Beetroot and Spinach Risotto

Another full of colours recipe made with beetroots. Beetroots is the vegetable which put colour to the wintery dishes. After sharing the recipe of spaghetti with beetroots, this time is the risotto made with beetroots and spinach. The dish is really pleasant to look, really tasty and on top of that it is gluten free and vegan.

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 25 mins
Serves: 2-4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Winter

Ingredients
– 200g Beetroot
– 100g Spinach
– 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
– 150g Arborio Risotto Rice
– 3tbsp Olive Oil
– 350ml Vegetable Stock
– Pepper, for seasoning
– Vegan Parmesan (recipe here)

Method
1. Start by steaming the beetroot for 30mins, then peel once cooled and cut into small chunks
2. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 3mins
3. Wash the spinach then dry with kitchen towel
4. Add the beetroot, continuing to stir for a further few mins
5. Add the rice and continuing to stir for another 3mins
6. Add the vegetable stock and pepper, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 18mins
7. Serve immediately with vegan parmesan

 

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

Swiss Chard and Broccoli Rissoto

Making risotto is quite easy and it is so tasty to eat. The good thing with it, is that the vegetable combination is nearly unlimited.

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 35 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Autumn

Ingredients
– 1 Bunch of Swiss Chard
– 1 Small head of Broccoli
– 1 Onion, finely chopped
– 125g Risotto Rice
– 350ml Veg Stock
– 1 Large Pepper
– 1tbsp Olive Oil
– Parmesan, for serving

Method
1. Cook chopped onion in a pan on medium heat with olive oil for around 5mins
2. Wash the swiss chard, then split the leaves from the stems
3. Cut the stems into small square pieces
4. Add the stems to the onion and cook gently for a further 7mins
5. In the meantime, wash the broccoli and the pepper. Cut the broccoli heads in small pieces and add it to the steamer basket. Remove the seeds from the peppers, cut them into square pieces and add to the steamer basket. Steam broccoli and pepper for 5mins
6. Add the Swiss chard leaves to the pan in small pieces and cook them for another 7mins
7. Add steamed broccoli and pepper and the risotto rice and stir gently for 3 minutes
8. Add the vegetable stock
9. Let risotto cook for 16 mins on a lower heat with the lid on
10. Serve straight away with grated parmesan and freshly cut aromatic herbs

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

The Return of the Golden Beet

For those of you with potatoes in your boxes, the Linda have been surprisingly productive, and just as surprising on how good they are as a roaster. Also, Discovery apples! The long-awaited return of the English apples is upon us!

There is also a courgette glut so why not Add a touch of zest to your midweek meal with this low-fat chicken with lemon and courgette cous cous family supper. Dead easy and you (and your kidwon’t believe you’ve just eaten four courgettes just like that. Or if comfort food beacons try this creamy courgette fettucine.

Also, we have a golden treat in our standard boxes this week – golden beetroots. If you are on a small box, why not think about upgrading to the standard box? Or get it on an alternating or fortnightly basis? And it’s been a whole year since we wrote about it so here’s one from our archives:

Golden beetroot used to be popular in the nineteenth century, and is currently enjoying a revival for those in the know (like us!). It has a more subtle and milder flavour than regular beets and doesn’t leave any stains on fingers and chopping boards. Its vibrant, bright yellow, which brings a splash of colour to any dish.

Although they’re best used fresh, uncooked beetroot can keep for about 10 days in the fridge – trim the leafy tops to about 3cm above the bulb – this helps prolong its storage life.

Here are some recipe ideas (all tried and tested!):

roasted-golden-beet-soup

golden-beetroot-risotto

oven-roasted-golden-beetroot

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Linda Potatoes, Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
* Spinach, Perry Court
* Courgettes, Perry Court
* Carrots, Norfolk
Spinach, Perry Court
Sorrel, Perry Court
Land Cress, Perry Court – Old Orchard
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
French Beans, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Bananas, Dom Rep (standard only)
Apples – Discovery, Kent

Harvest Festival…All Things Bright & Beautiful!

We so often associate Thanksgiving as an North American celebration that it’s almost hard to remember that it was the early English Puritan settlers who took the idea of harvest thanksgiving there in the first place.

