Waving Goodbye to the hungry Gap

In the field:

The field is looking good (apart from some rabbit-nibbled kale and lettuces…still on alert but so far they’ve still not destoyed anything completely). As more and more UK veg is appearing on our wholesale list, we are finally waving goodbye to the hungry gap!

As well as ongoing weeding and watering, we’ve planted out runner beans, courgettes, squash. the last of the tomatoes. So looking forward to our tomatoes again this year, always a highlight and taste so amazing straight off the vine.
We were due to harvest 100 lettuces for the boxes but 50 of these were unharvestable as had bolted – arghh, so disappointing. So we had to harvest leaves of other lettuces and some of you have leaves instead of whole lettuces as a result.
We did manaage to harvest 13kg of amazing cavalo nero though.

And pricked out 130 kohlrabi, 500 beetroot, another bed of lettuces plus another 120 cavalo nero plants. Phew, Chris is doiing much better at his successional sowing this year – sowing and planting smaller amounts at a time rather than everything at once!

In the kitchen:

Is anyone else loving the new onions? We think they are so sweet, not sure in the past I’ve really celebrated new onions but this past week we have been really noticing the difference and loving them.

Simple yet effective, roast some new potatoes with harissa (my new favourite ingredient – we haven’t yet sourced some to sell in the shop but working on it). Here’s a reipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall if you need some help.

Also he has a red pepper, courgette and white bean chilli that is so simple but really tasty – you do roast the veg beforehand but it really doesn’t add much time.

  • For 4 people roast – with olive oil and salt/pepper – 3 courgettes (sliced), 2 onions (cut into wedges) and 2 peppers (roughly chopped) at 190 deg C , until veg is tender.
  • Meanwhile in pestle and mortar bash 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds and same of coriander seeds. Heat oil in a saucepan and add 3 garlic cloves (sliced), chopped chilli or chilli flakes, plus the bahed cumin and coriander and a pinch of salt. Fry gently for a few minutes until garlice starts to colour.
  • Add 400ml tin of tomatoes to pan and then 400ml water, bring to simmer and cook gently for about 25 mins until mixture has reduced and thickened.
  • Take roasted veg from oven and add to sauce. Add tin of beans (we used butter beans but can also do others, eg kidney or black beans) and simmer for another 10 mins. Season.
  • Serve with rice. He also suggests substituting other veg – fennel, aubergine, carrot, mushrooms.

We also did a super easy and nutritious last minute meal this week – roasted a tray of veg (sweet potato, potato, carrots, beetroots) and then towards the end added cherry tomatoes and chick peas, plus some harissa paste (yep, it’s going in everything!). Highly recommend.

And I just need to remind you that cavalo nero is just amazing with pasta, parmesan and chilli flakes. This recipe also include capers, can never say no to capers! Incidentally, the website that this recipe is on a website called ‘Mob’ – it looks quite interesting, never come across it before but apparently it’s specifically aimed at ‘helping students and young professionals get more comfortable in the kitchen and make quality meals along the way’. More info here but might be worth checking out if you have young people heading off from home, maybe going to uni after the summer.