There’s No Planet B

Our story this year has many parts to it. The planning and advice, the hard work and organisation of the farm team. The fertility and soil management, the weather and the birds and the bees have all played their part.

Our amazing team of packers, rising each morning sometimes at 4am to get to work at 5am to start packing your orders. Finally, having you our customers willing to supporting our farm and a whole bunch of good luck has got us through to another autumn, my 17th year growing vegetables and our 15th year in business.

Growing vegetables commercially is a tough endeavour and in the stony wet land of the West of Ireland it is particularly challenging.  

The skill and art of growing our food is so important and we need to preserve this knowledge. It is invigorating to see so many small-scale growers embrace sustainable growing.

Yet, many commercial growers are struggling, the work is too hard, the price for their produce is too low, the seasons (due to climate change) are unpredictable, and planning for a market that is ever changing and is sometimes 12 months in the future makes it a precarious undertaking indeed.

As with everything and it is no different in our food system, decisions based purely on financial gain with no regard for our environment are causing devastation to our planet.  

It is much easier for a large supermarket buyer to import cheap produce, grown abroad where labour is inexpensive and where very often the working conditions are poor, and the attention paid to biodiversity is scant than buy more expensive IRISH grown crops.  

I am glad we have you our customers and that we do not need to knock on supermarket doors to sell our produce.

Our harvest is overflowing, now we have parsnips, carrots, swedes, cabbage, leeks, celery, pumpkin, kale and Brussels sprouts, the last of the broccoli and the soon to start purple sprouting broccoli and the first time in 10 years we will have celeriac.

I think you might taste the flavour in your in your boxes, tell us if you do! You will also notice the size of all our crops, the warm September and a soil temperature that is 5C above normal means growth has continued well past when it should have slowed leading to bigger produce. 

The days are closing in now and the weather is wet and it should be cool, but as I write this, we have temperatures here in Galway of 17C and it is 8pm, is this climate change in action right here on our doorstep? 

Our promise is simple, “When you get a box from us you do not need to think about whether you are choosing sustainably, we promise you are”. 

Your support for us means our farm survives and thrives, our people stay in jobs, and we get to mind our little patch of land here in the West of Ireland sustainably.

Thank you

Kenneth

Can We Afford Cheap Food?

During the week I had the privilege of speaking at a food waste event organised by Concern Ireland.

As children my mum instilled in us an ethos of never wasting food (or anything else for that matter), we were rightly or wrongly always encouraged to finish our dinner.  

To this day she finds it very difficult to stay away from our “waste shelf” in the packing shed. This shelf is where all the worthwhile graded out produce is made available to the packing team to take home.

Up until recently and for many, many years, my mum could be found in there sifting through all the waste produce and salvaging anything that was good enough, then filling her car boot and bringing it all over Galway to people who needed it.

Like my dad’s work ethic, my mum’s need to save the food must have been programmed in her genes!  Their generation was not one that could afford to waste food. Food took up a more sizeable percentage of their disposable income and so had a higher value. In our society today the idea that food is valuable has changed, and unfortunately not for the better. 

Food waste is a major global issue. If it was a country, it would be the third biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions!  Food produced on nearly one third of all agricultural land is thrown straight in the bin! 

Here in Ireland, we dump 50% of all the salads we buy and an amazing 25% of all fresh fruit and veg! 

1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year! This is an unimaginable amount, here in Ireland the figure is nearly 1 million tonnes, which contributes 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere. 

These figures are staggering and bewildering but unfortunately not at all surprising. The cheap food culture engineered over the last five decades and evangelised by supermarkets has meant that we do not as consumers see value in fresh food. We expect it to be cheap. 

We expect it also to be shiny and picture perfect and uniform. Supermarkets actively discriminate against oddly shaped produce, or vegetables that are under or over spec. Our cabbage, the cabbage that you are getting in your boxes this week in a supermarket system would be graded out because they are too big!  

When I think of the land, and the planning and the work and the energy that is involved in bringing a crop to harvest it makes me feel angry and sad that somebody somewhere might consider that because of what a crop looks like it should be wasted. This is a system that has lost its way. 

