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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.180 – Cauliflower with fennel and mustard seeds

    Posted on March 15th, 2013 Trish No comments

    Or Baghari phool gobi – from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery (the book of the BBC series). This is delicious on its own with rice or jacket potatoes, or served as a side dish with pretty much anything.

    Serves 6

    Preparation time: 40 minutes (including 30 minutes soaking time)
    Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

    1 large cauliflower
    7 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 tsp whole fennel seeds
    1 tbsp whole black mustard seeds
    1 tbsp very finely chopped garlic
    ¼ tsp ground turmeric
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    1½ tsp salt
    4 tbsp water

    Cut the cauliflower into delicate flowerets – no longer than 5cm, no wider at the head than 2cm inch and about 1cm thick. Put them into a bowl of water for at least half an hour. Drain them just before you get ready to cook.

    Heat the oil in a large 25-30cm frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the fennel and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, put in the finely chopped garlic. Stir and fry until the garlic is lightly browned. Add the turmeric and cayenne. Stir once and quickly put in the cauliflower, salt, and about 4 tbsp water. Stir and cook on medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until cauliflower is just done. It should retain its crispness and there should be no liquid left. If the water evaporates before the cauliflower is done, add a little more.

    If your frying pan is smaller than the suggested size, the cauliflower will take longer to cook. In that case, it might be a good idea to cover it for 5 minutes.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 177: Spicy Moroccan carrot salad

    Posted on February 1st, 2013 Trish No comments

    Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe incorporates sweet spices, fresh herbs and a lemony kick. Serve with other Middle Eastern salads, or just to accompany fried fish. You could serve it warm as well as cold, with a pilaf.

    Serves 4

    Preparation and cooking 30 mins + cooling time

    1kg carrots
    80ml olive oil, plus extra to finish
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    1 tsp caster sugar
    3 garlic cloves crushed
    2 medium green chillies, finely chopped
    1 spring onion, finely chopped
    1/8 tsp ground cloves
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp sweet paprika
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon skin
    40g chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
    120ml Greek yoghurt, chilled

    Peel the carrots and cut them, depending on their size, into cylinders or semi-circles 1cm thick; all the pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender but still crunchy. Drain and leave to dry out.

    Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion for 12 minutes on a medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Add the cooked carrots to the onions, followed by all the remaining ingredients, apart from the fresh coriander and the yoghurt. Remove from the heat. Season liberally with salt, stir well and leave to cool.

    Before serving, stir in the coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yoghurt, a drizzle of oil and garnished with the extra coriander.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 176: Dal with kale

    Posted on January 25th, 2013 Trish No comments

    The winning ‘remedy’ recipe in a recent Guardian ‘Cook’ supplement was this quick and easy dal – ‘spicy enough to cut through a cold, and healthy enough to feel medicinal’. Recipe and photo by Helen Best-Shaw, fussfreeflavours.com

    Preparation and cooking 40 minutes

    Serves 2
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp nigella seeds
    100g red lentils
    250ml vegetable stock
    juice of a lemon
    1 large handful of kale, shredded
    salt and black peppeer

    Fry the onion in the oil for a couple of minutes until softened, then add the spices and the lentils. Fry for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant.

    Add the stock, simmer over a low heat, stirring from time to time for about half an hour, until the lentils are soft but still holding their shape. Add more stock if needed – you want them to be quite soupy.

    Add the lemon juice, stir in the kale and cook for a few more minutes until it is wilted. Season to taste.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 175: Pan haggerty

    Posted on January 18th, 2013 Trish No comments

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Northumbrian take on the delicious combination of potatoes, onions and cheese. He suggests serving it with a crisp green salad, and some simply cooked pulses.

    Serves 6 as a side dish

    Preparation 20 minutes
    Cooking 40 minutes

    50g butter
    2 onions, thinly sliced
    500g fairly firm-fleshed maincrop potatoes
    80g mature cheddar cheese
    sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

    Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Melt half the butter in a 20-25cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the onions for about 15 minutes, until soft and golden. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly (use a mandoline or the slicing side of a box cheese grater).

    Set aside a good pinch of the cheese – about 10g. Scoop the onions out of the pan. Layer a third of the sliced potatoes into the still-buttery pan, then add half the onions and half the cheese. Season well. Repeat the layers, then finish with a final layer of potatoes. Dot the remaining butter and the reserved cheese over the top and season. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender all the way through and the top is golden. Serve piping hot.

    Recipe and photograph from The Guardian

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 174: Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic

    Posted on January 11th, 2013 Trish No comments

    Much loved by customers at Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant, this can be made with calabrese or purple sprouting broccoli. For extra oomph, add four chopped anchovy fillets to the chilli and garlic when cooking them in the oil.

    Serves 2-4

    Preparation and cooking 15-20 minutes

    2 heads broccoli or about 500g sprouting broccoli
    115ml olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
    coarse sea salt and black pepper
    toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish (optional)

    Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets or cut the sprouting broccoli into small pieces if necessary. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. With a large slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It must not be wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 45ml of the oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

    Place a ridged riddle pan over a high heat and leave it there for at least 5 minutes, until it is extremely hot. Depending on the size of your pan, grill the broccoli in several batches. The florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them around as they grill so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.

    While grilling the broccoli, place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn – they will keep on cooking even when off the heat. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the broccoli with almonds or lemon just before serving if you like.

    Photo and recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

  • Seasonal local recipe No 173: Savoy cabbage with bacon and lemon

    Posted on January 5th, 2013 Trish No comments

    Tasty and quick – a recipe (and photo) from Waitrose ‘Winter – Harvest 2013’ magazine.

