Seasonal local food recipe No.393 – Shakshuka

We’ve so many really ripe tomatoes in our veg boxes at the moment as well as peppers and aubergines. So why not use them to make this classic Middle Eastern breakfast dish? It’s ideal for weekend brunch or a simple evening meal.

This version comes from food writer Felicity Cloake, who recommends it for being “spicy, hearty and cheap”. She adds: “Feel free to swap the peppers for one medium aubergine, or two courgettes, or four medium boiled potatoes as desired.”

Serves: 4

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp cumin seeds
½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
800g tinned tomatoes (or ripe tomatoes in season)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4-8 eggs, depending on hunger
Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until golden, then add the peppers. Fry until both are soft, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and roughly mash. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and season, adding more cayenne if you prefer it spicier.

Make 4-8 divots in the sauce and break in the eggs. Season them lightly, turn the heat right down as low as possible, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

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Seasonal local food recipe No.392 – Maxine’s green tomato curry


Avoiding food waste is an incredibly important aspect of being a community supported agriculture scheme. We’ve already made many of our leftover end-of-season green tomatoes into chutney to go in our Christmas boxes.

The very last of the green tomato glut are going in the weekly veg boxes alongside this delicious recipe that Camel CSA member Maxine has provided for us.

She says: “This recipe has been stolen and merged with a dozen or so others, so none of it’s original, but this is my take on it. It does tend to be different each time I make it according to what veg I have in the cupboard.”

Sometimes she serves it with a side dish of fried green tomatoes, immortalised in the southern US film Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: one hour


1 cup of yellow split peas or lentils
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves of garlic
4 shallots or medium sized onions (the more flavourful the better)
1 large thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 lemongrass stems
1 tsp ground cumin
4-6 medium-hot green chillies  – finger type (according to taste)
2 tbsp fish sauce (or vegan equivalent)
2 tbsp oil
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
250 veg stock, or boiling water with 1 veg stock pot pod, pouch or cube
500g green tomatoes
300g potatoes, roasted squash or roasted sweet potato according to taste (or combination) carrots, sprouts or any other veg you fancy

To serve:
fresh coriander
lime wedges
1 handful of roasted and salted peanuts Method
Add the split peas to a pan and cover with water, add turmeric and cayenne pepper and simmer until cooked but still nutty.
Peel the garlic, onions and ginger. Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass and discard.

Chop everything finely (leaving half the onions aside just roughly chopped into chunks) and add to a food processor along with the cumin and chillies and half of the coriander leaves and all the stalks.

Blitz until it makes a paste, then add the fish sauce and whizz again.Heat the oil in a wok or pan and gently fry off the blitzed green paste for about 5 minutes, stirring gently.

Add coconut milk and boiling hot stock and allow to boil. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

Add tomatoes and other vegetables and allow to cook through without going mushy. Stir in gently the yellow split peas or lentils and heat gently to combine the flavours.

Sprinkle with remaining coriander, peanuts and a squeeze of lime juice.

Serve with rice or any flat bread.

Seasonal local food recipe No.390 – Pan con tomate and Bruschetta al pomodoro


We’ve got so many tomatoes in our weekly veg boxes at the moment. They’re incredibly flavoursome as they come freshly picked straight from the vine and unlike supermarket tomatoes haven’t been been kept in cold storage.

Catalan pan con tomate and Italian bruschetta al pomodoro are gorgeous, garlicky versions of tomatoes on toast. They bring out the full flavour of these delectable fruits and are a doddle to put together. Great for a starter or a snack at any time of the day.

Both these recipes serve one (just scale the ingredients up as many times as you like) and take barely 5-10 minutes to prepare. Easy!

Bruschetta al pomodoro
1 slice of toasted sourdough or ciabatta
1 tomato
1 garlic clove
sea salt
good-quality olive oil
basil leaves

Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side on the rough surface of the toast. Chop the tomato into a bowl, tear in some basil leaves, sprinkle with salt, add a glug of olive oil, then let it rest for a few minutes before piling it on to the garlicky toast.


Pan con tomate
1 slice toasted sourdough bread or pan de cristal
1 tomato
1 garlic clove
sea salt
good-quality olive oil

Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side on the rough surface of the toast. Grate the tomato on the coarse-toothed side of a grater into a bowl. Stir in a good glug of olive oil and some salt, then spoon the tomato mixture over the garlicky toast.

Seasonal local food recipe No.389 – Felicity Cloake’s perfect caprese salad


We have such tasty tomatoes and basil in our weekly veg boxes. It’s important to keep both out of the fridge to conserve their full flavour.

Originally from the Italian island of Capri, this salad needs to be made with the best ingredients and kept very, very simple. We recommend this version from Felicity Cloake in the The Guardian.

Serves 4 (with bread)
Preparation time: 5 minutes + 15 minutes resting time

About 600g tomatoes of different shapes and sizes, including some slightly under-ripe or more acidic varieties
Extra virgin olive oil
250g buffalo mozzarella
Small bunch of basil, preferably with smallish leaves

Cut the tomatoes into different sized slices and chunks depending on their size and shape – large craggy fruit often looks better cut into cross sections. Cut out the core if it looks chewy. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt, leave to sit for 10 minutes, then add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and gently toss with a couple of spoons.

Arrange the tomatoes on a platter, spooning over their juices. Tear the mozzarella over the top, and scatter with torn basil leaves. Drizzle with more oil and season with a little more salt. Serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.368 – Aubergine curry with chilli, tomato and kaffir lime leaves

This recipe is taken from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey.  If you miss out the shrimp paste, you have got a pleasing vegetarian curry. The kaffir lime leaves can also be replaced with grated lime zest.