Our food system is meandering dangerously close to it’s own undoing and as we stare into an uncertain future where climate change is playing a larger and larger part in our ability to grow food, eliminating food waste needs to be a priority. 

My mum’s relentless energy in making sure we as a business kept food waste to a minimum was one small part in a much bigger chain, but she played and continues to play an important part in at least keeping me on the straight and narrow and she never lets me forget that food is just too valuable to waste.

Needless to say, and as always (and I never get tired of saying it) your support for our business means that the issue of food waste will always be at the top of our agenda.

Thanks

Kenneth 

Savoy Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls are so delicious! The simmered cabbage wrappers turn tender and sweet and are the perfect vessel to hold together a tasty filling. I lean towards herby brown rice, mushrooms and beans as in the recipe below, but of course you can fill them with whatever you like. Traditional minced meat and seasonings, a spiced mashed potato and chickpea curry, or make a twist on an enchilada and stuff your leaves with a tasty chilli? Bake in a rich tomato sauce, a curried coconut broth or simmer in a simple stock. Cabbage rolls can roll with whatever you are in the mood for. How do you make yours?

Liz x

Ingredients (for 8 rolls)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 400g tin of black beans, drained
  • 200g short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 400ml water
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 savoy cabbage leaves, rinsed
  • natural yoghurt to serve

Method

  1. Start with the filling. In a small pot which has a lid, fry the mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and when the mushrooms start to take on some colour, add the rice, drained black beans, dill and water. Put the lid on the pot. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting. The rice should absorb all the water and be perfectly cooked after around 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make the tomato sauce. In a wide, heavy bottomed pan which has a lid, fry the onions and 4 cloves of garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil until golden and soft. Add the bay leaves and the tin of tomatoes. Swirl the juices from the tin into the pot too with half a tin of water. Season with salt and pepper and let the sauce gently simmer while you wait for the rice to cook.
  3. Once the rice is cooked through, taste it and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, pepper or dill. Then you can assemble the rolls.
  4. Use a rolling pin or the heel of your hand to flatten the tough stalk of each leaf. This will make it easier to roll. Then divide the rice between the 8 leaves and wrap them up. I find it easiest to have the stalk end closest to me, place the rice in the centre of the leaf, then roll the end of the stalk away from me, over the rice, tuck the sides of the leaf in, then roll on to the top of the leaf.
  5. Place the parcels, seam side down into the tomato sauce. Tuck them in snuggly so that they don’t unravel as they cook. Then put the lid on, turn the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are tender. Alternatively you can place the pot in a hot oven.
  6. Serve with tangy natural yoghurt and enjoy!

Autumn Gnocchi

Gnocchi are easy to make but they do require a bit of time and a fair few steps. So save this recipe for when you have the time to really take your time and enjoy the process. These colourful autumn gnocchi are made with an exciting new harvest on the farm, uchi kuri squash, and our beautiful beetroot.

Serve simply sautéd with butter, garlic, herbs and kale, or make a rich tomato pasta sauce to pop them on. Here’s a 30 second video to show you the process, otherwise, read on below. Liz x

Ingredients (serves approx 8)

