Leeks are one of our favourite vegetables. They are so delicious, I like to make them the star of the show when I cook with them. This simple, one-pot, spring dish is all about those luscious, soft and sweet leeks offset by toasty, crunchy hazelnuts (we stock organic hazelnuts in compostable bags here) and tangy caramelised lemon. Orzo is just rice shaped pasta which I love to cook like risotto rice, we stock an organic bag from Irish company, Bunalun. We love their store cupboard staples so much. Top quality, organic and affordable. Add some Bunalun groceries to your next fruit and veg order with us here. We deliver nationwide.
Find a large, deep, frying pan or pot. Start by toasting the hazelnuts in the dry pan. Just turn the heat to medium-high, tumble the hazelnuts into the pan and keep them moving around until they smell amazing and are deliciously toasty. Tip them into a bowl to cool a little then chop or crush into smaller pieces and save for finishing your dish at the end.
Then, in the same pan, add the butter and oil. Place the lemons, cut side down, into the melted fat and let them cook until caramelised. Remove them to a bowl to finish your dish with later too. Caramelised lemon is so delicious. It makes the lemon softer, juicier and sweeter…and it looks pretty too.
Tip the chopped leeks and garlic into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until the leeks are starting to soften.
Add the orzo and stock to the pan and simmer and stir until the pasta has absorbed the liquid and is cooked through. Taste and tweak the seasoning if needed with more salt and pepper.
Stir the chopped parsley through, then serve in four bowls, each topped with a caramelised lemon half and a handful of chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy!
There’s nothing like homemade marmalade is there? The gorgeous scent of oranges filters through the house and brings some much needed sunshine into our winter kitchens. Citrus season is in full swing now and we have organic bitter marmalade oranges in stock now. Alway choose organic citrus fruit to avoid waxes and sprays.
Here’s the classic recipe I always stick to as it’s easy to remember by heart and never fails. But of course you can make it your own with different citrus. I’ll be making a batch of blood orange marmalade for sure (I may reduce the sugar a little for that batch as they are so naturally sweet), and maybe a kumquat one too!
Will you be making marmalade this season?
1kg Seville oranges (bitter marmalade oranges)
2 litres of water
2 kg sugar
a large, heavy bottomed pot
a cloth bag (I use a nut milk bag) or a square of muslin and some string
a medium sieve
3 or more small plates
a wooden spoon
a jam funnel
jars – I reuse old jars
a ladle or small glass jug
Put the little plates into the freezer. Pour the water into your pot. Place the sieve over the pot and then open out the bag or muslin into the sieve. Scrub the oranges and lemons.
Cut the fruit in half and juice them into the pot, ensuring you catch all the seeds and pith in your cloth bag or muslin. You want to keep all the seeds and pith as that’s where the pectin is which will make your marmalade set. Use a spoon to scrape out any remaining bits of pith and other citrus innards into the bag. Now tie the bag and place it in the liquid with the string attached to the pot handle to make it easier to extract later.
Cut the skins in half again and then into thin strips. (You can leave out the lemon skins if you like but I like to add them in so nothing is wasted.) I use a serrated knife but any sharp knife should work. Take your time and get all the skins cut as evenly as possible. Enjoy the process. Place the cut skins into the pot.
Bring the pot to a rolling boil then turn down the heat and simmer at a gentle bubble, for 2 hours or until the skins are soft. You can test them for doneness by squeezing one between your fingers. It should easily break apart. You should also notice that the liquid has reduced quite a bit too, that’s good.
Now remove the bag of seeds and piths and put it in a bowl to cool down. Turn the pot to the lowest temperature.
Pour the sugar into the pot, it will seem like an obscene amount but oranges are very bitter so it is needed I’m afraid. Gently melt the sugar on the lowest setting, take your time. Don’t stir too much, just a few times with a wooden spoon. Once the sugar is completely melted you will notice it doesn’t feel grainy on the bottom of the pot and when you pick the spoon out of the liquid you will not see any sugar crystals. It’s important to melt the sugar on a low temperature before turning the heat up to boil and set the marmalade. Don’t skip this step or your marmalade will come out grainy rather than the desired shiny jelly.
