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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.208 – Stir-fried curly kale with chilli & garlic

    Posted on December 14th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    A quick and easy way to give kale a kick from ever-reliable BBC GoodFood. Use the kale in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week along with our homegrown garlic and chilli.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 8 minutes

    200g curly kale
    1tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
    1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and sliced

    Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan, then add the kale and a couple tbsp water. Season, then stir-fry for 5-8 mins, adding the garlic and chilli for the final 2 mins. When the kale is tender and a vibrant green, remove from the heat and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.207 – Spicy, warming winter squash and ginger soup

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    “A rich winter warmer with a kick,” says the excellent West Country FoodLover magazine, which has this variation on a classic recipe. Use the Crown Prince or Uchiki Kuri squash in Camel CSA’s boxes.

    Serves: 4

    Preparation time: 15 minutes

    Cooking time: 50 minutes

    1 tbsp olive oil or large knob of butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 tbsp honey (optional)
    pinch of dried chilli flakes
    1 small cinnamon stick
    900g winter squash, like Crown Prince or Uchiki Kuri, peeled, deseeded and diced (keep peel and seeds)
    900ml hot stock, with muslin bag of peel and seeds

    Heat the oil or butter in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and cinnamon stick and cook for a few seconds before adding the squash. Add a little more oil/butter if needed. Add the honey (optional).

    Put the seeds and peel in a thin muslin cloth and securely tie at the top. Pour in a little of the stock, increase the heat and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining stock, and the muslin bag, and boil for about a minute. Reduce the heat to a simmer; cover with the lid and cook for about 45 minutes until the squash is soft and the flavours have developed.

    Remove the cinnamon stick, and whiz with a stick blender until smooth. Add hot water if the soup is too thick. Transfer to a clean pan to heat through, and season if required. Serve with wholemeal or rye bread.

  • Seasonal local recipe No.206 – Root vegetable tangle

    Posted on November 30th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    This is from Nigel Slater’s new Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food

    Serves: 2 (light main course) or 4 (side dish)

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    potatoes, parsnip, carrots, onion, rosemary, pumpkin seeds, olive oil

    Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Shave 250g potatoes, a large parsnip and 2 large carrots with a vegetable peeler. Peel and finely slice an onion into rings.

    Toss the potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onion in a large mixing bowl with a heaped tablespoon of rosemary leaves, 5 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, then tip on to a baking sheet. Spread out into a shallow layer. Bake for 20 minutes, till tender and lightly crisp on the edges.

  • Seasonal local recipe No.205 – Beetroot marmalade Ⓥ

    Posted on November 23rd, 2013 charlotte No comments

    At Camel CSA we love making preserves. Our expert grower Bridget Gould recommends this beetroot relish. She says: “It’s delicious with cheese so I’ve made some for Christmas presents.” The recipe comes from gardener-come-foodlover Alys Fowler via West Country FoodLover magazine.

    Makes several jars (depending on size)

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 90 minutes (in two stages)

    1kg beetroot
    100ml balsamic vinegar
    A handful each of fresh thyme and marjoram leaves
    sea salt, to taste
    zest and juice of one large orange
    2 large red onions, finely diced
    50g light brown sugar
    2 tbsp olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    100g caster sugar
    400ml red wine vinegar
    sterilised jars with lids

    Preheat the oven to 160C. Wash and peel the beetroot and cut into quarters. Place in a roasting tin with the balsamic vinegar, marjoram and thyme leaves, add az pinch of sea sla and grate over the orange zest (set aside the juice for later).  Mix everything together with your hands, cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes or until you can pierce the beetroot with a knife. Set aside to cool completely.

    The following day, coarsely grate the beetroot into a bowl, scraping in any juices from the roasting tin. Place the diced onions in a large, heavy-based pan wih the light brown sugar and olive oil. Set over a very low heat and stir gently until the onions soften completely and start to caramelise.

