Quick Pickled Romanesco

Romanesco are the most stunning vegetables. Closely related to cauliflower and broccoli they can be used interchangeably in place of them in recipes. We have an incredible crop of them right now, in fact we have too many! The unseasonably warm autumn has meant our brassicas, which we hoped to harvest in the winter, are ready early! Will you help us prevent food waste by ordering an extra Romanesco or two with your next order? Why not steam and freeze some for a rainy day? Did you know that ensuring your freezer is always full makes it run more efficiently and use less electricity? Or another easy way to preserve the harvest is to make this delicious quick pickle.

This beautiful, pine-tree-like vegetable would be perfect on the Christmas table, and although ‘quick pickles’ don’t last as long as the canned variety, it should be fine for Christmas if you make some in the next few weeks. Just keep your jars in the back of the fridge. Delicious with crackers and cheese or on salads or stew, pickles are often that missing tangy ingredient.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 romanesco, cut into small florets & the stem/core thinly sliced
  • 1 white onion, peeled & sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tbsp each: black pepper, mustard seeds, ground turmeric (or your choice of pickle spices)
  • 600ml apple cider vinegar
  • 600ml water
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp salt

Method

  1. Sterilise enough jars to fit your vegetables. You can do this in a number of ways. I simply wash and rinse them then place them in a clean sink and fill up the jars and lids with freshly boiled water from a kettle. Leave to sit for a minute then carefully tip out the water (use oven gloves or a folded tea towel so you don’t burn your hands) and let the jars air dry.
  2. Divide the garlic and spices between the jars then fill up with the Romanesco and onion slices.
  3. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a pan until just boiling. Then pour the solution over the vegetables so that they are completely submerged. Make more of the vinegar solution if needed. It all depends on the size of your Romanesco!
  4. Immediately secure the lids on the jars whilst they are still piping hot. Allow to cool on the counter and then place in the fridge. They should be ready to eat in 3 days and will last well for 2 or 3 months.
Add some extra Romanesco to your next order.

Romesco Sauce

This romesco sauce is THE MOST delicious accompaniment to barbecued vegetables, it is our take on the special sauce used during calçot festivals in Catalonia (where barbecued large leek/scallion-like vegetables are dunked in romesco in their thousands). We make it on repeat all summer! It’s silky, nutty, savoury, sweet and smokey. Dunk freshly grilled  vegetables or bread in it or even use it as a stunning pasta sauce. Spread it into wraps or sandwiches, smear it on a plate and top with salads and grilled veg, or just eat it with a spoon! You’ll fall for this sauce hard so let us know your favourite way to eat it. 

There are as many traditional recipes as there are cooks in Catalonia and if you’re a fan of romesco you may notice bread, hazelnuts and tomatoes are missing from this one. Of course you should feel free to add them back in, but I love the undiluted, smokey roasted pepper flavour of our recipe. Use roasted or barbecued red peppers and good olive oil, or for ease, one of our new jars of organic ready roasted peppers in oil. We also sell bulk bags of organic almonds (and hazelnuts) in compostable packaging. Sherry vinegar is traditional in this Catalonian recipe, but actually, we love using the raw, organic, Irish, apple cider vinegar from Clashganny Farm in Co. Waterford instead. It’s gorgeous stuff, why not add a  bottle to your next order?  

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 190g jar of roasted peppers & the oil*
  • *OR* 2 roasted/grilled red peppers & 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of raw garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (sherry or apple cider)
  • 1 handful of roasted almonds (about 50g)
  • a pinch of salt

Method

  1. Roast the almonds in the oven until they just start to take on some colour – for about 5 minutes – or toast them in a dry pan on the hob.
  2. If you are roasting/grilling your own peppers, cook them on a high heat until the skins are blistered and the flesh is soft. Then cool and peel off as much of the blackened skin as you can, remove the stem and seeds. Otherwise just use one of our jars of grilled peppers.
  3. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend into a silky, smooth sauce. 
  4. If you like a thicker sauce, with more of a hummus-like texture, you can simply add more toasted almonds and blend again.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, smoked paprika or vinegar.
  6. Keep the sauce in a jar in the fridge and use within a week.

Leek & Thyme Tarte Tatin

I love a tarte tatin. It’s one of those deceptively simple dishes. One that wows your guests but is actually really very easy to make. A traditional tarte tatin is a French dessert made with caramelised apples and puff pastry. But you can take the concept and run with it in any direction. I love making savoury versions as a light lunch or fancy looking starter with beautiful, bitter salad leaves. Balsamic beetroot? Parsnip and apple? Red onion? Brussels sprout and chestnut? The list goes on. But my favourite by far has to be this luscious leek version.

Leek might be one of the most underrated vegetables. When highlighted like this and showcased as the main event, leeks really stand out as the beautiful, sweet, soft vegetables that they are. Mellow and silky, leeks go incredibly well with vinegar and thyme. If you want to take it up a notch you could add a slick of Dijon mustard to the pastry before tucking it over the leeks too. Another variation I make sometimes is with a sprinkle of capers in the base of the pan. That combination of sweet, sharp and fragrant is so incredibly good. I hope you enjoy it!

Did you try this recipe? Don’t forget to share it with your friends, tag us @greenearthorganics1 in any photos on Instagram and let us know how it went in the comments. Liz x

Ingredients (serves 8 as a starter)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C. Get an oven and hob safe pan ready. If you don’t have one you can use a baking dish and do the entire process in steps in the oven instead.

Start by cleaning the leeks. The easiest way to do this is to split them down the middle, keeping the root end intact, then run them under a tap to quickly clean the mud out of each layer.

In an oven and hob safe pan, melt the butter then add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over the sugar and half the thyme leaves. (If you want to add capers to the dish, do it now. Sprinkle a tbsp or two evenly into the pan for the odd little salty flavour bomb.)

Then measure the leeks against the pan and cut them in long slices to snugly fit, cut side down, the entire base of the pan. Try and keep the slices intact, don’t move them around once they are in place.

Add the vinegar to the leeks and then season them well with a big pinch of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Add a few more fresh thyme leaves – reserve some for decorating the dish at the end. Allow the leeks to par cook on the hob so that they start to caramelise with the sugar and fat before adding the pastry.

Turn the heat off then, working quickly, cover the leeks with the puff pastry. Trim it to size and use the off cuts to fill any gaps. This will be the bottom of the tart so no need to be too neat. (If you’d like to add Dijon mustard, brush it over the pastry before popping it on the leeks, mustard side down.)

Tuck the pastry gently in around the edges then pop the dish into the oven to bake. It should only take around 20 minutes or so but just keep an eye on it. It’s ready when the pastry is risen and golden.

Then take the pan out of the oven and let it settle for a couple of minutes. Put a large platter or wooden chopping board over the pan, then in one swift, confident movement, turn the dish upside down (don’t forget to use oven gloves as the pan will still be hot!)

Carefully pick up the upside down pan and you should have a gorgeous dish! Sprinkle over some more fresh thyme leaves, slice with a large, very sharp knife and serve with a simple salad.

Here’s a quick video of the recipe. Hope you find it helpful!

This would be fantastic with a chilled glass of white wine. Check out our organic selection here.