Turnips or swedes are a superb reliable Irish winter root vegetable and they grow happily here on the farm. They are sweet and slightly peppery, crisp when raw and buttery when cooked. They are often overlooked but given a bit of thought and attention turnip can be totally delicious.
This dish is closely based on a recipe by Denis Cotter, chef and owner of the well known Cork restaurant Cafe Paradiso. Cotter has added sweetness with the slow cooked leeks, maple syrup, toasty notes from the walnuts and breadcrumbs and lots of flavour from the herbs. We couldn’t wait to dive into this delicious gratin and neither will you!
100ml dry white wine or vegetable stock with a dash of cider vinegar
250ml double cream
3 tbsp maple syrup
For the crust:
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tbsp chopped chives
50g white bread
Step 1: Preheat the oven 170ºc fan. Butter an oven dish, approx 9inc x 6inc.
Step 2: Wash and peel the turnip and chop into quarters. Slice the quarters thinly 5mm with a mandolin or sharp knife. Heat a pot of salted water until simmering, add all the sliced turnip and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until soft. Strain and set to one side.
Step 3: Meanwhile, chop the leeks in to 2 cm slices. Melt the butter on a pan and sauté the leeks and chopped garlic until soft then stir through the thyme leaves, wine or stock with vinegar, cream, salt and pepper. Simmer for a further few minutes.
Step 4: To the buttered dish, add a layer of turnip, a layer of creamy leeks and repeat 3 times. Push down and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Step 5: To make the crust, blend the bread first, then add the walnuts, sage, chives, salt and pepper blend again, finally add the butter blend again. Scatter the herby breadcrumb on top and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then serve.
This would work as a main dish with some greens and mushy pulses or as a side dish too.
What’s the meal that you have on repeat every week? In our house it’s dal. This creamy lentil curry is so good in so many ways. Firstly, it’s always delicious no matter how we tweak it. Sometimes with a tin of creamy coconut milk, sometimes with a tin of tangy tomatoes, sometimes neither. But always with some seasonal curried vegetables! Secondly, lentils are a very affordable ingredient which satisfies the whole family for a few cents. Thirdly, lentils are incredibly nutritious, full of healthy plant-protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. I could go on but I’ll finish with the fact that they are quick and easy to cook. Add to soups and stews for body, texture and extra nutrients, or make them the centerpiece in an Indian curry like this one.
Have I inspired you to try lentils? Let me know in the comments. Top your dal with roasted veg, pickled veg, fermented veg, raw veg…anything you like to add colour and texture and taste. We went for curried, roasted swede and cauliflower as they really soak up those spices beautifully!
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
For the roasted veg:
1/2 a swede
1/2 a cauliflower
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
For the dal:
1 mug of red split lentils, rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 mild fresh chilli, chopped (or to your taste)
1 tsp salt & a generous grinding of black pepper
1 tin of coconut milk
2 tins of water
100g fresh spinach, rinsed
Turn your oven on to 200C. Chop the swede into small cubes, peel and roughly slice the onion and break the cauliflower into florets. Toss in a large baking dish with the oil, spices and seasoning and place in the oven to bake.
Meanwhile put all the dal ingredients (except the spinach) in a pot and simmer until the lentils are cooked through and creamy. This should take around 15 minutes. Stir regularly to ensure the lentils don’t stick and burn. Turn the heat off and add the spinach to the dal. Place the lid on the pot and allow the residual heat to wilt the spinach while you take the roasted veg out of the oven and get bowls and spoons ready.
Serve the dal in bowls topped with roasted vegetables. You can also serve with brown rice or breads to make it a heartier meal. Fresh coriander, sliced chillies, Indian chutneys, toasted nuts etc make great toppings too. Get creative and add extra nutrients and interest to your bowl.
The ultimate comfort food on repeat in our house all through the winter. Filling, warm, nourishing and oh so delicious on a cold night. We use meaty mushrooms and red wine for deep, dark flavours. Instead of plain potato mash, we mix it with swede (with loads of butter and black pepper) and drizzle with rapeseed oil before it goes in the oven for a gorgeous golden, crispy mash topping. Give it a try and see why it’s a firm, family favourite.
