BBQ’d New Potatoes

This is my simple and adaptable method for BBQing our gorgeous new potatoes! I have fond memories of pricking large jacket potatoes, wrapping them in foil and packing them in with the food for camping trips. Then we would carefully tuck them into the BBQ coals to bake while the rest of the grilling was done, they’d often come out perfect if we remembered to turn them occasionally, but more often than not, half the potato would burn and half would be raw, or the coals would burn out before the potato was done and there’d be some disappointment… So this way of par-boiling, dressing then skewering little salad potatoes provides a much more consistent result.

Start by boiling scrubbed new potatoes until they are nearly cooked through. Test a few larger ones with a sharp knife or skewer. Then drain the potatoes and allow them to cool in the colander while you prepare a tasty marinade or dressing!

I love potatoes with garlic and herbs. This time I mixed olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in a large bowl. Then toss the par cooked new potatoes in the dressing.

Push the potatoes on skewers (or cook in a BBQ basket) and get them onto a plate or tray ready to pop over the coals.

Cook on the BBQ, turning often until soft, smokey and delicious!

Then push them off the skewers, back into the dressing bowl and toss again to get any last bits of dressing and flavour back over the delicious, charred potatoes. Enjoy!

Raw Courgette & Hazelnut Salad

We are in the midst of a classic courgette glut on the farm. Next week we’ll add some free courgettes to all the boxes, we hope you enjoy them. Expect lots of courgette recipes to come your way. We’d love to know your favourite courgette recipes too please! Let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group. I’ll start us off with this super simple salad. It’s so easy to make (just a matter of combining raw courgettes with a lemony dressing, then scattering over some toasted hazelnuts) and oh SO delicious! I have this salad often this time of year as a side to pretty much any meal, or it’s brilliant stirred through freshly boiled pasta or bulked out with a drained tin of lentils.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • Courgettes (2 small or 1 large)
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of half a small lemon (have you tried our new season verdelli lemons?)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a handful or two of hazelnuts, toasted in a dry pan then roughly chopped

Method

  1. Using a potato peeler, slice the courgettes into delicate, thin ribbons. For ease, slice them directly over a serving platter or large salad bowl.
  2. Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the courgette ribbons. You could toss the salad now to evenly coat the ribbons with the dressing, or just leave it drizzly.
  4. Then toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until nicely coloured. Tip them onto a board and carefully chop them up a bit to make them go further through the salad.
  5. Scatter them over the dressed ribbons and finish the salad with a little sprinkle of flakey sea salt. We LOVE Achill Island sea salt for exactly this type of dish.
  6. Enjoy as is as part of a salad buffet or alongside a BBQ. Or make it a light, refreshing meal by tossing through some freshly boiled pasta or a drained tin of cooked green lentils.

Smashed Cucumbers

Photo from our farm photographer Simone last week.

Our farm grown cucumbers, fresh out of the warm, sun kissed polytunnels, are mind-blowingly delicious! Nothing like the almost tasteless supermarket ones, these are the real deal. If the kids don’t get to them first as a snack, this is one of my favourite things to do with them. Smashing the cucumber before dressing it really opens it up and makes more craggy surface areas for the dressing to cling to. We often eat this summery side dish with simply boiled rice, some baked or fried tofu and spicy kimchi. 

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 a lime – juiced (or 1 tbsp apple-cider/rice-wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 a garlic clove – crushed or finely grated
  • 1/2 thumb of fresh ginger – finely grated
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – toasted
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes – optional
  • 2 sliced scallions – optional

Method

  1. Give the cucumber a rinse, then place it on a chopping board and cover it with a clean tea towel to prevent bits of cucumber flying around your kitchen in the next step.
  2. Bash or crush the cucumber with a something heavy or blunt. Rolling or bashing a tin of beans or a wooden rolling pin along its length with a fair bit of weight behind it will crack open the insides beautifully. Or you could press a heavy saucepan over it or whack it gently with a mallet. You don’t want to smash it into mush, rather crack and break it open and lightly crush it so that there are lots of wild, craggy shapes inside.
  3. Remove the tea towel then break and slice the cucumber into bite sized pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl and make the dressing.
  4. Stir together the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, lime/vinegar, garlic and ginger. 
  5. Pour the dressing evenly over the smashed cucumber, give it a quick stir, then top with toasted sesame seeds, chilli flakes and sliced scallions.
  6. Serve with rice, tofu, kimchi…or as a side to a barbecue!

I used the same dressing to marinade a romanesco cauliflower before roasting it as another side to this meal and it was absolutely delicious! Highly recommend!

Rhubarb & Almond Clafoutis

A clafoutis is a classic French dessert, somewhere between a cake and a pudding. It’s normally made with cherries but here’s my seasonal twist with gorgeous, tangy rhubarb and flaked almonds. The other twist? This recipe is plant based and low food waste, the eggs are replaced with aquafaba which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or white beans which is normally discarded. I love it served warm, scooped out of the dish into bowls with yoghurt or custard but it’s also delicious chilled and served in slices. Give it a try and let me know how you like it? And of course, switch the fruit for whatever you fancy. I even make a savoury version with asparagus or cherry tomatoes…the possibilities are endless!

Apart from the taste, the whole joy of this recipe is that it is very forgiving, hence the super-simple mug measurements. Some of my cakes require exact weights to work but this little beauty is a chilled out affair. Just grab a regular sized mug to weigh out your sugar and flour (not American style ‘cup’ measurements) and if you don’t have a measuring tbsp, just use a dessert spoon for the oil/milk. A few grams amiss here and there won’t affect the bake as it’s more of a pudding than a cake, so just trust your instincts and go for it. If you have a really big roasting dish or flan dish, use a big mug and enough rhubarb to cover the base in a single layer. And enjoy the easy, relaxed method!

