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!
This fruity number is just the thing to pack into a tin and take round to a friends garden to have with a cuppa! Use any summer fruit you like, berries or stone fruit work well, and it’s best to cook the fruit down with a little maple syrup into a rough ‘jam’. Very soft fruit like strawberries, raspberries or plums could just be sliced and sprinkled raw on top of the biscuit layer before adding the crumble mix, but I do find a more jammy fruit layer helps the crumble mix stick to the biscuit a bit better. I tend to cover the dish in the oven with a baking sheet or a layer of baking parchment during the last 15 minutes or so to prevent it from browning too much.
125g caster sugar
375g plain flour
100g porridge oats
maple syrup to taste
Start by cooking 150g fruit in a small pan until just soft and starting to collapse. Taste and sweeten with maple syrup or any sweetener you like (if needed). Then put it to one side to cool while you make the biscuit dough.
Pre-heat the oven to 175C and line a deep baking dish with baking parchment. I used a dish approximately 25x35cm but any medium sized baking dish will do. Just bear in mind, if it’s a smaller dish, the biscuit will be deeper so will need longer in the oven.
Weigh out the butter, sugar and flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub it together with the tips of your fingers until you achieve a wet-beach-sand-like texture that comes together into dough when squeezed. A quicker way to do this is to pulse the ingredients together in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade attachment.
Tip roughly 2/3rds of the dough into the lined dish and press it firmly into a neat, even layer. Ensure you get into the corners of the dish.
Add the oats to the remaining 3rd of the dough and mix into a rough crumble.
Spoon the fruit onto the biscuit layer and then sprinkle the crumble over the top. Lightly pat the crumble into the fruit.
Then bake for approximately 30 minutes at 175C fan. The time can vary depending on your dish size. I tend to cover the dish with a baking sheet or extra piece of parchment for the last 15 minutes or so to prevent the crumble from browning too much. Just keep an eye on it and see if it needs it or not. No two ovens are alike in my experience!
Remove from the oven and allow the biscuit to cool in the dish. Then carefully transfer it to a chopping board and cut it as you like.
You should end up with a melt-in-the-mouth shortbread base, a fruity layer and a buttery, oaty, crumbly layer. Delicious!
The biscuits keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Enjoy!
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.
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
Using a potato peeler, slice the courgettes into delicate, thin ribbons. For ease, slice them directly over a serving platter or large salad bowl.
Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I will never forget when myself Jenny and my dad put up our first polytunnel back in 2005. It was a milestone and like a dream come though, I will never forget it.
We were so proud of ourselves, that was our first season growing food and we tried it all. We were so enthusiastic, we wanted all the plants in that little tunnel, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers. If truth be known there was very little harvest from that tunnel in the first year. We had plants but little enough of the fruits of our labour! Nevertheless, this did not discourage us in any way.
We were on a journey we had closed the door on a different chapter of our lives, lives lived far from the land and with little connection with our food. Certainly, there was always a burning deep desire to do the right thing by the environmentand this our mad chance to embrace that vision.
It was two years later in 2007 that our first child was born and that was a momentous occasion. I do remember many things from that day, but one that I am sure most people do not experience on the birth of their first child was the doorbellringing (We had a home birth) and a guy that was fixing a fridge on our van wondering if he could talk to me about a problem he was having. I think the noise in the back round ended that conversation swiftly.
Then we watched Hannah grow and at the age of two she was able to go and pick her own tomatoes and cucumbers from the polytunnel. When Ella came along it was clear she was going to be our earth child and she spent more time in those polytunnels than anybody else, I am surprised we had any tomatoes left to harvest for you, our customers.
In hindsight remembering those moments and appreciating them seems like it was a perfect and ideal life. There was of course plenty of smiles but there was all the other stuff too. We were guilty of having no time, no money, and no energy, it was truly exhausting, starting a farm, a business and a familyat the same time. I would recommend that if you are embarking on this journey that you spread those events out a little!
But we got through. The days when we have had schools on our farm, and you see the amazed face of a child when they pull a carrot from the ground it makes you remember what is important
The journey has certainly left its scars, but it has also allowed a deeper appreciation of what we have, how lucky we are. If nothing else seeing the respect Ella, Joe and Hannah have for the environment is something that I am proud of. If we achieve nothing else on this journey, we will have achieved something positive.
