Sprout Spaghetti

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!

Liz x

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!)

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, meanwhile chop your sprouts, garlic and hazelnuts.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve in bowls and top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast flakes if you like. Enjoy!

Ribollita

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.

Liz x

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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Stir for another minute or two, your kitchen should smell really really good now.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve in generous bowls, as it is or with torn pieces of stale bread.

Hummus

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.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Taste the paste and decide if you’d like to adjust the seasoning. Perhaps more lemon juice or salt?
  4. 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.
  5. Spoon into a jar, tub or bowl and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat later. Homemade hummus should be eaten within 3 days.

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.

BBQ’d New Potatoes

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!

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.

Courgette Risotto

To me a risotto should elevate a single vegetable. It should celebrate it. Add too many ingredients to your risotto and the flavours will mingle and become indistinguishable in the long simmer. Courgettes are incredibly versatile. Fantastic cooked down low and slow into a silky mush, griddled and seared, battered and deep fried, raw… So for interest and texture in this dish I’ve cut each courgette differently. One diced and simmered with the onions into a meltingly soft sauce, one sliced into rounds for texture and body in the risotto and the last one peeled into raw ribbons to go on top. Serve with a swirl of pesto (try my salad bag pesto here), a drizzle of good olive oil and some toasted hazelnuts. Heaven.

Leave a comment if you tried this recipe or show us your photos on Instagram or our Facebook group. We love seeing your amazing recreations. Liz x


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 courgettes
  • 1 mug of risotto rice (or however much you like to serve 4)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 stock cube
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp (or more to taste) pesto
  • extra virgin olive oil to serve
  • toasted, chopped hazelnuts to serve

Method

Dice the onion and put it in a wide pan with the butter and oil over a medium high heat. Add a pinch of salt and sauté and soften for around 6 minutes.

Dice the celery sticks, garlic and one of the courgettes and add them to the pan to soften too. Cook, stirring often until soft and golden. Around 10 minutes.

Rinse and add the risotto rice to the pan with the zest and juice of the lemon (or a glass of white wine). Crumble in the stock cube and add a generous grind of black pepper. Stir well to coat the rice in the seasoning then add a mug of warm water.

Slice the second courgette into rounds and add it to the pan. Simmer and stir until all the water has been absorbed then add another mug of water. Keep simmering and stirring.

Meanwhile use a vegetable peeler to slice as many ribbons from the third courgette. Chop up the middle bit and add it to the pan. Keep simmering and stirring and add another mug of water. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper or lemon once the rice started to swell up and become softer.

Once the risotto is cooked (the rice should be soft and creamy but still with a little bite) turn off the heat. Stir through a few tbsp of pesto, pile on the raw courgette ribbons, drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the toasted hazelnuts.

Take the pan to the table and serve with the jar of pesto handy to add extra swirls through the bowls of anyone who wishes for more.

Salad Bag Pesto

One of the most common ingredients that get wasted are salad leaves. The mixed bags of salad leaves really don’t stay fresh long, really they should be eaten within 3 days. So if you don’t get around to eating a salad, perhaps the weather changed and you were more in the mood for a hot meal, there are a few ways you can use them up in a different way. Whatever you do, don’t throw that bag of slightly sad looking leaves away! Salad leaves can be blended into a soup in place of spinach or watercress or make this very flexible salad bag pesto! If you have any fresh herbs around the place, chuck some of those in too.

Read more about food waste in my blog post on the subject here. Liz x

Ingredients

  • mixed salad leaves (and odds an ends of fresh herbs if available)
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds (or any nuts or seeds you like)
  • lemons
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • nutritional yeast (or odds and ends of cheese)

Method

I’ve deliberated not given amounts as pesto is a very fluid recipe. You can taste and adjust it as you go. You should aim to have around half the volume of the mixture as nuts or seeds. So if you have about a mug full of salad leaves that need using, toast about half a mug of nuts or seeds.

Toast the nuts or seeds in a dry frying pan to bring out their flavour. Allow them to cool.

The put them in a food processor. I used a blender because my food processor is broken – it works ok but I prefer a food processor for pesto because I don’t want the mixture to be too smooth in the end.

Add a crushed or grated glove of garlic, a shake of nutritional yeast, a big pinch of salt and all the salad leaves.

Then add lemon juice (you can add the zest of the lemon too if you like, or save it in the freezer for something else). Start with a small amount of lemon juice, you can always add more later.

Add a very generous amount of olive oil. A quality extra virgin olive oil is best for pesto.

Pulse the mixture, scrape down the sides and pulse again until you reach a loose, rough paste. Add more olive oil as you go if needed.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt of lemon juice as you like. Then store in a clean jar in the fridge. To make it last longer, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to protect it from the air. Use it up within a week.

Pesto is not just for pasta! Use it for a dip, stir it into hummus or mayo, spread it into wraps or sandwiches, toss it through roasted veg or steamed greens, dollop it on your grainy salads…

Preserved Lemons

A preserved lemon from my last batch which I made about 9 months ago.

Preserved lemons are a very North African/Middle Eastern thing and so go well in tagines, whizzed into hummus and blended into spice pastes or marinades. They are absolute flavour bombs and once you get a taste for them you’ll be hooked. Luckily they are cheap and easy to make yourself. Apart from the stunning flavour, what I really love about them is that they are a great example of compleating (a waste free principle of eating the whole fruit/vegetable). The rind of the lemon softens during fermentation and is then the best bit! Although don’t waste the flesh and the liquor, all that can be used to pep up dressings, risottos, soups, stews…anything that needs some salty, lemony goodness.

Here’s a quick video explaining the process, it’s one of those recipes which is easier to learn through watching. Liz x

Ingredients

  • organic lemons (unwaxed)
  • natural salt
  • olive oil (optional)
Just after jarring. These need 4 weeks fermenting at room temperature before they are ready.

Method

Rinse the lemons and prepare a clean chopping board, knife, tablespoon and large jar. They don’t need to be sterilised, but make sure everything is well cleaned and rinsed. Clean your work surface well too.

Slice the ends off a lemon (just a small sliver from the end that was attached to the tree, and the other end if it looks like it needs it. If it’s fresh and in good condition then just leave the bottom end on) then cut a deep score into the lemon about 3/4s of the way down.

Stuff the lemon with a tbsp of salt and press it firmly into the jar using the rolling pin to help.

Repeat until you have filled the jar or run out of lemons.

There should be enough juice in the lemons to create a brine to cover them all when pressed down. If not, add some extra lemon juice.

Weigh down the lemons under the brine using a small glass or a glass weight. Then add an optional layer of olive oil to float on top of the lemons and seal them from exposure to air.

Put the lid on (I like to make sure my jar is full enough so that the action of putting the lid on top of the weight pins down the lemons under the brine) and place the jar on a shelf at room temperature to ferment for 4 weeks.

During the first week of fermentation you may notice bubbles forming. Just open and close the lid to release any gases that have formed. Keep an eye on the jar and if any lemons start to rise about the brine just push them back under and re-arrange the weight.

After 4 weeks you should notice a change in texture, colour and aroma. They are done. Keep the jar in the fridge and use within a year.

For ease of use, you could purée the fermented mixture in the jar and then just take out a spoon or so to add salty lemony flavour to many dishes.

Puréed preserved lemons for easy use.