    Preparation: 5 minutes
    Cooking: 15 minutes

    Serves 4

    1 large floury potato
    25g butter
    1 large onion, chopped
    200g smoked bacon, chopped
    1 savoy cabbage, shredded
    juice of 1 lemon
    pinch ground nutmeg
    500ml chicken or vegetable stock

    Cook the potato in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside. Meanwhile melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion and bacon for 3-4 minutes.

    Place the cabbage, lemon juice and nutmeg in a large pan and add the stock. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the drained potato, then the onion and bacon mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 170: Swiss chard fritters

    Posted on December 7th, 2012 Trish No comments

    Yotam Ottolenghi is very keen on swiss chard and this recipe is from his latest book Jerusalem, co-authored with Sami Tamimi. Of these fritters, he says, ‘The intense green colour of these fritters , originally Turkish, is paralleled by a wonderfully concentrated “green” flavour of chard and herbs. They are a truly marvellous way to start a meal.’

    Serves 4 as a starter

    Preparation 10 minutes
    Cooking 10 minutes

    400g swiss chard leaves, stalks removed
    30g flat-leaf parsley
    20g coriander
    20g dill
    1½ tsp grated nutmeg
    ½ tsp sugar
    3 tbsp plain flour
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 medium eggs
    80g feta, broken into small pieces
    60ml olive oil
    1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
    salt and black pepper

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the chard and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the leaves and squeeze them well until completely dry. Place in a food processor along with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic eggs, salt and peppeer. Blitz until smooth and then fold the feta through the mix by hand.

    Pour a tablespoon of oil into a medium frying pan. Put over medium-high heat and spoon in a heaped tablespoon of mixture for each fritter. Press down gently to get a 7cm wide and 1cm thick fritter. You should be able to fit about three at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes in total, turning once, until the fritters have taken on some colour. Transfer to kitchen paper then keep each batch warm while you cook the remaining mixture. Serve at once with a wedge of lemon.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 169: Gingery shiitake noodles

    Posted on November 30th, 2012 Trish No comments

    Ching-He Huang’s recipe (picture too) from the BBC Good Food website. Good with stir-fried pak choi or five-spice chicken.

    Serves 4 as a side dish

    Preparation 15 minutes
    Cooking 10 minutes

    200g medium dried egg noodles
    a couple of dashes toasted sesame oil (optional)
    1 tbsp groundnut oil
    piece of fresh ginger, grated
    150g fresh shiitake mushrooms
    4 spring onions, cut into thirds, then thinly sliced into lengthways strips
    1 tbsp oyster sauce
    1 tbsp light soy sauce

    Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, then toss with a little sesame oil (or other oil) to stop them sticking.

    Heat a wok or large wide pan over a high heat, then add the groundnut oil. Once it’s smoking, add the ginger, stir-fry for a couple of secs, then add the mushrooms with a splash of water to create steam, and cook for 1 minute. Toss through the cooked noodles for 2 minutes until hot, then add the spring onions, oyster and soy sauces and (optional) a dash more sesame oil.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 156: A salad of potatoes, mustard and cucumber

    Posted on August 4th, 2012 Trish No comments

    A tasty-sounding salad from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol I: “At first rich, then intensely warm and piquant, this is a perfectly balanced salad for accompanying fish or maybe a grilled steak. It is just the job with freshly dressed crab or smoked trout or eel.” The potatoes should be warm when you dress them.

    Serves 4

    Preparation: half an hour draining the cucumber
    Cooking: 20 minutes

    half a cucumber
    500-750g new potatoes

    for the dressing:
    a good pinch of caster sugar
    1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
    generous tbsp Dijon mustard
    4 tbsp olive oil
    6 lightly crushed juniper berries
    2 tbsp chopped dill (or substitute parsley)

    Peel the cucumber, halve it down its length and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into chunks about 2cm in width. Sprinkly lightly with salt and leave in a colander in the sink for about half an hour.

    Put a pan of water on to boil. Scrub the potatoes. Salt the water, add the potatoes and let them boil for about 15 minutes, until they are tender to the point of a knife. Drain and briefly set aside.

    While the potatoes are boiling, make the dressing. Put the sugar and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Add some black pepper. Mix in the mustard, then gently whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the juniper berries, the cucumber and the chopped dill and set aside.

    Slice the warm potatoes, letting them fall into the dressing, then fold them together gently. Leave for no more than 20 minutes, then serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 135: Farfalle with savoy cabbage, pancetta, thyme and mozzarella

    Posted on March 3rd, 2012 Trish 1 comment

    A pasta recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Return of the Naked Chef to make good use of the cabbage and garlic from this week’s veg boxes.

    Serves 4
    Preparation/Cooking: 15-20 minutes

    10 rashers of pancetta or dry-cured streaky bacon, thinly sliced
    olive oil
    1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
    1 good handful of thyme, leaves picked
    1 large Savoy cabbage (outer leaves removed) quartered, cored and finely sliced
    1 handful of grated Parmesan cheese
    455g dried farfalle, the best you can get
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    extra virgin olive oil
    200g buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1cm dice
    2 handfuls of pine nuts, lighly toasted

    In a pan fry your pancetta in a little olive oil until lightly golden. Add the garlic and thyme and soften. Add the Savoy cabbage and Parmesan, then stir and put the lid on the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes, shaking every now and again, while you cook your farfalle in salted boiling water until al dente. When the cabbage is nice and tender, season and loosen with some nice peppery extra virgin olive oil. Toss the drained farfalle into the cabbage and at the last minute mix in the mozzarella and pine nuts. Serve immediately.