Cauliflower and Kale Gratin

This recipe is essentially a play on Cauliflower Cheese with extra kale goodness. Creamy and tangy, this gratin works wonders as a side for four, or a main for two.

Time Preparing: 20 mins
Time Cooking: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Autumn

Ingredients
– 1/2 Bunch Kale (from box)
– 1 Cauliflower (from box)
– 50g Butter
– 100g Cheddar Cheese, grated
– 50g Parmesan
– 1 Small Onion, finely chopped (optional)
– 300ml Milk
– 50g Plain Flour
– 50g Breadcrumbs
– 2tsp Rosemary
– Salt and Pepper, seasoning

Method
1. Start by preheating the oven to 200 degrees
2. Remove stalks from kale leaves and cut into 2 inch strops
3. Remove cauliflower leaves and stalks, so you’re left with the florets
4. Add cauliflower to a pan of boiling water (with a little salt) and leave to boil for 10 mins
5. Whilst the cauliflower is boiling, being to make your sauce. Melt the butter in the pan, add flour until you have a thick paste then gradually add milk
6. Once you have a smooth consistency, add two thirds of the cheddar
7. Once the cauliflower had been boiling for ten mins, add the kale for a further two then drain
8. Add kale and cauliflower to an oven dish, spread sauce over then top with the parmesan, breadcrumbs and remaining and cheddar
9. Bake for 20 mins until golden and crispy

Celery and Potato Soup

Nothing hearty bowl of creamy soup when the leaves begin to drop (along with the temperature). This Celery and Potato Soup is packed with veggie goodness, and really does hit the spot!

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 20 mins
Serves: 3-4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Autumn / Winter

Ingredients
– 4 Potatoes
– 3 Celery Stalks
– 1 Large Leek
– 1 Large Onion
– 1 Garlic Clove
– 300ml Veg Stock
– 50g Butter (or vegan alternative)
– 100ml Soya Single Cream

Method
1. Begin by scrubbing potatoes and washing veg
2. Peel potatoes and chop potatoes, celery and leek into 1inch cubes. Finely chop onion and mince garlic.
3. On a medium heat, add butter, onions and leek and leave to cook for 5 minutes
4. Add the remaining ingredients (minus the cream), making sure the stock is covering all of the vegetables – you may need to add more water depending on the size of your pan
5. Cover with a lid and leave for 20 mins
6. Add your chunky soup to a blender (you may need to do this in sections) until smooth, then add the cream

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

Daylight Savings = Comfort Food?

It’s that time of the year when daylight saving kicks in, which means comfort food beckons ever more. So for the ultimate comfort food as winter hovers on the horizon try cauliflower cheese. Add a little edge with a teaspoon of English mustard.

Try not to boil cauliflower for too much as it does lose all that wonderful anti-oxidants and compounds that fight the build-up of toxins and inflammation in our body, with “losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 75% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods, such as steaming, microwaving and stir frying, have no significant effect on the compounds” (from Wiki).

In fact, the Ottolenghi guru recommends slow roasting on low in the oven for a few hours (yep, you read that right) until beautifully caramelised. He’s got other creative ideas like grating raw cauliflower to derive carb-free vegetarian “rice” or “cous cous” but since that’s not our idea of comfort for the shortening days we’ll leave that for you to investigate (or pay to eat at one of the Ottolenghi outlets).

Our cheat’s version of an Ottolenghi-like dish (with a manageable ingredient list) is to roast the florets at 190 deg C with olive oil, sea salt, sumac and cumin for 45-60 mins then add a squeeze and zest of lemon and finally scatter with chopped parsley and/or almond flakes (toast in the frying pan until golden brown) to finish. Alternatively, if you don’t have sumac use ground coriander for a more Indian twist. For more exciting ideas, check out Guardian’s 9 other best cauliflower recipes.

For more Indian options, try the classic alu gobhi cauliflower potato curry. Chopped or sliced onions and garlic, along with curry leaves if you have them, also add wonderfully to the mix. Simply add to the popping cumin seeds and tomato puree, and fry until tender and fragrant.

And on what to do with some of the other vegetables in your veg box here are a few ideas, some of which from our past newsletters/ blog posts:

And for those of you scratching around for what to do with the kids for half term, bring them along to Mile End Children’s Park’s Growing Zone for Soup Day this Saturday from 12-4pm.

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Carrots, Lancs
* Onions, Kent
* Cauliflower, Kent
* Sweetcorn, Kent
Celery, Lancs
Fennel with tops, Kent
Bulls Blood, Perry Court
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Kale, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Pears, Kent (standard box only)
Bananas, Dom Rep