Roast Romanesco Summer Stew

Romanesco cauliflowers have got to be one of the most beautiful vegetables we grow. Their mathematical fractal shapes are breathtaking to look at and luckily they are also extremely tasty! Our favourite way by far to cook them is to chop them into florets and roast them. Have a look at the end of this smashed cucumber recipe for a great marinade idea. In this recipe I use them in a one-roasting-dish meal to make a simple summery stew. This way you get some crispy tops and some soft, simmered bits too. All in one easy dish! Serve with bread, potatoes, rice or pasta. Or just eat it as it is.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people depending on sides)

  • 1 romanesco cauliflower
  • 3 large tomatoes (or 6 medium)
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • 1 drained tin of chickpeas (reserve the aquafaba for another recipe like this vegan mayo or this clafoutis)
  • a generous drizzle of olive oil
  • a good splash of white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley to finish

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C and find a large roasting dish.
  2. Cut the romanesco into florets and put it in the roasting dish. Don’t discard the stem or leaves. They can be chopped into smaller pieces and added to the dish too!
  3. Cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces and add them to the dish.
  4. Peel and roughly dice the onion and peel and slice the whole bulb or garlic. Add those to the dish too.
  5. Add the drained chickpeas to the dish next.
  6. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the vegetables and chickpeas then add a good splash of white wine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix the ingredients well so that they are all evenly coated in the seasoning.
  8. Put the dish into the oven to roast. This is a good time to cook some potatoes/pasta/rice to go with the stew.
  9. After 20 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and stir. Then return it to the oven to continue roasting for a further 10-15 minutes or until you are happy with how cooked everything is.
  10. Remove from the oven and stir some chopped parsley or herbs of your choice through the summery stew. Serve in bowls and enjoy!

Seeing the Wood for the Trees

This week we got a little card, and the timing could not have been better. 

The weeks when you are at your most desperate, when life seems to be throwing all sorts of everything at you, when it is relentless, those are the days when a little smile or a nod of appreciation can make all the difference. 

It is funny, you push, and you shove, and you try to make things the way you want them, but in the end, life goes its own way anyhow, there is nothing like farming to shatter theillusion that we have some modicum of control over externalevents.

We want things to be a certain way, to go a certain way, to meet our expectations, and it can be a struggle to let go and accept that we have very little control, it is so ingrained in us. We want to be in control.

As the farm has grown, every year springtime seems to bring an increased powerful pressure to get things done, our resilience is tested, the window is short, the weather is always looming in the background, the rain is never far away.

I am impatient to have more done, to have the ground ready, to have the plants in, to the have the seeds sown to have the tunnels full, but this year nature and events is just not accepting of my impatience. Mother nature has given me a rap on the knuckles, ‘all your rushing will achieve very little’ she whispers!

There has been broken machines, endless rain, cold, frost, delayed plants amongst some of the challenges. The more pressure you feel the harder it can be to see the wood for the trees and appreciate what you have, and it is exactly at times like this when you need to take stock the most.

The fields are saturated, the plants are slow, the slugs are abundant, the machines don’t like the wet soil and the soil does not like them. It does more damage that it is worth to bring a tractor onto a wet field. But sometimes you have no choice.

At the very same time, the hawthorn is in full flower and smells amazing, our local fox struts around the farm as if she owns the place. I am nearly sure this morning I had a full conversation with a starling, and maybe this wasn’t the first sign that I am finally losing the plot! What patches of blue sky we see highlight the beauty of the colds and make us appreciate the sun all the more when it finally does come out, and come it will!

Then there is a contented feeling of seeing the first tomatoes on the plants, of seeing the first baby cucumbers of harvesting our first outdoor crops of lettuce and chard and spinach. I guess we can also see more of what we look for. 

The very best moment though this week was receiving this lovely card/poem that was sent through from a family that are doing the Little Green Fingers course. 

This helped make everything worthwhile again, completely unlooked for and yet at the perfect time 😊

So, thank you Orlaith and Gus and thank you universe and thank you our customers.

Kenneth

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a stunning dish of eggs coddled in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce. It originated in Tunisia and is extremely popular in the Middle East, in fact it’s considered a national dish of Israel. It’s served with strained natural yoghurt and you eat it by scooping it up with torn pieces of bread. It’s so delicious, the sharp, tangy, spicy sauce is perfectly offset by the rich, creamy egg and yoghurt and since going plant based, it’s a brunch option I have really missed.

So I made a vegan version of it this morning. I replaced the savoury, creamy, rich eggs and yoghurt with a cashew sauce and oh my, it works! Same satisfying scoopability, same rich-meets-sharp, soothing-meets-spicy deliciousness. It’s simple to make too! You just need a blender for the cashew cream and a frying pan for the sauce.

Liz x

Did you make this recipe? Let us know in the comments how it went and don’t forget to share it with your friends and tag us on Instagram or show us your version in our friendly Facebook group. We love to see our recipes leave the blog!

Ingredients (serves 4)

Method

Sauté sliced onion and pepper with a pinch of salt and a tbsp of olive oil until softening and starting to take on some colour.

Add the sliced garlic and whole spices and sauté until fragrant. Then add the chilli flakes and rose petals.

Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes and swirl out the tomatoey juices from the tin into the pan with half a tin of water. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer until thickened and rich for about 10 minutes and then serve with swirls of cashew cream and toasted bread or flatbreads.

Cashew Cream Ingredients

Method

Put all the ingredients into a blender and then add enough water to partially cover the nuts. Blend until smooth then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.