Aubergine Appreciation Society

The Aubergine, also known as an ‘eggplant’ over the pond, is surely one of the most versatile vegetables and a keen favourite amongst our vegetarian and vegan friends! It’ll soak up almost any flavour its paired with, whilst maintaining its creamy texture. Baked, BBQ’d, Grilled, Fried, Stuffed, Roasted, Marinated – it’s all great!

We’ve sifted through countless aubergine recipes; from curries and ratatouille’s to salads and noodle dishes, there really is an abundance of aubergine possibilities. However, the optimistic sun worshippers in us are holding out for BBQ weather, so have opted for a BBQ favourite – veggie skewers. Fear not, if you don’t have a BBQ (like a large percentage of Tower Hamlets residents), grilling is a great alternative.

Halloumi, Tomato and Aubergine Skewers
Ingredients

– Garlic clove, crushed
– 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
– 1 lemon, juiced
– Olive oil
– Tomatoes, chopped
– 100g halloumi, cubed
– Aubergine from box, cubed
– Crusty Bread to serve
– Rocket, to dress

Method
1. Prepare the marinade by mixing the garlic, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil
2. Pour all but 2tbsp of the marinade into a bowl with the chopped veg before threading onto skewers
3. Place onto BBQ / under grill / on a char-grill until the halloumi has turned golden, and the tomatoes are ready to burst
4. Serve with toasted bread and drizzle with the remaining marinade

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

Bold Broad Beans

The contents of this weeks boxes come from a little further afield than we’d usually like, as UK production has hit its lowest, after the return of the chilly weather! That being said we do have a great variety including broad beans. Typically great in salads, we’ve found a gorgeous Spring quiche recipe below including lots of yummy greens. Don’t forget the German Village and Bierfest at Mile End Park is on again this weekend – if you haven’t been down yet, go and get your hands on some Bratwurst!

 

Spring Quiche
Ingredients
– Podded broad beans (from box)
– 150g Asparagus
– Leeks (from box)
– 100g spinach
– 2 Spring Onions
– 4 eggs
– 150ml double cream
– 150ml milk
– Garlic (or nomal) Chives
– 100g feta
– Pastry

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
2. Snap off and discard the woody ends from the asparagus, then slice the stalks into 1cm chunks, reserving the tips. Blanch the asparagus (including the tips), and broad beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain.
3. Roughly chop and stir in the spinach so it wilts slightly, then refresh the veg under cold running water. Drain well and place into a large bowl. Trim, finely slice and add the spring onions.
4. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in the cream, milk and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Chop and stir in the chives.
5. Roll out the pastry to roughly ½cm thick. Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it to cover a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Gently press the pastry into the tart tin, moulding it to the tin as you go, then trimming any overhanging pastry
6. Spoon the greens into the pastry case, pour in the cream mixture and crumble over the goat’s cheese. Place the quiche in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until just set. Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a crisp green salad.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lincs

Carrots, Kent
Broad Beans, ESP
Leeks, Essex

Green Kale, Perry Court
Beetroot, ESP

 

Medium & Large Boxes
Celery, ESP

Jerusalem Artichoke, Perry Court
Large Boxes

Avocado, ESP


Fruit Supplement

Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Oranges, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Bananas, CIV (Large Boxes)

Don’t go Stir (fry) Crazy over the Bank Holiday!

This time of year can having you feeling like EVERY Monday is a Bank Holiday. In just 7 weeks, the lucky ones of us will only have the dreaded Monday morning wake up 4 times. However, with a blast of late winter air coming, threatening potential snow flurries, we know many of you will be going a little stir crazy indoors. We’ve found some brilliant events going on locally to get the kids and/or you entertained!

German Village and Bierfest at Mile End Park, promising beers and bratwurst
Mapping the Hamlets displaying some of the 4000 maps Tower Hamlets Archives hold
ABC Photography at The Museum of Childhood

This weeks boxes contain some great stir fry veg. Pak choi in particular, goes well in literally any stir fry. Pak choi is typically found in oriental dishes, and is also known as Chinese Cabbage or Bok Choi. The texture of both leaves and stalks is crisp, and the flavour is somewhere between mild cabbage and spinach.
Check out our recipe below for a great stir fry including some of the veg in your boxes this week.

