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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.366 – Nigel’s orzo, black cabbage and smoked cheese

    Posted on August 14th, 2017 Janet No comments

    I made this simple dish, one of Nigel Slater’s midweek dinners for The Guardian, for tea on Friday using the cavolo nero from our veg box.  He says it makes a “toothsome treat with dark earthy tones”.

    Serves 2-3

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

    Ingredients
    200g orzo or other small pasta
    100g cavalo nero
    250ml double cream
    100g smoked cheddar, grated
    25g Parmesan cheese, grated

    Method
    Cook the orzo as directed on the packet, then drain through a sieve.  Run cold water through the pasta and set aside.

    Trim the cavalo nero and cut into 8cm lengths, add it to a pan of boiling water, cook for 4 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water.

    Wipe the pan then pour in the cream, add the grated smoked cheddar, season with black pepper then bring to the boil.  Remove from the heat immediately.  Fold the orzo and drained cavalo nero into the cream and cheese then tip into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas mark 6 until the top is golden brown.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.364 – Asparagus frittata with soft cheese and chives

    Posted on June 18th, 2017 Janet No comments

    This recipe was featured in The Guardian‘s 10 best asparagus recipes. It made for a very tasty meal on Friday evening accompanied by a green salad.

    Serves 2

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients
    200 g asparagus, trimmed
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and cayenne pepper
    nutmeg, freshly grated
    3 large eggs, beaten
    125g soft cream cheese
    30g parmesan, finely grated
    2 tsp chives, chopped
    butter, for frying

    Method
    Thinly slice the asparagus spears on the diagonal.  Warm the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the asparagus and season with salt, cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  Cook gently over a low heat until the asparagus is tender and lightly coloured.  Tip out on to a plate, set aside and wipe out the frying pan.

    In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, cream cheese, parmesan and chives until smooth.  Return the frying pan to a moderate heat, add a little slice of butter and heat until it is just beginning to froth.  Pour in the egg mixture, turn down the heat to low and begin bringing in the frothing edges to the liquid centre of the pan using a spatula.

    Tip the cooked asparagus into the pan and disperse evenly.  Continue to gently lift the more cooked parts of the frittata, allowing the liquid egg to slip underneath them until a happy, soft and curd-like medium has evolved.  This should take around 2 minutes.  Slide the frittata on to a plate and allow to cool a little before serving.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.354 – Beetroot and caraway soda bread

    Posted on March 12th, 2017 Janet No comments

    Frank made this loaf for Sunday lunch last weekend.  The recipe’s from Anna Jones in The Guardian. You might expect the loaf to be bright pink.  It was before it went into the oven but oddly, once baked, it turned to a more palatable shade of yellow!  Whatever the colour it tasted great.

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Makes 1 x 750g loaf

    Ingredients
    300g cooked beetroot, chopped
    1 tsp fennel seeds
    1 tsp caraway seeds
    100ml buttermilk (or plain yoghurt let down with a splash of milk)
    200g white spelt flour
    200g wholemeal spelt flour
    50g pumpkin seeds, plus more for sprinkling
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Black pepper

    Method
    Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Put the beetroot (see the note below if you’re roasting your own), spices and buttermilk in a food processor and puree until smooth.

    Put the flours, pumpkin seeds, salt, bicarbonate of soda and pepper into a large bowl and mix well.  Pour the beetroot mixture into the flours and mix with a fork until well combined, then use your hands to gently bring the lot into a rough ball. Don’t knead it though, or it will make the finished loaf tough.

    Scatter some flour over a baking sheet and put your ball of dough on top. Dust with a little more flour and a few more pumpkin seeds.   Cut a deep cross in the bread, then bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and risen.

    Remove from the oven and tap the bottom of the loaf. If you get a hollow sound, it’s perfect, so pop it on a wire rack to cool. This is delicious warm with salted or almond butter.

    If you are roasting the beetroot yourself
    Wash the beetroot well and trim off the stalks. Place the whole beetroot in a foil parcel, wrapped really tightly so the steam doesn’t escape. Cook for around an hour (depending on the size of your beetroot) until tender. Once cooked, allow to cool in the foil parcel, this will make it really easy to remove the skins. When cool enough to handle slip the skins off and discard. Extra roasted beetroot can be used in salads or alongside dips such as hummus.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.334 – Chickpeas and chard

    Posted on September 6th, 2016 Janet No comments

    This delicious recipe, featured in The Guardian recently, is by Rachel Roddy.  I served it with feta cheese crumbled over the top.

    Serves 4          P1070683

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

    Ingredients
    250g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked, or 400g tinned chickpeas, drained
    600g chard
    12 cherry tomatoes
    6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    2 garlic cloves
    salt and black pepper
    A handful of parsley, chopped
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    Ricotta, feta, goat’s cheese, lamb chops, or a poached egg, to serve

    Method
    Wash the chard and cut the stems from the leaves, trimming tough ends and pulling away any stringy bits.  Cut the stems into short lengths, then roll the leaves into cigars and chop roughly.