Our job here is to spread a message that nature and our land are beautiful and precious, and all living things are to be respected. We as a business, a farm and individuals really do have an obligation to take care with our actions. It is on us all, of course we can all point the finger but what good does that do? We need to take responsibility for our actions and do the right thing, is that easy? Absolutely not. Is it necessary?Completely. Therein I believe lies our greatest hope for our children and all that we share this land with.
Have a fantastic week and thank you for sharing our vision and for your continued support.
PS. Have you signed up to our new repeat order system yet? It’s the best way to never forget your order deadline. Head to the website and give it a try, any problems use the Chat button or send us an email and we’ll get back to you in normal office hours. www.greenearthorganics.ie
We need your help. We need to survive the summer we have so much local organic harvest from our farm and other small organic farms here in Ireland and we have seen our customer base disappear over the last 5 weeks.
It has been a never-ending rollercoaster and so difficult one week to the next to predict what is around the corner. It is in times like these that we especially need to know why we are doing what we are doing. The irony of course is at these very moments we lose focus and just holding it together is all we can do. At the same time, it can be this singular dedication to a cause greater than ourselves that keeps us going.
The little idea that a small farm here in the West coast of Ireland could help fix this planet, help fix our food system is our “WHY”.
It has been a tremendously busy week on our farm. We have planted 70,000 leeks, our final planting of winter brassicas isgoing into the ground today. As I write some 50,000 plants are being transplanted ,that brings to a total brassica count of nearly 150,000 plants. That is a lot of locally grown food, all done of course without chemicals.
Kornel and Patrick have done amazing work in our polytunnels where our 1000+ tomato plants and several hundred cucumber plants are finally bearing fruit. This is one of my favourite moments looking on the well organised tunnels and tasting the amazing tomatoes.
Emmanuel our farm manager and his team of field workers have been working so hard. At this time of the year, it always feels like we are teetering on the edge of losing control, but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.
Over the last couple of weeks finally we have had the ideal growing conditions and that has meant harvest season has burst upon us. It also means we have had the perfect mix of too much work, an abundant harvest, planting deadlines slipping away and weeds in hyperdrive, it is frantic and will be for another week or two.
Then there is the backdrop of the week just gone where we have the lowest orders in 18 months right slap bang in the middle of our best harvest season and our highest cost base (covering holiday time, a team of 10 people on the farm from 2 in February, an investment of 6 months and nearly €100k to get to the harvest season)
What we are harvesting right now:
Lettuce green and red
Rainbow chard and Spinach
Courgettes and cucumbers
Cabbage, Broccoli and Romanesco
Kale green and black
Radish and Salad
What we are sourcing from other small organic farms week
New season IRISH potatoes
Scallions, fennel courgettes and cucumbers
Fennel and French beans
It is worth mentioning I think and especially as it is plastic free July that we were the first company in Ireland to make all our boxes plastic free, reuse being the essence of our delivery service.
We need your help, we need to survive the summer we need you if you can at all to place an order, to tell your friends, your family, or your neighbours, tell everybody, bring us with you on holidays or donate a box to charity.
This pasta dish has fresh spring/summer vibes. It’s one of our favourites and a great way to use up all the gorgeous greens coming out of the farm at the moment. We stock a large range of organic pastas, I like tagliatelle for this one, but of course any pasta shape will work well.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, sliced and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or sub with grated/crumbled cheese of your choice)
a splash of white wine
oat milk – enough to cook out the flour and make a creamy sauce
Energy bites do what they say on the tin. They are jam packed full of good ingredients – oats, nuts (or seeds) and dates – which give you a boost of energy and get you through the afternoon slump, power you up that hill on your hike or keep hunger at bay in the car on your way to your staycation. This base recipe is really handy to have in your repertoire. Make it your own by using your favourite nuts or seeds, replace the dates with apricots or raisins, add cacao powder or dried spices like cinnamon or ginger for different flavours, coat them in melted chocolate or roll them in sesame seeds or desiccated coconut. It’s fun to play around with flavours here.
Did you know, many of our grocery products like oats, nuts and dates are packed plastic free? We are always working on adding more plastic free products to the list too so keep checking back. Please share your favourite energy ball combinations with us on our facebook community group.
