Food Waste & Fussy Pigs

Food waste has always upset me and I think I get that from my mum.  Pre-covid my mum was a regular in our packing shed, salvaging any waste produce for a variety of charities, she was the ultimate food waste champion. 

Her generation was not one to waste anything. 

It wasn’t until the plastic clad, sell more, always on, supermarket culture took over did we as a generation decide it was ok to dump food. Or was it really our decision? I think not. It was the supermarkets that decided for us and made it ok to waste food and to grade out perfectly good produce based on how something looks.

In our business we try really hard to keep food waste to a minimum. It can be challenging as we are dealing with so many different fresh items, and we have harvests and deliveries arriving everyday. We run 5 different cold rooms, and we run some at different temperatures to ensure the optimum temperature is maintained to keep produce fresh.  We have also committed to not using plastic.  

(Incidentally, just this week it has been shown that despite the Supermarkets railing on about it, plastic does not actually reduce food waste, it can actually increase it!)

But back to our story, we need to make sure you our customer gets the most amazing quality.  Everything piece of produce gets inspected, and while sometimes the odd one gets through,  we work really hard to deliver on our promise of only delivering amazing quality produce to your door.

“Grade outs” : produce that we know will not make it to you our customers in first class condition, are left on a shelf in our packing shed and are generally used to make staff boxes and our team can help themselves. Finally, what is left, the stuff that we don’t eat ourselves usually ends up in Florence and George’s bellies (our rescue pigs!)

I always thought pigs would eat anything. As it turns out I was wrong. Pigs do indeed have some serious food preferences. I know because just over a year ago we took charge of two rescue pigs George and Florence. They have the run of an acre of mostly forested land and will live out their long and leisurely lives here on our organic farm. (Incidentally pigs can live until they are 20!).

Who would have known that pigs are fussy eaters? Well, I can tell you that they will not eat broccoli or kale, they are not partial to courgettes and apparently mushrooms do not tickle their palettes either.

It would seem then that they know what they like and what they don’t like. But when it comes to wonky shapes, and blemished skin they see only food. 

I don’t know that supermarkets take food waste seriously.  A couple of years ago, a person who would know told me about 12 pallets of pineapples that were dumped as a result of a supermarket quality inspection failing them because of some blemishes. This happens.

Maybe being that little bit more mindful of our food can go along way in reducing our food waste, and the funny thing is it can actually end up saving us quite a bit of money too.

Here’s to less food waste!

Kenneth

Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

Red cabbages are one of those festive vegetables that often get wasted. Food waste is a big environmental problem which is exacerbated over Christmas. Instead of braising the whole cabbage for your Christmas dinner, why not pickle some of it? It makes it last a lot longer and tangy, crunchy, pickled red cabbage is the perfect festive accompaniment to cheese boards, leftovers sandwiches, and to even top currys, chillis, tacos etc. It’s quick and easy to do. All you need is vinegar, salt and sugar, a clean jar or two and some optional spices.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a red cabbage
  • 300ml apple cider vinegar (we LOVE Clashganny Farm’s organic ACV)
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional but really nice)
  • optional flavourings of your choice eg juniper berries or pickling spices

Method

  1. Start by finding a big jar or a few small ones, enough to fit in the cabbage. Give the jars a really good clean and hot rinse. Or you can sterilise them to be extra safe. Put the washed and rinsed jars in a clean sink then fill them with freshly boiled water from the kettle. Wait a minute then carefully empty the jars (use oven gloves or a folded tea towel so you don’t burn your hands). Let them air dry while you get on with chopping the cabbage and heating up your vinegar solution.
  2. Measure the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a small pan, add the optional juniper berries or pickling spices to the jars and slice the cabbage.
  3. Then thinly slice the cabbage and stuff into the jars. Lightly press the cabbage down into the jars to pack them in neatly. You should leave a cm of room in the jar.
  4. Heat up the vinegar solution and as soon as it comes to the boil, take it off the heat and pour it into the jars. The solution should cover the vegetables, if you need to make more vinegar solution, then do so. You can halve or quarter the recipe of course if you only need a little more. Give the jars a light tap on the work surface to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped between the layers of cabbage. Then screw on the lids whilst the jars are still hot.
  5. Allow them to cool on your kitchen work surface, then refrigerate. The pickled cabbage will be ready to eat in two days and will last in the fridge for 2 months.

