» Blog

2020 – September news: Skinned

September 17, 2020 by General Administrator

‘To skin’ is one of those unusual verbs with two meanings that are the complete opposite of one another. The skin a rabbit is to remove the skin, but to skin a polytunnel is to put it on – as the land team (finally!) did to tunnel 1 on Monday. The main reason to replace the polythene cover is about opacity more than anything else – you can ‘clearly’ see this by comparing the transluscent new cover of tunnel 1 with its 13 year old, virtually opaque neighbour. This will give much better crop growth, particularly in winter. Canalside member Eleanor made a fantastic short video of the work, which you can view on vimeo.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Grilled Corn

by General Administrator

When I was growing up in New York State, fresh corn on the cob was a familiar summertime treat. In my family we always, always, ate it boiled, with butter, salt, and pepper, and that is indeed an excellent way of preparing this delicious vegetable. (Just to be clear, you should boil your corn for no more than about five minutes, in plenty of water.) Here, however, is another equally excellent way to cook corn.

Grilled Corn
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 ears of corn
2 tablespoons rapeseed or other oil
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (sweet or hot, as you prefer)
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation
Preheat your grill to maximum heat.

Meanwhile, shuck your corn: peel away and discard the outer leaves and delicate thread-like silk.

Mix the oil, paprika and salt together and brush over the ears of corn.
Place the corn under the grill and grill for about 10 minutes, turning regularly, until it is a beautiful golden colour all over.

Remove from the grill, grind some black pepper over the cobs, and eat alongside your quelites a la mexicana or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Panzanella riffed

September 10, 2020 by General Administrator

One of the benefits of so many of us working from home is that there’s more time to make a fancy lunch. This week I’ve enjoyed riffing on Panzanella themed recipes – you can adapt the one below to suit what you have in the fridge and the time you’ve got to make it.

Panzanella

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
day old bread, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 cucumber sliced 1cm thick
1 or 2 peppers cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20ish large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained

Method:
Heat the bread either by pan frying in oil if you have time, or 30s in the microwave if not. Then mix thoroughly with all the other ingredients in a large bowl, season and serve.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Mexican Greens with Potatoes and Flatbreads

September 3, 2020 by General Administrator

In case you are wondering what to do with the mysterious ‘huauzontle’, here is the answer! Huauzontle, also known in Mexico as ‘quelites’, is a flavoursome green a bit like sprouting broccoli. In this recipe it is mixed with juicy tomatoes and cubed potatoes to make a superlative filling for a tortilla or other flatbread. Serve topped with thick yoghurt.

Quelites a la Mexicana
Serves 2

Ingredients
250g potatoes
250g huauzontle
200g onions
150g tomatoes
½ to 1 Canalside chile, deseeded if desired
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Yoghurt and flatbreads, to serve

Preparation
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Depending on the size of the potatoes, this can take between 20 and 40 minutes. Drain and let cool
Put the huauzontle in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until it’s tender, about 8 minutes.

Peel the onions and chop coarsely. Chop the tomatoes into chunks roughly the same size as the onions. Slice the chile.

By now the potatoes should be cool. Cut them into cubes, about 2cm or thereabouts.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or casserole pan. Add the onions, tomatoes and chile, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooked huauzontle, cubed potatoes and cumin, and sauté for a few more minutes to heat through.
Serve topped with yoghurt in flatbreads (tortillas would be traditional).

Recipe freely adapted from this fantastic video by Mexican internet sensation Doña Ángela. Many thanks to Ricardo Aguilar for his advice about cooking quelites and for telling me about Doña Ángela.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Maintaining Courgette Enjoyment

August 20, 2020 by General Administrator

Every summer I treat the first courgette with excitement but as I’m sure is the case for everyone, my enthusiasm begins to wane as the summer goes on. To try and help with this myself and Rebecca have been trying out some more courgette recipes. My favourite so far is courgette fritters (sorry there’s a bit of a fritter theme at the moment!), they made for a reasonably quick work-from-home lunch.

Courgette fritters

Image from https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

Ingredients (8 fritters):
1 kg Courgettes Grated
100 g Feta cheese Crumbled into big chunks
2 Medium free range eggs
2 Cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
15 g Fresh dill Chopped
15 g Fresh mint Chopped
1 tsp Dried oregano
75 g Plain flour
200 g Breadcrumbs
1/2 Red onion Peeled and finely chopped
Fry light spray or Olive oil for greasing

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220C

Take your grated courgettes and over a colander, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Use the colander and your hands, there will be lots!

When you’ve squeezed out the liquid, put all of your courgette fritter ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with clean hands.