  • a small winter squash like our uchi kuri (or sub with a butternut squash)
  • 8 small beetroots, or 4 large
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • plain flour (or a gluten free plain flour blend) – amounts vary, see method below
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary (or sage?)
  • enough butter (or more olive oil) to sauté
  • 8 leaves of kale (sub with beetroot leaves if you have any fresh)
  • a few handfuls of hazelnuts (we sell compostable bags of organic hazelnuts here)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C and get two baking dishes ready.
  2. Chop your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into chunks and put it into one roasting dish. Scrub the beetroots and chop them into chunks too. Put them into the other dish. No need to peel either of these lovely, organic vegetables.
  3. Season both dishes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Then get them into the oven to roast until soft. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes, just keep an eye on them.
  4. Allow the roasted veg to cool a little, then blend the squash into a purée. Taste and slightly over-season with salt. It needs to be a little too salty as you will be adding a fair bit of flour next.
  5. Add 4 large serving spoons of plain flour to the food processor and gently pulse the mixture together. Be very careful not to over-mix as this can make the dough tough. I do this in a large food processor with the ‘S’ blade attachment, but you can use a stick blender to purée then just fold in the flour in a large bowl. Add more flour as needed (amounts vary as different vegetables have different water content) until you achieve a soft dough.
  6. Scoop the dough into a bowl, then repeat the process with the beetroot. You will probably find that the beetroot dough needs less flour.
  7. Cut the dough into manageable portions. Generously flour a clean work surface and roll the dough into thick snakes. Cut the snakes into bite size pieces.
  8. Gently roll each bite over a ridged gnocchi board or the back of a fork. Place the gnocchi onto large, floured plates or trays.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Then drop the squash gnocchi in, in small batches. Boil briefly, just until they start to rise to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place in a tray, ready to sauté. Repeat this process until all the squash gnocchi are boiled, then do the same with the beetroot. Do the beetroot AFTER the squash so that the squash gnocchi don’t get stained pink.
  10. At this point you can space out any gnocchi you won’t be needing right away on a tray and freeze. When they are frozen solid they can be tipped into a box in the freezer to use another day.
  11. Gnocchi can be sautéed, roasted, boiled, baked in a sauce… I think they are best sautéed in butter or olive oil and winter herbs. Get a large frying pan on the hob with a very generous knob of butter, tumble in as many gnocchi as you like and sauté until hot and starting to take on some colour.
  12. Add torn kale leaves, sliced garlic, rosemary and chopped hazelnuts to the pan and cook until the kale has wilted and the nuts are toasty. Season as needed and serve.

Steam-Fried Cabbage

Have we mentioned? Perhaps just once or twice? We have a LOT of cabbages coming out of our fields right now! Although we love cabbages – they are sweet and juicy, delicious raw or cooked, super-duper healthy (they are packed full of vitamins C and K and have loads of fibre and other amazing properties) – we know that it can be a bit hard to get inspired by them in the kitchen. I’ve done a ‘4 Ways With…Cabbages’ blog already which you can read here (it was written for January King cabbages but the same recipes can apply to pointed, savoy etc) and sauerkraut recipes here and here. But this recipe is the one I actually use the most at home. It’s so easy and so delicious! Who would have thought that cabbage would be the star of the plate?

Steam-frying involves caramelising a side or two of the cabbage first before adding stock and a lid to steam the cabbages until cooked through. The result? Sweet and smokey, juicy and tender, succulent wedges of cabbage with a stunning broth. I love it served over a simple grain/pulse – this time I went for some nutritious quinoa – and topped with something really ‘punchy’ like the capers used here. Some other ideas using the same steam-fry technique:

  • Serve it over rice (make the stock miso or soy-sauce infused) and top with a drizzle of sriracha and some toasted sesame seeds?
  • Serve over mashed potatoes and top with a dollop of mustard and a side of sausages?
  • Serve over warmed butterbeans or chickpeas (put chopped tomatoes and garlic in the stock) and top with smoked paprika, chilli flakes and toasted almonds?
  • Serve over pasta (put lemon juice and garlic in the stock) and top with cheese or pesto?
  • Serve alongside a Sunday roast?

Have you got any good ideas on how to serve steam-fried cabbage? Share them in the comments below or over on our community facebook group here.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pointed cabbage
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 stock cube
  • quinoa and capers to serve (or see above for alternative serving suggestions)

