Seasonal local food recipe No.375 – Spicy kale chips

Yay! Kale CHIPS! They’re fantastic, says Camel CSA chair Danny Barry. “Super easy and quick to make, lovely spices and really crispy…. They were so yummy I ate the whole baking tray of them in one go.”

From Super Healthy Snacks and Treats by Jenna Zoe (via West Country FoodLover magazine).

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 head of curly kale (about 50g)
1 large tomato, quartered
3 sun-dried tomatoes (dry not marinated ones, with no added sugar)
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp ground cumin
pinch of sea salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Line a baking sheet wih foil. Tear small pieces of kale off the stems and place them in a colander. Wash and then dry them as completely as possible – ideally they should be completely dry. Place the dry pieces in a large bowl.

Put the tomato quarters and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. It won’t seem a lot of mixture, as the idea is just to flavour the kale rather than cover it in a thick sauce.

Add the paprika, cumin and salt, then as much cayenne and black pepper as you like. Process the mixture again and then pour it into the bowl of kale. Using your hands, toss the kale so it is evenly coated in the masala mixture.

Spread the kale pieces on to the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 14-16 minutes. You will know the kale is ready when it is totally crispy and thin.

Seasonal local food recipe No.373 – Tagliatelle with cavolo nero, chickpeas and pecorino

We’re so fortunate to have cavolo nero on our field and extra supplies available from our neighbours at Restharrow Farm, Trebetherick. This quick and easy supper dish comes from BBC Food.

Preparation time: less than 30 mins
Cooking time: less than 10 mins

Serves 4

large handful cavolo nero, or kale
100ml olive oil
2 lemons, zest only
½ lemon, juice only
200g cooked chickpeas
500g fresh tagliatelle pasta, or similar
freshly ground black pepper
100g pecorino or other hard cheese, finely grated


Bring a deep saucepan of water to a rolling boil and blanch the cavolo nero for one minute. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, chop finely.

Heat the olive oil in a wide pan and fry the cavolo nero in it for a few minutes, over a moderately high heat, stirring constantly.At the same time, bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the pasta to cook for two or three minutes until just tender.

Drain the pasta and stir it into the kale with the lemon zest and juice, the chickpeas and half of the grated pecorino. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the pasta in deep bowls with more cheese scattered over.

Seasonal local food recipe No.366 – Nigel’s orzo, cavolo nero and smoked cheese

I made this simple dish, one of Nigel Slater’s midweek dinners for The Guardian, for tea on Friday using the cavelo 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

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

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

Trim the cavolo 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 cavolo 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.348 – Nadiya’s mustard kale mac and cheese

We’ve had this dish twice since Nadiya’s Kitchen arrived in our household at Christmas.  I’ve used both curly kale with penne and cavolo nero with macaroni but the biggest recommendation must be from my husband who usually turns his nose up at plain macaroni cheese!

If you don’t have any cream, just use milk.  Nadiya, the BBC’s last Great British Bake Off winner, doesn’t pre-cook the kale but I blanche it with the pasta at the end of the pasta cooking time.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

500g pasta
2 tbsps unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp English mustard powder
3 tbsps plain flour
250ml whole milk
25 ml single cream
250g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
a large handful of kale leaves, chopped
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta for the recommended time on the packet.  Drain and add the oil, stirring it through, this will stop the pasta sticking together.

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and mustard powder and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the flour, and cook for another minute, mixing all the time.  Add the milk and the cream, and whisk until the sauce is smooth and lump-free.  Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens.  Take the pan off the heat, add the grated Cheddar cheese and leave it to melt, stirring occasionally.

Now tip the pasta and kale into an oven proof dish, and pour over the sauce.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and a good grind of black pepper to serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.302 – Baked rigatoni with squash, kale and ricotta


This delicious recipe appeared recently in Thomasina Mier’s column in The Guardian magazine.  It uses three of the veg in our boxes this week. We happened to have rigatoni in the cupboard but this week I might be tempted to try it with penne instead.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

600g butternut, acorn or onion squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled
1 pinch dried chilli
1/2 bunch sage, leaves picked
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
200g kale
400g rigatoni
250g ricotta
125g grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7.  Put the squash, tomatoes, garlic, chilli and sage in a roasting tray, season generously, then drizzle over the oil and mix with your hands so that every chunk of squash is coated.  Roast for 25-35 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally, until the squash is a little crisp and the tomatoes are falling apart.

Meanwhile, tear the kale leaves from their stems.  Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, blanch the kale leaves until tender – no more than a few minutes – then transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon and leave to cool.  Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the instructions on the packet: you want it to be still a little firm to the bite.  Squeeze any remnants of water from the kale, finely chop and put in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat the ricotta and half the parmesan with a fork, season generously, then stir half this mixture through the kale.  Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid, and return to the pan.  Stir in the kale mix and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a wet sauce that coats the pasta.