Potato Peel Crisps

We very rarely peel our organic potatoes. It’s not just about being lazy, potato skins are delicious and very high in nutrients and fibre. Also, food waste is not just a waste of our hard earned money, it’s actually a huge emitter of green house gases. But sometimes, especially for Christmas dinner, we want ‘proper’ roast potatoes that are fluffy in the middle, golden and crispy on the outside. So we peel.

No need to waste the peels though! It makes no sense to throw out all that delicious, nutritious potato. I bet your granny had a good way of using potato skins up? This is my favourite way. What’s yours?

Liz x

Ingredients

  • Potato peels
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (or another seasoning you like eg: garlic granules, paprika, chilli, rosemary, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, onion powder…)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Scrub your potatoes and then peel them directly into a large roasting dish.
  2. Drizzle over some good olive oil, a little goes a long way here.
  3. Season with a little salt and whatever else you fancy. Be careful with the salt, a tiny pinch is usually enough, you can always add more salt after but you can’t take it away. Mix well to ensure each peel is coated in the oil and seasoning.
  4. Bake in the oven until the peels have turned into crisps. Usually around 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out to stir every 5 minutes or so to ensure they are not sticking and they are cooking evenly.
  5. Allow them to cool then enjoy!

Pumpkin Srirawcha

Sriracha is an absolutely addictive hot sauce which originated in Thailand. It’s so good that it has broken in to pretty much all food shops worldwide. If you’ve not squirted it over your noodles or rice or mixed it with mayo to dunk chips in, you are missing out. There are countless recipes online to recreate your own version, but being the ferment-obsessed chef I am, I make it raw and lacto-fermented. Sounds complicated, but it’s actually easier than cooking the sauce and it lasts better too! This seasonal pumpkin version is really really good. A fab way to use up your carved pumpkins shortly after halloween? Or for even more flavour just use any winter squash like butternut or our own grown Kuri Squash.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • pumpkin or winter squash – roughly 300g
  • natural salt – 3% of the pumpkin weight so 3g for every 100g pumpkin
  • chilli – to taste, I used 6 red chillies
  • garlic – to taste, I used a whole bulb
  • ginger – optional and to taste, I used a thumbs worth

Method

  1. Ensure you have a clean work surface, large mixing bowl and glass jar. You will also need a clean chopping board, knife, grater and small blender.
  2. Grate the squash into a large bowl. Weigh how much you have grated then work out what 3% of that weight is.
  3. Add the 3% weight of natural salt and mix it well into the grated squash.
  4. Remove the chilli stalks and peel the garlic. Then blend the chilli, garlic and ginger into a paste in a small blender or smoothie maker. You may need to add a splash of water to help it blend.
  5. Using a utensil or gloved hands, mix the chilli paste into the grated, salted pumpkin.
  6. Then tightly pack the mixture into a large jar. You want to avoid creating air pocked in the mix so use a spoon or a rolling pin to ensure everything is squished in nice and tight.
  7. Add a ‘follower’ and a weight to hold the mixture below the brine and prevent exposure to air. A good example of a follower is a cabbage leaf and you can use a glass ramekin or a small water glass to weigh it down.
  8. Put the lid on the jar (or if it doesn’t fir over the weight then cover with a tea towel and secure with an elastic band or piece of string) and allow the mixture to ferment at room temperature for at least 1 week.
  9. If your lid is secure, you will need to ‘burp’ your jar once or twice a day to allow gases to escape. Simply loosen and re-close the jar. If you are using a clip top jar it will self-burp. Remove the rubber ring to help it breath easier.
  10. After a week your sriracha will be tangy and facto-fermented. Scrape it out into a clean blender or a jug and blend into a smooth sauce.
  11. Pour into a squeeze bottle or any vessel you prefer and refrigerate. The sauce should last well in the fridge, at least 3 months.
  12. Enjoy on everything that needs a spicy kick!

Savoy Cabbage & Leek Kimchi

This is an Irish take on the traditional, spicy, fermented side dish from Korea, kimchi. The most common kimchi is traditionally made with Chinese leaf (or Napa) cabbages, but we love to make seasonal versions all year round with our incredible range of Irish cabbages. This recipe would work with any cabbage but my favourite cabbage for kimchi has got to be the beautiful Savoy. With its beautiful ruffled edged, crinkly leaves and deep ridges, it is the perfect vessel to hold the spice paste and it is hardy enough to keep its shape even after fermentation. We have a wonderful harvest of savoys this year, why not add some extras to your next order and give fermenting a go!