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt. Add the stems for 1-2 minutes, then add the leaves for a few minutes more or until tender.  Drain.

    Warm the olive oil over a medium-low heat.  Peel and crush the garlic for a milder flavour, or slice for a stronger hit.  Add to the pan with the cherry tomatoes.  Fry, squashing the tomatoes gently with the back of a spoon, until they are soft and the oil is tinted red.  Add the chard and stir until it glistens with oil, add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes more.

    Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then let it sit for a while.  Before serving, check seasoning, and pour over a little more oil.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.313 – Frank’s pad thai

    Posted on February 14th, 2016 Janet No comments

    We have spring onions and home-grown bean sprouts in this week’s veg boxes. My husband Frank adapted Felicity Cloake’s perfect pad thai recipe as we were lacking several other ingredients! If you haven’t got palm sugar he recommends using soft brown sugar. If you want a vegetarian pad thai just leave out the prawns.

    Serves 2

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    pad-thai-camelcsa-140216Cooking time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients
    120g 2-3mm wide flat rice noodles
    60ml fish sauce
    60ml tamarind water (you can use tamarind concentrate, thinned with a little water)
    60g palm sugar
    Pinch of chilli powder, to taste
    80ml groundnut or vegetable oil
    2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    100g firm tofu, chopped into small cubes
    8 large prawns
    2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tsp sesame oil
    100g beansprouts
    1 bunch spring onions, chopped
    50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped, lime wedges, chilli flakes, fish sauce and sugar, to garnish

    Method
    Cook the rice noodles as directed on the packet until pliable but al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

    Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the fish sauce, tamarind and palm sugar in a small pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar and taste – add more of any of the ingredients as you wish. Season with chilli to taste and set aside.

    Lay out all the ingredients within easy reach of the hob in the order they’ll be used. Put a wok on a high heat and add half the oil. Add the beaten egg and stir fry until cooked, remove from the pan.  Add the rest of the oil and the garlic and spring onions, stir fry for a few seconds. Add the prawns, stir fry until they are starting to turn pink, then add the beansprouts and tofu and stir fry for 30 seconds or so.

    Add the noodles, the cooked egg and the sauce, then stir until heated through and the noodles are soft enough to eat.  Serve with the garnishes for people to add as they wish.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.312 – Nigel’s sausage meatballs with leek tagliatelle

    Posted on February 7th, 2016 Janet No comments

    This recipe is taken from The Guardian in Nigel Slater’s midweek dinner series.  I changed the quantities slightly as I find Nigel often uses too much cream for my tastes, missed out the dill as I didn’t have any and cut down on the amount of sausage.  Still tasted good though!

    Serves 2P1060892

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients
    6 butchers sausages
    1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
    2 heaped tsp chopped fresh dill
    1-2 leeks, sliced into 1 cm discs
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    150 g tagliatelle
    100 ml double cream
    salt and pepper
    a handful of chopped fresh parsley

    Method
    Remove the sausage meat from the skins, place in a mixing bowl and mix with the chilli flakes and dill.  Divide the mixture into small balls (I aim to get 4 balls from each sausage) and flatten slightly.  Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan.  Brown the balls on both sides then leave over a low heat, covered, until cooked right through – about 4-5 minutes.

    Remove the balls from the pan, then add the leeks and let them cook in the pan juices for 7-8 minutes until soft and tender.  Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, cook the tagliatelle until tender, then drain.

    Stir the cream into the leeks, season with salt, pepper and parsley then add the drained pasta to the leeks.  Return the sausage balls to the pan and let everything bubble for a minute or so, then serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No. 311- Squash and lentil soup with coriander and smoked paprika

    Posted on January 30th, 2016 Janet 1 comment

    Bridget Gould, one of our professional growers, has recommended this recipe from Felicity Cloake in The Guardian.  Looks like Sunday lunch is sorted in our household!

    Serves 4

    squash - crown prince - croppedPreparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients
    800g peeled and seeded pumpkin or squash
    2 carrots, about 200g, peeled
    4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    400g tin of plum tomatoes
    100g red lentils
    small bunch of coriander

    Method
    Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.  Cut the squash and carrots into chunks about 4 cm square and toss with a little oil.  Spread out on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes until tender and very slightly charred.

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and cook the onion until soft, golden and beginning to caramelise.  Stir in half a teaspoon of paprika and cook for another minute or so, then tip in the tomatoes and mash up.  Stir in the lentils and about a litre of water and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

    Add the roasted vegetables to the pan and take off the heat.  Whisk together the remaining teaspoon of paprika with the remaining tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt.  Puree the soup and season to taste, adding a little more water if you prefer it thinner.  Roughly chop the coriander.  Divide between bowls and drizzle over the paprika oil.  Top with coriander and serve.