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Ali’s Recipe of the Week: Sneaky Veg Cake (with swede!)

March 18, 2021 by General Administrator

The swede crop this year is doing very well, and if you’re running out of ways to use up this ubiquitous winter root, try this unusual recipe idea. The friend who suggested the recipe to me gave it the thumbs up, as did her 2 children, and with the use of ‘flax eggs’ it’s possible to make it vegan / egg and dairy allergy friendly – a must in that family. You should have enough swede from any size of share to make this cake.

Photo from Sneaky Veg

Ginger swede cake

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 40 mins
TOTAL TIME: 55 mins

INGREDIENTS
2 large eggs or two flax eggs – see notes below
100 g dark brown sugar
120 ml maple syrup or agave syrup
150 ml sunflower oil
2 pieces stem ginger finely chopped
2 tablespoons syrup from the stem ginger jar
175 g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
200 g grated swede
To ice (optional)
100 g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons cold water

INSTRUCTIONS
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease and line with baking paper a 20cm/8inch square cake tin.

Beat together the 2 eggs (or flax eggs), 100g brown sugar, 120ml syrup, 150ml sunflower oil, the chopped stem ginger and 2 tablespoons of ginger syrup in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl sift together 175g plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 2 teaspoons ground ginger. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined and finally mix in 200g grated swede.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

To ice (optional)
Mix together 100g sifted icing sugar with a tablespoon of cold water. Add the remaining water gradually, mixing it in as you go so it doesn’t get too runny. If you put in too much water simply sift in a little more icing sugar.
Drizzle over the cake and leave to set.

NOTES
To make 2 flax eggs mix together 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (also known as linseeds) with 6 tablespoons of cold water. Leave for a few minutes until you have a thick paste and then use in place of eggs in this recipe. You can also use chia seeds.

From Sneaky Veg

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Squash, Mushrooms, Blue Cheese

March 11, 2021 by General Administrator

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall describes this as a ‘River Cottage classic’, and it is easy to see why. The unctuous quality of roast squash combines well with the umami flavours of the mushrooms and cheese. It tastes rich and luxurious without being heavy or cloying.
You can also use other cheese such as shavings of parmesan, or a hard goat’s cheese in place of the blue cheese.

Warm Salad of Mushrooms and Roasted Squash
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
Salad
approx. 1kg squash
12 sage leaves
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
100ml rapeseed oil
large knob of butter
300g mushrooms, thickly sliced
Large handful of rocket or mixed salad
150g blue cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Dressing
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
a few grinds of pepper

Preparation
Preheat oven to 190C.

Peel halve and deseed the squash. Cut into 2-3cm chunks and put in a roasting pan along with the sage leaves, almost all the rapeseed oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once, until soft and coloured at the edges.

While the squash roasts, prepare the dressing by combing the ingredients in a small lidded jar and shaking vigorously.

When you are ready to eat, put the last drizzle of oil in a frying pan with the butter. Heat over medium heat and then add the mushrooms, along with another pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Fry for 3-5 minutes, or until they are cooked and any liquid they have released has evaporated.

Mix together the mushrooms and squash (in the roasting tin, or frying pan, say) and toss with the dressing. Array the rocket on a serving platter and then top with the squash and mushrooms. Distribute the cheese on top and serve it forth.

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Everyday! (2011).

2021: March news – Cauli Suprise

by General Administrator

We decided to split our ploughing this year into two bulk lots to make it easier for the growers; an early and a late plough. Thanks to the recent dry weather we reached a major milestone for the new season this week having ploughed over half of the land, ready to prepare it for planting.

We hope you enjoyed the first of the over wintering cauliflowers this week. Cauli’s are notoriously hard to harvest – there is a very small window to catch them between being under or over ripe so Stephen had a very happy surprise to find 180 plants perfectly ready on Monday.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Carrots, Lentils, Coconut, Spinach

March 4, 2021 by General Administrator

Very good straight off the stove, and even better the next day. The grated carrot and spinach lighten the dhal, and also add beautiful little green and golden flecks to the duller gold of the lentils. The coconut milk stays in the background, adding sweetness and rich flavour without overwhelming the balance of tastes. This is good served with rice or bread, yoghurt and a pickle.

