Seasonal local food recipe No. 384 – New potato & green bean salad


This has to be one of the best and easiest salad combos I’ve tried for a while. The lovely purple French beans in Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes turn green when cooked. They look and taste beautiful in this healthy recipe from BBC Good Food magazine.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes

500g medium new potatoes, thickly sliced
200g green bean, trimmed

For the dressing
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp clear honey
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, thinly sliced

Boil potatoes in salted water for 8 mins until just tender, then drain and keep warm (they will absorb the dressing better than cold potatoes). Meanwhile, steam the beans in a steamer over the potatoes for 4 mins. Keep a close eye on them as you want them to be just tender rather than soft. Cool the beans under the cold tap to keep their colour.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add the warm potatoes and beans, and toss really well to coat in the dressing.

Seasonal local food recipe No. 382 – Creamy potato and wild garlic mash


Wild garlic leaves have a fresh spring flavour that can be used in many different ways. Sometimes simple is best and in this Delicious magazine recipe the wild garlic contrasts beautifully with the creamy mash.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes

1.5kg floury potatoes, cut into chunks
50g unsalted butter
50g wild garlic leaves, sliced
generous splash of double cream
grating of nutmeg

Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until very tender, then drain and return to the pan briefly over a low heat to dry.

Melt the butter in a small pan and fry the wild garlic for 30 seconds. Mash the potatoes with the cream, nutmeg and most of the garlicky butter. Stir through the fried wild garlic and the rest of the butter. Taste, season and serve.

Try these other ways of using wild garlic leaves on the recipes page on our website:-
Wild garlic frittata
Wild garlic and cheese muffins

Seasonal local food recipe No.376 – Creamy leek, potato and cheese gratin


This easy and very satisfying vegetarian gratin, good at lunchtime, is adapted from two recipes in Delicious magazine – one for a pastry-encased pie, the other for a pastry-based tart.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

400g leeks
3 large potatoes, thinly sliced
3 large eggs
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp grainy mustard
100g Gruyere cheese (you could use Cheddar)
Small bunch of chives or parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/Gas Mark 5. Meanwhile boil the potatoes for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Drain and set aside. Clean the leeks, halve them lengthwise and chop into large pieces. Leave them whole if they’re small, slim ones. Steam or boil for three minutes, then drain and pat dry.

Beat the eggs with the creme fraiche, cheese and garlic, then stir in the chives or parsley. Layer the potatoes in a greased gratin dish, arrange the leeks on top and pour over the egg mixture. Bake for 25 minutes until the filling has set and the top is golden.. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Seasonal local food recipe No.353 – Onion, bacon and potato hotpot

This straightforward dish from the late Jocasta Innes’ classic The Pauper’s Cookbook is recommended by one of Camel CSA‘s members. The recipe became a favourite when she was a student. Serve with the sprouting broccoli or kale in this week’s veg boxes.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml milk
sea salt and ground black pepper
grated nutmeg (optional)
4 large onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
125-150g bacon, rind removed, cut into strips

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6). Make a white sauce by melting the butter on a low heat in a small pan, stir in the flour and gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil stirring all the while, once smooth and thick, reduce the heat to a very low simmer, add the seasoning and nutmeg and leave it ticking over while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Grease a casserole dish and build up in layers of onion, potatoes and bacon bits, ending with potatoes. Pour the white sauce over the top and jiggle well to distribute the sauce evenly. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 200°C/Gas 6), uncover and reduce to 180°C/Gas 4) and cook for 1 final hour. Serve with winter vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts, kale or cabbage.

Seasonal local food recipe No.350 – Nigella’s roast chicken with lemon, rosemary, garlic, leeks and potatoes

This Nigella Lawson recipe appears in 20 best one-pot recipes in The Observer’s Food Monthly supplement.  It’s easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp rosemary needles, finely chopped, plus more to serve
1 bulb garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
2 leeks
1 kg waxy potatoes, washed if necessary, but unpeeled
2 unwaxed lemons
1 medium chicken (approx. 1.4 kg)
sea salt flakes to taste

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7.  Get out the biggest roasting tin you have, and pour all but a teaspoon or so of the oil into it.  Throw in the chopped rosemary needles and the garlic cloves.

Trim the leeks and cut each in half lengthways, then slice into half-moons and drop these leek curls into the tin too.  Cut the potatoes into 1.5 cm slices, then cut each slice into 4, or just halve them if the potatoes are small, and add these to the tin.  Quarter the lemons, then cut each quarter in half, take out as many pips as you can and toss the lemon quarters into the pan.

Now schmoosh everything to mix, and then make a space in the middle of the tin for the chicken to sit in.  Untruss the chicken, place it in the reserved parking place, pour the tiny bit of the remaining oil on top of it and sprinkle sea salt flakes on top of the chicken only.

Place in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and if the juices of the chicken run clear when you push the tip of a knife into the joint where the thigh meets the body, remove the chicken to a board to sit, letting the juices from its cavity spill back into the tin as you do so.

Then put the potato mixture back in the oven for 10 minutes until soft and golden.  If the chicken needs longer, keep everything in the oven until the chicken is cooked.  When it’s ready, and the chicken has rested, carve it or cut into joints as wished.  Sprinkle with 1/2 a teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary needles and sea salt flakes to taste.