Ingredients (serves 4 or 6 with sides)
2 white onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
3 sticks of celery, trimmed and diced
5 carrots, trimmed and diced
250g chestnut mushrooms, roughly diced
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube (or a tbsp of bouillion)
2 tins of cooked green lentils, drained
1 small glass of red wine
Cornstarch slurry (1 heaped tbsp cornstarch stirred into 1 glass of cold water)
1/2 a swede & around 600g of potatoes, peeled, chopped and boiled in salted water until very soft
50g of vegan butter (or more to taste) with more salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper for the mash
a drizzle of cold pressed rapeseed oil
Pre-heat your oven to 200C and get your potatoes and swede on to boil in salted water.
Meanwhile, in a wide, oven and hob safe pan, sauté the chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery and mushrooms with a tbsp of rapeseed oil, salt pepper and the dried thyme.
Once the vegetables have softened, add the bay leaves, red wine, drained lentils and crumble in the stock cube. Stir and cook out the alcohol for a couple of minutes. Then add the cornstarch slurry and stir over a medium heat until thickened.
Taste the lentil base and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Drain and mash the potatoes and swede with butter, salt and plenty of pepper. Then top the lentil base with the mash, rough it up with a fork and drizzle over some oil.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden and crispy on top. Enjoy with some steamed greens or a lovely crisp kale and apple salad.
Whole roasted vegetables are one of my favourite things. The long roast means there’s always a sweet, juicy centre and interesting textures and flavours on the edges. This recipe for whole roast swede (pretending to be ham) is inspired by eco-chef Tom Hunt. It makes a fun festive centrepiece and it’s delicious too! Not ham flavoured of course, but a celebration of the humble-but-hearty swede. These bulbous roots are a real Irish staple and they are well overdue their time in the limelight. Swede is slightly peppery and sweet and the mustard-maple glaze works wonderfully. Delicious served in slices alongside pickled red cabbage, roasted potatoes and winter greens. The vegetable and red wine bed makes a brilliant base for a veggie gravy too.
What are you serving for Christmas dinner?
1 bulb of garlic
4 bay leaves
2 stock cubes
a large glass of red wine
a large glass of hot water
whole cloves (approximately 50?)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
6 tbsp wholegrain mustard
6 tbsp maple syrup
Turn the oven on to 200C. Find a casserole dish with a lid that your swede will fit comfortably in (alternatively use a deep roasting dish and a sheet of foil or a baking sheet as a lid).
Start preparing your swede. Peel it with a potato peeler and trim off any unwanted bits with a large, sharp knife. Score it with shallow cuts, criss-crossing to make lots of diamond shapes. Using a toothpick or a skewer, push a hole into the centre of each diamond. Then push a whole clove into each hole to stud the surface of the swede.
Cut the bulb of garlic in half along its equator. Quarter the onions (leave the skin on) and the carrots. Put the vegetables in the casserole dish, these will impart lots of flavour to the juices in the bottom of the dish. Pour in the wine and hot water and crumble in the stock cubes. Add the bay leaves. Now place the prepared swede on top.
Drizzle the swede with the olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and place the pot in the oven to steam-bake the swede for at least 1.5 hours (depending on the size of the swede) or until the swede is cooked through. You can test this with a skewer.
Remove the swede onto a clean baking dish. Mix the mustard and maple syrup together and brush half of it over the top and sides of the swede. Return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Then brush the remaining mustard and maple glaze over the swede and put it back in the oven for a final ten minutes. Then it’s ready to carve and enjoy!
Roasted Garlic & Red Wine, Onion Gravy
You can make a gorgeous gravy from the juices left in the casserole dish. Remove the carrots, bay leaves and onions skins. Squeeze out the garlic and remove the skins from the pot. Then use a whisk to blend the roasted garlic into the sauce.
Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch that has been mixed with 3 tbsp of cold water. Whisk it into the gravy and simmer and stir until the gravy is a good consistency. You may wish to add more water.
Add a generous knob of butter and taste the gravy for seasoning. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. I usually add a splash of soy sauce to enrich and darken the gravy too.
Sometimes in November a bowl of sunshine is just what is needed! Put our stunning root veg to use with this simple soup (or use up your Halloween pumpkins instead). We stock organic red lentils (in a compostable bag🙌) which gives this soup the most beautiful texture and provides protein, iron, potassium, folate, vitamin B1 and prebiotic fibre. Turmeric and black pepper are a delicious anti-inflammatory addition, and we have tins of organic coconut milk for a rich, creamy finish to the soup.
