemary, salt & pepper into a bowl and coat with olive oil.
- Transfer to the baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After the vegetables are roasted, cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan, then add the cooked and drained gnocchi. Stir to coat them in the butter.
- Add in the roasted vegetables.
- Take the pan off the heat before adding the chopped Goats cheese and torn basil.
- After the dish has been combined, place into bowls and garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper.