The Last of the Summer Salads

Can really call this weather ‘Summery’?
Probably not, but with the Autumn Equinox still around the corner, we thought it time for one last Summer salad!

This weeks boxes (both small and large) contain some gorgeous black cherry tomatoes. This particular strain of tomatoes are known for their rich, sweet and dynamic flavour and typically go great with summer grilled kebabs or salads.
We’d recommend throwing together your rocket, tomatoes (and kale for large boxes), along with any of your other favourite summer ingredients – feta cheese perfectly compliments the sweetness of the tomatoes. Drizzle with either salad dressing or for an extra sweet taste, some balsamic vinegar.

What’s in the box?
* Valour, Perry Court
* Rocket Salad, Perry Court
* Carrots, Perry Court
* Courgette, Perry Court
* Black Cherry Tomatoes, Perry Court
Kale, Perry Court
Onions, Perry Court
Broccoli, Perry Court
Fruit Supplement 
* Apples
Lemons
No-Potato Substitute 
Swede
Small Box 
Items marked with (*) above 

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

Calling for Volunteers…

Some news update: the person who started and has been running Tower Green Hamlets will be leaving UK in about a month’s time, so we are looking for volunteers to enable TGH to keep going. There have been a few folks who have put their hands up which we are exploring, but it would be great to have a few more so please do let us know if you can help in any way at all. If we don’t manage to transition over the next month then we may just have to wind TGH up, boo hoo! So please do let us know.

Onto the veg: we have the first of the British squash in the box this week. There is always courgette bread you can make when you don’t know what else to do with it, but why not bake it stuffed with olives, tomatoes, and mozzarella? Or making a French-style savory breakfast cake? What about a hearty chickpea salad with shredded courgette, mint, and feta? There’s courgette “butter,” and a spread with courgette and yoghurt. Courgette? Bring it on! All those ideas can be found in this 15 fresh ways to enjoy the green monster squash article.

As for the rest of the box, lots of lovely salad material – perfect for a Father’s Day barbeque on Sunday – if the dry weather forecast for the day is to be believed given the wettest June on record!

It also appears that all the boxes that should have gotten potatoes ended up getting a veg item instead of potatoes so we are looking into what happened. Apologies, if you are without your spuds for this week.

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
* Red onions, Egypt
* Butternut squash, TBC
* Courgette, Cornwall
* Red batavia lettuce, Kent
* Spinach, Suffolk
Cucumber, UK
Cherry Tomatoes, Spain
Broad Beans, Kent

No-Potato Substitute
TBC

Fruit Supplement
Peaches, Spain
Bananas, Dom Rep

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

Heatwave? Chill out with cool veg

With the soaring and record temperatures do pick up your veg as soon as possible. In particular, sorrel is super perishable, and usually won’t last past a day or two even in the fridge. Wrap in damp paper towels and stick in an open zip-lock bag in your crisper drawer to extend its fridge life just slightly. And if you do find your spring onions wilting try standing them in a jar of water in the fridge to give is a further lease of life.

Lots of ideas this week for cold salads and soups to keep your cool so keep reading!

We haven’t have sorrel for a long while, which can function as a herb, a salad leaf (in moderation though for a hint of the exquisite citrussy tang) or a vegetable, giving you either a sliver of bright lemony flavour or a real, mouth-filling whack of it, depending on how much you use. Refreshing flavour that complements the season perfectly.

It is easy to prepare: just wash it well and remove any tough stalks, then shred thinly. But do be aware that cooking it in aluminium or cast iron will turn it a murky colour due to the oxalic acid contained.

Great in creamy and delicately flavoured foods – everything from creme fraiche or oil to potatoes, pulses, eggs, fish or chicken (try this chicken with sorrel recipe). Or even layer a few into a sandwich

Try Jamie Oliver’s sorrel risotto with crumbled goat’s cheese or Ottolenghi’s fried beans with sorrel, feta and sumac which uses spring onions as well. Chill out with this cold sorrel soup or Gordon Ramsay’s cauliflower and sorrel soup. For even more ideas check out this 50 things to do with fresh sorrel page.

We also haven’t had celery for awhile. Why not try a celery and parmesan salad or a celery and grapefruit salad taken straight out of the fridge for a long lingering dinner in the long daylight hours – savour the juiciness of grapefruit and the crunchy bite of celery (chilling it makes it extra crisp) and feel it quench the thirst. Or how about a celery and olive orzo salad for a more substantial option, perfect for a picnic?

Blue cheese and celery make a classic pairing so this celery, blue cheese and hazelnut salad simply adds maple-glazed toasted hazelnuts to the mix. Perfect with some prime rib or roast beef, so works as well for an accompaniment to a Sunday roast or with some ready cooked roast beef slices.