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 tbsp oil
1 diced onion
4 chopped garlic cloves
750g diced veg (I used carrot and swede this time but any root veg or pumpkins work well here)
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
300g rinsed red lentils
1500ml water (approx)
1 tin coconut milk
In a large pot, sauté the onion with the oil until it softens and starts to turn golden brown.
Add the garlic and diced vegetables, season well with salt, pepper and turmeric.
Tip in the rinsed red lentils and cover generously with water. Stir then put the lid on the pot. Bring to a boil then immediately turn the heat down and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft (around 15-20 minutes). You should take the lid off and stir every 5 minutes to ensure there is no sticking or burning on the bottom of the pot. You may wish to add more water if the soup is looking a bit thick.
Scrape in the coconut milk then blend until smooth with a hand held stick blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Then enjoy!
You’ll find countless iterations of this recipe on repeat in our house this time of year. Always hearty and wholesome, stuffed full of gorgeous autumnal vegetables and various pulses and grains. A pot of chilli is so versatile. Stick it in a bowl with rice or roasted potato wedges, scoop up with nachos, serve in wraps burrito style or make a batch for a messy-fun taco night. How do you serve your chilli non-carne?
Ingredients (serves 8)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and diced
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
750g diced root veg (I used swede, carrot and beetroot this time)
1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp each, ground cumin and coriander
3 bay leaves
100g each, dried lentils and quinoa
2 tins of black/kidney beans, drained
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500ml water or veg stock
salt and pepper to taste
*optional extra few tbsps of a ‘flavour bomb’ eg: soy sauce/coffee/cocoa
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and starting to colour.
Then add the root vegetables and spices. Stir for a few minutes to release the flavours.
Add the lentils, quinoa, tin of tomatoes and water/stock. Season well with salt and pepper then simmer until the lentils are soft. This should take around 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking and burning on the base of the pot.
Then add the beans, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. I usually add about 3 tbsp of soy sauce or a tbsp or two of cocoa powder to enrich the chilli.
Serve with rice or wedges, in tacos or burritos or however you like! It’s even better the next day so make a big batch and get some in the freezer for a rainy day?
Butternut squashes are the most common squash that we deliver on repeat at Green Earth Organics and it’s no wonder. Organic vegetables just taste better! If you’ve ever been disappointed by a bland, watery supermarket squash, we urge you to try one of ours. These vibrant veggies are sweet and nutty and their fabulous flavour is more than matched by their incredible nutritional profile. Butternut squash is a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals including A, B, C, E, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Here are just 4 ways I cook a butternut squash regularly. Let us know your favourite butternut recipes in the comments or over on our friendly facebook group. We love to see what you’ve been making with our vegetables.
Head to our shop here to sign up for a veg box subscription or order from our wide selection of organic fruit, veg and groceries.
Lentil Pie with Squash Mash
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
10 diced mushrooms or two grated carrots or beetroots (use any base veg that is in season or a combination of veg that you like, diced or grated)
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 vegetable stock cube or a big pinch of dried, crumbled mushrooms
1 mug of green/brown lentils (or two tins of cooked lentils, drained)
1/4 to 1/2 a butternut squash (or about 400g if you want to weigh it), peeled
a similar amount of potato as the squash, around 400g
salt, pepper and olive oil or butter for the mash – to taste
Sauté the onion, garlic in a little olive oil over a medium-high heat until starting to soften and take on some colour.
Add the diced mushrooms/carrot/beetroot and celery and a big pinch of salt and sauté for a bout 5-10 minutes until they have cooked down a little.
If you are using raw lentils, add them now and the stock cub or dried, crumbled mushrooms and herbs if using. Cover with water and simmer and stir until the lentils are cooked through. Keep tasting and adding more liquid if needed.
If you are using pre-cooked lentils from a tin, add the stock/dried mushrooms/herbs and a mug of water and simmer the vegetables in that for 5 minutes first, then add the drained lentils to the pot and a touch more water if needed to make a nice (not too dry, not too wet) base for your pie.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper. Pour the lentil pie mixture into a baking dish and preheat your oven to 200C.
