VEGETABLES & THE COLOR PURPLE

Alien Invasion?
Have you noticed? Purple vegetables are taking over; purple kale, purple carrots, purple French beans, purple cauliflower and now purple kohlrabi. Conspiracy theorists, ideas please, before it is too late!

Food and drink photography by Greenshoots Photography

Purple Kohlrabi making an exhibition of themselves!

But of course there is a much more prosaic answer. The purple colour in the leaves, stems and “fruits” of many plants is due to the presence of a powerful anti-oxidising agent, anthocyanin which can act as a natural sun screen for the plant, something which is especially important for young seedlings and new leaves but in something like the purple cauliflower below there can be little if any advantage to the plant. Although anti-oxidants in food a widely regarded as “good” their nutritional value must be also limited in that cooking will destroy the purple colour in most vegetables (purple cauliflower is said to be an exception to this loss of colour).

Food and drink photography by Greenshoots Photography

Brain Section or Purple Cauliflower

Food and drink photography by Greenshoots Photography

French Beans

Food and drink photography by Greenshoots Photography

Purple Russian Kale

Food and drink photography by Greenshoots Photography

Purple Radish Sprouts

Have you tried any purple vegetables? Did you manage to keep their colour when you cooked them?

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Fungal Foray

Sunday saw another foraging trip arranged by the Cail Bruich restaurant and led by the Galloway Wild Foods forager Mark Williams. Unlike the previous foraging expedition this time we headed out of city to the Mugdock Country Park and instead of drizzle and grey skies we had brilliant sunshine all day! This being the end of September we were of course in search of fungi and while we would have gone very hungry if we had been dependent upon the fungi we found in the woods at Mugdock we did find a variety of fungi ranging from the eminently desirable cep right through to the far less attractive stinkhorn and brown roll rim toadstool.

The following pictures are a selection of snaps from the day:

Forager Mark Williams models the 2014 spring season Eco-friendly Red Nose range while the judging panel look on!Forager Mark Williams models an number of different versions of the 2014 eco friendly Red Nose while the judging panel look on!

We found lots of brown roll-rim toadstools, Paxillus involutus  in the woods but unfortunately while they were eaten in the past they can cause a fatal auto immune response which may happen very rapidly or only after eating them for several years. So unless Russian Roulette is something you fancy they should be left strictly alone!

Not all mushrooms grow on the ground. The hoof fungus, Fomes fomentarius, is commonly found growing on birch trees in Scotland and although not edible it has a variety of interesting uses. To learn more start with a look at Wikipedia.

Not all fungo grow on the groundYet another inedible fungus; the stinkhorn, Phallus impudicus and given the vile smell not something that you would like to eat! This foraging business is hard work still no sign of any food!

Stinkhorn!Mark points out the finer points of the stinkhornAt last. Real food! Fortunately both Mark and Cail Bruich chef/owner Chris Charalambous brought along some mushrooms foraged from elsewhere.

A feast of different mushroomsChris made a dish in which venison chorizo (from Great Glen Game), chanterelle and winter chanterelle were the star performers.

Channterelles and Venison CCommon chanterelle and winter chanterell being sauteed with venison chorizoTasting elderberry vinegar. One of the rave discoveries of the last foraging trip and despite initial reserve it made another batch of converts here too. I am half way through making a batch of vinegar, to see progress so far visit my Flickr Photostream

Tasting Elderberry VinegarTasting elederberry vinegarMark’s mushroom extravaganza! How he managed to get all of this

Mushrooms ready for cookinginto this and then saute it without letting any escape I don’t know !

Mixed mushrooms ready to sautee

Many thanks to Mark and Chris for a truly memorable day out!

For more information about the Cail Bruich restaurant and Galloway Wild Foods please follow the links.

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013 All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Foraging in Glasgow’s West End!

Sunday saw a trip to the Wildside or more precisely to Kelvinside as an intrepid band followed Mark Williams along the banks of the Kelvin on a foraging trip with a difference. Mark lives in Gatehouse of Fleet, that forgotten corner of SW Scotland where the vastness of the Solway Firth dominates the southern border and to the north are the remote hills and forests of Galloway. Mark is a forager with a difference, working under the name Galloway Wild Food, he doesn’t so much forage to sell to chefs and delis, as is usually the case, but instead he spends much of his time teaching people how to forage and to recognise the hidden treasures that are literally on our doorstep! Mark had been encouraged to head north to “the Big City” by Chris and Paul Charlambous owners of the Cail Bruich restaurant in Glasgow’s West End to take part in a combined foraging walk and a meal featuring many foraged ingredients. The walk was a revelation, did you know that the roots of one of our common hedge row plants tastes just like cloves?! I didn’t and as you can see below clove root (Geum urbanum, Wood Avens, Herb Bennet) was only one of the many plants that we discovered here in the heart of Glasgow!