Ingredients

– Pak choi, Carrots, Courgette & Mushrooms (from box)
– 4tsp Soya Sauce
– 3tsp Honey
– 1 Lime
– Inch of crushed ginger
– Splash of sherry
– Sesame Oil
– Chilli Flakes
– Chicken or Tofu
– Rice or Noodles

Method

1. Prepare chicken or tofu and set to one side
2. Add the oil to wok and set on a high heat
3. Slice veg, make sure carrots are cut as fine as possible. Use leaves and stem from the pak choi
4. Throw the carrots, courgette, mushrooms and chili flakes into the wok, stirring regularly
5. Whilst the veg is cooking, prepare the sauce: mix the honey, ginger, soya sace and lime juice
6. Add the pak choi
7. Add the sauce and sherry to the wok, before adding chicken or tofu
8. Serve with rice or noodles

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

 

This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lincs

Carrots, Kent
Pak Choi, Kent
Leeks, Essex
Spinach, Perry Court
Parsley, Perry Court

 

Medium & Large Boxes
Courgette, ESP

Mushrooms, Suffolk

Large Boxes

White Beetroot, Lancs

 

 

Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Clementines, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Bananas, CIV (Large Boxes)

The Sunday Roast

Everyone loves a good roast dinner – particularly on those bitter cold, winter Sunday’s. However, studies find that Easter Sunday is the final roast of the year – a chance for families to gather and enjoy one last roast before the summer salads and BBQ’d goodies become our Sunday staple.

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I personally prefer to have my roast dinner taste like a roast dinner. None of this overly fancy business that takes away the nostalgic flavours – just a good ol’ Sunday Roast!

There’s a few little tricks that I’ve learned to perfect over time – some through trial and error, others I’ve pinched from Mum, Dad and Godmother; all of whom make mouthwatering roast dinners! I usually always use beef aside from Turkey at Christmas and Lamb at Easter. My number one trick for all root veggies – carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc – is too par-boil them first, meaning potatoes are crispy and fluffy, carrots aren’t too hard and parsnips go crunchy! By adding bacon to the dreaded brussells sprouts, you’ll find that even the most anti-sprout foodies amongst us, will be asking for seconds.

As we all know, the Roast Dinner is all about timing – get it wrong, and you’re going to have some mighty cold veg or some super rare beef! To make things a little easier, I’ve listed out the exact timings that I use – based on dinner served at 3pm.

I’ve left off timings for meat – cook according to weight and type

13:45 Prepare the Yorkshire Pudding mix, cover then leave in the fridge.
13:50 Peel and chop potatoes, parsnips and carrots then leave in slightly salted water so they don’t brown
14:00 Par-boil potatoes (10 mins) then leave to cool
14:20 Potatoes in oven brushed with vegetable oil
14:25 Par-boil carrots (5 mins) then leave to cool
14:30 Par-boil parsnips (5 mins)then leave to cool
14:30 Finely slice brussels sprouts & bacon (optional)
14:35 Carrots and parsnips in oven (seperated) brushed with veg oil
14:35 Fry bacon in butter, then reduce to a medium heat before adding sprouts – stir occasionally
14:45 Sprinkle parmesan over parsnips then return to oven
14:45 Pour honey over carrots then return to oven
14:50 Pour a little oil into muffin tins, before adding Yorkshire Pudding Mixture, then pop in the oven making sure you don’t open again until completely cooked
14:50 Prepare gravy – I cheat and use bisto (chicken or beef flavour depending on meat)
15:00 Take all veg out of the oven, and pour meat juices into gravy

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What are you favourite tips and tricks for a roast dinner?

Jess at TGH

The Hunger Gap

Despite the arrival of Spring – with flowers blooming, longer evenings and some much awaited ‘warm’ weather – Britain is currently undergoing its annual ‘Hunger Gap’.