Fermenting vegetables can sound a little strange and like a lot of work. But it is actually a very simple way to preserve excess vegetables (just a case of salting or submerging vegetables in brine and leaving them to do their thing at room temperature for a week or so) and it is incredibly beneficial to our health. Fermented vegetables contain trillions of live beneficial bacteria which enhance our gut health. This has a positive knock-on effect to our entire wellbeing. As well as being easy and super-healthy, fermented vegetables are completely delicious! They have a complex flavour and cut through rich foods, think ‘salty pickles’. Just the thing for finishing off a dish or popping into a salad or sandwich. We have jars of ferments on the table for pretty much every meal. Kimchi, of course, goes particularly well with rice bowls and ramens or rolled into sushi, but we are a bit addicted to ‘kimcheese’ toasties. Kimchi is also amazing on peanut butter toast or as a side with macaroni cheese. How do you eat kimchi?

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 leek
  • natural sea salt
  • 1/2 bulb garlic
  • 4 red chillies (or to taste)
  • 1 large ‘thumb’ of fresh ginger (or to taste)

Method

  1. First clean your work surface and the tools you will need – Find a large jar or several smaller jars and wash them and their lids well with dish soap. Rinse throughly with very hot water. Leave to air dry on a clean tea towel. Find your largest mixing bowl, or if you don’t have a very big one, use a large stock pot or plastic storage box. Clean it very well as above. Clean a large chopping board and knife and a small blender too. Now you are ready to start.
  2. Pull a few of the tough, outer leaves off your cabbage, rinse and put to one side for later. These will be your ‘followers’ which will be important later. Rinse the rest of the cabbage, slice the leek in half lengthways, keeping the root end intact, and rinse out all the mud. Rinse your chillies and thumb of ginger too.
  3. Chop the cabbage into quarters, remove the core from each quarter and thinly slice it and add it to the bowl. Then cut the rest of the cabbage into bite sized chunks and add them to the bowl. Chop up the leek into chunks too and add it to the bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Now you need to add salt. If you want to be very precise, you can weigh the chopped cabbage and leek, work out what 2% of that weight is and use that amount of salt. Or you can do it by taste. I normally start with a heaped tbsp of salt for a whole cabbage and a leek. Mix it well and give the veg a bit of a squeeze and a massage, then taste. They should just taste pleasantly salty. Add more salt if needed, our cabbages are pretty big at the moment so you may well need to. Then let the salted vegetables sit while you make the spice paste.
  5. Peel the garlic, slice off the stalks of the chillies and slice the ginger. Add them all to a small blender and blend into a paste. You may need to add a splash of water to help it blend.
  6. The salt in the cabbage and leek will have started to draw out liquid from the vegetables and create a brine in the bottom of the bowl. You can help this along by giving the vegetables another massage. The vegetables will wilt and decrease in volume and should look quite wet. When you pick up a handful and squeeze, lots of lovely brine should drip down into the bowl. Then you know you are ready to mix in the spice paste and pack your jars.
  7. Use a wooden spoon or gloved hands to mix the spice paste into the salted vegetables. Be careful not to get any of the spice paste on your skin or in your eyes as it can really sting. Then start packing your jar/s.
  8. Do a small amount at a time and firmly press it into the jar ensuring there are no air pockets. Use gloved hands or a clean rolling pin or spoon to help you pack it firmly into place. Keep going until you have either used up the mixture or you have a couple of inches of headroom left in your jar. You don’t want to over-fill the jar as during fermentation the brine can bubble over and escape, making a bit of a mess in your kitchen.
  9. Now you need to figure out a way to hold the vegetables safely down under the brine. Any veg exposed to air on the surface are likely to catch mould. So first use the outer leaves of the cabbage, that you saved at the beginning, to tuck the vegetables in so they won’t float up during fermentation. Take your time and press the edges of the leaves down around the insides of the jar to ensure there are no gaps for the chopped bits to escape through.
  10. When you are happy that your ‘follower’ leaf has done its job, you can add a weight to hold everything down under brine. This needs to be something food safe that won’t react with the salt. So glass is best. A small water glass or ramekin which fits inside your jar and can be pinned down with the lid is good. Or fill a clean pesto jar or similar with water, make sure the metal lid isn’t touching brine, and pop that in. Other weight ideas are a large, very clean (boiled) beach pebble (just make sure it is not a limestone/chalk) or a ziplock bag filled with water.
  11. Place the lid loosely on your jar so that gases can escape during fermentation but no bugs/dust can get in. Or you can put the lid on tight and ‘burp’ your jars every day by opening and closing them to release built up gases. If you have a clip-top jar like mine, you can simply remove the rubber seal during fermentation.
  12. Put the jar on a tray or plate on your work surface out of direct sunlight. Let it ferment for 1 week then it should have transformed into a tangy, delicious pickle! If you would like to ferment for longer then you can of course, just find a cooler part of your house like a basement so that it ferments slowly. When you are happy with the flavour you can remove the weight and ‘follower’ and pop the jar into the fridge where it will keep for 3-12 months.
  13. Make your kimchi last well by decanting it into smaller, very clean jars and just eat one jar at a time. This way the pickle will be exposed to less air. Also, never double dip when eating your kimchi as this would introduce new bacteria from your mouth into the jar. Enjoy!
Here you can see the weight holding the cabbage leaf ‘follower’ down, which pins all the chopped vegetables safely under brine. This is after 1 week of fermenting at room temperature.

