Tomato Stuffed Aubergine

Time Preparing: 20 mins
Time Cooking: 45 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Spring

Ingredients:
– 1 Large Aubergine
– 5 Plum Tomatoes
– 100g Wholegrain Rice and Lentils (pre-cooked)
– 1 Onion
– Salt and Pepper
– 3tbsp Olive Oil
– Handful of Breadcrumbs
– 50g Cheddar Cheese or Parmesan
– Harissa (optional)

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C
2. Slice Aubergine in half, length ways
3. Use a knife to carve small square shapes, without removing any aubergine
4. Add a fine layer of olive oil to a baking tray, then add 2tbsp olive oil over the aubergine (and harissa if using)
5. Cook in the oven for 30mins
6. In the meantime, peal and chop the onion then add to a pan with the remaining olive oil for 5mins
7. Add plum tomatoes to the pan, along with cooked rice and lentils – leave for 5mins
8. Remove aubergine and try to remove insides, whilst keeping the skin and outer layer in tact
9. Add the aubergine insides to the onion/tomato mix and stir for 3mins
10. Add the mix back into the aubergine, topping with breadcrumbs and cheese
11. Cook for a further 15 mins

 

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Red Kuri Squash Risotto

Red Kuri Squashes are known for their unique shape and vibrant orange skin. However, when roasted they taste similar to Butternut Squash, albeit slightly sweeter. This recipe is quick and easy, and works wonders for either a hearty starter or main.

Time Preparing: 30 mins
Time Cooking: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Autumn

Ingredients
– 1 Red Kuri Squash
– 1 Large Onion / 2 Small Onions, finely chopped
– 50g Butter (or vegan alternative)
– 600ml Veg Stock
– 100ml White Wine
– 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
– 150g Risotto Rice
– 1tsp Thyme
– Olive Oil
– Handful of Rocket to serve
– Parmesan to serve (optional)

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 180degrees
2. Chop the squash into small chunks, removing skin and seeds
3. Drizzle olive oil over squash and roast in the oven for 30 mins
4. As the squash is cooking, add a generous lug of olive oil and half of the butter to a large pan, and add onions for 5mins on a medium heat
5. Add garlic, thyme and seasoning then continue stirring for a few minutes – making sure the onions remain translucent
6. Increase the heat and add risotto, continuing to stir for a further few mins
7. Add the wine until it bubbles away, reduce the heat and add the stock in intervals, waiting for the rice to absorb each time – this will take around 15 mins
8. Once the squash is roasted, add to the pan and stir in
9. Serve with rocket and parmesan

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

Cheesy Broccoli and Tomato Bake

This cheesy little number is a great veggie dish which is quick and easy, and features veg that you’ll find in your boxes towards the end of Summer. For a vegan alternative, use vegan cheese or to bulk the meal out, add pasta and voilà – Cheesy Broccoli and Tomato Pasta Bake!

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 0 mins
Serves: 2 (or 4 with pasta)
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Summer

Ingredients
– 1 Large Broccoli or equivalent small Broccoli’s, chopped with stalks removed
– 200g Tomatoes, quartered
– 2 Onions, finely chopped
– 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
– 200g Cheddar Cheese, grated (or vegan alternative)
– 50g butter (or vegan alternative)
– 100ml Milk (Soya for vegan alternative)
– 50g Plain Flour
– 5og Breadcrumbs
– 1tbsp Oil

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Begin by heating the butter on a medium heat until melted, then quickly stir in the flour until you have a paste
3. Gradually whisk the milk, until you’ve got a creamy consistency
4. In a separate pan, heat onions on a medium heat with the oil until translucent (about 6 mins) then add garlic for the last two minuted
5. Cook broccoli in a pan of boiling, salted water for 3 mins then drain
6. Add 150g cheddar to the creamy sauce, and stir until fully melted
7. Place broccoli, onions and tomatoes into a bake tray, and pour the sauce over the top
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs then bake in the oven for 15-20 mins

Thin Onion Tart / Pissaladière

French inspiration for cooking onions, indeed in the South of France, pissaladière is quite common; it is a thin tart with onions, olives and anchovies. This recipe omits the anchovies to ensure it is vegan and vegetarian, but there’s no harm in adding them on when you add the olives. This tart is great hot or called.