Shape into 8 patties and put onto a greased (or sprayed using Fry Light) baking sheet. I got the strongest shapes by compacting a firm ball and then squash down into a disc

Bake for about 30 minutes of until browned, firm and cooked through (I fried them instead to speed things up)

From: https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

2020 – August news: Roasting

August 14, 2020 by General Administrator

Regular readers of Canalside news will know I love a weather stat, and this week has delivered a few – England has recorded temperatures upwards of 34 degrees for 6 successive days in a sequence that included the third hottest August day for 17 years.

At the farm it has been challenging to say the least for land workers, not to mention the plants – thankfully thunderstorms have brought much-needed rain to quench their thirst. The downpours have helped arguably the most important crop on the farm to germinate nicely: the grass-clover green manure leys that are the biological powerhouse behind our soil fertility. Green manure replenishes soil nutrients and regenerates soil health as well as providing habitat for insects, and it is always a huge relief to see it germinating well!

Dom van Marsh, head grower

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Seared Courgettes with Black Pepper and Cheese

August 13, 2020 by General Administrator

This week’s recipe is from Matt. He says: ‘This is really simple but very tasty way of cooking courgettes to their best’. It’s based on a classic Italian pasta dish called caccio e pepe, in which the pasta is dressed with grated cheese and lots of black pepper. That combination turns out to work equally well on courgettes.

This dish is delicious served with sausages, or some grains tossed with pesto, which, incidentally, is a further good use of the bountiful crop of basil we’re currently enjoying from Canalside.

Seared Courgettes with Black Pepper and Cheese
Serves 3-4

Image from NYT Cooking

Ingredients
700g courgettes
3 tablespoons oil
Salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
50g hard cheese, grated
Handful of basil and/or mint leaves, torn into pieces

Preparation
Halve the courgettes lengthwise. If they are large, cut them into lengthwise quarters. Cut each length into 5-7cm sections. Sprinkle them with salt.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. This will help you get a good sear on the courgettes. Once the oil shimmers, begin to sear the courgettes. You will need to do this in several batches so as not to crowd the pan—they need to be in a single layer. In batches, lay them cut side down in the hot oil and leave them undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown. Flip them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, ensuring all sides are seared and golden brown. Remove them from the pan, setting them aside on a serving platter, and repeat with the remaining courgettes.

While the final batch cooks, add the pepper to a small saucepan and toast over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, or until it becomes fragrant. Add the butter, which will quickly start to foam. Stir until the butter is melted and the foam subsides. Remove from the heat and quickly add the grated cheese. Stir vigorously, so the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to melt, but will also cling together in pieces, which is the result you want.

Spoon the butter over the seared courgettes, making sure to include all the black pepper and melted cheese. Scatter the herbs over the top and serve.

Recipe adapted from NYT Cooking

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Huauzontle fritters

August 6, 2020 by General Administrator

This week we’re getting an unusual vegetable, Huauzontle. After a fair bit of digging it seems it’s impossible to talk about Huauzontle without mentioning the dish “Tortas de Huauzontle”, which are small battered and deep fried fritters of Huauzontle and cheese, so that has to be my recipe for this week. If this doesn’t take your fancy though it seems the best alternative is to treat it like broccoli, maybe by sauteing with onion/garlic/cumin/vinegar.

Tortas de Huauzontle

Photo from https://us.kiwilimon.com/recipe/main-dishes/huauzontle-pancakes-with-sauce-from-chile-pasilla

Ingredients (will need scaling according to your share):

Tortas:
1 1/2 liters Water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups huauzontle, clean, without branches
190 grams cream cheese (or alternative)
1/2 cups flour
4 egg whites (For batter. For vegan alternative try a gram flour batter)
4 egg yolks
enough oil, to fry

Sauce:
3 pasilla chili peppers (deveined and soaked – try canalside dried chilis but beware they’re much hotter)
2 tomatoes
1/4 onions
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cups Water
2 tablespoons oil
salt

Method:

Cook huauzontles in salted water for 5-10 minutes (cook time varies wildly from recipe to recipe, cook for longer if you’re only shallow frying I think)
Place the huauzontles in a bowl of water with ice.

Remove the huauzontles and dry on a tea towel to remove moisture.
Strip everything from the bitter stalk and discard this.

Form a burger like patty in your hands by squeezing the huauzontle around a chunk of cream cheese, flouring the outside.

In a blender beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until peaks form
Add the yolks and beat for 1 minute more to integrate.

Dip the huauzontle pancakes in the batter.

Heat the oil over medium heat and fry 2 minutes on each side. (Make the sauce first)

For the sauce, blend the chilies, tomato, onion, garlic and water for 3 minutes.

Heat the oil over medium heat, pour the sauce, season with salt and let it cook for 15 minutes.

Serve the huauzontle pancakes bathed in pasilla sauce.