Your bag should hopefully be cool enough to handle now. Pick it up and squeeze it over the pot. You want to extract as much of the cloudy, gelatinous stuff out through the bag as possible. Use a spatular or the wooden spoon to help scrape off the gel as you squeeze. Then stir it into the marmalade.
Turn the heat up and bring the marmalade to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 15 minutes, keep an eye that it doesn’t boil over. Then turn the heat off, give the marmalade a stir and scoop off any unwanted scum that is stubbornly not re-incorporating into the mixture.
Take one of the plates out of the freezer and place a spoon of the hot marmalade on it. Put it in the fridge for 3 minutes then do ‘the wrinkle test’. This is where you push your finger slowly through the marmalade to see if it has set. It should feel like jam and look wrinkly. If it has not set yet then return the marmalade to the boil and try again every 5 minutes until you are happy with the set.
Sterilise your jam funnel, ladle, jars and lids. Then fill the jars with the marmalade whilst it is still hot. Screw the lids on tightly and leave them to cool and seal on your counter top overnight. Then label them with the date and keep in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Once opened, keep in the fridge. Enjoy!
This is THE soup to make when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s a plant based take on that classic chicken noodle soup which brings so much comfort. It’s brothy and light, bursting with vitamins, but at the same time hearty and satisfying. I used bay leaves, lemon and thyme to flavour the broth with lots of garlic and a little turmeric for it’s sunny colour and medicinal properties. You’ll feel like a whole new human after a bowl of this. Happy slurping!
Ingredients (serves 6)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
4 sticks of celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
100g quinoa, rinsed
1/2 a head of cauliflower, diced
120g noodles (I prefer quick cooking ramen or Thai rice noodles here but you can also use Italian style pasta in any shape you like. Just adjust the cooking times as explained below.)
1 lemon, juiced
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the leek, garlic, carrots and celery with the olive oil. After 5 minutes the vegetables should be starting to soften.
Then add the bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and quinoa. Top up with a couple of litres of water, season with the salt and pepper then simmer. After 10 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and the quinoa just starting to release it’s tails.
Add the cauliflower and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Then add the noodles* and give the soup a stir to ensure they’re not clumping together. If they are the quick cooking type, turn the heat off, put the lid on and let them cook and soften in the residual heat. If they are Italian style pasta noodles and need longer cooking then you should add them with the cauliflower during step 3.
Brighten the soup with the lemon juice and serve in large bowls. Enjoy!
TOP TIP – *only add the noodles/pasta if you’ll be eating this soup immediately. If you are making this in advance, add the noodles when you reheat it, otherwise they’ll get too soggy. You can even cook the noodles/pasta separately and put them into bowls, then ladle the soup over each portion.
Brussels sprouts are in season and are certainly not just for Christmas Day. Have you been adding them to your boxes? What’s your favourite sprout recipe? I love sautéing them like this with garlic, herbs, nuts and citrus, then folding them through pasta. They’re also brilliant stirred through rice or another cooked grain like barley, quinoa, buckwheat etc for a gorgeous warm salad. Here’s my sprout spaghetti recipe, it makes a stunning mid-week meal and will only take as long as the time to boil your pasta. Quick, festive and delicious!
Ingredients (per person)
70-100g dry spaghetti (depending on appetite) or other grain/pulse of your choice eg quinoa, rice…
1 heaped tbsp butter (I use our new dairy free Natruli blocks)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
7 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
a small handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste (it’s extra good with lots of black pepper!)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, meanwhile chop your sprouts, garlic and hazelnuts.
Generously salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta. Give it an occasional stir to prevent it from clumping or sticking to the bottom. While the pasta cooks, prepare the rest of the dish.
In a wide pan, melt the butter, add the oil and sprouts, hazelnuts, garlic and rosemary. Stir fry for a few minutes then season well with salt and pepper.
Add the zest and juice of the lemon when the sprouts turn bright green and are mostly cooked through. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning if need with more salt, pepper or lemon. Turn off the heat for now.
Drain the pasta but reserve a mug or so of the starchy cooking water. Add the pasta to the sprouts and turn the heat back on. Add a few splashes of the cooking water and mix the pasta and buttery sprouts together. The pasta water and butter should create a delicious, light, lemony sauce. Taste again and you’ll probably want to add more black pepper.
