Red russian, lemon cucumbers and whopping onions

The new autumn menus are now out in the restaurant at Polesden Lacey, so the garden team have been busy harvesting kale for a new delicious soup. We grow two types of kale in the garden, the frizzy leaved ‘Red Russian’ (on the left in photo below) and the dark, strap-like leaves of the Nero di Toscana. (on right in photo below) Young baby leaves from both plants can be eaten fresh and added to salads, but the more mature foliage tastes sweeter after being hit by the autumn frosts, so try to avoid picking too early.  Kale is an invaluable winter crop when there is not much else to harvest from the kitchen garden.

The kale and potato soup that chefs Tom and Michael have made in the Polesden Lacey restaurant is amazing! It uses our finely, shredded Nero di Toscana kale and is perfectly balanced with the acidity of lemon zest.

Cucumbers aren’t always long, green and smooth! We like to grow some of the more quirky and unusual vegetables here and these heritage cucumbers are perfect for getting our visitors at Polesden Lacey talking. We’ve just been harvesting these heirloom cucumber varieties called ‘Lemon Crystal’ which is a strange yellow, round-shaped fruit. We’ve used its vigorous, attractive vine to train up a wigwam to add height, colour and structure to the kitchen garden.  We’ve also grown short, stumpy, prickly ones called ‘Prickly Long’. Both types have been grown outside and are now producing bumper crops to supply the restaurant.

And check out the size of the Kelsae onions that our kitchen gardener Vaughan has grown. They’re as big as my head! After harvesting we leave them and the other varieties such as 'Red Baron' and 'Sturon' in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks to dry out.



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+2 #3 Tracey 2013-09-23 17:59
I keep hearing how wonderful and tasty the kale soup is from work colleagues so I will definitely be at the restaurant at lunchtime tomorrow to sample a bowl :-)
+3 #2 Guest 2013-09-23 17:56
I have grown the prickly cucumbers in my garden and I think they taste far better than the normal cucumbers - more crunchy -yum! and easy to grow for a novice like me! I would love to grow those round yellow ones though so will add that to my list for next year :-)
+1 #1 Guest 2013-09-22 10:43
These onions look huge Simon !

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