Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Coconut, Potatoes, Beans

Meera Sodha’s East is excellent! Here is a gentle coconut-milk curry called an ‘istoo’, which is apparently derived from the English word ‘stew’. She recommends serving with aubergine pickle, and rice or an Indian flatbread. Some fried aubergine slices also go well.

Potato and Green Bean Istoo
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
10 curry leaves
4cm cinnamon stick, broken in 2
1 medium onion (or 2 small onions), sliced
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
1 green chile, slit in 2
650g small potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
250g green beans, topped and tailed

Preparation
In a casserole dish for which you have a lid, heat the oil on medium heat. Once it is hot add the curry leaves, cinnamon stick and onion. Reduce head to low and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the ginger, garlic and chile, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and stir in the coconut milk. Then swill out the tin with about 100ml of water and add that to the pan as well. The potatoes should be just covered, so add more water if need be. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the beans, cover, and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Now it’s ready!

Recipe adapted from Meera Sodha, East (2019).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Sunny sweetcorn noodles

I wasn’t quite sure what to suggest this week and was resigned to the oven chips recipe I’ve been holding in reserve, until I spotted this noodle dish. It’s quite different to what I would normally cook and I’m excited to give it a try!

Sunny sweetcorn noodles

Ingredients:

  • Chilli flakes (I’ve still got some Canalside dried chillies to get through!)
  • coconut cream or coconut milk (add less water if not using cream)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp thai green curry paste
  • lime or lime juice
  • 250g pak choi
  • 35ml soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion (optional garnish)
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • sweetcorn
  • noodles (2 nests)
  • 1 veg stock cube

Method:

Peel and thinly slice garlic and boil the kettle
Add sweetcorn on the cob to large pan of water and boil for 10 minutes
Cut pak choi in half to separate stems from leaves. Leave leaves whole and cut stems into bitesize pieces
In a large pan (preferably with a lid) heat some oil (high heat) then add turmeric and cook for 30 seconds.
Add sliced garlic and curry paste and cook for 2 minutes
Use this time to put noodles on to boil for about 5 minutes or according to instructions
Add pak choi stems and a large pinch of salt and cook for ~3 minutes with lid on until stems are tender
If using coconut cream, mix this with stock and 350ml of hot water. If coconut milk, add this and stock direct to pan.
Add cream mix / cocunut milk and stock to the pan of veg, along with the chilli flakes and soy sauce
Set to low heat whilst you take out the sweetcorn and use a knife to separate the corn from the cob
Add sweetcorn and pak choi leaves to the pan, add water to achieve your preferred consistency and boil on low heat until leaves have wilted.
Bowl up the noodles and veg soup, adding lime juice and chopped spring onions on top if you’ve got them

Adapted from https://www.gousto.co.uk/cookbook/vegetarian-recipes/sunny-sweetcorn-noodles

October news: Juice on the Loose in a Fruitful Week

With Saturday’s Apple Day looming, the Wednesday work morning crew trooped to the orchard with one thing in mind: apples. And their expedition was a surprising success – in a year when most orchards have reported very poor harvests, we were pleased to return with over 600kg in tow, with a further load still on the trees to be picked on the Apple Juicing Day.

Saturday’s Apple Juicing Day was a huge success! The air was filled with gasps of awe from children and adults alike as endless waterfalls of juice oozed from piles of pulp; homemade mashers slammed down into buckets of apples, crushing them ready for the press and at the end of the line thirst was quenched with the sweet juice of our labours. Over 300L of juice was made in a very well attended event – much of this was shared amongst attendees but 50+ bottles have been pasteurised for future events and several barrels of cider are bubbling away as I write! Thanks to all who participated in a cracking day and hopefully we’ll do it all again next year.

Polina’s Recipe: Russian pastila

Here’s a tasty sounding recipe from Polina, one of our produce share members:

As it is apple season, I also thought I share a simple recipe which has been our breakfast staple for a couple of weeks. It is based on traditional Russian sweet called “pastila”, made of apples, eggs, and honey. Here is homemade British “twist”. The recipe can be safely halved – depending on the blender/foodprocessor.