    Add the sliced garlic, grated beetroot, caster sugar, orange juice and red wine vinegar. Gently simmer for 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about two thirds, stirring from time to time to stop it from sticking. You can tell when the relish is cooked when you can draw a spoon across the botom of the pan and it will initially stay clear before refilling wih syrupy juices.

    Scoop the hot relish into sterilised jars, cover with waxed discs and put on the lids. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.204 – Ideas for coleslaw dressings Ⓥ

    Posted on November 15th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    Workers’ cooperative Organiclea provides this week’s recipe. Its members are doing a grand job growing food at the edge of Epping Forest in the Lea Valley, once known as the bread basket of London.

    Hannah says: “Red cabbage, white cabbage, carrots, cox apples, left over sprout tops or cavolo nero, florets of raw cauliflower, a handful of pumpkin seeds – any combination of these early winter vegetables grated or finely sliced will give you a delicious coleslaw.

    “Other good additions include beetroot, a handful of sultanas, pine nuts or a small amount of finely sliced red onions.” [And of course the kohlrabi in this week’s boxes from Camel CSA!]

    These are Hannah’s ideas for coleslaw dressings:-
    • 3tbsp olive oil, 1 tbspn white wine vinegar, 1 tsp whole grain or Dijon mustard, salt & pepper

    • ½ cup crème fraiche, 1 tbspn horseradish, 2 tsp honey, squeeze lemon, salt & pepper.

     grated fresh ginger, 3-4 tbsp rice wine or white wine vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soya sauce, chopped coriander, salt & pepper.

    • 2 tbsp tahini, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup, 1 tsp wholegrain or dijon mustard, 1 clove of garlic finely chopped, salt & pepper.

    • 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup, salt & pepper

  • Seasonal local recipe No.203 – Nigel’s gratin of pumpkin and borlotti beans

    Posted on November 10th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    The large amount of double cream in this Nigel Slater recipe made me wilt. So when trying it out I put in a lesser quantity of creme fraiche mixed with yoghurt, and tinned borlotti beans in the absence of fresh.

    A firm and flavourful winter squash from my veg box substituted the more watery pumpkin, so I hope I got away with it! Result: still the “resoundingly satisfying family meal” that Nigel intended.

    Serves 6

    Preparation: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: one hour

    3 small onions, roughly chopped
    5 tbsp oil
    1kg pumpkin or other yellow-fleshed  squash (peeled and seeded weight)
    250g borlotti beans (weight before podding)
    350g gruyere
    500ml double cream
    30g grated parmesan

    Warm the onions in the oil in a deep pan. Cut the pumpkin into large dice, then add to the softened onions and continue cooking till the pumpkin has coloured a little at the edges. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4.

    Pod the borlotti and boil the beans hard for 10 minutes in unsalted water then drain. Cut the gruyere into large dice and scatter in the bottom of a large baking dish. Put the onion and pumpkin on top of the cheese, add the drained borlotti beans, then season with salt and black pepper. Pour over the cream, scatter the top with grated parmesan and bake for 35-45 minutes till the cheese has melted and the cream is bubbling around the edges.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.203 – Hugh’s carrots with almonds and cumin

    Posted on November 3rd, 2013 charlotte No comments

    This simple and delicious dish from seasonal food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a perfect way to serve the tender, flavoursome carrots in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week.

    Hugh says: “Very good with fish or chicken, and I love it with hummus and flatbread, in which case I often add some segments of orange and a squeeze of orange juice.”

    Serves: 6
    Preparation/cooking time: 15-20 minutes

    500g carrots, peeled and sliced about 4mm thick on the diagonal
    100g whole, blanched almonds
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the carrots, cook for five minutes, until tender, then drain.

    Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Toast the almonds, tossing frequently, until golden all over. Transfer to a mortar. Toast the cumin in the same pan for a few minutes until fragrant, add to the almonds, then lightly bash.

    Put the still-warm carrots in a bowl, add the nuts, seeds and oil, season, toss and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.202 – Caldo verde (Portuguese greens soup)

    Posted on October 26th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    I first came across this nourishing national dish when exploring north Portugal on the back of a motor bike. We were on a tight budget, so cooked this soup often on our camp stove.