Seasonal local food recipe No.319 – Frank’s slow cooked potatoes

I’m not sure where the idea for this potato dish comes from, but my husband’s version brings back childhood memories of a similar recipe my Mum used to dish up.  I like it served with slow roast lamb.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 – 2 hours

1 kg potatoes, peeled
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
olive oil
a splash of white wine
freshly ground black pepper

Slice the potatoes the thickness of a pound coin.  Place a sheet of aluminium foil (about 90 cm by 30 cm) on a baking tray, grease half of it with some olive oil and cover with a layer of sliced potatoes.  Sprinkle with a little of the grated garlic.  Build up the layers until all the potato and garlic have been used and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Add a good splash of white wine and a drizzle of olive oil then fold the other half of the foil over and crimp the edges together to make an airtight parcel. Place in the bottom of the oven at 150°C/Gas mark 2 for 1.5 – 2 hours.  Be careful of a sudden release of steam when opening up the parcel .  Serve immediately.

Seasonal local food recipe No.309 – Pasta and potatoes

This soup sounds just right for the cold weather that is being predicted to arrive this week.  This recipe is from Rachel Roddy’s Kitchen Sink Tales column in this week’s Guardian Cook supplement.

She says: “One thing I will stress the importance of is the extra virgin olive oil, with its grassy scent and seductive mix of butteriness and bitterness. It really is the fragrant foundation of this dish … treat it as a key ingredient.”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

1 onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
a sprig of rosemary or 2 bay leaves
600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.4 litres water or light stock
170g pasta (quadrucci, pastina, farfalle or broken spaghetti)
salt and black pepper
Pecorino or parmesan, grated

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat.  Fry the onion, celery and carrot, along with a pinch of salt, until soft and translucent.  Add the rosemary of bay leaves and the potatoes, stirring so each chunk is coated with oil and fry for a couple more minutes.

Add the water or stock and another small pinch of salt, bring to a lively simmer, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is very soft – you can break it up slightly with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the pasta, raise the heat slightly and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked, stirring and adding a little more water if it looks too thick.

Taste for salt (remembering you are probably going to add salty cheese) and grind over some black pepper.  Serve with some grated pecorino or parmesan stirred in, or simply a streak of olive oil.

Seasonal local food recipe No.304 – Cauliflower, potato and pea curry


My husband has just made this delicious, warming curry for tea.  The recipe is from Michael Pandya’s Complete Indian Cookbook which Frank bought back in the 1980s.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

25 g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cauliflower, cut in florets
450 g potatoes, peeled and quartered
100 g peas
1 medium onion, finely chopped
450 g tomatoes, peeled and chopped
450 ml water
salt to taste
pinch of asafoetida powder
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 brown cardamom
For the paste:
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2.5 cm piece garlic, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
To garnish:
1 tsp garam masala
2 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Heat the butter and half the oil in a saucepan and add the asafoetida powder.  Stir for 5 seconds then add the cauliflower, potatoes and peas.  Fry for 5 minutes over a moderate heat.  Remove the vegetables to a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and add the onion, cloves, cumin and cardamom and fry until the onion is golden brown.  Make a fairly smooth mixture by blitzing the paste ingredients in a blender.  Add the paste to the onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes.

Mix in the fried vegetables and tomato and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the water and salt and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the cloves and brown cardamom before serving hot, garnished with the garam masala and coriander.

Seasonal local food recipe No. 303 – Red dragon pie


This is a favourite, well-loved recipe from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen which I have been making for the past 30 years, I will be serving it with the curly kale from this week’s veg box.  It gets its name from the Chinese name for aduki beans – red dragon beans.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

110 g aduki beans
50 g brown rice
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
225 g carrots, scrubbed and diced
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp mixed herbs
275 ml aduki bean stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
450 g potatoes, peeled
25 g butter

Soak the aduki beans overnight or steep them in boiling water for an hour.  Drain and rinse, then bring them to the boil  in fresh water along with the rice and cook for 50 minutes, until the beans are tender and the rice is fairly soft.  Drain, reserving the stock.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the cooked beans and rice.  Mix the soy sauce, tomato puree and herbs with the stock and pour over the bean and vegetable mixture.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, so that the flavours are well blended.  Season to taste.  Add a little more liquid if necessary so that the final mixture is moist.

Transfer into a greased 1.5 litre casserole.  Whilst the bean and vegetable mixture is cooking , boil the potatoes until soft and mash them with the butter.  Season well and spread the mashed potato over the beans and vegetables.  Place in a preheated oven 180°C/Gas mark 4 and bake for 35-40 minutes until the potato is crisp and brown.

Seasonal local food recipe No.298 – Colcannon

I like to serve Colcannon with grilled sausages for a quick and easy tea.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1 Kg floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or Cara, peeled and cut into chunks
100 ml milk
100 g butter
1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender.  While the potatoes are cooking melt half the butter in a pan and cook the cabbage for about 10 minutes until tender.  Drain the potatoes well then return to the pan with the milk and the rest of the butter and leave on a low heat until the milk comes to the boil and the butter has melted.  Remove from the heat, mash the potatoes then add the cabbage and mix well.  Season to taste and serve.

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