The humble Radish
The radish can be used for far more than a simple salad accompaniment so when you've got a glut why not try one of these really lovely recipes
Radish and soft cheese canapés
4 tbsp ricotta
4 tbsp sour cream
Bunch of chives, chopped
20 radishes, chopped small or coarsely grated
Pepper and sea salt
Toasted rye bread
Set aside 4 radish and 10 chive stalks. Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. season to taste.
Toast the rye bread then cut into triangles. Pile with radish mix on to each triangle. chop the remaining radish and chives, add to top of each canapé, then sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Radish and butternut pilaf with almonds and greek yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil 800ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp butter Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped 100ml greek yoghurt
3 cloves of garlic, sliced 100g radishes, sliced
1 tbsp cumin seeds Almonds, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds Small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp black onion seeds Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
400g basmati rice 1 chilli, chopped
400g butternut squash, diced
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan with a fit fitting lid, add the onion, garlic, cummin, fennel and black onion seeds. Cook for 3 minutes, stiring every now and then until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes stirring all the time, until the rice has also turned translucent.
Add the butternut squash and stock, bring to the boil and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. season and place the lid on the pan. Leave to cook without stirring for 10 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed. turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
Remove the lid and give a gentle stir. Top with a spoonful or two of greek yoghurt and scatter the sliced radishes, almonds, mint, coriander and chilli. Serve at once.
1 bunch of small radishes
2 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
A few black peppercorns, crushed
Trim the radishes. Heat the butter in a pan and when sizzling stir in the salt, sugar and black pepper. Add the radish and toss them in the butter until they are glazed and just hot through. Their colour will fade to a blush pink. Eat with fish or simply cooked meat.
Miso with Radishes
Bunch of radishes - enough for one
Portion of noodles for one
Finely chop the radish and chop the tops. Heat a pan of water and stir in some miso paste to taste. Remove from heat and add the radishes. Add some soaked noodles and sprinkle with the green tops and serve.
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The 8 week harvesting season for aspargus starts on St. George's Day - 23rd April. Here are some recipes to inspire you to eat these lovely green spears
Steamed asparagus with soft egg and anchovies
1 clove garlic
1 small sprig of rosemary
1 egg yolk
70g white anchovies (vinegared in oil, not the brown salted ones)
50ml whole milk
60ml olive oil
50ml double cream (optional)
3 whole eggs
4 bundles of asparagus (5-6 spears per person), washed and trimmed
Salt and pepper to season
Finely chop the garlic and rosemary and place in a bowl with the egg yolk and anchovies.
Warm the milk in a small pan, taking off the heat before it simmers. Pour over the anchovies and blitz with a stick blender. Pour in the olive oil very slowly until you have a creamy dressing. If used, add the double cream at this stage also. Place eggs in boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes (sof boiled), drain and cool quickly in cold water.
Add asparagus to a steamer and cook until tender, usually about 1-2 minutes, drain then run under cold water and dry thoroughly.
Arrange 5-6 asparagus spears on each plate side by side. Cut the eggs in half and place each half on top of spears. Season the eggs and drizzler over some of the dressing and serve.
Boiled egg with Asparagus 'Soldiers'
Why not exchange your bread dipping soldiers with steamed asparagus spears.
Simply steam as in the recipe above and lop the top of your soft boiled egg and start dipping.
Asgaraus filo cigars
2 bunches of asparagus
4 sheets of filo pastry
50g butter, melted
2 handfuls of finely grated parmesan
Salt and black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 190° C. Cook the asparagus in boiling, well salted water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and cool in cold water and dry thoroughly.
Take a sheet of filo pastry and brush lightly all over with butter. Cut each sheet into 4. Place each asparagus spear along the botton of the filo piece and roll snuggly but not too tighly. Brush the outside with butter then scatter with parmesan. Lay the cigars on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray with the edge of the filo on the underside to stop unravalling when cooking. Grind black pepper over top. Cook for 15-18 minutes until golden and crispy.