Meanwhile peel, chop and boil the potato and squash together until soft. Drain and mash with salt, pepper and a little oil or butter. Taste for seasoning.
Top the lentil base with your sunny, butternut mash. Rough it up a little with a fork and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot, bubbling and crisp and golden on top. Enjoy with seasonal greens.
Butternut Squash Hummus
Ingredients (makes about 600g of hummus)
1 tin of chickpeas, drained over a jug to reserve the aquafaba
1 heaped tbsp tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/4 of a preserved lemon or the juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
1/4 of a butternut squash (about 400g or so)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika and olive oil to drizzle
Roast the butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil, a tsp of cumin seeds and a pinch of salt until soft. This could take 20-3- minutes at 200C depending on the exact size of your squash, just keep an eye on it.
Place the drained chickpeas, preserved lemon, crushed garlic, tahini and cooked butternut into a food processor. If you are using lemon juice, start with the juice of half the lemon and see how you go.
Add a splash of aquafaba and a pinch of salt and blend into a smooth paste.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like with more lemon, salt, tahini, garlic as you prefer. If you like a lighter, fluffier hummus, add an extra splash of the aquafaba or some cold water and blend again.
Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Butternut, Beetroot & Tofeta, Lentil Salad
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1/4 of a butternut squash
1 red onion
olive oil, salt and pepper to taste to season the above
1 mug of lentils boiled in 2-3 mugs of vegetable stock or water (or 2 drained cans of pre-cooked lentils)
dressing – 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 1 tsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, pinch of salt
3 handfuls of chopped fresh herbs (dill, parsley and mint?)
This dish is really special with the addition of my tofeta. You can find the easy recipe illustration in this bog post here or in my book which is available to add to your order here. Otherwise use whichever cheese you prefer or replace the feta with toasted nuts or seeds.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and find a large baking dish.
Boil green lentils in stock or water until cooked through. Drain off any excess liquid and leave to cool while your prepare the vegetables, herbs and dressing.
Chop the squash, beetroots and red onion into slim wedges, season them with salt, pepper and olive oil, then roast them until they are soft and slightly charred.
Mix up the dressing ingredients and stir it through the cooked lentils.
Chop the fresh herbs then arrange the salad into a large salad bowl or platter.
Put the dressed lentils on the base, spoon over the roasted vegetables, scatter over the fresh herbs and crumble the tortes on top.
Enjoy warm or cold. This keeps well in the fridge for no more than three days. Keep the tofeta seperately and it will last longer.
Butternut & Swede Gratin
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 a butternut squash
1 small swede or half a large one
2 crush cloves of garlic
a small handful of wintery herbs like thyme/rosemary/sage
salt and pepper
4 or 5 handfuls of breadcrumbs (add chopped herbs and nutritional yeast to your breadcrumbs to make them more flavoursome – or replace the bread crumbs with crushed nuts/seeds)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Thinly slice the butternut and swede and mix them together in a large, lidded baking dish with the crushed garlic, a generous drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to your taste.
Pour in enough oat milk (or use cream for a richer gratin) to cover about a cm of the base.
Put the lid on the dish and bake until the vegetables are soft all the way through. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
Remove the lid and add a little more oat milk. Scatter over a thin layer of breadcrumbs, drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, lid off, to brown on top.
Serve with seasonal greens or as a side to a roast.
Dal and fritters are staples in our house. The dal is especially useful to have in your repertoire for those days when you are low on fresh veg just before your next veg box arrives. And of course bulking out a dal with whatever seasonal veg you have is always a good idea. I like to make it with a tin of coconut some days, usually in winter when the weather calls for something rich and creamy, and with a tin of tomato on other days when I want it lighter and tangy (as in the recipe illustration from my book above).
My fritters are not dissimilar to onion bhajis. Here with curry spices in the gram flour batter they go particularly well with the dal and you can add whatever shredded veg you have around – cauliflower, squash, carrot etc. Fritters also make great sandwich fillers or burger patty alternatives and of course they don’t have to be curry flavoured, add whatever herbs and spices you like to make them your own. I love courgette fritters with fresh herbs in the summer, squash chilli and sage in autumn, celeriac, preserved lemon and parsley…the possibilities are endless.
As always, let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group if you make this recipe. We love to see our recipes leave the screen. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family.
Dice the onion or leek and soften it in a large pan on a medium high heat with the oil.
