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.

Rainbow Chard Parcels

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.

Liz x

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

Method

  1. Scrub the potatoes, chop into bites and get them on to boil.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C and find an oven and hob safe pan with a lid.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft and starting to caramelise.
  4. Add the tins of tomatoes and the torn basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove the long chard stems, slice them into bites and add them to the tomato sauce.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Serve in bowls with bread and salads.

Watermelon Sashimi

This watermelon recipe may seem a bit ‘out there’, but trust me, it’s both easy and delicious! Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish eaten with a soy sauce dressing, this alternative, plant based version recreates the meaty texture of fish with baked and reduced watermelon. The flavour is an irresistible sweet and salty combination and we love this simple showstopper with rice, noodles or dumplings, steamed veg and a seaweed salad.

Our mini watermelons are best for this recipe, they are smaller and more intense in flavour, and have smaller pips than the big ones. Then all you need is a sachet of umami paste (or make your own marinade by mixing miso with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli) and some toasted sesame seeds. Read on to see how easy this dish can be, and let us know in the comments if you give it a try.

Liz x

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C and line a baking dish with baking parchment.
  2. Using a large, sharp knife, peel the watermelon. Cut both ends of first to create a flat, stable surface.
  3. Place the peeled watermelon in the baking dish and bake in the oven for at least 2 hours.
  4. Every half hour, take the watermelon out of the oven and turn it over so that it cooks evenly on all sides.
  5. Once the watermelon is reduced and blackened all over it is ready for its marinade.
  6. Liberally brush the umami paste all over the watermelon. Get as much of it on as you can. At least half of the sachet which is about 75g.
  7. Return the watermelon to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Then carefully move the hot watermelon to a board or plate to cool slightly before thinly slicing.
  9. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and eat hot or cold.

10. I served ours with a seaweed salad, pot sticker dumplings (which I will share in another blog post) and steamed aubergines with a simple dipping sauce of orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger and extra toasted sesame seeds. It was delicious!

Scramble, Kale Pesto & Miso Mushroom Toast

Weekends are for brunching and here is one of our favourites. The combination of fresh, vibrant green pesto, soft, wobbly scrambled tofu and juicy, umami mushrooms is just perfect!

You can make your own pesto very easily if you have a food processor or blender – I used my kale and pumpkin seed pesto that I’m making on repeat this time – or you can of course use a ready made one for ease. We sell a few organic jars of pesto in the grocery section of our shop. The scramble is simply a gently sautéed pack of organic silken tofu seasoned with salt, pepper and some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. And those gorgeous, meaty mushrooms are marinated with our new packs of umami paste then grilled.

What’s your favourite brunch? Are you a sweet or savoury person? Let us know in the comments.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

Method

  1. Cut bread and pop it in the toaster ready to go. Heat up a griddle pan (or fire up the grill in your oven).
  2. Slice the mushrooms in half and mix them with the umami paste and a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl. Then push them onto skewers and place them in a hot griddle pan (or on a tray under your grill) to cook whilst you get on with the scramble.
  3. Heat up a knob of butter (or tbsp of olive oil) in a medium-high heated frying pan. Open your pack of silken tofu, drain off any excess liquid and then pop it in the pan. Break it up gently with a wooden spoon or a spatular.
  4. Season the scrambling tofu with salt and pepper and then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Keep the scramble moving and cook it for 5 minutes or so until it’s warmed through, but don’t break it up too much. It’s nice when there are still some larger pieces.
  5. Meanwhile turn the mushrooms in the grill to cook the other side and then toast the bread.
  6. Spread the toast with a thick layer of pesto, then divide the scramble and mushrooms between the plates.
  7. Enjoy whilst hot!

Sweetcorn Ribs

This is one of those recipes that isn’t really a recipe. It’s just two simple ingredients – sweetcorn and our organic barbecue sauce – but it’s so good I had to share! Add fresh sweet corn and a bottle of our delicious barbecue sauce to your next order. It’ll be the highlight of your next barbecue!

Of course you could make your own barbecue sauce, but our one from the trusted ‘Your Organic Nature’ brand is full of great organic ingredients and it just tastes amazing!