Some local churches are celebrating harvest festival this Sunday, in support of the Bring Home the Harvest campaign, part of the current British Food Fortnight which encourages community organisations and schools to learn more about UK food and support British producers. So why not go along and join in – it’s an opportunity for the community to come together to give thanks for farmers, cooks and food, and to celebrate and eat together. As the Church of England‘s national rural officer puts it:

“Harvest Festival is not just a quaint tradition carried on by the rural church but an opportunity in the modern world to reconnect with food, farming and the countryside. (It) is also a time to have fun in praising God and to share food together.”

Or why not pop along to the RHS London Harvest Festival Show next Tuesday or Wednesday. Unlike the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, this one only costs a fiver and is a foodie feast (rather than a pure visual experience) celebrating the taste of autumn with some of the best growers in UK displaying their bounty and UK home-grown produce to see, taste and buy.

Along with summer we bid farewell to some vegetables that we won’t see again for awhile, like salads, cucumbers and big round juicy red tomatoes (although there may see be some cherry tomatoes around). And like celeriac last week, the arrival of fennel tells us that winter is nigh.

Remove and discard stalks and tough outer layer around the fennel bulb, but keep the fennel tops to add back at the end as they are very pretty (they look like dill) and edible.

  • The aniseed flavour of fennel makes a wonderful pairing for fish, so try it in an easy-peasy fennel gratin. Or skip the cream for a lighter fennel bake option.
  • Many veg you don’t know what to do with can be made into risotto (or soup for that matter) so try fennel and lemon risotto. It isn’t as difficult as it may appear – simply chop up the fennel and cook along with the chopped onions and garlic, then follow the directions on your risotto rice pack and finish with some grated parmesan, lemon zest/juice and/or parsley. Similar to fish, this would pair well with prawns.
  • Simply roast or braise as halves or quarters with olive oil, and garlic and/or a squeeze of lemon. Pairs well with roasted or pan-fried chicken or pork, both also great with apples (whole or quartered, cored).
  • Slice very thinly to add to coleslaw or as a salad on its own with smoked salmon.
  • Ideas above came from Martha Stewart’s 25 recipe suggestions for fennel, but check the link out for more ideas.

Gem squash is also in the box for those with the no-potatoes option. Here’s how to serve up baked stuffed gem squash:

  • Half the gem squash, scoop out the seeds
  • Fill with any combination of chopped onions and/or canned tomatoes, mince or grated/soft/goats cheese, olives and even rice or orzo.
    • If using onions and/or mince than it’s worth frying those up until tender and browned before stuffing.
    • If including rice or orzo then make sure there is enough moisture from the chopped tomatoes or simply add a little water.
  • Wrap up in foil and bake until tender.

The mild and sweet, creamy and delicate flesh which should just melt in your mouth! Here’s a photo of the same but with summer squash.

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Onions, Kent
* Purple Carrots, Lancs
* Broccoli, Kent
* Fennel (with tops), Kent
Spinach, Perry Court
Sweetcorn, Kent
Celery, Lancs
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Gem squash, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Kiwis, Italy (standard box only)
Gala Apples, Kent

 

Golden Beet Balls

Miss the World Cup? We have a golden treat in our standard boxes this week – now introducing some organic golden balls in the form of golden beetroots.

Golden beetroot used to be popular in the nineteenth century, and is currently enjoying a revival for those in the know (like us!). It has a more subtle and milder flavour than regular beets and doesn’t leave any stains on fingers and chopping boards. Its vibrant, bright yellow, which brings a splash of colour to any dish.

Although they’re best used fresh, uncooked beetroot can keep for about 10 days in the fridge – trim the leafy tops to about 3cm above the bulb – this helps prolong its storage life.

Here are some recipe ideas (all tried and tested!):

roasted-golden-beet-soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

golden-beetroot-risotto

 

 

  • golden beetroot risotto – substitute leeks with onions and you’re good as gold, topped off with some fried diced pancetta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oven-roasted-golden-beetroot

 

 

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Onions, Kent
* Carrots, Lancs
* Sweetcorn Cobs, Kent
* Cherry Tomatoes, Perry Court
Rainbow Chard, Perry Court
Golden Beetroot, Lancs
Celery, Lancs
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Runner Bean, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Peaches, Spain
Bananas, Dom Rep