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1 handful sugar
  • 5 or so stalks of rhubarb
  • the liquid from a 400g can of chickpeas or white beans
  • 1/2 mug sugar
  • 1 mug plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp baking soda & 1 tsp vinegar)
  • a pinch of salt (omit if your aquafaba came from a salted tin)
  • 3 tbsp oat milk (or more if needed)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 handful flaked almonds (optional)
  • yoghurt or custard to serve

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C. Find a large flan dish or medium roasting dish.
  2. Butter the base of the dish then scatter over a handful of sugar. 
  3. Rinse and cut your rhubarb into bite sized chunks then arrange them in the dish.
  4. Pour the aquafaba from a can of chickpeas or white beans into a large mixing bowl. Keep  the beans/chickpeas in a box in the fridge to use later today or tomorrow.
  5. Whisk the aquafaba until frothy, then add the 1/2 mug of caster sugar and whisk until creamy.
  6. Fold in the plain flour and baking powder (if your aquafaba came from an unsalted tin, add a pinch of salt now too).
  7. Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla. You should have a thick, creamy batter. If it’s too thick, add a splash more milk and stir again.
  8. Pour the batter over the rhubarb and spread it evenly. Scatter over the handful of flaked almonds if using.
  9. Bake in the oven until golden brown and just set. This should take approximately 20-30 minutes. The cake should still have some wobble and the rhubarb should be just cooked through and tender. 
  10. If you find it’s browning too much on top before being cooked through, move it to a lower part of your oven and cover the dish with a baking sheet or some baking parchment.
  11. Serve warm in large scoops with a dollop of yoghurt or custard. Or allow it to chill and set – the texture will become less pudding-like and more cake-like as it cools. You can then slice it and serve it in wedges like a regular cake. 
  12. Feel free to play around with the recipe substituting seasonal fruit or frozen berries as you like. I even make a savoury version with asparagus or cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and feta. Simply substitute the sugar for more flour and seasoning.

Pumpkin & Pecan Pie

I am such a vegetable geek, I always get overexcited when a new vegetable comes into season. So I eagerly wrote a pumpkin custard pie recipe, back in October when pumpkins and squashes were the veg of the moment. But one of the many beauties of these sweet, fleshy gourds is that they keep well for up to 6 months if properly stored, so you can have pumpkin pies up until March if you like, they are not just for Autumn! Pumpkins and winter squashes can be stored in a well-ventilated position at a temperature under 15°C and no colder than 10°C. I suggest finding a chilly part of your home, for example a shady windowsill. Watch for signs of rot, and remove any affected fruit immediately. I think their cheerful, bright colour and sweet, nutty flavour make them a gorgeous addition to your festive table too.

An illustrated recipe of my Pumpkin Pie from October 2020

Pumpkin pie is a very American, Thanksgivingy thing and like much of American food culture, it’s seeping over the pond and onto our plates. Pumpkin spice lattes and the like don’t seem to be going anywhere and why would they? The sweet, heady mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves is pretty irresistible. Pecan pies are another classic American dish, traditionally served at the festive table, so I couldn’t resist combining the two here in my layered pumpkin and pecan pie. I think you’ll agree, it’s a great combination.

Did you make this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments or over on our Healthy Eating facebook page. And don’t forget to share the recipe with your friends.

Liz

Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients

Pastry Method

Shortcrust pastry is very easy to make if you have a food processor with a blade attachment. (And by the way this recipe makes a brilliant mince pie, apple pie or cherry pie crust too!) Just blend up the flour, butter, salt and sugar until it resembles wet beach sand. Then add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water and briefly blend again and it will magically form into a neat ball of dough!

If you don’t have a food processor you can just use your hands. Use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the flour, salt and sugar until it reaches wet sand consistency, then add the water and gently bring it together into a ball of dough. The trick to a really short, melt in the mouth shortcrust pastry is not overworking the dough and getting it too warm. Then wrap it with a damp tea towel and let it rest in the fridge while you make the pumpkin custard.

Pumpkin Custard Ingredients

Method

I’ve never bought a tin of pumpkin puree, it seems that’s what most Americans use. Instead I just roast a halved and deseeded pumpkin or squash, cut side down, until it’s soft. Then scoop out the flesh and mash or blend it. I call this pie a ‘custard pie’ because this filling is a riff on my custard recipe. Simply blend all the ingredients until smooth. (And by the way, if you ever want to make regular plant based custard, just replace the pumpkin puree with another mug of oat milk, leave out the spices but keep the vanilla, then whisk and simmer on a low heat until thick and delicious.)

Then roll out the chilled pastry and carefully line a flan dish or a cake tin with it. Prick little holes in the base of the pastry with a fork to prevent a pocket of hot air forming under the crust and making it rise up in the oven. Then pour the custard into the pastry case and bake for about 30 minutes at 175C or until both the pastry and the custard are mostly cooked through. In the meantime, make the pecan pie topping.

Pecan Pie Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1.5 tbsp milled linseeds (if you don’t buy them already milled, just blend some whole ones up in a small spice blender or smoothie maker until ground into a course flour consistency)
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 150g pecan nuts

Method

Mix all the ingredients except the pecan nuts together in a bowl. Then stir through the pecan nuts, ensuring they are all coated in the caramel-like mixture. Then once the pumpkin pie is par cooked enough so that the pumpkin custard is mostly set, carefully spoon the pecans and caramel over the top of the pie.

Return it to the oven to cook for another 10 minutes or until the custard, pastry and pecan pie mixture is all cooked through.

Allow the pie to cool and set before carefully removing it onto a serving plate and slicing it up. Serve it with whipped coconut cream or vanilla ice cream.