Tip into a big baking dish and scatter the roast squash, tomatoes and sage over the top.  Dollop the remaining ricotta mixture here and there, pushing some of it down into the pasta, sprinkle on the rest of the parmesan and drizzle with a little oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the parmesan has melted and the top is golden brown.  Serve with a green salad.

Seasonal local food recipe No.299 – Jack Monroe’s lentil, bean and kale salad

I have made this Jack Monroe salad twice recently, once with curly kale and today with cavelo nero and both times it was delicious. It is even easier if you use a tin of black-eyed beans and lentils that do not need pre-soaking such as puy lentils.

Serves 4 for lunch

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

100 g dried brown or green lentils
100 g dried black-eyed or haricot beans
8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
A handful of black olives, chopped
A fistful of parsley, torn
80 g kale, rinsed and chopped
For the dressing:
1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
130 ml olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Soak the lentils and beans for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Meanwhile, make your dressing – a good steeping in oil and acid will calm the chilli and garlic and meld the flavours. Put the garlic, chilli, oil, lemon zest and some of the lemon juice into a lidded jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake vigorously to emulsify.  Unscrew, taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

When you are ready to make the salad, thoroughly rinse the lentils and beans, then put them in a pan of unsalted, cold water. Bring to the boil, scrape off any scum and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with hot water.  Meanwhile, warm the dressing in a small saucepan over a low heat.

Toss all the other salad ingredients together with the warm pulses – there is no need to cook the kale as the warmth of the beans, lentils and dressing will soften it sufficiently.  Add the dressing to taste and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.269 – Nigel’s baked eggs with taleggio and greens

Charlotte saw this recipe, looks nice and simple and can be made with the kale in this week’s boxes.  Nigel also recommends using steamed spinach instead of the kale or a goat’s or blue cheese.  Apparently the combination of spinach and blue cheese is particularly good.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 mins

125 g of mixed greens such as cavolo nero or red Russian kale
6 eggs
salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
150 g taleggio cheese, torn or sliced
3 Tbs pumpkin seeds, chopped

Put a pan of water on to boil. Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Wash and lightly shred 125g of mixed greens, such as kale and cavolo nero.

Add the greens to the boiling water, leave for a minute, then immediately remove and refresh in a colander under cold, running water. Gently squeeze most of the water out of the greens and set aside. Beat six eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add the shredded greens and season generously with salt and pepper.

Warm 2 tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick ovenproof 22cm pan, then, as bubbles start to appear, pour in the egg and greens mixture.  Leave to cook over a moderate heat for two minutes. Tear or slice 150g of taleggio, or another soft, easily melting cheese, and place the pieces on the surface of the eggs and greens. Scatter over three tablespoons of chopped pumpkin seeds then bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes until the eggs are lightly set and the cheese oozing.

Seasonal local food recipe No.262 – Frank’s squash, kale and bean soup


The original inspiration for this soup was in a newspaper or magazine, long since lost.  This is my husband’s version where he puts in whatever squash we have together with whatever greens are around: kale, cavalo nero and chard have all been used at some point.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
500 ml stock
1 can cannelini beans, drained
1 large handful of kale, torn into small pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion has softened.  Add the squash with the smoked paprika and coat in the oil before adding the stock and the cannelini beans.  Simmer until the squash is cooked.  At this point you can mash the soup slightly to make it thicker if you so wish.  Add the kale and simmer until cooked.  Season to taste and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.251 – Paprika and chilli kale chips

kale -chips-camelcsa

I was recommended to try making kale chips by a CSA member.  I found this recipe from Australia on the internet and my husband made them last night.  We ate them as a starter with a glass of chilled white wine and they were soon gone!

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 12-15 mins


Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 5. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.  Trim centre stems from kale, tear into small bite size pieces. Combine olive oil, paprika and chilli in a large bowl.  Add kale leaves and toss to coat in oil mixture.

Spread kale out in a single layer on prepared trays.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, swapping trays half way through cooking time, or until leaves are crisp. Serve sprinkled with sea salt.

Seasonal local food recipe No.214 – Hugh’s pasta with greens, garlic and chilli

A quick and easy tea that warms you up on a cold night! It’s from River Cottage veg every day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2-3 heads of spring greens or kale or a savoy cabbage
6 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1/2-1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped or 2 good pinches of dried chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
300g pasta shapes such as penne or fusilli
sea salt and finely ground black pepper
To serve
extra virgin olive oil
parmesan cheese

Remove the core and thick stems from the greens or cabbage and shred the leaves.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat, add the onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Add the chilli and garlic and some salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.  At the same time cook the pasta until al dente, adding the greens to the pan about 3 minutes befrore the end of the cooking.
Drain the pasta and greens thoroughly and toss with the onion mixture in the frying pan.  Check the seasoning, then serve, with extra virgin olive oil for trickling and lots of grated cheese.

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