Method

  1. Prepare your quinoa (or other base eg rice, potatoes, beans, chickpeas, pasta). For 4 people, I rinse a mug of quinoa through a fine sieve then pop it into a pot with a mug and 1/2 of water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then turn to the lowest setting and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water (about 10-15 minutes) and released it’s little tails. Take the pot off the heat but leave the lid on and let the quinoa rest.
  2. Meanwhile grab your largest pan that has a lid. A wide, shallow casserole dish is perfect. In fact, if you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend investing in an oven and hob safe one as they are so useful!
  3. Rinse the cabbage, remove any unwanted outer leaves and pop them in the compost bin. Use a large knife to carefully cut the cabbage into quarters, lengthways. You need to keep the core intact.
  4. Drizzle the quarters with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Then place, cut side own, into the pan. Put the pan onto a medium high heat.
  5. Fry the cut sides of the cabbage wedges until they are beautifully coloured and caramelised. Meanwhile crumble the stock cube into 500ml of just-boiled water.
  6. Once you are happy that all the wedges are nicely caramelise, add the stock to the pan and pop the lid on. Keep an eye on the cabbage now, you may need to turn the heat down a bit to stop the stock boiling over. After around 8-10 minutes, the cabbages should be tender. Test with a sharp knife. If your cabbage is very large it may take longer of course.
  7. Serve over the quinoa (or other chosen base) and spoon over the stock. Top with capers (or other chosen topping) and eat whilst still warm.

The Rewards of Harvest

Lughnasa the Irish word for August represents the start of the harvest season and it is embedded in our culture and identity. It is a celebration of the harvest season, and both myself and Toby were having our own little festival in the field of clover here! 

By September we are celebrating the fruits of many months of labour in the fields it is the true month of harvest.

Growing and harvesting your own food can be so rewarding. Watching the small seedlings transform into robust healthy plants that provide food is truly one of the many miracles of nature. 

Sometimes, it seems that the food is an added bonus, and that the pleasure and the reward of working in the soil is enough. It feeds the soul.  Research has shown that putting your hands in soil can help ease depression and being outside cheers people up.

Rekindling that connection with our food and the land is something that is central to our identity.  

Our grand-parents knew what good food tasted like, they knew where their food came from and they knew how it was produced.

We have handed the control of our food to a handful of global corporations that run an efficient feeding machine, which has disconnected us from primary food production. Supermarkets have added a layer of separation that takes us another step further away from our food. In recent years they have seen the value in putting the smiling farmer on their walls in a weak attempt to give the impression that they are reconnecting us to our food.

We have relinquished not only this connection but the skills and ability to produce our own food.

We have become accustomed to the always available food culture, everything we ever need is always there on the supermarket shelves, plastic clad ready to be added to our shopping basket.

We have paid a high price for this choice and convenience.  

If you are honest, what do you know about the food you are eating today for dinner? Where was it produced? How was it produced? How were the people treated that grew it? Difficult questions and mostly ones that don’t cross our minds.

However, the answers to these questions will not only open our eyes, they are the key to a shift in what we eat and how we approach our food. They can also lead to a healthier you and crucially a healthier planet.

We are right in the middle of harvest season now and it is wonderful. If you ever wondered if you could manage to eat with the seasons, then now is your best shot. 

And if you don’t know why you might start eating seasonally here are the whys: 

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint massively.
  2. Get more nutritious food. Freshly harvested food has a higher nutrient content.
  3. Get an amazing taste experience “how food used to taste”
  4. Support real local jobs.
  5. Support the skills needed to grow our own food. 
  6. If it is organic you are supporting a system of food production that enhances biodiversity rather than degrades it.

So as with the traditional feast of Lughnasa why not get some good local food in, and celebrate the beautiful bounty of your gardens and our fields by a simple meal with family and friends. 

Kenneth

Get a beautiful box of organic veg delivered to your door here.

Don’t Look the Other Way

How often do we look the other way? How often do businesses and governments look the other way? Which is worse? Not knowing, or knowing and doing nothing?  As they say ignorance is bliss.

But what about re-framing that idea? What if we know something is good for our health our soul and the planet and we choose that path? What if that means we do the right thing because of the knowledge we have, then we are travelling down a very bright road indeed.

Ella went foraging for blackberries yesterday evening. She felt great for being outside in nature, she felt great for the satisfaction and the pure pleasure of finding and harvesting them and her health will certainly thank her for eating them. She did the right thing, she may not have thought about it much, but she felt it.