Add the cumin and mustard seeds and stir to toast them until fragrant. Then add the ground turmeric, ginger and fenugreek and stir to briefly toast for just a few seconds.
Add the mug of red lentils and the diced swede and stir to coat them in the spices. Then add the tin of coconut milk and two tins of water to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper and add the curry leaves (if you have them – buy online or at specialist Asian shops) and chilli flakes or chopped green finger chilli to infuse while the lentils and swede cook.
Bring the pot up to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the lentils and swede are cooked through.
Meanwhile get the fritter mix ready. Whisk the gram flour, spices and water together into a smooth batter. Then grate the parsnips and add them to the batter. Stir well to coat all the grated parsnip with the batter.
Heat a frying pan with a generous slick of vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry whatever sized dollops of the fritter mix in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. It’s better to cook them slowly if they are large so that they don’t end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Raw gram flour batter can be a little bitter.
Stir chopped and rinsed kale through the dal about 10 minutes before serving. Serve the dal and fritters in bowls with Indian chutneys and optional rice, popadoms etc.
These hand held pies are so good, I’m confident that even a local Cornish person would accept my plant-based knock-offs as the real deal. According to the Cornish Pasty Association, which champions and protects the authenticity and distinctiveness of the genuine Cornish pasty, the pastry should be shortcrust (traditionally they use a mix of lard and butter, I use a quality plant based butter) and the filling should be diced beef, potato, swede and onion. I simply replace the beef with gorgeous umami chestnut mushroomsand add some deep, dark miso to bring out those mouthwatering savoury notes (if you don’t have miso, substitute it with a little splash of soy sauce). November is the perfect time to make these delicious pies. Most of the ingredients can usually be found in my weekly veg box from the farm at this time of year, but of course feel free to substitute ingredients as you like. Any root veg or squash would work well, you could even up the protein with a drained tin of beans or chickpeas.
The photos below are from my instagram stories where I often take my followers through a simple step-by-step as I’m making dinner. Don’t forget to tag @greenearthorganics1 on Instagram or share your photos on the Green Earth Organics Healthy Eating facebook page if you make this recipe. We love to see your creations!
For the pastry:
500g strong flour (I like to use a 400g of white and 100g of brown)
enough cold water to bring the dough together (usually only a couple of tbsp)
Either use the tips of your fingers to crumble the butter into the flour and salt, or pop all the pastry ingredients (except the water) into a food processor with the blade attachment and pulse it together, until it resembles wet beach sand. Then add a small splash of cold water and blend if using a food processor, or gently knead the dough, just until it comes together into a ball. Be careful not to add too much water, be patient with it. Don’t overwork the dough, you want it to be tender, not hard. Then wrap the pastry with a damp tea towel and let it rest while you prepare the filling. Turn the oven on to 175C.
One of the many beauties of buying organic is that there is rarely a need to peel your vegetables. Just give them a thorough scrub and you’re good to go. As is the way with many of my recipes, no need for exact measurements for the filling. I like an equal balance of swede, potato, mushroom and onion in my pasties. Once you have your veg all diced up fairly small (around a cm squared is good) into a large mixing bowl, season it generously with salt and black pepper. If you have miso, stir a tbsp of that through the mix, if not, either add a touch more salt or a splash of soy sauce.
Then you need to sort out the pastry. Tip it out onto a clean work surface and slice it into 8 equal pieces.
Then roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a disc with your hand. If you need to, you can lightly flour your work surface to stop sticking and roll each ball into a thin circle. Aim to get the pastry around 4mm thick.
Then pile a generous amount of filling onto each piece of pastry, carefully gather up the sides and seal and crimp as best as you can.
Pop the pasties onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (175C) for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is cooked through and steaming.
I always encourage creativity and this recipe is no exception. Although this is as close to a traditional Cornish pasty as you can get making it plant based, feel free to let your tastebuds run free. Why not try a curried pasty? Add some turmeric and black pepper to the pastry and some curry powder to the veg. And while you’re at it switch the veg for diced potato, cauliflower and onion with a drained tin of chickpeas. Or go mediterranean in the summer? Switch the veg for peppers, aubergine, tomato and courgette and add some basil, pop a sprinkle of fennel seeds through the pastry. What combinations will you try? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to see your creations.