Recipe adapted from:
https://us.kiwilimon.com/recipe/main-dishes/huauzontle-pancakes-with-sauce-from-chile-pasilla
https://www.atastefortravel.ca/3408-huauzontle-puerto-escondido-mexico/#wprm-recipe-container-12833

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Lebanese Tabouli

July 30, 2020 by General Administrator

When I was growing up, tabouli formed part of my father’s very limited cooking repertoire, alongside steak tartare and chicken marsala. The recipe he used called it ‘non-lettuce salad’, and that’s a good description of this blend of parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and a little bulgar wheat. I dedicate this recipe to him!

The secret to this tabouli is the Lebanese 7-spice blend. For an absolute feast, serve it with Lebanese 7-spice chicken. It’s pretty good on its own, too.

Lebanese Tabouli
Serves 4

Photo from https://www.feastingathome.com/lemony-tabouli-aka-tabbouleh/

Ingredients
7 Spice Blend Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Tabouli ingredients
250ml dry medium grain bulgar wheat
4 spring onions
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 cup mint leaves
1 small bunch dill
3 medium tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 tablespoon lemon zest
70ml lemon juice, or to taste
125ml cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon 7-Spice mix

Preparation
First prepare the 7-spice blend. This will make more than you need for the tabouli, but that shouldn’t be a problem since it’s so delicious. You can add it to lots of other things, including this splendid Lebanese 7-spice chicken. To make the blend combine all the ingredients together. If you want really to go to town with it, you can roast whole coriander and cumin seeds and then grind them, before combining with the other ingredients. This gives an added warm depth to the spice blend.

To make the salad, first prepare the bulgar wheat. Put it in a small bowl and pour 250ml boiling water over it. Cover with a plate, and set aside for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. This allows the grains to soften.

Slice the spring onion and place in a large serving bowl.

Chop the parsley as fine as you can. It’s ok to include the thinner stems. Add to the bowl. Chop the mint and dill and add them as well.

Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers into small cubes and add them to the bowl, along with all their juices.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and 1 teaspoon of the 7-spice mix. Give it all a good stir.

By now 30 minutes have probably passed, so the bulgar wheat should be al dente. Once it is, add it to the salad as well and mix again.

If you have time, let the salad sit for a few hours to allow the flavours to meld. The parsley will soften and the bulgar will soak up the flavourful juices. It will in any event be very good the next day if there is any left over.
Before serving, give a stir and taste for salt, lemon and 7-spice. Adjust to your liking. Slyvie Fountaine, whose recipe this is, says ‘You want just the faintest whiff of the spices, like a whisper’.

Recipe adapted from Sylvia Fountaine, ‘Feasting at Home’. https://www.feastingathome.com/lemony-tabouli-aka-tabbouleh/

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: A Provencale Tian

July 23, 2020 by General Administrator

Text and photo from: https://www.cuisinefiend.com/242/courgette-and-spinach-tian

What’s a tian? In spite of sounding rather middle-Eastern or even oriental, it’s a Provençal pan made of clay, enamelled in bright colours, which they use to cook vegetable gratins in. Or, indeed, tian, as it’s also the name of the dish.

They sell tian pottery at the markets all over Provence and you can hardly pass by the stalls without stopping to admire the vivid colours, the glaze and the various shapes. If pottery wasn’t fragile and rather heavy, I’d have a collection brought over from my French voyages… As it is I need to use boring mass-produced vessels to cook my tians et al in.

They come in all sorts, being basically roasted vegetables with cheese. Rice is a common ingredient, sometimes potatoes, and spinach is a veritable tian king. Eggs are frequently added but I skipped them here, aiming for a less quiche-y flavour. And make a note of the courgette treatment – that’s how this boring vegetable needs to be handled. Squeeze the living daylights out of it and it might just be vaguely tasty.

Courgette and Spinach Tian

INGREDIENTS
1 large courgette
200g fresh or frozen spinach (thawed)
2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
a handful of pine nuts
60ml double cream
1 egg yolk
30g grated hard cheese, Gruyere or Cheddar
20g grated Parmesan
a little olive oil

METHOD

  1. Wash, top and tail the courgette and cut it into ribbons or noodles on a mandolin or in a spiralizer. Sprinkle with salt, stir it around and place in a colander for at least 10 minutes. After that time rinse it with cold water, squeeze out as much moisture as you can without squashing the courgette, and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Rinse the spinach, if using fresh, and wilt it in a microwave or blanch briefly in boiling water. When cool, squeeze out the liquid and chop finely.
  3. Mix the cream with the egg yolk and add the hard cheese. In a bowl mix the courgette with spinach, pine nuts, garlic and spring onions and most of the Parmesan. Pour over the cream mixture and stir through.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a tian or gratin dish, transfer the vegetables into it and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes until brown and bubbling. Best serve very warm, instead of piping hot.

From https://www.cuisinefiend.com/242/courgette-and-spinach-tian

highslide for wordpress