On our organic farm we have left the brambles, they provide wonderful homes for all sorts of life and their blossom is an early source of food for the bees, the best advice given to many conventional farmers is to spray burn and clear them! Why I say?!

We as farmers can do the right thing too, mostly we have the knowledge (although the food system and many professional advisers lead farmers down a factory farming and chemical laden approach to food which is unnecessary and inhumane) so hiding in ignorance will not wash.

At the other end of the scale, we have the conscious deception by multinational agribusinesses and large food corporations with billions at stake. They certainly have the knowledge and the resources to do the right thing, and yet they actively engage in measures to create a food system that involves not only looking the other way but one that damages our planet and our health while intentionally misleading consumers about their food choices.

Martin Luther King’s famous quote was most probably not targeting these corporations, but it is fitting in this context.

Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the week-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.

Martin Luther King Jr.

There is so much we can do to reengage with a positive food culture. Building a positive healthy eating routine is the first step.  Taking a closer look at what we eat and where we source our food can transform our diet and collectively help transform our world.

There is little doubt that eating more organic vegetables and fruits sourced locally is the very best thing we can do for our planet and our health.

So, step out into nature, and if you do get the chance, blackberry season is upon us, it is short, so grab a bowl or two and get picking. They freeze amazingly well and are a fantastic addition to smoothies.

Kenneth

Explore our range of sustainably grown and sourced fruit, vegetables and groceries here. We deliver to every address in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Hummus

A lunchbox essential! Spread into a wrap or a sandwich, or packed in a little tub with some sweet, crunchy carrot sticks, everyone loves hummus! Hummus is not only delicious but incredibly nutritious too! Who knew this humble spread contains all of the following:

👉Chickpeas provide fibre, protein and essential, energy-giving carbohydrates.
👉Tahini is rich in healthy fats and minerals including copper, selenium, calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.
👉Raw garlic retains more beneficial compounds (like allicin) than cooked garlic.
👉Olive oil is a healthy fat and contains vitamins E and K and is rich in antioxidants.
👉Lemon is a great source of vitamin C.

It’s so easy to make your own hummus from scratch. Especially using our organic tins of cooked chickpeas. We also sell organic tahini, garlic, lemons and olive oil! Add some of our organic pantry essentials to your next veg order here.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • the juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional extras like more olive oil, smoked paprika and sesame seeds to top the hummus

Method

  1. Drain your tin of chickpeas over a bowl to reserve the aquafaba. (You can use some of it in this recipe and the rest to make vegan meringues, mayonnaise or cakes. Use the search bar above to find our aquafaba recipes.)
  2. Put the drained chickpeas into a food processor with the S blade attachment. Add the garlic, salt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil then pulse into a thick, rough paste.
  3. Taste the paste and decide if you’d like to adjust the seasoning. Perhaps more lemon juice or salt?
  4. Then loosen the paste into a creamy hummus by blending again with a couple of spoons of the reserved aquafaba or a couple of ice cubes. Ice cubes make a really fluffy, creamy hummus.
  5. Spoon into a jar, tub or bowl and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat later. Homemade hummus should be eaten within 3 days.

Simple, Real Food

Yesterday my daughter Ella went down the fields and harvested a big bunch of kale she wanted to make kale crisps. I was impressed, who am I to stand in the way of a child who wants to voluntarily eat kale, I thought to myself!

Mostly though it is the other way around, often getting our kids to eat more vegetables can be a struggle, why is this? Why isn’t eating an apple, (or indeed kale crisps) instead of a chocolate bar easier? Why is doing the right thing sometimes so difficult? 

Why is our food system not better, healthier, kinder to us and our planet. How did we get ourselves into this crazy retail race to the bottom and how come it is so hard to value and want to eat real food? 

Both questions are linked. I did a stent in a major pharmaceutical company in the US as a research scientist. A friend of mine at the time worked in the food division, occasionally she would bring cookies to lunch for us to try that had been engineered in her lab to within an inch of their lives. Texture, flavour, taste, and crumbliness had all been optimised in the lab to allow just the right amount of sugar fat and salt to hit our taste buds in the right way at the right time to make them irresistible.  

