Photograph: Nick Saltmarsh
The last day of November and we survived the school Christmas fair. In the evening, 6 lovelies came over to share grown up food. It was an evening with a theme of dark food and it was good to cook a small feast for people who are willing to eat edible matter which was to a large degree: black, purple, pink or dark brown and all naturally so. And what a treat – feeding people who don’t complain (at least not out loud). Some of the nosh I’ve made before and made up the recipe, for example: pheasant rissoles or cakes/patties/croquettes as you will – which on a messy day turn into what S termed, in a friendly way, ‘rissole rubble’ – still polished off by polite eaters even when not bound with an egg.
Beetroot, feta and dill risotto is magical dish for the winter months; the earthiness of the beetroot is well lifted by the feta and dill. Then there was a red cabbage and onion tart which I have made before. Thanks are heartily owed to Mimi Thorisson for this beautiful recipe (please go and see her photo) from her stunning Manger site: http://mimithorisson.com/2012/07/04/red-cabbage-onion-and-walnut-tart/
There was some new stuff. Cooking for others is never quite complete without the riskiness of trying something which could turn out badly. It didn’t turn out badly at all (methinks) – black rice salad http://www.eatlifewhole.com/2012/10/black-rice-salad-with-apples-pomegranate/ . Black rice is amazing…really black. And Chris brought along a deep dark and rich chocolate and Guinness cake which was fab. The homemade bilberry ice cream was the right colour if not a bit bland compared to the afore-mentioned crumble of an earlier post and our full stomachs didn’t put us off chocolate and chestnut truffles (recipe from The Green Parent) or Chris’ marvellous damson gin. No decent pictures here I am afraid, but look at the links above to see how splendid dark food look when a proper photographer captures it. Anyway, it was mightily uplifting to be among friends and to experience food in a slightly curious and novel way.
Darkness was duly celebrated as the time of advent came upon us.
Do try this at home.