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 fresh sweetcorn
  • 1 bottle of organic barbecue sauce

Method

  1. Very carefully cut the sweetcorn into ‘ribs’. I find it easiest to cut the corn in half, widthways with a large, sharp knife, then cut each half lengthways into quarters using the first cut side as a flat, stable base.
  2. Put the ‘ribs’ into a bowl and pour over the barbecue sauce. Mix well and leave to marinade while you fire up the grill.
  3. Cook the ‘ribs’ on the barbecue until soft, juicy and lightly charred. Then enjoy the sweet, spicy, sticky, juicy, messy deliciousness! (Alternatively you can cook them under the grill in your oven or in a grill pan on the stove top.)

Kale & Pumpkin Seed Pesto

The new season kale coming out of our fields and tunnels is so stunning! We are adding it to all our meals. Don’t forget to add some to your next order! Here’s a quick and easy kale pesto recipe which is so handy, not just for pesto pasta, but for sandwiches and wraps, to spread on toast and top with scrambled egg/tofu, to toss through freshly boiled new potatoes… My recipe is dairy and nut free to make it allergen friendly (I use pumpkin seeds which are incredibly nutritious and ours come in compostable bags), but as always, tweak it to your liking with different nuts/seeds and cheese. And do share how you love to eat your pesto in the comments below.

Liz x

Ingredients (makes a jar like the one pictured above)

  • 100g kale – rinsed
  • 100g pumpkin seeds – toasted
  • 1 clove of garlic – peeled
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 a lemon – zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for a thin layer on top at the end)

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse until the ingredients come together into a rough, textured sauce.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil, lemon juice or salt as desired.
  4. Spoon into a clean jar and top with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresher for longer.
  5. Keep in the fridge and use within a week, or freeze for longer storage.

Babaganoush

Babaganoush is similar to hummus, but made with aubergine rather than chickpeas. It’s softer, silkier and deliciously smokey! I always pop a few aubergines on the barbecue to make this dip. You can grill them in a hot griddle pan or roast them in the oven instead, but they won’t be as smokey. You’re looking to really blacken them on the outside and let them collapse and get silky soft in the middle. The blackened skin is then peeled off, then the flesh is blended (or mashed if you like more texture) with garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil. Here’s my recipe for one aubergine. Serve with grilled or raw veg, salads, on toast or with pitta bread strips to scoop it all up.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon (or a tsp of preserved lemon purée)
  • OPTIONAL EXTRAS? A pinch each of cumin and smoked paprika and some pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds for garnishing.

Method

  1. Grill or barbecue the aubergine until it’s completely soft inside and the skin is burnt and blackened.
  2. Allow it to cool enough to handle, then slice it in half lengthways and scoop all the flesh out into a bowl to mash or blender to blend smooth. Scrape the skin carefully to get every bit of aubergine into the mix. Those bits nearer the skin have the best, smokey flavour.
  3. Add the garlic (crush or finely grate first if mashing rather than blending), olive oil, tahini and lemon.
  4. Blend or mash into a spoonable mixture, then taste and add salt and more lemon to taste.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a small serving bowl and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and optional extras like pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds, smoked paprika, cumin…
  6. Enjoy scooped up with flatbreads or toasted pitta bread and salads.

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.

Chocolate Celebration Cake

It’s our 15 year business-birthday and this classic chocolate cake recipe is the one I roll out for all our human-birthdays, so I thought I’d share it with you this week. It makes the best cupcakes too! I love having this recipe up my sleeve, it’s very simple to put together and completely indistinguishable from cakes containing eggs and dairy. The recipe is easy to switch to a vanilla cake too if you’re not in the mood for chocolate. Simply replace the cacao powder in the sponge with more flour and in the buttercream icing with more icing sugar and add some vanilla essence. Easy!

