Recipe: Toffee Apple Meringue Pie

This is my autumnal take on a classic lemon meringue pie. I’ve been inspired by my friend, Clare McQuillan, who is a talented forager and cook. Clare made a number of delicious meringue pies over the last year or so using wild ingredients, a couple of which I have been lucky enough to taste. Making a curd (which is basically the filling in a meringue pie) is a great way to use wild and trickier to process ingredients as you can just boil them up whole (without a lot of peeling, chopping, deseeding) and then strain them through a muslin to get the juice for the curd.  This year the little crab apple tree in my Mum’s garden was laden down with glossy, bright red crab apples, so after making as much crab apple jelly as any one family can reasonably eat I was inclined to do something a bit more decadent and hence this Toffee Apple Meringue pie!

The combination of sharp apple curd and salted caramel gives this pie a Halloween/Bonfire season feel – hence the Toffee Apple name. Admittedly, this is not a quick or easy recipe, there are lots of elements and quite a few processes too, so it is a bit of a labour of love! Totally worth it of course! Continue reading

The Edible Flower: Four Years In

It’s hard to believe, but it’s birthday time again! This weekend the Edible Flower is four years old.

That means it’s time for my year-end finance report published for all the world to see. As usual, this annual blog is a chance for me to reflect on the year gone by and share the nitty gritty of the finances of our business – a 2,500 word antidote to the perfection of the Instagramable life Erin and I lead. Continue reading

RECIPE: Caesar Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

As we move into early summer the green salads we grow here at The Edible Flower have more lettuce and less of the rocket and mustard leaves – which grow better from late summer onward. This year we are growing two delicious cos-style lettuce leaves; a bright green variety called ‘Maureen’ and an absolutely gorgeous very dark purple (almost black) variety called ‘Deronda’. Cos-style lettuce is perfect for a Caesar salad as it’s robust enough to hold up to the thick, silky dressing without collapsing at the bottom of the bowl. Continue reading

Recipe: Vietnamese Noodle Salad

This is such a gorgeous dish and healthy too. It’s a great way to showcase our beautiful salad leaves and with all the herbs and the lime juice it just tastes so fresh and zingy.

I’ve given an option for steak or prawns here, which is how we most often serve it at supperclubs and other events. If you are looking for a veggie/vegan option then chargrilling or roasting some aubergine and dousing it in the dressing while it is still warm if totally delicious. You can replace the fish sauce with two tablespoon soy sauce and one tablespoon water (I find it is saltier than fish sauce). Continue reading

Recipe: Fried Halloumi, Pink Grapefruit & Fig Salad

This salad is very much inspired by a delicious salad I had at 26 Grains of Stoney Street in March, just before the Covid 19 lockdown. It was really delicious, but maybe it has stayed with me because it was almost the last thing I ate out before all the restaurants closed and we were all confined to eating at home until goodness knows when. I hadn’t thought of using dried figs in a salad before but if you have some/can buy some (I got mine in the Asian supermarket in Belfast) then I encourage you to try, they are really very yummy. Continue reading

Recipe: Tuscan Bean Soup (Ribollita)

This dish is somewhere between a soup and a stew, satisfyingly hearty and lush with creamy beans and lots of olive oil. It’s definitely a main course soup rather than a starter soup. It’s also a really great store cupboard/slightly sad vegetables at the bottom of the fridge/the heel end of the bread dinner, hence posting it at the moment when none of us are able to go out and get fresh ingredients quite as much as we usually would. Continue reading

Recipe: Thai-Style Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

There is something aromatic about jerusalem artichokes, and I’m not really referring to their tendency to make you fart! Do you know what I mean? When you eat them their flavour is very much in your nose. it makes me think of galangal and lemongrass, and other fragrant South East Asian ingredients. This soup marries artichokes with ginger, chilli, lime leaf, turmeric and coconut, for something that is comforting yet still a little bit exotic. Continue reading

Recipe: Warming Coconut & Cumin Curry

This is such a delicious vegan curry and though there are quite a few ingredients (isn’t it always the way with a curry) lots of them are things you will probably have in your store cupboard or at the bottom of the fridge. I always seem to have ginger lurking in my fruit bowl as I seem incapable of buying the amount I need. Incidentally, ginger freezes really well and you can peel and grate it straight from the freezer – it grates even more easily than when it’s fresh. Though in this case you are putting it in the food processor anyway. Continue reading

Recipe: Three Bean Chilli

This Three Bean Chilli can be made with almost any sort of tinned beans (except maybe baked beans) so it’s a great use for any tins that have been lurking at the back of the cupboard. You can use dried beans too but you’d need to soak and cook them in advance. If you are using dried beans you will need about 500g in total as they roughly double in volume once soaked and cooked. If you don’t have three different types then just use two types or even one in a pinch, though it is nice to have a bit of variety! Continue reading