The flavour of summer, broad beans once tried never again forgotten and so easy to grow! Harvest early for tender melt-in-the-mouth veg. Steamed or served boiled and mashed with a squeeze of lemon - delicious! But here are some more recipes to inspire you.
Broad bean and lemon dressed aubergines with pine nuts
2 aubergines, cut in half 1 tsp tahini (see note below)
2 tbsp olive oil 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper 200g feta, crumbled
200g broad beans, podded 100g pine nuts, toasted
(approx 400g unpodded) Small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
Score the aubergines with a sharp knife, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on a bakin tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
While waiting for the aubergines to cook, add the broad beans into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water, then squeeze the beans out of their shells and set aside.
In a samll bowl, mix together the lemon juice, zest, tahini and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the braod beans.
Once the aubergines are cooked, place on four plates and sprinkle over the feta, pine nuts and parsley then spoon over the broad bean dressing and serve.
Note: Tahini - sesame seed paste - can be hard to find and expensive so have a go at making yourself:
4 cups of sesame seed
1/4 - 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Spread the sesame seeds on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, shaking frequently - don't let them brown!
Pour sesame seeds into a blender and add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and blend until smooth. You may want to add more oil if too thick.
Store in fridge in tight lidded jar for a few months.
Rioja risotto with broad beans, cherry tomatoes and gorgonzola
150 g broad beans, podded 50g parmesan, grated
(approx 300g unpodded) 50g gorgonzola, crumbled
4 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper
4 shallots, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 120g cherry tomatoes, halved
300g risotto rice Small bunch parsley, chopped
Large glass of Rioja
1 litre hot chicken or veg stock
In a medium pan of boiling salted water blanch the broad beans for 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water, then squeeze the beans out of their shells and set aside.
In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the shallots and garlic, sweat for 8 minutes until soft without colouring. Add rice, stirring every now and again until it turns translucent.
Now add the wine and reduce by half. Slowly add the stock a little at a time, stirring it every now and again.
When nearly all the stock is added or the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and add half the parmesan and all the gorgonzola, season with salt and pepper, cover and set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan add the olive oil, broad beans and cherry tomatoes. Cook for until the tomatoes have wilted a little then season with salt and pepper.
Divide the risotto between 4 warmed plates then top with broad beans and tomatoes, sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan and serve.
Broad bean hummus
Salt and pepper
There are no set quantities here - so depends on how much you'd like to make and to taste!
In a medium pan of boiling salted water blanch the broad beans for 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water, then squeeze the beans out of their shells.
Add broad beans, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and lemon juice into a blender and whizz to as smooth a consistancy as you like.
Spread on toast and add parmesan or other grated hard cheese. Try a little chopped mint on top.
We all seem to end up with more courgettes than we know what to do so here are some recipes to try and help.
Veggie and Cream Rollover
5 tomatoes For the herbed cream cheese:
2 medium courgettes 150g low fat cream cheese
1 medium aubergine 1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 onion 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 red peppers 1 lemon, zest only
2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp green pesto
100ml olive oil pinch of salt
6 tortilla wraps pinch of pepper
Place tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water then after a few minutes plung into iced water. Once cooled peel the skin off. Cut in half and scoop seeds out and cut into cubes.
Cut courgettes, aubergine, onion and red peppers in similar sized pieces.
Heat a frying pan and once hot, lightly cook the courgettes, aubergines, peppers an onions until tender. Each vegetable will need to be cooked seperately as they all cook at different speeds.
Place all the cooked veg into a big pan and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes just before ready to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the herbed cream cheese add to cream cheese to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly.
Spread the cream cheese mixture down the middle of each tortilla wrap, followed by the warm veggies. roll and serve immediately.
50g courgettes, cut into chunks 300g self-raising flour
1 apple, peeled and quartered ½ tsp baking powder
1 orange, halved ½ tsp cinnamon
1 egg 100g golden caster sugar
75g butter, melted Handful of sultanas
1 tub soft cheese mixed with 3 tbsp icing sugar
Brush the muffin tin with oil. Pre-heat oven to 190C/ 170C fan/gas 5.