Many of the processed foods including health bars and vitamin drinks that line supermarket shelves are about as healthy as eating spoonful’s of sugar, generally they contain high amounts of processed apple juice or conventional cereal and sugar substitutes. They rely on wonderfully creative science and marketing to make us believe how good for us they are, and of course they taste amazing.

We are sold the idea of free choice, but the reality is that nearly all of the big brands on our shelves are made by 10 giant multinational conglomerates. An industry built on cheap commodity products wrapped and packaged and sold as healthy, driven by profit, derived from a complex unsustainable food chain produces most of our food and it is damaging our health and destroying the planet.

So how is this system fair? How is it that these processed products have taken centre stage and are often seen by us the consumer as a prized food that can be sold for maximum profit? This is the carefully constructed reality we have been fed, it is not our fault it is just the way it.

It is simple, cheap commodity ingredients are processed and packaged to be sold as healthy alternatives to real food, that achieve maximum profit for manufactures and retailers. 

Deciphering what is good for our health and the planet is next to impossible these days. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. 

There is one extremely straightforward step any one of us can take right now to revolutionise our food choices, the principle is simple: 

“EAT MORE FRESH ORGANIC PRODUCE”

We cannot eat too many vegetables and vegetables in all their guises are good for us. That’s pretty simple right?

So, choosing fresh organic locally grown food and working more fruit and veg into our daily routine is a magnificent way to improve how we feel and our long-term health, not to mention the benefits for the planet. 

So, Ella, go for it, all the kale in the world is yours!

Kenneth

Get a box of real, simple organic food delivered to your door anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland here.

Roasted Fennel & Tomato Pasta Sauce

One of my go-to weekday dinner solutions, for those hectic days when the juggle between work-life and family-life has left you reeling, is to roast a big tray of vegetables and then while that’s cooking decide what to do with it. I usually turn it into pasta sauce or soup with the help of my handy stick blender and add some extra protein with a drained tin of beans or lentils. There is always the option to stir the roasted veggies through rice or add them to tacos or a make a warm salad by tossing them through a drained tin of cooked pulses (our organic range from Bunalun is so handy). Roasting vegetables makes them sweeter and more delicious and our farm grown fennel and tomatoes are just *made* for pasta.

Like most of my recipes, this is a flexible affair. Make it smooth or chunky, don’t worry too much about the ratios of the different vegetables. Make do with what you have and if in doubt, add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4 generously)

  • 2 fennel bulbs (roughly chopped, fronds kept to one side to use fresh as a herb)
  • 250g tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 a bulb of garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • optional extra vegetables like courgette, peppers, carrots…(roughly chopped)
  • olive oil for roasting – about 4 tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • optional drained tin of green lentils
  • pasta to serve
  • optional chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil to serve

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 200C and find your largest oven tray.
  2. Roughly chop all the vegetables and scatter them onto the tray.
  3. Drizzle generously with good olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
  4. Use your hands to mix the vegetables, oil and seasoning well, then pop the tray into the oven to roast the vegetables while you cook some pasta (we stock a range of brilliant organic pastas, including gluten free varieties, which you can add to your veg order).
  5. After 20 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and starting to caramelise. If you used a smaller tray then it will take longer and you should stir them occasionally to ensure they all catch some direct heat.
  6. Carefully tip and scrape the roasted vegetables into a deep container. I like to use a sauce pot so that I can easily re-heat the sauce if needed. Then using a stick blender, blend the vegetables into a sauce. You can make it perfectly smooth or leave some texture and chunks, however you prefer it is fine! Or add some vegetable stock to loosen the sauce into a soup?
  7. Add the chopped reserved fennel fronds if you like that fresh, aniseed flavour. For extra protein and fibre, add a drained tin of lentils or white beans to the sauce.
  8. Stir through freshly cooked pasta and serve. I always put extra virgin olive oil, flakey salt and chilli flakes on the table too with this dish. Enjoy!