Quick Carrot Dhal
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, peeled
thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
1 green chile, chopped—remove the seeds if you prefer
1 red onion, peeled
vegetable or coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
200g red lentils
400ml coconut milk
600ml water
6 medium carrots, peeled and topped and tailed
2 large handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped, or about 8 ‘cubes’ of frozen spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
Big handful of coriander, coarsely chopped

Preparation
Finely grate the garlic and ginger. Mince the onion.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and then add the oil. When it is hot add the garlic, ginger, chile and onion. Turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes until everything is soft but not browned. Stir periodically, so that it does not stick.

Meanwhile, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet for a few minutes, until they release a lovely smell. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then put them into a mortar and crush them a little—they needn’t be ground.

Add the crushed cumin and coriander to the pan along with the other spices and salt. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for a minute or two. Now add the lentils, coconut milk and water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add more water if it seems dry, and stir every one and then so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

While the lentils are cooking, grate the carrots coarsely and add to the lentils after they’ve cooked for about 20 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender, add the spinach and cook for a new more minutes until the fresh spinach wilts, or the frozen spinach defrosts and amalgamates into the dhal.

Stir in the lemon juice and the coriander. Taste, add more salt if you feel it necessary, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Modern Cook’s Year (2017).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Getting through the ‘taters Hasselback style

January 22, 2021 by General Administrator

The potato haul was very good this year and this seems to have resulted in a slowly growing bag of potatoes in our house. So this week I’ve been thinking about some new ways to get through them all. Today’s recipe may not be new for all of you but I’ve never tried it and I’m excited to give it a go!

Hasselback potatoes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hasselback_potatoes_27064

Ingredients (serves 4)
½ tsp dried thyme, rosemary or mixed herbs
½ tsp flaked sea salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 tbsp sunflower, vegetable or olive oil, plus extra for greasing
8 small–medium potatoes, each one approx. 75g/2¾oz, scrubbed (ideally, all-rounders or floury potatoes)
small knob of butter, approx. 15g/½oz (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Lightly oil a baking tray. Mix the herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the oil into a second bowl.

Place two wooden spoons or chopsticks on a chopping board, about 5cm/2in apart. Place the potatoes one at a time between the handles. Using a sharp knife with a thin blade, cut the potatoes very thinly and vertically almost all the way through – the knife will stop slicing when it meets the spoons. Each slice should be a little narrower than a pound coin.

As you prepare each potato, add it to the oil and turn to coat, then add to the seasoning mix and rub all over the potato, making sure a little of the seasoning mix gets in between the slices.

Place the potato on the baking tray, cut-side up. Prepare the remaining potatoes in the same way. Drizzle any remaining oil over the potatoes and bake for 40 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven and dot each of the potatoes with a little butter, then bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden, crisp and tender. Check for tenderness with the point of a knife or the tip of a skewer. (If you don’t want to use butter, cook the potatoes for around 50 minutes in total.) Serve immediately.

I’ll probably try slotting some cheese in between the slices, and maybe topping with bolognese or sour cream.

Adapted from BBC Food

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roast Parsnips, Lentils, Cheese

January 14, 2021 by General Administrator

Here we have a warm, sustaining main-course salad made bright with greens and the bite of mustard. It’s a good use of that parsnip that’s still in your fridge. You can make a meal of this, along with some good bread and a glass of red wine.

Image from Guardian Lifestyle

Roast Parsnip, Watercress and Lentil Salad
Serves 3

Ingredients
Salad

5 medium parsnips
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
125g Puy or green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, unpeeled
several parsley stems (optional)
several big handfuls of watercress or rocket
any hard cheese, to shave over the top

Salad dressing
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons runny honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Preparation
Preheat your oven to 190C.

Peel the parsnips and cut them into chunky batons. Toss them with the oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Tip them onto a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and a bit golden. The time will depend on how large they are. You can poke them with a fork to see if they are soft inside. Remove from the oven and leave them to one side.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils: cover them with boiling water and bring back to a boil. Boil for one minute, and then drain.

Return the drained lentils to the pan and add just enough water to cover them. Add the bay leaves, onion and parsley stalks (if you have any to hand). Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and remove the bay leaves and parsley. It’s up to you either to remove the onion or to leave it in the finished salad.

While the lentils cook and the parsnips roast prepare the salad dressing. Mash the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the other ingredients.

When the parsnips and lentils are finished, toss them, still warm, with the dressing and add the watercress or rocket. Pile onto a serving platter and shave some hard cheese over the top before serving.

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Every Day! (2011) – online at rivercottage.net

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Celeriac Soup

January 7, 2021 by General Administrator

I wasn’t sure Celeriac soup was a good choice, but we’ve had a few Celeriacs recently and I fancied a change. It was a pleasant surprise, then, that this turned out to be super tasty in an intensely savoury way. Even better was that we risked eating it after forgetting to put it away overnight and so far we have survived!