Ingredients (makes 20)
1 &1/2 mugs of porridge oats
1 mug of nuts (or seeds, or a mix)
1/2 mug of pitted dates
a pinch of salt
a drizzle of maple syrup or honey
optional extra ingredients to taste (like melted chocolate, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon, ginger…)
Measure the oats, nuts, dates and salt into a food processor with the ’S’ blade attachment. (If you are making this in a blender, then divide it into smaller batches).
Pulse the ingredients together, stopping frequently to stir and scrape down the sides. You are aiming for an even, sticky, crumbly mixture.
Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. This is where you can stir in some extra flavours or textures if you like. Some cinnamon or ginger? Make it chocolate flavoured by adding some cacao powder?
Now test the stickiness of the mixture by picking up a small handful and squeezing. If it sticks together easily you don’t need the syrup – this depends on the freshness and variety of the dates. Otherwise add a small drizzle of maple syrup and stir. Test again and add more syrup until you get the right consistency.
Then squeeze and roll the mixture into little balls. If they are sticky enough you can roll them in seeds or desiccated coconut for extra flavour and fun.
Another fun option is to dunk them in melted chocolate and sit them on a tray in the fridge to set. While the chocolate is wet, you can sprinkle the bites with seeds or some flakey sea salt or anything you like to make them even more special.
Otherwise they are fabulous naked, just the way they are!
Pack in an airtight container in the fridge and eat them within the week.
Thank you to so many who have responded to our plea last week.
The level of generosity from all of you has blown us away. Our farm is in full harvest mode now and we are bringing in so much produce daily that our stores are full.
Not only that, but we are supporting several other local organic farms to fill your boxes. Your support has meant everything to us and to them.
Every year we see a large drop in orders when we are at our most productive on the farm and this year has been the biggest drop off ever. This is quite understandable, as we all need a break and a holiday.
July is the month of local IRISH plenty and your support every week keeps our business afloat, we rely on it, the supermarkets won’t miss you, but we will!
If you can at all continue to support us through the summer, it makes all the difference and it helps us ensure all our harvest we have been working towards for the last six months gets a home.
The last 16 months here on the farm have been a never-endingrollercoaster and so difficult one week to the next to predict what is around the corner. I know many small businesses up and down the country have gone through a very rough time and we are grateful to still be here and open and have thesupport of you our customers.
But it is in times like these that we especially need to know why we are doing what we are doing. The irony of course is at these very moments we lose focus and just holding it together is all we can do. At the same time, it can be this singular dedication to a cause greater than ourselves that keeps us going. Whether that is putting food on the table for our families, or beating an illness, or keeping a farm and business together when at times it seems close to unravelling.
The little idea that a small farm here in the West coast of Ireland could help fix this planet, help fix our food system was our “WHY”. This of course is a huge ask, an insurmountable mountain it would seem. But there is change everywhere, more and more organic growers, more and more people eating mostly plant-based foods, more and more sustainable locally focused consumers. In my view this is one solution to the greater climate crisis.
The ethos of our business: Zero waste/plastic free, carbon neutrality (solar panels cover our packing shed and our first 100% electric van is now on the road),our sustainable farming practices, the support and commitment to other organic local growers (And not just greenwash as with the supermarkets) and supplying fresh healthy organic food remains the core of our business .
Our founding principles will never change, and I think more than ever this is the path we as society need to thread.
The stunning rainbow chard coming out of the farm at the moment is absolutely fantastic! It’s one of our favourite crops, so vibrant and so tasty. Here’s a recipe to make the most out of its beauty. Don’t forget to browse our farm products and add them to your next order, we’d hate for you to miss out on the seasonal harvest.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 bag of rainbow chard (250g)
4 tbsp olive oil (1 for sautéing, 2 for the mash, 1 for drizzling)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
a handful of torn basil leaves
3 large potatoes
1 tin of lentils, drained
2 scallions, sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
optional cheese to taste – I like to use my tofeta
salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the potatoes, chop into bites and get them on to boil.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and find an oven and hob safe pan with a lid.
Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft and starting to caramelise.
Add the tins of tomatoes and the torn basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
Half fill the tins with water and swirl the tomatoey juices out of the tins, into the pan. Then bring the sauce up to simmer and bubble away while you make the chard parcels.
Remove the long chard stems, slice them into bites and add them to the tomato sauce.