Ingredients:

2lb of apples
3 tablespoons of honey/50gr of sugar (depending on apples)
9 tablespoons of oats (gluten free or not)
3 eggs whites (can be omitted for vegan version)
Spices to taste: ground cinnamon/cardamom/gloves

Preparation:

Core apples (no need to peel) and bake them in the oven on 185 degrees C for 35 minutes. Let them cool down. Place the baked apples in a food processor/blender (I use Blendtec) and process to a smooth pure. Add spices (if using) and honey and process for 2 minutes to mix them in. Turn the mixture into mixing bowl, fold in oats stirring with spatula, then slowly add egg whites whisked to soft peaks (if using). Fill in individual souffle dishes/ramekins (I use small ceramic bowls from Charlie Bigham pies) and bake in the oven at 100 degrees C for about an hour.

Keeps well in a fridge for a few days. Seems equally delicious cold and hot.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Lot of Plums

Dom’s assessment of the orchard this week is that there are no more plums, so it is likely (no matter how hard you search) that you’ll find the same now. Perhaps you have another source of plums, or have stashed some in your freezer to be able to enjoy the offering from Rebecca this week:

Here is a sweet, warming chutney to eat with dal, or in a sandwich. Nigella seeds are surprising little black specks, with an intense umami flavour resonate of onions.

Plum and Nigella Seed Chutney
Makes 1 jam-jar

Ingredients
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
12 plums
3 teaspoons nigella seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 lime, zest and juice

Preparation
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, until they become toasted and smell delicious. Leave them to cool.
Meanwhile stone the plums and chop them roughly into pieces. Put them in a saucepan along with all the other ingredients aside from the cumin seeds.
Grind the now-cooled cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and add them to the saucepan as well. (Apparently if you grind cumin seeds while they are very hot the flavour is not as good.)
Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is a bit jammy and the plums have broken down.
Cool and decant into a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Guardian,28 Sept. 2019.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: An End-of-Summer Soup

My housemate gave me this recipe (adapted from Gordon Ramsey) because he claimed it was the best soup he’s ever had. I overspiced my attempt so i’ll leave you to decide whether he’s right! I topped up my share with a friend’s garden tomatoes, but the recipe can be scaled down if you have less than is needed. I made 5 lunch sized portions from 1.2kg of tomatoes.

Tomato soup with sundried tomato pesto

Ingredients:
SOUP:

2 red onions, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1⁄2–1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste (1/2 makes for a spicy soup if you’re using CORE’s cayenne pepper!)
olive oil, for drizzling
1.5kg ripe tomatoes, cored and halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
100ml double cream (soya alternative works fine)
PESTO:
2–3 tbsp pine nuts
75g sundried tomatoes, drained, oil reserved and finely chopped
50g Parmesan cheese, grated (welcome suggestions for vegan replacements, the cheese is the bulk of the pesto in this recipe so not sure you can manage without)
olive oil

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Use a roasting tray on the hob at medium heat to brown the onions, garlic and pepper for a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes face down and move to high heat. Season with salt/pepper and add sugar and vinegar. Cook until tomatoes begin to caramelise (3-4 minutes). Stir and move to oven for 20-25 minutes. (If they blacken a little that’s fine, it adds to the flavour)

Make the pesto while you wait. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan and using a pestle and mortar, pound the sundried tomatoes to a paste, season with salt and add the pine nuts, continuing to pound to resemble pesto. Stir in parmesan and add a good glug each of tomato oil and olive oil to make it look like pesto again.

Get the tomatoes out and back on the hob, adding the stock and simmering for 4-5 minutes. Then add the cream for 2-3 minutes stirring well. Then blend and serve with dollops of pesto on top!

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: In Praise of Potatoes

In honour of the recent potato harvest, here is a splendid Nepalese potato salad from the Idaho Potato Commission. The Andean potato probably reached Nepal some time in the 1700s; it is now become a staple. In 2017 the country harvested 2,691,037 tonnes. This salad combines potatoes, fresh coriander, and spiced yoghurt to create a complex and satisfying dish. Eat with shredded carrot salad, and perhaps some flatbread.

The Potato Commission thinks this will serve 4 people, but we ate most of it in one sitting. ‘This is scrum’ declared Matt.