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.

Pointed Cabbage & Fennel Sauerkraut

It’s that time of year when we have cabbages coming out of our ears. Sauerkraut is a really simple and safe way to not only preserve, but to also enhance the nutritional value of these humble vegetables. It just so happens that we have a bumper crop of fennel too so we’ve been making my favourite fennel and cabbage kraut on repeat, and you can too! All you need is a big glass jar, a smaller jar or glass that fits inside it, salt, cabbage and fennel.

Don’t be intimidated by the science behind fermentation. It can feel a little counter-intuitive to encourage microbes to thrive and multiply, but microbes are an essential part of us and part of a healthy world. We would not be here without them, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to grow our organic vegetables without them making our soil healthy and teaming with life. Eating fermented vegetables like this sauerkraut is scientifically proven to boost your gut health, which has a positive knock on effect to your overall health and wellbeing.

Sauerkraut is very simple. Just mix shredded cabbage (and fennel too in this recipe) with enough salt to make it pleasantly salty, pack it tightly into a clean jar and weigh it down so that the vegetables stay safely submerged in brine. Allow fermentation to happen at room temperature for about a week, then remove the weight and pop your jar of tangy, pickley goodness into the fridge to have as a side or sandwich filler to many meals over the coming months.

Liz x

Ingredients

Method

  1. Find some large jars and give them a really good clean and a hot rinse. You can sterilise if you like but it is not strictly necessary.
  2. Give your vegetables a rinse to remove any dirt. Carefully peel off and reserve a couple of outer leaves of your cabbage.
  3. Finely shred your remaining cabbage and the fennel bulbs using a sharp knife, a mandolin or a food processor. Place the shredded vegetables into a large, clean mixing bowl.
  4. Sprinkle over the salt then use your hands to tumble the salt through the shredded vegetables. Once it is evenly dispersed, start squeezing and massaging the salt with the shredded vegetables.
  5. You will soon notice that the salt is drawing liquid out of the vegetables and the vegetables are decreasing in volume. Taste a spoon of the mixture and decide if you would like to add more salt or not. It should just taste pleasantly salty.
  6. The mixture is ready to pack into the jar when it is very wet. You can test this by picking up a large handful and squeezing. There should be loads of lovely brine dripping from your hands into the bowl.
  7. Pack the mixture very firmly into the jar. It’s best to do this a couple of handfuls at a time so that you can push down each layer nice and tight. You want to ensure that no air pockets are in the jar. Use your fist if it fits in the jar, otherwise a clean rolling pin is perfect for poking and packing down the mixture.
  8. Keep going until you have used all the mixture or until you have at least an inch of headroom left in the jar. You don’t want to overfill it! But do include the brine that the salt has drawn from the vegetables. The more brine the better!
  9. Now grab those outer leaves you reserved earlier. Break them to size, they should be just bigger than the surface area of the packed cabbage and fennel mixture. Tuck a leaf carefully into a jar and push it neatly over the shredded veg mixture but under the brine. The aim is to prevent any little bits of shredded veg from floating up to the surface of the brine and catching mould. The brine should rise above the cabbage leaf and all the shredded bits should be safely tucked underneath it. You may be able to push the edges of the cabbage leaf down against the sides of the jar to really tuck the mixture in. Try use a spoon or your fingers.
  10. Pick off any floating bits of shredded vegetables and clean up your jar with a piece of kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Then add a weight to weigh down the cabbage leaf which will keep everything safely submerged in brine. You can use anything that will be food safe and not be affected by the salt. So a smaller glass jar filled with water is good – just ensure the metal side does not touch the salty brine or it can corrode. Another good option is to use a small water glass or glass ramekin. If it fits right, putting the lid on the jar should pin the glass down and keep everything submerged.