Grate the courgettes and put them in a large bowl. Grate the apple and add to the bowl. Squeeze the orange and add the juice to the bowl.
Break the egg into a bowl. Stir the butter and egg into the courgette and apple mix.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Add the sugar and sultanas.
Mix with a spoon until everything is combined, but don’t worry if it is lumpy.
Spoon the mixture into the tin. Cook for 20-25 mins and cool in the tin.
Mix the soft cheese with the icing sugar then spread some icing on each muffin.
2 medium courgettes, grated
2 tbsp self-raising flour
25g parmesan, finely grated
1 tbsp olive oil
170g tub roasted red pepper houmous, to serve
In a bowl, combine the grated courgette, flour and parmesan. Shape into walnut-size balls, then flatten.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Fry the fritters for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown. Serve straight away with red pepper houmous.
Sprouts are not just for Christmas so why not try some different recipes - hopefully you might even get the kids eating them!
Brussels with Pancetta
100g thinly sliced Pancetta cut into 2cm strips
4tbsp hot goose fat (or veg oil)
Handful of shredded sage
Blanch the Brussels sprouts in a pan of boiling salted water for 3 mins, then drain and tip into a bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Drain well again and set aside until nearly ready to serve.
Sauté the pancetta in the hot goose fat until crisp. Toss in the sprouts and stir-fry for 2-3 mins, adding the sage to serve.
Roasted Sproat gratin with bacon-cheese sauce
800g Brussels sprouts 400ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil 50g plain flour
85g bacon lardons 2 tsp English mustard powder
85g fresh breadcrumbs 100g Gruyère, grated
25g butter 25g Parmesan, grated
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Halve any large sprouts and toss them with the oil and some seasoning in a roasting tin or ovenproof dish. Roast for 20 mins until the sprouts are tender and turning golden.
Meanwhile, put the bacon lardons in a cold frying pan and place over a medium-low heat. Gently fry the lardons so the fat melts out into the pan as they crisp. When golden brown and crisp, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the breadcrumbs and crisp up in the bacon fat until golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan to cool, then clean the pan.
Melt the butter in the pan with 2 tbsp of the milk, then stir in the flour and mustard powder for 2 mins to make a paste. Gradually whisk in remaining milk, until you have a smooth sauce. Use a spoon again to stir and cook until the sauce comes to the boil and thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Taste and season.
Tip the sprouts into a baking dish, scatter with the crisp bacon lardons, then spoon over the sauce and scatter with the crispy crumbs. Can be cooled, covered and chilled for up to 48 hrs before baking. Bake gratin for 10 mins (or 20 mins from chilled) at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 until piping hot and bubbling.
15 minute Mix & Match Salad
A lovely way to use up any left over brussels and great for boxing day!
½ red cabbage, about 450g/1lb For the dressing
2 celery sticks, with their leaves 6 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil
175g Brussels sprouts, trimmed 4 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 red-skinned eating apple, cored 5 tbsp fresh orange juice
but with the skin left on
2 carrots, peeled
175g mixed nuts, such as brazils,
walnuts and roasted cashews
Fit your food processor with the slicing blade. Cut the hard white core from the cabbage, then shred the leaves and slice the celery, sprouts and apple in the processor. With the grating attachment, grate the carrots. Roughly chop the nuts, either in the processor or by hand.
In a small bowl, mix the oil with the cranberry sauce. It will look quite cloudy and thick, but don’t worry – add the orange juice next and it will all thin out into a fruity dressing.
Tip all the chopped veg and nuts into a big bowl, pour in the dressing and toss together. (The salad will keep in a covered container for up to a day in the fridge.) Season and serve with stilton crumbled over the top.