This is the time in which Organic vegetable production is least productive throughout the United Kingdom, as it is too cold for certain vegetables to grow outdoors – and aside from huge indoor lights and heating, there isn’t much organic farmers can do to avoid this! Whilst Perry Court and farms across the UK will be busy propagating plants for the coming weeks and month, our keen desire to keep out carbon foot print down, means  we’re going to have to wait a little long for those tasty tomatoes.

So whilst we’re just as keen as you to get our hands on spring onions, peppers, lettuces and the like, we want to maintain our promise that our produce gets to you with the lowest environmental impact as possible. Of course there are times when – to maintain variety in our boxes each week – we will need to import produce from abroad, we want to honour our commitment to you.

Our message to you today is lets’s get through the Hunger Gap together, and use the next month of the rooty, hardy veg in as many warming dishes as possible! 

Happy St Patrick’s Day

So we might be a little early but what’s the harm in starting the celebrations a day before? Here’s a little Irish luck for you:

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door”

We’ve got a great Irish recipe for you this week, incorporating some of the veg in your boxes. You might feel bad about midweek drinking, but if the alcohol is in the recipe, it doesn’t really count does it?

Check out this wonderful Irish stew Guinness included, of course:

Stout Stew

Ingredients
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1kg stewing beef
1 onion
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml can Guinness
1 beef stock cube
pinch of salt
3 bay leaves
big thyme sprig
10 carrots, cut in to chunks

Method
1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in large lidded casserole dish, brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the dish, give them a good browning, then scatter over the flour and stir. Tip the meat and any juices back into the dish and give it all a good stir. Pour over the Guinness and crumble in the stock cube. Season the stew with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Tuck in the herbs and bring everything to a simmer.

2. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2½ hrs until the meat is really tender. The stew can now be chilled and frozen for up to 3 months – defrost completely before reheating until piping hot. Leave the stew to settle a little, then serve with Creamy parsnip mash for a true celebration of winter vegetables.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lancs
Carrots, Lancs
Leeks, Kent
Green Kale, Perry Court
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Kent

Medium & Large Boxes
Red Cabbe, Lancs
Broad Beans, ESP
Pulsane, Perry Court

Small Boxes
Mushrooms, Suffolk



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Large Boxes)

Who run the world? Girls!

Happy International Women’s Day!

As Beyonce so rightly said, girls really do run the world and in honour of all females we thought we’d make this week’s food focus all about women.

In this weeks box you’ll find the familiar vegetable, carrot. Our orange, yellow and purple friends are packed full of antioxidants that do all sorts of wonderful things to the female body. Firstly, they have a high level of beta-carotene which has been proven to slow down ageing, carrots have also been recognised to reduce the risk of multiple cancers, including breast cancer. See, they aren’t just good for seeing in the dark!

Carrots are also great for your skin, packed full of vitamin A to preserve from the inside out, protecting your skin from sun damage. Vitamin A is also great at flushing the body of all those nasty toxins reducing your risk of acne. But, have you ever considered using carrots as a skin product? Containing natural antiseptics as well as antioxidants, this wonder veg is just as great as a fancy spa treatment but at a fraction of the price!

Check out our simple/completely natural face mask recipe below, and enjoy!

Carrot-y Face Mask

Ingredients
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 carrots, grated
1 teaspoon honey
1 lemon

Method
1. Grate carrots and steam until soft.
2. Mash carrots in to a creamy consistency.
3. Mix in the honey and olive oil
4. Add 8 -10 drops of lemon juice
5. Bring Using your hands, gently massage the liquid on to your face
6. Leave for five minutes to dry
7. Wash off in the shower, or over the sink with warm water

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Perry Court
Carrots, Lancs
Onions, Cambs
Red Kale, Yorks
Esmee Rocket, Perry Court

Medium & Large Boxes
Flower Sprouts, Kent
Parsnips, Yorks
Kohl Rabi, Lancs 



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Large Boxes)