    Every village market had a stall heaped with dark green leaves of couve galega (collard greens) – an open, flat-leaved cabbage that’s not dissimilar in texture and flavour to spring greens or kale. Behind this stall a woman was cutting the leaves into fine strands using a hand-operated shredder, ready to cook.

    How do UK cooks make a reasonably authentic version of this traditional poor man’s soup?  Answer: with kale. So here’s my own version, with thanks to food writers Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater. For advice on how to make a proper Portuguese caldo verde, go to Azelia’s Kitchen.

    Serves: 4
    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 25 minutes

    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    3 or 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 litre water or stock
    300g red Russian kale or Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) or spring greens, finely shredded
    150g chorizo or spicy sausage, sliced (optional)
    black pepper

    Cook a finely chopped onion and clove of garlic in a little olive oil for 2 minutes. Add 3 or 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced, cook them for a minute or two, then pour in a litre of water or stock. Simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft then crush them gently.

    Meanwhile prepare the kale. Cut out the stalks and roll the leaves up tightly like a cigar before cutting them into wafer-thin strips. Thickly slice the chorizo or spicy sausage.,

    Stir the kale into the soup and simmer for barely five minutes. Fry the sausage briefly in a nonstick pan. Remove it, leaving the fat behind, and drop it into the hot soup. Serve immediately with a small pool of olive oil floating on the surface.

  • Seasonal Recipe No.201 – Radicchio, pear, blue cheese + walnut salad

    Posted on October 20th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    This recipe from Riverford Organic Farms is a beautiful combination of flavours and texures. We’ll be using the radicchio and mixed salad leaves in Camel CSA’s weekly boxes with Cornish blue cheese, English pears and Cornish sea salt.

    Serves: 4
    Preparation/cooking time: 15 minutes

    1 head radicchio, tough core removed, leaves shredded
    100g mixed salad leaves, or shredded lettuce leaves
    small knob of butter
    1 tbsp olive oil
    4 pears, cored + sliced
    150g walnut pieces
    2 tbsp clear honey
    splash balsamic vinegar
    sea salt + black pepper
    200g stilton, crumbled
    extra virgin olive oil to finish

    Mix the radicchio and salad leaves together in a large bowl. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and oil. Add the pears. Cook on a reasonably high heat until the pears have softened and turned golden brown.

    Add the walnuts, honey and a good splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Add a tablespoon or two more of good olive oil. Pour the pears into the salad leaves and lightly toss to combine.

    Either serve on one large platter, sprinkled with the stilton, or on individual plates. Drizzle over a little more olive oil to serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.196 – Nigel’s strawberry and cucumber fruit salad

    Posted on July 28th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    There are lots of cucumbers in the polytunnel, so we’re on the lookout for different ways to prepare them.

    Nigel Slater says: “I know this sounds extraordinary, but [this] is the crispest, most refreshing fruit salad imaginable… summer in a bowl. And if you really can’t handle the idea of cucumber, then it is jolly good with strawberries and banana.” (via The Observer)

    Serves: 4
    Preparation time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes in fridge

    For the syrup:
    3 tbsp honey
    10 mint leaves
    5 tbsp elderflower cordial

    2 cucumbers
    450g medium strawberries

    Put the honey, mint and elderflower syrup into a blender and blitz to a thick, fragrant syrup. If you don’t have a blender, chop the mint very, very finely, mix it with the honey and cordial, then leave it for an hour. Strain through a fine sieve or muslin to remove the mint.

    Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half down their length, then scrape the seeds out with a teaspoon. Dice the flesh finely and put it in a large bowl. Remove the leaves from the strawberries, slice the fruit in half and toss gently with the cucumber.

    Pour the mint and elderflower syrup into the fruit, stir very gently, then leave for about 30 minutes, in the fridge and covered, before serving.