Recipe: Warm Roasted Beets & Shallots with Goat’s Cheese & Za’atar

This was our first full year of growing at our smallholding on Middle Road. When we first moved in last October we hired a turf cutter and basically decimated one half of the front garden, cutting out six 9×3 metre vegetable beds. This allows us to have a six year crop rotation – so my life will now be divided up into six year chunks and by the time the alliums are in the bed nearest the house again I’ll be 41! We’ve chosen to grow all our vegetables organically using the no-dig method, which means we don’t dig down into the soil but instead allow the plants roots and the activity of the worms and other creepy crawlies to gently create an aerated soil structure over time.

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Recipe: Nettle & Nutmeg Soup

I think nettle soup sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap, perhaps it just seems a bit too worthy or maybe people are put off by remembered childhood stings on knees and elbows. When collecting nettles you should probably wear thick gloves to prevent any stings (unless you are much hardier than me), I find heavy gardening gloves are good for picking them and then rubber gloves for washing and stripping the leaves off any thick stems. Continue reading

Recipe: Spicy Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps

Full of all the yummy aromas of South East Asia this dish is delicious as a starter and looks extremely colourful as a canape too. For a starter you can either plate it up, three little lettuce ‘boats’ on a plate with some sprigs of fresh herbs and maybe some pickled radishes looks very pretty, or alternatively for a more casual, family-style meal serve all the elements in separate bowls and your guests can make their own. It’s gluten free and best of all, once you have the ingredients you can whip it up in about 15 minutes. Continue reading

Recipe: Tom Yum Goong

This spicy broth is the epitome of Thai cooking, perfectly showcasing the balance of sweet, salt, spice and sour that is essential in any great Thai dish. Tom Yum (or Tom Yam) can be made with prawns (Goong) but also with chicken (Gai) or a veggie version with mushrooms or courgettes. This recipe is for  the most popular version with prawns, but feel free to experiment and replace the prawns with chicken, mushrooms or courgette ribbons and the appropriate stock. Continue reading