Cream of celeriac soup

Image from BBC Food

Ingredients
For the soup
75g/3oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
50g/2oz streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white only, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
700g/1lb 8oz celeriac, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 litre/1¾ pint vegetable stock
200ml/7floz double cream
salt and white pepper

Method
For the soup, heat a large frying pan or saucepan until medium hot, add 25g/1oz of the butter, the onion and bacon and fry for a couple of minutes to just soften. Add the garlic, leek, celery and thyme sprigs and fry for another minute; then add the chopped celeriac. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the celeriac is just tender.

Blend the soup to a fine purée using a stick blender or a blender. Return to the heat in a pan. Add the cream and whisk in the remaining 50g/2oz of butter.

Season with salt and white pepper. Serve the hot soup in bowls.

There is an optional garnish which can be found at the link to the recipe.

From BBC Food.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Restorative Soup

December 31, 2020 by General Administrator

This is what you need if you have eaten a lot of rich food over the holidays. The lentil soup is soothing, but not at all boring, enlivened as it is with marinated artichoke hearts and a swirl of yoghurt. You will feel better after eating this, I promise. Note, too, that it uses some of those leeks, carrots and celery that have accumulated in your fridge from the double share.

Lentil Soup with Artichoke
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
4 celery sticks, sliced thin
1 heaped tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 Canalside chile, left whole
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
250g green lentils
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1.5l stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
5 heaped tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
120g artichoke hearts from a jar, drained and sliced thin, to serve
plain or Greek yoghurt, to serve (if desired)

Preparation
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan with a lid. When it is warm add the leeks, carrots, celery, ginger and chile. Fry for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are starting to colour.
Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes more.
Stir in the lentils, and add the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the lentils are tender—20-30 minutes, probably. Add some more water if they seem dry.
Purée about a third of the soup in a liquidiser or food processor, and then stir this back into the pan. Add the salt and stir in most of the parsley, keeping back a little for a garnish.
Dish into bowls and place a sliced artichoke heart in the centre of each bowl. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt on top, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Annie Bell, Plant Power: Protein-rich Recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans (2020).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Caramelised Cabbage

December 18, 2020 by General Administrator

This recipe isn’t so Christmassy, but I did enjoy it. I found the liquid took a lot longer than stated to reduce, but in the end I would actually have preferred a bit more sauce when serving. Goes well with mash!

Ingredients
¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1½ tsp. ground coriander
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium head of green cabbage
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt
3 Tbsp. chopped dill, parsley, or coriander
Full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream (for serving)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°. Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Cut cabbage in half through the core. Cut each half through the core into 4 wedges.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large oven safe frying pan (or similar) over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, add cabbage to the pan cut side down and season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining ¼ cup oil into pan. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan (about 1½ cups), season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay).

Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered and turning wedges halfway through, until very tender, liquid is mostly evaporated, and cabbage is caramelized around the edges, 40–50 minutes.

Scatter dill/other over cabbage. Serve with yogurt alongside.

From BonAppetit.com

2020: December news – Moving forward into 2021

December 17, 2020 by General Administrator

As 2020 comes to a close we arrive in a new phase at Canalside.

There is a lot to celebrate and be proud of here. The COVID era of 2020 has demonstrated the success and value of CSAs and local food production. A huge thank you to everyone involved in our success – our members, volunteers, workshares, steering committee and staff all play an important role. The bee club, flower enterprise and Willows Project also continue to blossom and be an integral part of the farm.

Whilst we continue to advertise for a new main grower, the land team are looking ahead and feeling good about the future – assistant growers Lena and Stephen will be joined by seasonal labourer and long-standing volunteer workshare, Eleanor Brown, and have been working on the growing plan for 2021. Also working alongside the team will be Gareth and Becca from Five Acre, our sister CSA in Coventry, providing weekly support.

The team taking us into 2021 – L-R Eleanor, Lena, Stephen

Moving forward into 2021 we are excited about the potential of the farm and have lots of plans to develop the site; buying new land, planting an orchard, creating more social spaces facilitating more connection for members into the farm both socially and through volunteering. Whilst still adhering to COVID rules we are wanting to welcome you to feel part of the place, celebrating the community aspect of CSAs as much as our focus on the agriculture.

The land team – Lena, Stephen and Eleanor

The team at the pre-Christmas sprout pick
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