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 mugs plain flour
  • 1/2 mug cacao powder (replace with plain flour & 2 tsp vanilla if making vanilla sponge)
  • 1 mug caster sugar (or our whole cane sugar works well in a chocolate cake here too)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 mug oat milk (of any milk you like)
  • 1/2 mug oil (neutral sunflower or rapeseed oil work well)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 150g butter
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 50g cacao powder (replace with 50g icing sugar if making vanilla icing)
  • 2 tbsp oat milk (replace with 1 tbsp vanilla if making vanilla icing)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C fan and line two sandwich tins with baking parchment (or pop 12 large cup cake cases into a muffin tin).
  2. Measure the flour, cacao powder, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the oat milk, oil and vinegar and whisk until you have a smooth, shiny batter. Do not over-mix though as this can make the cake come out a little tough!
  4. Divide the batter into the two tins (or into the 12 muffin cases) and bake until risen and cooked through. In 2 cake tins this takes 20 minutes or so, 1 deeper cake takes about 30-40 minutes, in muffin cases this takes about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the cakes – they are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Let the cakes cool slightly in the tins before carefully removing them onto a cooling rack.      Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing. 
  6. Measure the butter into a large mixing bowl, let it come to room temperature and soften slightly.
  7. Sieve the icing sugar and cacao powder in the bowl then mash into the butter with a fork. This step just stops icing sugar from flying around your kitchen when you whisk it.
  8. Add the oat milk and whisk with an electric whisk until light, fluffy and creamy. You may need to add a touch more oat milk but be careful! Add just a tiny amount at a time, too much milk will make the icing too runny to spread.
  9. Spread the icing on the cake however you like. Use a palette knife or a piping bag and decorate to your liking. I like the combination of chocolate and raspberries so always add lots of fresh, juicy berries to my chocolate cakes. 
  10. Enjoy a big slice with a hot drink. The cake stays fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days. It freezes well for up to 3 months.

Steamed Artichokes & Asparagus with Wild Garlic Butter

I love perennial vegetables and think we should all be eating more of them! Perennials are vegetables and fruits which are planted once and come back year after year. They could be a key solution in the fight against hunger and climate change. Perennials develop longer, more stabilising roots than annual crops. That and the fact that there is no digging once they are planted means they are the best crops for soil health. Their long, undisturbed root systems have also been shown to sequester carbon in the soil. Undisturbed crops like artichokes, especially organically grown ones, create wildlife havens and putting back a balance of biodiversity in any agricultural land is so important!

So add perennials like asparagus and artichokes (rhubarb, fruits, nuts, olives…) to your order whenever they are in season to show your support to this climate friendly type of farming and to enjoy the incredible flavour and nutrition that comes along with them. Here’s my favourite way to enjoy these two crops every spring. It’s so simple and so delicious.

Liz x

Getting close to the tender heart of the artichoke

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 globe artichokes
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • wild garlic butter (wild garlic blended with butter)
  • toast and cheese (I used my fermented cashew cheese)

Method

Rinse the asparagus and artichokes and get a pot of water under your steamer basket on the hob. I like to add lemon slices, garlic and bay leaves to the steaming water to infuse into the vegetables.

Prepare the artichokes. Slice an inch or so off the tops, remove any small leaves on the steam and trim the steam leaving a good inch or two still attached to the flower head. Use kitchen scissors to cut the spiky top off all the outer petals. You can also use a potato peeler or a sharp knife to peel the stalk.

Put the artichokes into the steamer basket, replace the lid and allow them to steam for at least 20 minutes. They are done when you can easily pull a petal off.

Prepare the asparagus spears by simply snapping off the woody ends. Carefully bend the end and it should break off just past the dried out, tougher woody ends. Those can go in the compost bin or into the freezer to be used in a homemade veggie stock.

Once the artichokes are steamed, add the asparagus spears to the steamer and cook them for just 3-5 minutes or so until they are tender but still with some bite.

Serve with melted wild garlic butter or your choice of dip (aioli, salsa verde, hollandaise, vinaigrette…) and some toast and cheese. I melted a slice of wild garlic butter for each of us and can highly recommend it.

Eat the artichokes by pulling off one petal at a time and dipping it in the melted butter. Then scrape off the tender part with your teeth and keep going until you reach the heart.

On top of the heart is a fibrous, hairy ‘choke’. Scrape this off using a teaspoon or a knife.

Then eat the delicious heart and as much of the stem that is tender.

The petals and choke can then be composted. Have a bowl on the table to collect them in as you go.

The asparagus is also incredible dunked in the wild garlic butter. Enjoy!