Mash the potatoes with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Then stir in the drained lentils, sliced scallions, chilli flakes and optional cheese.
Lay the chard leaves out, upside down on a chopping board with the top of the leaf closest to you and the colourful stalks pointing away from you.
Add a spoon of the mashed potato and lentil filling to a leaf near the top closest to you, roll the leaf over the filling away from you, then fold over the sides and keep rolling until you make a neat parcel.
Take the sauce off the heat and pour it into medium baking dish, then tuck the chard parcel, seam side down, into the sauce. Repeat until you have used up all the chard leaves or filling. Then drizzle the last tbsp of olive oil over the parcels.
Then put a lid or sheet of foil or parchment on the dish and pop it in the oven to steam/roast for just 10 minutes or so. The sauce should be bubbling hot and the leaves should be tender.
These dumplings are simpler to make than they look. Honestly! A basic dough made from flour, salt and water, an easy filling of sautéed pak choi and firm tofu and then a lot of fun rolling, filling and crimping. Put this recipe on your list of meditative kitchen moments.
I like them pot sticker style, where you fry the dumplings with a little veg oil until they have crisp, golden bottoms, then add some water and a lid and steam-fry them until they are juicy and tender. But you can pop them into a broth to simmer or even just steam them if you like. This kind of firm tofu filling is our favourite. If I have a jar of kimchi on the go, I just mix chopped kimchi, tofu, soy sauce and white pepper for an even easier filling with no need to pre-cook. Of course you can fill them with whatever you like. Just make sure the mix isn’t too wet.
Ingredients (makes about 40 dumplings)
2 mugs of plain flour (strong flour works well too)
1 tsp salt
1/2 mug of freshly boiled water
1 pak choi
4 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 thumb of ginger – grated or finely chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp white pepper
chilli flakes to taste
2 packs of extra firm tofu (400g total)
vegetable oil for frying
dipping sauces to serve – sweet chilli or a simple soy-sesame oil-lime juice mix?
Start by making the dough as it needs time to rest before you start rolling.
Put the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the boiling water.
Squish together into a firm dough with your hands, then move onto a clean work surface and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy. It should be quite firm too, not sticky.
Form the dough into a neat ball and put it back into the bowl. Then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Dice the stems of the pak choi and sauté in a frying pan with the sesame oil until softened.
Add the tofu to the pan. Scrunch it up with your hands into a small crumble. Then add the soy sauce, white pepper, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Stir and cook until well combined.
Shred the green leaves of the pak choi and add them to the pan. Stir fry for just a few more minutes until the leaves are wilted.
Transfer the filling to a bowl to cool down.
Cut the ball of dough into quarters, put 3 of the pieces back into the bowl and cover again with the damp tea towel so that they don’t dry out.
Roll the quarter of the dough you have out into a 2cm thick snake then chop it into 10 or so pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball the squash it down flat with the palm of your hand.
Then roll each piece into a thin circle, it needs to be just a couple of mm thick and as even and round a circle as possible.
Then place a tbsp of filling in each circle and form the dumplings. There are loads of different techniques around. Have a watch of some youtube videos for inspiration.
I like to place the circe and filling in the palm of my left hand, then using my right hand, fold the circle of dough over and pinch it at the top in the middle. Then pull and fold and crimp the right side towards the middle like in the photo below. Then transfer the dumpling to your right hand and do the same on the left side with your left hand.
Once the dumpling is crimped and sealed, pinch firmly all along the seal to ensure it is secure. Then place it on a large tray that has been lightly floured (or lined with baking parchment).
Repeat with all the dough and filling. Ensure the dumplings are not touching each other as they will start to stick together if they do.
Then heat up a frying pan (one that has a lid) with a little vegetable oil to medium-high. Place as many dumplings, flat side down, into the pan that will fit. Allow them to cook until golden brown and crispy underneath.
Then quickly pour in a small glass of water – enough so that there is a cm of water in the pan – and pop the lid on so that the dumplings can steam and absorb most of the water.
Steam them with the lid on for 3 minutes then remove the lid and allow any excess water to evaporate. Then move the dumplings onto a plate to keep warm while you cook the rest in batches like this.
Serve with dipping sauces alongside steamed greens and other veggies, or with a stir fry, noodles, rice, miso soup, kimchi… anything like that. Enjoy!