07 May 2013
In order to mark the celebrations in The Netherlands last week I had wanted to bring an orange theme to this weeks blog, only to look in the bag and be faced with a sea of greens (!). Tomato, Squash & Spinach Curry was the best I could do, but providing you have some ready-made curry paste it’s a very simple recipe.
Staying on the same theme and just as easy was the Sweet Potato, Spinach & Lentil Dahl, but for those of you wanting an alternative to these spiced dishes, Buttered Spinach is a great comforting recipe, with lovely flavours of garlic and lemon.
However, this week’s star turned out to be Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Braised Garlicky Kale. The two dishes taste delicious served separately but mixed together make a lovely supper or side dish.
By Catherine Lee, 07 May 2013 –
14 April 2013
This month’s crop share was another veritable feast of green leaves, bursting with freshness and health. So it was timely to receive this poster detailing the benefits of this “vital vegetable”.
The first of two soup recipes is Kale & Cannellini Soup, a very easy method producing a wonderful Italian-style broth. The second is Spinach, Watercress & Chickpea Soup. This has recently become one of my favourite soup recipes and came about when my friend returned from Israel with a large pot of Ras el Hanout and Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book, Jerusalem. Ras el hanout is a North African blend of sweet and hot spices, toasted and finely ground. You can mix it yourself, but so many components are involved that you'll probably be better off buying it; if you struggle to find it Kan Wholefoods in Kendal will order it for you. This is a wonderfully comforting soup, and once I’d tried the roasted carrots and chickpeas I have since started using this method to roast other sweet root vegetables.
I did feel a little challenged by the Brussel sprout tops; the temptation was just to throw them into a stir-fry, but I succumbed to the inevitable Google search, and it seems there’s a lot a people out there talking about Brussel sprout tops! Who knew?! Sprout tops, it seems, are one of the most flavoursome greens and have a hint of a Brussels sprout with the texture of a healthy green. They're probably a bit more versatile than the sprout itself and can be served with anything from chestnuts to bacon. Brussel sprout tops with onions & bacon turned out to be a bit of a treat.
By Catherine Lee, 14 April 2013 –
10 March 2013
The much anticipated return of the crop share prompted a frenzy of stir-frying & salad-making, and a welcome relief from the tasteless leaves endured over the past few months. There’s nothing like the Growing Well spicy salad; I have friends in far-flung places, spoilt by a wealth of fresh produce on their local organic markets, none yet having found salad leaves as good as ours, bemoaning this black-hole in their lives that did not exist until they visited Sizergh.
Two simple recipes for kale, Kale, Mushroom & Cashew Stir-Fry and Chinese-Style Kale, were easy to make and tasty to eat. So, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The same recipes were applied to the bag of oriental greens, and worked just as well.
It’s a treat to get baby leeks; I rarely find them on sale and enjoy their sweet taste and softer texture. This recipe for Roasted Baby Leeks with Thyme boils them quickly before roasting them, turning them soft and caramelizing them; you can use them as an accompaniment to meat or fish, but I prefer to chop them up and sprinkle them over a bowl of green soup.
Brussel Sprouts in Garlic Butter were intended as an accompaniment to a meal, but never made it to the table as we literally ate them as they browned in the pan; in our haste to try them we mistakenly didn’t follow the recipe which advised to discard the garlic. Not something that’s ever likely to be done in this house.
By Catherine Lee, 10 March 2013 –
10 December 2012
It was nothing less than a triumph to see the crop share bags lined up on Thursday in the chiller, brimming with a wide array of winter vegetables despite the truly challenging conditions that the volunteers and staff have had to endure; I’m not even sure if ‘truly challenging’ goes anywhere near covering it, and hope that everyone involved understands how much we appreciate this great effort.
I’m going to start by mentioning a few of the best recipes from last year, and whilst this might be considered blag, and not blog, I thought it would be handy for the people who had joined this year. Parmesan-baked Parsnips, Christmas Vegetables & Glazed Jerusalem Artichokes with Coriander were my firm favourites for last winter, and will be put to good use again this year. A new and very easy recipe is Parsnip & Potato Rosti which made a nice change from either roasting the parsnips or making them into a soup.
The pak choi and Chinese cabbage provided a real contrast to the roasted root vegetables; Sesame Pak Choi is an easy side dish to prepare and the Ginger Sweet Tofu with Pak Choi is a beautifully flavoured main dish, both making great use of this interesting leafy vegetable. The Chinese cabbage was easily used up in a stir fry and the parsley was added to celery soup, a new combination that I have discovered works very well together.
Merry Christmas to you all.
By Catherine Lee, 10 December 2012 –
03 November 2012
This week the crop share saw an abundance of root vegetables including two that are often overlooked, beetroot and turnip. I’m a huge fan of beetroot, it has some wonderful health benefits when used raw in vegetable juices and adds a deep, earthy dimension to a salad when roasted and served warm. This recipe for Hot Beetroot Salad is so simple; it can be eaten on its own or as a side dish, and is such a lovely way to prepare this often neglected vegetable.
Growing up using turnips as Halloween lanterns and only ever eating them boiled I decided it was time to look more favourably on them; my answer to any vegetable I disliked as a child is to try roasting it with some olive oil and herbs. Roasting mellows the sometimes sharp flavor of turnips and concentrates their texture into a tender, melting vegetable in this easy recipe. Serve these Roasted Turnips with other roasted vegetables or as a side accompaniment to meat. The recipe is really a method; you can change the amount to suit your needs. Try adding herbs (rosemary is particularly yummy with the spicy bite of turnips) or spices, or combine the turnips with other root vegetables as you like.
Staying with the roasting theme, Jamie Oliver’s Roast Potatoes, Parsnips and Carrots is a great big dish of winter flavours, and Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup is the perfect supper to come home to after those Bonfire Night parties.
By Catherine Lee, 03 November 2012 –