Chukauni: Nepalese Potato Salad

Ingredients
700g potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 cup yoghurt, plus additional yoghurt, to serve
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ Canalside chile, finely chopped, seeds removed if desired
½ teaspoon turmeric

Preparation
Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Cook over very low heat until tender. Fish out the potatoes, drain, and set aside, keeping the water in the pan. Turn off the heat and then tip the peas into the hot water. Leave them there for 60 seconds and then drain them as well.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 2cm cubes.
Combine the peas, red onion, coriander, yoghurt and salt in a serving bowl. Stir and add the potatoes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it is hot add the coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Let sizzle for about 30 seconds, until they turn reddish brown. Remove from the heat and add the chile and turmeric. Toss so that the oil turns a sunny yellow.

Pour the oil–but not the seeds—over the salad. Keep as many seeds as possible back in the pan. Mix the oil into the salad and taste.

Now you have a choice: if the salad strikes you as perfectly delicious as it is, then you’re done. Serve and enjoy, with additional yoghurt on the side if you like.

If you think it needs a little more oomph, then scrape the seeds into a mortar and pestle and grind them until they’re a coarse powder. Sprinkle some or all of this into the salad, tasting as you go along. Once you’re pleased with the result, serve and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from the Idaho Potato Commission.

September news: Tomato transformation

This point in the year is always heart wrenching for a grower, as pressure on polytunnel space means we have to commit the ultimate sin: ripping out perfectly healthy tomato plants that are laden with a maturing crop! But every square inch in the tunnels is precious and our overwintering leafy crops need some autumnal warmth and light in order for us to get some pickings in the depth of winter, so the Wednesday team grubbed out one of the two tomato tunnels, weeded and spread compost ready for planting spring greens, kale and oriental leaves.

…and after the transformation

All the green tomatoes were picked to ripen off the bush, and you’ll be getting these in the share as they redden (over 200kg of them!) along with the tomatoes in tunnel 1, which will stay in until winter.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Road trip pasta

This week I’m keeping it simple and taking a little inspiration from a recent roadtrip to Italy. The spinach and tomato are pretty core to the dish but feel free to pick and choose from the rest of the list depending what you’ve got – I use an app called plant jammer to figure out what things might go well together.

Rob’s Road Trip Pasta

Core Ingredients (for 1 person):
Pasta of your choice, 2 handfuls
Fresh Tomatoes, 1 large handful
Spinach (or other greens depending on share), 3 handfuls
Basil, small handful
Garlic, 1 clove
Lemon Juice 0.5-1 tablespoon or to taste
Olive Oil, 2-3 tablespoons or to taste
Mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon

Optional extras:
Black olives, small handful
Walnuts, small handful
Onion, 1 medium
Green/French Beans, about 3cm bundle

Method:
First chop all your veg; tomatoes into quarters, spinach may need stems chopping down to manageable size, garlic minced or thin slices, onion diced

Next get the pasta on the boil – when it’s ready remember to keep the water!

Whilst the pasta cooks, fry off onion and garlic, then add tomatoes, spinach and any optional extras and fry at a medium heat.

The pasta should be ready about the same time as the veg is cooked. Before draining, add the olive oil to the veg and then add a few sloshes of the pasta water – the starch helps make a good sauce! Then add the lemon juice, basil and mixed herbs and stir it all together until you have a nice shiny consistent sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the Pasta and add to the pan, mix and serve with some salad on the side and a little chopped coriander on top.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Fried Aubergine Slices

Meltingly tender circles of fried aubergine make an excellent nibble, and a spicy accompaniment to any meal. The recipe below gives the amount for one small Canalside aubergine, but is easily scaled up. I’ve never had any left over, but Madhur Jaffrey says they’re good warmed up the next day.

Fried Aubergine Slices

Ingredients
1 Canalside aubergine
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or ½ a Canalside dried chile (seeds removed if you prefer), chopped fine
Freshly-ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
½ lemon wedge, to serve

Preparation
Cut the aubergine into slices about 1cm thick.

Mix together the salt, turmeric, cayenne or chile and black pepper in bowl.
Toss the aubergine with the mixed spices.

Heat about ½cm oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot put in as many aubergine slices as will fit comfortably in a single layer. Don’t crowd the pan or they won’t fry properly. Fry until reddish-brown on the bottom. Flip and fry the other side.

Remove them as they are done, onto some kitchen paper or a cloth, and fry the remainder. Add more oil if necessary.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey, Indian Cooking (2002).

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