Serve in bowls and top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast flakes if you like. Enjoy!
This classic Tuscan soup is just gorgeous. A hearty combination of white beans, tomatoey broth and seasonal vegetables, most notably kale. What makes this soup extra delicious for me is the combination of garlic, lemon zest, really good olive oil and fragrant rosemary and sage. This is one of those stew-like soups that is better the next day. Once you’ve done all the chopping, it’s really simple to make. Leave it brothy if you like or thicken the soup with torn chunks of stale bread or blend a portion of the beans before adding them. I prefer to leave it brothy then serve the soup over torn bread. Let us know your favourite way of eating ribollita.
Ingredients (serves 6)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, peeled and diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
the zest of a lemon
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped sage
2 stock cubes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tins white beans, drained
8 kale leaves, stems finely chopped, leaves torn
the juice of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
stale bread to serve, optional
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the onion with the olive oil on a medium-high heat until soft and starting to colour. This should take at least 5 minutes.
Then add the diced carrot and celery and the thinly sliced kale stems, season with salt and pepper and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped garlic, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Stir for another minute or two, your kitchen should smell really really good now.
Crumble in the stock cubes and tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes. Fill the tin with water 4 times and pour that water into the pot.
Add the drained beans then bring the soup up to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
Then add the torn kale leaves and the lemon juice to the pot, pop the lid back on and let the leaves wilt for just 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more water if you’d like a brothier soup, blend some of the soup if you’d like it thicker.
Serve in generous bowls, as it is or with torn pieces of stale bread.
A lunchbox essential! Spread into a wrap or a sandwich, or packed in a little tub with some sweet, crunchy carrot sticks, everyone loves hummus! Hummus is not only delicious but incredibly nutritious too! Who knew this humble spread contains all of the following:
👉Chickpeas provide fibre, protein and essential, energy-giving carbohydrates. 👉Tahini is rich in healthy fats and minerals including copper, selenium, calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorus. 👉Raw garlic retains more beneficial compounds (like allicin) than cooked garlic. 👉Olive oil is a healthy fat and contains vitamins E and K and is rich in antioxidants. 👉Lemon is a great source of vitamin C.
It’s so easy to make your own hummus from scratch. Especially using our organic tins of cooked chickpeas. We also sell organic tahini, garlic, lemons and olive oil! Add some of our organic pantry essentials to your next veg order here.
1 tin of chickpeas
1 clove of garlic, peeled
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
optional extras like more olive oil, smoked paprika and sesame seeds to top the hummus
Drain your tin of chickpeas over a bowl to reserve the aquafaba. (You can use some of it in this recipe and the rest to make vegan meringues, mayonnaise or cakes. Use the search bar above to find our aquafaba recipes.)
Put the drained chickpeas into a food processor with the S blade attachment. Add the garlic, salt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil then pulse into a thick, rough paste.
Taste the paste and decide if you’d like to adjust the seasoning. Perhaps more lemon juice or salt?
Then loosen the paste into a creamy hummus by blending again with a couple of spoons of the reserved aquafaba or a couple of ice cubes. Ice cubes make a really fluffy, creamy hummus.
Spoon into a jar, tub or bowl and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat later. Homemade hummus should be eaten within 3 days.
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.
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
Pre-heat your oven to 175C and line a loaf tin.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, bicarb) together in a large mixing bowl so that they are evenly dispersed.
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.
Add the grated courgette and lemon zest to the bowl and use a wooden spoon to fold the mixture together into a thick batter.
Scrape the batter into the lined loaf tin and level it out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
Pulse until the ingredients come together into a rough, textured sauce.
Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil, lemon juice or salt as desired.
Spoon into a clean jar and top with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresher for longer.
Keep in the fridge and use within a week, or freeze for longer storage.
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.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS? A pinch each of cumin and smoked paprika and some pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds for garnishing.
Grill or barbecue the aubergine until it’s completely soft inside and the skin is burnt and blackened.
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.
Add the garlic (crush or finely grate first if mashing rather than blending), olive oil, tahini and lemon.
Blend or mash into a spoonable mixture, then taste and add salt and more lemon to taste.
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…
Enjoy scooped up with flatbreads or toasted pitta bread and salads.