Kecap manis is a thick, sweet Indonesian soy sauce which Rick Stein says is not interchangeable with ordinary soy sauce but we just put in a little extra dark soy sauce.  The use of fresh tomatoes gave the curry a nice fresh taste.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 medium-sized aubergines
7 tbsp vegetable oil
200g shallots, thinly sliced
25g garlic, thinly sliced
25g peeled ginger, finely chopped
2 medium-hot red chillies, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
200g chopped tomatoes
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp palm sugar
juice of 1/2 lime

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then across into slices 1cm thick.  Heat 5 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large, deep frying pan.  Add the aubergines and stir fry for 6 minutes until lightly golden.  Lift out with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the shallots and garlic and fry until golden.  Add the ginger, chillies, shrimp paste and tomatoes and cook for a few seconds more until the tomatoes have softened.

Return the aubergines to the pan with the lime leaves and 6 tablespoons of water.  Simmer for 2 minutes until the aubergines are tender and the sauce has reduced slightly.  Stir in the kecap manis, dark soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste, and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.362 – Frank’s tagliatelle with tomatoes, peas and prawns

This recipe was inspired by a Marcella Hazan recipe for squid with tomatoes and peas, Tuscan style, which Frank adapted to suit the ingredients we had to hand.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tin plum tomatoes
bag of shelled Camel CSA peas or 285g frozen peas
10 peeled prawns
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1 bag fresh tagliatelle

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook slowly until the onion is translucent.  Add the tomatoes and cook slowly until the volume is reduced by half.

Add the peas and the prawns and cook until the prawns have turned pink.  When the sauce is about 5 minutes from being ready, cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of boiling water.  Drain the pasta and mix into the sauce with the chopped parsley.

Seasonal local food recipe No.336 – Jamie’s sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake

My husband used our bag of tomatoes to make this delicious sausage dish from Jamie Oliver last night.  He finely chopped  the rosemary before cooking and cut the larger tomatoes into chunks.  He served the finished dish with garlic bread.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45-60 minutes

2 kg ripe cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
12 good-quality Cumberland or coarse Italian pork sausages
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.  Get an appropriately sized roasting tray, large enough to take the tomatoes in one snug-fitting layer.  Put in all your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages.  Drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Toss together, then make sure the sausages are on top and pop the tray into the oven for half an hour.  After this time, give it a shake and turn the sausages over.  Put back into the oven for 15-30 minutes, depending on how golden and sticky you like your sausages.

Once it’s cooked, you’ll have an intense, tomatoey sauce.  If it’s a little too thin, lift out the sausages and place the tray on the hob to cook it down to the consistency you like – I tend to make mine quite thick – then put the sausages back in.

Check the seasoning and serve either with a good-quality loaf of bread warmed through in a low oven for 10 minutes (great for mopping up the sauce!) or with mashed potato, rice or polenta, a green salad and a nice glass of wine.

Seasonal local food recipe No.335 – Miryam’s tomatoes with toast

We have recently returned from our holiday touring round Spain.  For five nights we stayed at the Valencia home of our young Spanish friend Miryam.  Every morning she prepared this simple dish for breakfast.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

3 large tomatoes
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

Halve the tomatoes and grate the flesh directly into a shallow dish, discard the skin.  Season to taste with sea salt and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil.  Serve with freshly made toast, left over baguette is ideal.

Seasonal local food recipe No.333 – Pasta all’Amatriciana


I’m posting this recipe in solidarity with all those affected by the earthquake in Italy last week which was centred on Amatrice.  More than 600 restaurants across Italy have been putting pasta all’Amatriciana on their menus and donating €2 from each one sold to the Red Cross.  If you are making the tomato sauce from scratch you will need to add another hour to the cooking time. This version is in The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kennedy.

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

200 g rigatoni or penne
120 g guanciale (cured pig’s cheek) or pancetta
a small pinch of crushed dried chilli
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
170 ml tomato sauce (see below)
90 g grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan, to serve

Cut the guanciale or pancetta into 5 mm slices and then 1 cm batons.  Whilst the rigatoni is boiling, place the guanciale in a frying pan over a high heat and fry until fiercely smoking and just starting to colour (it will release plenty of fat, which makes the sauce).  Take the pan off the heat for a few moments (for safety’s sake), add the chilli flakes followed by the tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and the black pepper.  Bring back to simmering, add the drained pasta and serve with the grated cheese on the side.

Tomato sauce
Ingredients (for 600ml sauce)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a small pinch of crushed chilli flakes
500 g ripe vine tomatoes, chopped
500 g tinned tomatoes, chopped or crushed
1/2 rounded tsp fine sea salt

Fry the garlic in the oil until it just begins to colour, then add the chilli flakes, then the tomatoes and salt along with a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook at a brisk simmer until thickened – about an hour.

First of the season’s pumpkins in our veg boxes

We all have pumpkins this week. Standard boxes have the very last of the ripe tomatoes. Yes really!

In all the boxes: –
*sprouting broccoli OR kale
*cooking apples (Mark Norman, Bodmin)
potatoes (Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn)

Standard boxes also have:-
extra potatoes
*mixed salad bag
*beetroot (Mark Norman)

= grown to organic principles. All produce grown by Camel CSA unless otherwise indicated. Please wash all vegetables and fruit.

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