Seasonal local food recipe No.323 – Frank’s Cornish seaweed noodles


My husband concocted this delicious meal last night from this week’s veg box contents when challenged with what to do with the sea spaghetti from The Cornish Seaweed Company.  He also used the bean sprouts in our boxes. Ingredients can be changed as you see fit!

Serves 2

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

20g sea spaghetti
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
thumb sized knob of ginger, peeled and matchsticked
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 dried shitake mushrooms (or any fresh mushrooms as desired)
bean sprouts
150g buckwheat soba noodles (or any other noodles you fancy)
1 heaped tsp chilli bean paste or sliced fresh chillies to taste
1 Tbsp oil (sunflower or rapeseed)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
a dash of sesame oil
juice of 1 lime

Soak the sea spaghetti in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.  If using dried mushrooms, soak in boiling water for 30 minutes, then drain and slice thinly.  Cook the noodles as instructed on the packet until al-dente and drain.

Heat a wok or large frying pan, add the oil and stir-fry the onion for 2 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic and beansprouts and stir-fry until the beansprouts start to soften.  Add the sea spaghetti, mushrooms, chilli paste, soy sauce and half the lime juice and stir-fry for 30 seconds or so. Add the noodles and stir-fry until everything is piping hot.

Divide into two bowls.  Sprinkle some sesame oil and the remaining lime juice over each bowl and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.264 – Leek and butter bean stew


This is taken from a recipe by Rose Elliot. It was originally a recipe for a pie with a puff pastry crust but the filling is just as good on its own.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

2 cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
25 g butter
225 g carrots, peeled and diced small
450 g leeks, cleaned and cut into 1 cm slices
125 g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
1 Tbs flour
1/2 can tomatoes
150 ml vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan, add the carrots, cover and cook very gently without browning for about 10 minutes.  Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour then stir so it gets mixed with the fat.  Mix in the tomatoes and stock or water and cook gently, stirring for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.  Add the butter beans and season to taste.  Cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the beans are heated through.  Serve with a green vegetable and potatoes.

Seasonal local food recipe No.232 – Frank’s mangetout and shitake mushroom stir-fry

My husband knocked up this tasty stir-fry with some of the veg box contents and served it with fried noodles and beansprouts.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes

250g mangetout, trimmed
150g shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger, shredded
1 tbs oyster sauce
2 tbs water

Heat a wok over a high heat and add the oil.  When the oil is smoking add the onion, mushrooms and mangetout and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic and ginger then stir fry for a further 30 seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic or ginger.  Stir in the oyster sauce and water and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Serve with noodles or rice.

Seasonal local food recipe No 169: Gingery shiitake noodles

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.130: Parsley and potato soup with garlic mushrooms

Definitely no apologies for yet another soup recipe – it is that time of year after all.

This one from Nigel Slater uses the potatoes, garlic and  parsley in Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes. The addition of chestnut mushrooms, fried in a little butter then tossed in garlic and parsley, makes it a winner.

Slater suggests in his Observer column having this soup alongside a crisp winter salad dressed with gherkins and mustard. I’m with him all the way.

Delicious with some real bread from St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the soup:
750g floury potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
a large rib of celery
2 bay leaves
8 stems of flat-leaf or curled parsley

For the mushrooms:
150g small, chestnut mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic
2 or 3 bushy sprigs of parsley

Peel the potatoes, dice them, then put them into a saucepan. Peel and chop the garlic, roughly chop the celery, then add them to the potatoes and pour in enough water to cover. Drop in the bay leaves. Remove the parsley leaves and set aside.

Add the stalks to the pan with half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a lively simmer and cook for 15 or 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft and on the verge of collapse.

Chop the parsley leaves. Pour the potatoes and their cooking water into a blender or food processor, add the parsley leaves and blitz till smooth. Take care not to over-blend as it can send the mixture gluey – do it in short bursts. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as you think fit.

Cut the mushrooms into thick slices, melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the peeled and crushed garlic, then the mushrooms and cook them till nicely coloured and sizzling. Season. Chop the parsley leaves and stir into the mushrooms.

Warm the soup thoroughly – until piping hot – then ladle into four bowls. Divide the mushrooms between the bowls and serve.

Seasonal recipe No 49: Bacon, potato and mushroom gratin

Thanks again to Henrietta Danvers for this week’s recipe – a Good Housekeeping one that makes good use of the new potatoes in our boxes.

Serves 2

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes

250g new potatoes
salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
125g bacon, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
125g button mushrooms
125g Cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the potatoes and drain. Heat the olive oil and cook the onion and bacon, then add the mushrooms. Transfer to a gratin dish and stir in the potatoes. Season and spread the grated cheese on top. Grill until the cheese is bubbling. Serve.

For a vegetarian variation, replace the bacon with sliced leeks and add fresh herbs such as thyme and a little rosemary.

Seasonal recipe No 22 – Black-eyed beans with mushrooms

Another excellent recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery. She says: “I like this bean dish so much, I often find myself eating it up with a spoon, all by itself.”  Serve on its own with naan bread and a salad or as a side dish. It does take a bit of time to make but it re-heats very well.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes (includes 1 hour soaking time)
Cooking time: 1 hour

225g dried black-eyed beans, washed and drained
1.15 litres water
225g mushrooms
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
2.5cm stick of cinnamon
150g onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400g tinned tomatoes
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped coriander or parsley


Put the beans and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the  pot sit, covered and undisturbed, for 1 hour.

While the pot is resting, cut the mushrooms through their stems into 3mm thick slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the whole cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick. Let the sizzle for 5-6 seconds. Now put in the onions and garlic. Stir and fry until the onioin pieces turn brown at the edges. Put in the mushrooms. Stir and fry until the mushrooms wilt. Now add the tomatoes and ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute. Cover, turn heat to low and let the mixture cook in its own juices for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pan.

Bring the beans to the boil again. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender. To this bean and water mixture, add the mushroom mixture, salt, black pepper and fresh coriander/parsley. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

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