Time Preparing: 70 mins
Time Cooking: 40 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 4/5
Season: Autumn

Ingredients – Topping
– 400g Onions
– 1 tbsp Sugar
– 3 tbsp Olive Oil
– 10 to 15 Olives
– Salt and Pepper
– Mixed Herbs
Ingredients – Bread Dough
(Recipe for two onion tarts and one loaf of bread)
– 150ml Water
– 1 tbsp Sugar
– 1 tsp Salt
– 16g Olive Oil
– 250g Plain Flour
– 6g Dried Yeast

Method
1. In a large bowl mix together Water, Salt, Olive Oil, then add Sugar, Flour and Yeast and then knead the bread by hand
2. Leave the dough for 40 minutes
3. Split the dough into two – one half will make a loaf, the other will be used for two tarts
4. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
5. Peel and slice Onions
6. In a large pan, heat olive oil on a medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the Onions, Salt, Pepper and Sugar.
7. Simmer for 5-10 mins before turning the heat up for an additional 5 mins
8. Roll the dough for the tarts in two flat bases and leave for 20 mins 8. Spread Onion mix onto the based before adding Olives and Mixed Herbs
9. Bake tarts in the oven for 15-20 mins

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Grilled Halloumi with Spicy Tomato Salsa

We’re big fans of Halloumi over at TGH HQ, which is probably because it’s an ingredient which instantly stops any vegetarian feeling like they’re missing out! We’ve put together this slightly spicy salsa and grilled halloumi recipe as a side dish or light lunch, but by adding either courgettes or aubergines (simply chop and add to the pan at the same time as the tomatoes), you’ll have one mean vegetarian dinner!

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 20 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 1/5
Season: Summer

Ingredients
– 500g Tomatoes, chopped
– 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
– 1 Onion, chopped
– 1 Chilli, finely sliced
– 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
– 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
– 1 tbsp Turmeric
– 1 tsp Chilli Flakes (adjust accordingly)
– Salt and Pepper for seasoning
– Olive Oil
– 200g Halloumi, sliced
– Rocket Leaves, to serve

Method
1. Fry Onions on a medium heat in olive oil for a few minutes before adding garlic
2. Once they’ve both softened, add tomatoes, chilli, tomato puree and the spices
3. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes
4. Heat the grill to a high heat, then grill sliced halloumi for a few minutes until the cheese has browned
5. Serve warm with rocket leaves

 

Pesto Courgetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes

When spiralized vegetables became cool, it seemed like every veggie lover and their cats went and bought a spiralizer, often in an attempt to kid the kids they were having spaghetti. We absolutely love this pesto courgetti recipe which has quickly become a staple at TGH HQ. And the best thing about this recipe – we’ve worked out you don’t really need to invest in a sprializer to make this gorgeous courgetti. All you need is a really sharp nice and a little patience! It’s super easy to cater for the meat eater and the vegetarian at the same time – simply cook the chicken separately and add after. You can expect courgettes and onions in our veggie boxes throughout Summer.

Time Preparing:
 20 mins
Time Cooking: 10 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Summer

Ingredients
– 4 Courgettes
– 1 Chicken Breast (optional)
– 4tbsp Pesto
– 2 Onions
– Handful of Sun Dried Tomatoes
– Olive Oil
– Parmesan
– Black Pepper

Method

1. If using a spiralizer, work the courgettes through the machine. If you’re going at it with the knife, chop both ends of the courgettes and discard. Cut the courgette into manageable sections length ways, before cutting as finely as you can
2. Finely chop the onions – we find red onions compliment this dish perfectly, but white & green work nearly as well
3. If using chicken, cut the chicken breast into small chunks before frying on a high heat with the olive oil. Once cooked through and crispy on the outside, set to one side
4. On a medium heat, gently cook the chopped onions for around 5-8 minutes before adding your courgetti for a further 5 minutes
5. Add the pesto (either home made if you’ve got the time, or shop bought), ensuring the courgetti and onions are completely coated
6. Chop the sun dried tomatoes into small chunks and add to the mix
7. If using chicken, stir in the chicken before serving with parmesan and black pepper

Going Stir (fry) Crazy

We don’t know about you, but we’re thrilled that Autumn is now approaching and with that hopefully some slightly cooler weather. As much as we’ve loved this summer and the gorgeous veg we’ve been getting, we’ll certainly relish less humidity!

So, as the new season is upon us, the farm is promising some autumnal goodies in the form of Rhubarb, Squashes, Golden Beetroot, Garlic, Ginger, Pears and Plums!

This weeks box includes some great ingredients to make a cabbage & pepper stir fry. The great thing about a stir fry is that you can practically chuck anything in, and it will still taste great (although we particularly love this combination)!

What you’ll need:
– Cabbage, peppers and green onions (from box)
– 4tsp Soya sauce
– 3tsp honey
– 1 lime
– Splash of dry sherry
– Sesame (or vegetable) oil
– Chili flakes
– Chicken or Tofu
– Rice or noodles

Pre-prepare either the rice or noodles and chicken or tofu. Add the oil to a wok and set on high heat.
Whilst the oil is bubbling, slice the peppers and cabbage into thin slices along with your green onions. Chuck your veg and chili flakes into the wok and set about making your stir fry sauce. Simply mix the honey, soya sauce and lime juice before stirring well. Add the sauce along with a splash of sherry before adding your meat/tofu.

This whole dish should be done in half an hour from start to finish so is a great way to create something special when you’re in a rush.

