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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Clementines and salsify

Exciting we have clementines in this week - they are really tasty and especially so after months of not having them! The beauty of seasonal eating.

I actually love what Anna Jones says in her latest newsletter (apologies any of you who get this but I wanted to share). We've been waiting for red cabbage to come into season so we can cook our tried and tested red cabbage biryani! - tonight's tea :)

'The season is turning here in London the last few days, and with it, what we want to eat is changing. I always think this moment in food is like the transition from late summer to autumn clothes – you forget what you have in your wardrobe, what shoes you wear with what and you question why you threw out almost all of your socks during the heatwave. But, equally, you discover old favourites you’ve forgotten. You have to get back into the swing of cooking the warm dinners you forgot about all summer. While you can still rely on old autumn favourites, just like in your wardrobe, it’s always nice to have a couple of new refreshing ideas up your sleeve.

'When I am thinking of what I might want to cook and feel lost for inspiration I think about ingredients, flavours, dishes and feelings - this is kind of how it looks in my head.

Pick a hero ingredient – right now: chard, corn, figs, squash, beetroot,cauliflower

Pick a flavour lemons, heady herbs, sweetness,chilli heat, smoky spice

Pick a dish – think noodles,dahl,pasta, salad, sandwich, chilli

Pick how you want the dish to make you feel healthy, cleansing, hearty, warming, cosy

'Here are recipes for two favourites that I've been waiting for the colder weather to cook. The lemon, cauliflower and potato traybake that I miss all summer, and a beetroot orzo I've been craving.'

In the field

Final runner beans harvested and structures taken down, final cucumbers harvested and structures taken down. More kale, and lettuces planted out. Harvested - a lot!

28kg beetroot, 5kg leeks, 48 lettuces, 9kg heirloom tomatoes, 8kg runner beans, 15kg Butternut squash, 5.5kg Harlequin squash, 1kg courgettes, 3kg cherry tomatoes, 30 chillis, 5kg cucumber. Just waiting for a bit more sunshine to ripen off some more tomatoes. Suspect we'll have a lot of green ones in coming weeks for any chutney makers out there.

In the boxes:

Small: Cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, beetroot, apples, potatoes/carrots/onioms

Regular: Mushrooms, swede, January King cabbage, palermo peppers, mashed potato acorn squash*, pears, salsify* (sorry, lots of ads on that link but gives you the gist), potatoes/carrots/onions

*don't worry, we've got more on both of these more unusual items in the recipe section below!

In the shop:

Red cabbage, broccoli, curly kale/cavalo nero, potatoes, carrots, swede, sweet potato, salsify, leeks, squashes- mixed, salad, heirloom tomatoes, palermo peppers, chestnut/white mushrooms,fresh ginger/turmeric/garlic

V limited: Clementine cauliflowers, green cabbage, courgettes, cucumbers

Fruit: 4 different types of pear! - Conference, Concorde, Beurre Superfin, and Cornice, Rajka apples, Clemenrubi clementines

+ sourdough, milk, eggs and all our other organic bits.

The card machine worked well last week in the shop so fingers crossed this continues and gives people another option other than cash.

Recipe inspiration:

Salsify - so this, according to Riverford, is best described as 'a root vegetable that resembles long, thin parsnips. It is part of the Asteraceae (or sunflower) family, and produces a bright pink-purple, star-shaped flower for which it was originally cultivated in the UK, before people discovered the tastiness of its roots. Salsify has fallen out of favour a little since Victorian times, but perhaps unfairly so; it has delicate, creamy flesh with a subtle taste that has been compared to everything from oysters to asparagus to parsnips.

Again, from Riverford, 'Salsify can be peeled before or after cooking. If you peel it before, put it straight into water acidulated with a good squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of vinegar so that its flesh doesn't' discolour. Dice or slice it returning to the pieces to the acidulated water until you are ready to use them. Although salsify can be grated or sliced very thinly and eaten raw, its flavour is best brought out by cooking.'

They suggest boiling, frying or braising - see this page for more info.

Mashed potato acorn squash - Again, according to the wise Riverford lot, 'it’s seriously tasty – with smooth, buttery flesh, and a sweet but not sickly flavour. Once baked and fluffed up, Mashed Potato squash looks exactly like its namesake, but with a sweeter, richer taste. When they cooked it up in their farm kitchen, people kept coming back for more.'

On this recipe blog they suggest just roasting and mashing it:

Ingredients - 1 Mashed Potato Squash, Olive oil for drizzling on squash, Salt and pepper and butter to taste

Instructions -

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Halve and remove seeds from squash. Drizzle olive oil on each half. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Place squash halves cut side down on prepared baking sheet.

  3. Roast until squash is tender and easily pierced with fork, about 50-60 minutes (depending on size). Remove from oven and cool slightly

  4. Scoop out squash flesh into bowl and mash with fork or potato masher until almost smooth. Top with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Also, a customer has recommended this Anna Jones beetroot orzo recipe (thank you J!) - which is the one Anna Jones refers to above. We've not had a chance to try yet but looks great.

Finally, we sent some flowers to relatives in London this week and once again I used the wonderul flowers from the farm website - here. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to buy flowers for someone anywhere in the country. You enter the postcode and it will tell you who the nearest growers are. They are all amazing little businesses, and need supporting - much better for the world than using one of the national florists.

have a great week


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