Mark’s “Nature Table” of Foraged GoodiesMark's Foragers Nature TableMark extolling the benefits of hog weed!KG130728001aWeb1 Pineapple weed growing in abundance along the banks of the River Kelvin.KG130728008aWeb1And you do what with it?!KG130728010aWeb1Paul discusses the merits of pineapple weed with Mark but looking at the picture now I am reminded more than anything else of the Bob Newhart sketch “Introducing tobacco to civilisation

“Welcome back” – Elderflower champagne and proseccoKG130728014aWeb1

And now for part 2!

The Menu!KG130728013aWeb1“A drizzle of elderberry vinegar”KG130728021aWeb1Elderberry vinegar, sweet yet sour and sticky is an absolute revelation and a must have! The elderberries will soon be ripe so don’t miss out and follow the simple recipe now!

Sushi filled with foraged goodiesKG130728023aWeb1Congratulations and thanks to Mark, Chris and Paul for a really enjoyable day.

To learn more about Galloway Wild Food please follow the link

To learn more about Cail Bruich restaurant please follow the link

To see more photos and learn about Greenshoots Photography please follow the link

Good food – it’s all about sharing. ENJOY!

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013 All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Glasgow Street Feastival at the Barras.

While Glasgow’s famous (infamous?) Barras market was rapidly winding down by 4pm on Sunday afternoon, leaving the area looking more like a hot, dusty abandoned Western film set, things were just beginning to come to life in the Barras Art and Design Center where the second day of the first Glasgow Street Feastival had just started. Half an hour later (the clock on the wall is still on GMT!) the place was really filling up.

First  Glasgow Street Feastival at the Barras.

A wide variety of food and drink stalls were present including Williams Brothers Brewery (previously featured in this blog), the Hanoi Bike shop complete with rickshaw were serving a variety of delicious treats including prawns in rice paper rolls for just £3! Hanoi Bike Shop pop-up restaurant at the Glasgow Street Feastival Hanoi Bike Shop pop-up restaurant at the Glasgow Street FeastivalLondon based Kimchi Cult with their Korean style take on fast food were also there, for an in-depth review go over to James Lees’ blog James vs Burger!  Kimchi Cult Korean style fast food at the Glasgow Street FeastivalOthers present included: The Ubiquious Chip Wine Club, The Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, the Caribbean Fire in Babylon Roots Kitchen as well as those well-known Glasgow restaurants the Stravaigin and the Finnieston.

Even Yelp were there hosted by fellow blogger Briony from the Glasgow Food Blog

Wheel O'Yelp at the Glasgow Sreet FeastivalCongratulations to all involved and especially to Kiltr who hosted the event and I am looking forward to another one soon?

 Sharing at Glasgow Sreet FeastivalGood food – it’s all about sharing. ENJOY!

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013 All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Heritage tomatoes and bacon on toast

As a student I was fortunate enough to spend a whole summer doing field work in the more remote parts of Nova Scotia and Quebec. Together with a graduate student, Paul Comeau, we spent two months in a VW Camper van traveling along the Atlantic seaboard of Nova Scotia and then along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence as far as Sept-Isles and north up on to the Canadian Shield. I have many memories of this summer and not the least of which is the food, largely it was a case of simple cooking in the camper but there were occasional highlights such as the wonderful strawberry shortcake we discovered at a restaurant one evening and how we would make ever longer journeys back to the restaurant each evening as we traveled further and further away until the round trip was in the order of a one hundred miles when we had to eventually let reason prevail and find somewhere else to eat! Or there was the delicious Chinese meal in Hauterive on the way to Sept-Isles which seemed so unbelievably exotic in this remote and largely French speaking part of North America. However, the memory which is the strongest is a simple breakfast in Les Escoumins of crispy bacon and fresh sliced tomatoes on hot buttered toast, a delicious treat after days of camping and wading through bogs and pushing through dense forest all in the name of research. So ever since this meal has remained a constant favourite with its rich mixture of flavours and textures.

At the weekend while in Roots and Fruits, my favourite Glasgow fruit and vegetable shop, I came across the most amazing collection of heritage, (heirloom) tomatoes. I had never tried them before but with their bizarre shapes and vivid colours these tomatoes just had to be bought, they would be great subjects to photograph even if their taste didn’t match their appearance! However, I am delighted to say that they not only looked good but they tasted great too! Some of the tomatoes that I bought ended up in a salad but the rest just had to be used for my breakfast favourite of bacon and sliced tomatoes on toast!

KG120914003aWeb1The dish is so obvious that it doesn’t warrant any real instructions: just cook the bacon in a lightly oiled baking tray in the oven at 190oC for 10 to 15 minutes, when the bacon is nearly ready put the bread (I usually use Ciabatta) on to toast, slice the tomatoes (laterally is best), butter the toast and assemble the dish with a rasher of bacon to each slice of toast and top with the sliced tomato, not to forget some basil leaves, freshly ground pepper and a scattering of sea salt flakes and there you have it, together with a cup of strong black coffee, the perfect breakfast!

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