What’s in the box?
* Charlotte Potatoes, Perry Court
* Cabbage, Perry Court
* Green Onions, Perry Court
* Peppers, Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
French Beans, Perry Court
Courgette, Perry Court
Bulls Blood, Perry Court
Fruit Supplement 
* Discovery Apples, Perry Court
Grapefruit
No-Potato Substitute 
Swede
Small Box 
Items marked with (*) above 

Please note that this may be subject to slight change depending on availability.

It’s Summer!!!

Dare we proclaim it? At least this week’s heatwave makes it real for now (collect your box ASAP for the freshest produce). It’s meteorologically and climatologically summer since Monday (1st June) but astronomically summer only begins on June 21st at solstice.

So why the two different start dates? Apparently it is because the astronomical seasons are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun, whereas the meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature cycle.

In any case, if you manage to get a BBQ going then top off your burgers with some balsamic caramelised onions. Make extra to jazz up your mid-week pasta dinner or heap on top of some toasted bread for a quick bruschetta snack/lunch. Add a slice of roasted beetroot (if you’ve got the “no potato” box) before adding the onion mound and spread cream cheese before putting it all together (for full recipe click here). Or top off with crumbled goats with a few minutes under the grill if you like it warm and melted.

It’s also making us long for a lazy afternoon in the garden with a courgette and broccoli quiche (cheat and buy ready made shortcrust pastry). Or these impossibly easy broccoli, cheese and ham mini pies (or more like muffins) as an easy peasy snacky meal with the kids with all extras ready to packed off in lunch boxes and to picnics.

All this making us also long for some afternoon cuppa tea and cake, and with rhubarb in the box this week a rhubarb custard tea cake or a rhubarb snacking cake (we would call it a rhubarb crumble tray bake) is looking perfect. Or try a whole wheat rhubarb streusel muffin if you would like a healthier option.

Don’t fancy cake? (Really?!?) Then try the perfect rhubarb fool or Jamie Oliver’s panna cotta with roasted rhubarb.

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

Standard Box
* Bakers, Lincs
* Onions, Spain
* Courgettes, Spain
* Kale, Yorks
Cauliflower, Lincs
Broccoli, Spain
Garlic, Spain
Mini Cucumber, Kent

Small Box
Items starred (*) above
+ Fennel, Spain

No-Potato Substitute
Beetroot, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Rhubarb, Cambs (standard only)
Bananas, Dom Rep

 

Onion Bunions

A few housekeeping item to kick us off this week: it’s another Bank holiday weekend next week so if you are away and/or don’t feel like you will make it through your box do let us know and we’ll have it count as one of your holiday boxes (and do have a read of our Holiday Policy on the FAQs page if you haven’t already done so).

Also, if you are finding too much of any particular items do let us know and we’ll see if there is anything we can do. It would be great to get a bit more across-the-board feedback on the boxes.

We’re not ever going to start offering podiatry services whilst you collect your weekly box per this Daily Mail “check out your bunions while buying your onions” article but here are few hot tips for onions (more details on BBC Good Food):

  • onions should be stored away from potatoes as they will absorb their moisture and gas, causing potatoes to spoil more easily
  • chill the onions for half an hour or so before cutting to reduce the activity of the tear-inducing enzymes
  • wash with a stainless steel soap (£2 from Amazon) to remove the smell after peeling and chopping up onions
  • eat a few sprigs of parsley or an apple to help conceal the odour
  • onions especially in the raw form contain a variety of organic sulphur compounds with considerable health benefits including powers to decrease risk of cancer (supposedly), increase bone density and lots of cardiovascular benefits such as prevention of heart attack by providing protection for the heart and blood vessels through anti-clotting capabilities and lowering blood cholesterol
  • low-heat cooking such as simmering can preserve the health benefits of onion
  • the good stuff tends to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh so peel off as little of the fleshy, edible portion as possible when removing the onion’s outermost paper layer
  • try baking onions in their skins, similar to baked potatoes, as this method of cooking keeps all the nutritional goodness inside, but the resulting flavour is milder and more aromatic than raw onions – delicious!

So if you ever end up with an onion glut, why not try Delia’s glorious French onion soup? Or a classic British toad-in-hole with onion gravy for supper? Worcestershire sauce in the gravy gives it an extra umph. Or an American baked blooming onion? For lots more great ideas on what to do with them check out Guardian’s 10 best onion recipes. Included are recipes for onion bhaji and a onion soup by none other than Michel Roux that uses a whole bottle of white wine then laced with port, creme fraiche and egg yolks…

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

Standard Box
* Bakers, Lincs
* Carrots, Scotland
* Spring Greens, Suffolk
* Courgettes, Spain
* Garlic, Spain
Cucumber, Yorks
Onions, Yorks
Spinach, Perry Court

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Parsnips, Yorks

Fruit Supplement
Bananas, Dom Rep (standard only)
Oranges, Spain