  11. Put the lid on the jar. If you are using a clip-top jar, remove the rubber seal first, this will allow gases to escape during fermentation and there will be non need to ‘burp’ your jars. If you are using a screw top jar you will need to ‘burp’ your jar twice a day by carefully loosening then tightening the lid. You should hear the gases escape and see bubbles rising to the top of the ferment.
  12. Keep the jar on a plate or tray to catch any spills, at room temperature for 1 week. Not in direct sunlight. It’s best to ‘burp’ over the sink in case you have a very active ferment. It should be very active and bubbly between days 2 and 4/5 then it will calm down. If the action of the bubbles causes your ferment to rise above the brine, just use a clean hand or utensil to push everything back down under brine and carry on.
  13. After a week your sauerkraut should be tangy and delicious. Remove the weight and the cabbage leaf. Replace the rubber seal if using a clip top jar, put the lid back on and place the jar in the fridge.
  14. Your sauerkraut should stay fresh in the fridge for at least 3 months but often up to 1 year! To make it last well, do not double dip and move into smaller, clean jars as you work your way down the big jar. This means less air in the jar and less chance of it drying out and getting susceptible to mould.
The just-packed jar before I removed the floating bits of cabbage and fennel. You can just about see the cabbage leaf and glass which is holding the bulk of the shredded veg under brine.
The finished product after a week of fermenting at room temperature.

Carrot Top Chimichurri

It’s new carrot season and we are really pleased with our crop again this year. They are the sweetest, most fragrant carrots ever! While they are being harvested fresh for the boxes (before we do a big harvest and store them for winter) we hope you really enjoy the greens too! They are perfectly edible and incredibly delicious and nutritious. Think of them like a fibrous herb. They have a strong parsley/carrot flavour and are best whizzed up into a pesto or other green sauce like this chimichurri. Or you can slice them finely and add them to soups or stews. Whatever you do, don’t throw the greens away, you’ll be missing out on some amazing dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

The main ingredient for a traditional chimichurri is parsley so carrot tops work really well as a replacement here. Simply whizz the ingredients up together in a food processor, allow the flavours to sit and mingle for a little while and you have a delicious herby drizzle to make your tacos (or barbecue, burritos, roast veg…) pop!

How do you use carrot tops? Liz x


Ingredients

  • Carrot tops (I used tops from 8 carrots)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or use fresh red chilli to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use about a tsp of each)
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more!)
  • 4 tbsp vinegar (red wine vinegar is traditional but local apple cider vinegar works well for this recipe too)
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Method

  1. Rinse your carrot tops well, then roughly chop them and add them to a food processor.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until they come together into a rough, loose sauce. You may need to stop the machine a few times and scrape down the sides.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. You may also need to add more oil or vinegar to loosen the sauce. Blend again briefly to combine.
  4. Spoon the sauce into a small bowl, cover and allow the flavours to mingle and marinade while you prepare the meal you’ll be eating the chimichurri with. We drizzled ours over hard shell tacos this time and they were absolutely delicious! Enjoy.
Carrot top chimichurri, roasted carrots and bean chilli about to be stuffed into tacos!

Courgette & Lemon Loaf

Here’s a sweet way to use up your courgette glut. Grated courgette keeps a cake wonderfully moist and the little flecks of green are so pretty. But be careful, when creating this recipe I had a fair few flops before getting it right, don’t be tempted to add more courgette than the recipe states. The extra moisture can put the balance out of whack and make the cake sink after it comes out of the oven.