Or try these stuffed celery sticks, with cream and blue cheese mixture and chopped walnuts. Thick Greek yoghurt works just as well as sour cream, or you simply skip the ingredient. Up the game with toasted pecans instead of walnuts and throw in some dried cranberries or raisins.

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, Kent
* Spring Onions, Perry Court
* Spring Greens, Perry Court
* Courgettes, Spain
Carrot Bunch, Norfolk
Cauliflower, Lincs
Sorrel, Perry Court
Celery, Kent

Small Box
Items marked with (*) above
+ Broad Beans, Kent

No-Potato Substitute
Tomatoes, Yorks

Fruit Supplement
Grapefruit, RSA (standard only)
Oranges, Spain

 

Midsummer Solstice

It’s coming up to the summer solstice this Sunday so enjoy the longest daylight of the year as well as warm and weird weather – can’t remember summer being this windy before! Whether or not you light a bonfires to celebrate, there is always room for feasting and merrymaking.

We’re starting to get in new potatoes and have them in the standard box this week, so hopefully they’ll be making more of an appearance in the coming weeks. Guardian’s 10 best new potatoes recipes is a must-read. Just let the thought of roasted salt and vinegar crushed new potatoes convince you to read it.

If you’re looking for new ways to eat your potatoes, why not try some of these:

  • Potato salad – put away the roasting and out with the salad. Try it with mashed hard boiled eggs, bits of pickles, fresh chives and mayo-mustard sauce, or with warm bacon sriracha vinaigrette. If you don’t have sriracha chilli sauce already stocked up then any chilli (garlic) sauce would do.
  • Ottolenghi’s crushed new potatoes with horseradish and sorrel – if you don’t have sorrel growing in your garden, use the land cress or rocket in your boxes instead. Somewhere between a mash and a potato-mayo salad, it will be perfect with steak or roast beef.
  • Australian crash hot potatoes are a simple but lovely twist on the tired old baked potatoes with yummy “flavourful, crispy surface area”
  • Wondering what the dish on this week’s cover photo is? Try the impressive Swedish Hasselback fondant potatoes on this link for even more crispy surface area. It requires more artistry and execution than some of the other suggestions, but oh so worth it for the gourmet cooks amongst us! The link also has other Ottolenghi suggestions such as the spicy potato hash which is perfect for the bakers in the small box
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
Colleen New Potatoes, Kent
Onions, Spain
Bunched Carrots, Norfolk
Tomatoes, Yorks
Landcress, Perry Court
Spinach, Kent
Mini Cucumber, Kent
Garlic, Spain

Small Box
Bakers Potatoes, Lincs
Rocket, Perry Court
Onions, Spain
Carrots, Spain
Broad Beans, Kent

No-Potato Substitute
Batavia Lettuce, Kent

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

 

Beetroot and Feta Couscous

The beetroots are obviously the true star of this salad, which is a refreshing combination of Greek salad and couscous.

Time Preparing: 15 mins
Time Cooking: 35 mins
Serves: 4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Late Summer / Early Autumn

Ingredients
– Beetroot Bunch / 3 medium sized Beetroots
– 200g Couscous
– 1/2 Cucumber
– 1 Red Onion
– A few sprigs of Coriander
– Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
– Handful of Kalamata Olives
– 100g Feta, crumbled
– 3tbsp Olive Oil
– 1tbsp Lemon Juice
– 1 Garlic Clove, minced
– 1tsp Dijon Mustard
– 2tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
– Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Method
1. Trim the green tops off the beetroot bunch and reserve. They can be eaten like other greens
2. After a good scrub, roast the beetroot at 200 degrees, with the skin on for around 40 minutes. Rub off the skins when cool enough to handle and dice into 1cm cubes
3. Cook couscous per directions on the pack. We happened to have fancy tricolour around. Which looked very nice when cooked and a refreshing change from the usual same ol’
4. Chop up the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Mix together with coriander, diced beetroot, olives and feta then refrigerate for around 30 minutes
5. Whilst refrigerating, whisk the remaining ingredients for your dressing, and season with salt and pepper as you please

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Purple Mangetout Salad

The current heatwave is begging for a salad so here’s a variation on the Asian theme for purple mangetout.

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

Ingredients
– 150g Mangetout
– 1/4 Cucumber
– 1 Bunch of Spring Onions
– Grated Zest and Juice of Lime
– Handful of Mint, chopped
– 1 tsp Brown Sugar
– 1 tsp Soya Sauce

Method
1. Boil mangetout for around 3 mins
2. In the meantime, simply mix all the ingredients for the dressing together. Feel free to vary the ingredients to taste and to suit. For example, add some chopped fresh chilli to make it extra zingy
4. Finely chop spring onion and cucumber, before mixing with the mangetout and dressing