I made this in a loaf tin so it took about an hour to bake, but if you bake it in a round cake tin it will cook much quicker as there is more surface area and a shallower batter, just keep an eye on it. Why not double the recipe and bake two round cakes to sandwich together? Make a simple lemon buttercream and decorate with raspberries and pistachios for a real summery treat.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 250g grated courgette
  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100ml oat milk
  • 100ml olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (reserve the other half of the lemon juice and zest for the icing)

Lemon Drizzle Icing

  • the juice of half a lemon
  • enough icing sugar to bring it into a consistency you like
  • the zest of half the lemon to decorate

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175C and line a loaf tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, bicarb) together in a large mixing bowl so that they are evenly dispersed.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (oat milk, oil, lemon juice) and stir to just combine. Do not over-mix. This batter should be fairly dry and thick to compensate for the water content of the courgette.
  4. Add the grated courgette and lemon zest to the bowl and use a wooden spoon to fold the mixture together into a thick batter.
  5. Scrape the batter into the lined loaf tin and level it out.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until it’s cooked through. If your oven is fan assisted it may cook faster. Test for ‘doneness’ by inserting a skewer into the centre of the loaf. When pulled out it should be fairly clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes or so in the tin before carefully pulling it out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before icing.
  8. To make the icing, squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon into a bowl and whisk in spoons of icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. I like it quite runny so it just creates a delicate glaze over the cake but if you prefer a whiter, thicker icing, keep adding sugar until the mixture is fairly thick.
  9. Spoon the icing over the cooled cake and, while it is still wet, sprinkle over the reserved lemon zest. Allow the icing to set then serve in thick slices with mugs of Earl Grey tea.

Quick Pickled Courgettes

Got a glut of courgettes? We’ve got the recipes. As well as this classic quick pickle, a delicious solution for many excess veg, I’ve shared a fair few other courgette recipes. Just pop ‘courgette’ in the search bar and they’ll come up.

Quick pickles do what they say on the tin. They are quick and simple to put together and they are ready to eat in just a couple of days. You can definitely eat them earlier too, I just think the flavours develop better after a couple of days in the fridge. They last a long time too, especially if you sterilise the jar and close it while the vinegar solution is still hot. Keep the pickles in the fridge and don’t double dip and they should last for 2 months, if you don’t eat them up in that time… don’t store these pickles at room temperature unless you can them, which is a whole other process.

Pickled courgettes are so delicious in a sandwich or burger, with cheese and crackers or as a tangy, crunchy part of a salad. You can also flavour them however you like. Go herby with dill, spicy with chilli, use classic pickling spices, bay leaves, garlic, ginger…whatever you like! Enjoy! Liz x

Ingredients (makes 2 medium jars, around a litre volume)

  • 300ml apple cider vinegar (we LOVE Clashganny Farm’s organic ACV)
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional but really nice)
  • flavourings of your choice – I used: 3 sliced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1/2 a white onion

Method

  1. Start by finding 2 small jars (or 1 big one? – it all depends on how much pickle you’re making or the size of your courgettes) and giving them a really good clean and hot rinse. Or you can sterilise them to be extra safe. Put the washed and rinsed jars in a clean sink then fill them with freshly boiled water from the kettle. Wait a minute then carefully empty the jars (use oven gloves or a folded tea towel so you don’t burn your hands). Let them air dry while you get on with chopping and heating up your vinegar solution.
  2. Measure the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a small pan and heat it up while you quickly add the flavourings to the jars and chop the vegetables.
  3. Divide your flavourings between your jars. Then thinly slice the courgette and onion and divide them between the jars too. Lightly press the vegetables down into the jars to pack them in neatly, but don’t crush them. You should leave a couple of cm of room in the jar.
  4. As the vinegar solution comes to the boil, take it off the heat and pour it into the jars over the vegetables and flavourings. The solution should cover the vegetables. Give the jars a light tap on the work surface to remove any air bubbles that may be trapped between the layers of vegetables. Then screw on the lids whilst the jars are still hot. You may not use all the vinegar solution, or you may need to make a bit more.
  5. Allow them to cool then refrigerate. The pickles will be ready to eat in two days and will last in the fridge for 2 months.