Mashed Sprouts with Chestnuts
600g Brussels sprouts, halved
100ml double cream
200g pack vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
Put the sprouts in a large pan, cover with boiling water and cook for 8-10 mins or until very tender. Drain, and leave to steam-dry for a few mins. Tip back into a saucepan and mash to a chunky texture with a potato masher. Add the butter, cream and nutmeg, and season well. Cook for a further 2 mins. Mix in half the chestnuts, then sprinkle over the remaining chestnuts to serve.
One of the most popular veg grown on the allotment why not try some of these tasty recipes for 1 or 2 servings.
Potato and Broccoli Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped
140g/5oz new potatoes, cooked, chopped
110g/4oz Tenderstem broccoli, chopped
300ml/10½fl oz hot chicken or vegetable stock
fresh dill, to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.
Add the cooked new potatoes, broccoli and chicken stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
To serve, pour into a serving bowl and garnish with the fresh dill.
Broccoli stems steamed in white wine with Roquefort fondue
200g/7oz Tenderstem broccoli
2 tbsp white wine
40g/1½oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
125ml/4fl oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Blanch the broccoli in a pan of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes and then drain.
Place the broccoli back into the pan, add the wine, cover with a lid and steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the pan and keep warm.
Add most of the Roquefort, reserving a little for the topping, the cream and freshly ground black pepper to the pan and simmer for a few minutes, stirring until the cheese is melted.
Place the steamed broccoli into an ovenproof dish. Pour over the cheese sauce and scatter with the reserved Roquefort.
Place in the oven and bake for five minutes, or until bubbling on top. Serve.
Ginger and broccoli fried rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
55g/2oz broccoli, chopped
1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
85g/3oz basmati rice, cooked and drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Heat the oil and butter in a pan and gently fry the broccoli and ginger for 3-4 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Add the cooked rice and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, then stir in the dill.
Spoon the fried rice onto a plate and serve immediately.
What with Wimbeldon just around the corner and the strawberry patch about to start producing that wonderful summer berry here are some recipes to brighten up your table.
Strawberries with lime and long pepper syrup
Citrussy and sweet with a little bit of heat, this new twist on berries with balsamic and pepper is best served with cream or ice cream
100g golden caster sugar
5 medium-sized 'long' peppercorns, one crushed and rest left whole (or use 2 tsp crushed black peppercorns)
450g ripe strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if large
vanilla or coconut ice cream, to serve
Using a vegetable peeler, pare the zest from 1 lime in long strips. Shave away any white pith from the back of the zest (this can make it bitter), then put the zest in a medium pan. Squeeze both of the limes and add the juice to the pan with 3 tbsp water, the sugar and the crushed and whole peppercorns. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, boil, then take off the heat.
Spread out the strawberries in a serving dish, then pour over the hot syrup and allow to cool. As this happens, the syrup will become rosy pink. Serve at room temperature with cream or scoops of ice cream.
Rhubarb & strawberry crumble with custard
1 x Roasted rhubarb (see below)
250g strawberries, hulled and halved
For roasted rhubarb
85g golden caster sugar
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the rhubarb and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends and cut the rhubarb into little finger-sized pieces. Put the rhubarb in a shallow dish or baking sheet with sides, tip the sugar over, toss together, then shuffle the rhubarb so it’s in a single layer.
Cover with foil and roast for 15 mins. Remove the foil. The sugar should have dissolved, so give everything a little shake and roast for another 5 mins or until tender and the juices are syrupy. Test with a sharp knife; the rhubarb should feel tender, not mushy, and still have kept its shape.
For the crumble
85g plain flour
50g golden caster sugar
25g ground almonds
50g butter, room temperature, chopped
finely grated zest 1 small orange
2 handfuls pine nuts
serve with the best custard you can buy
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Prepare the Roasted rhubarb adding the halved strawberries after 15 mins of cooking. Cook, uncovered, for a further 5 mins until the rhubarb is tender and the strawberries slightly softened. Tip into a shallow dish, about 25 x 18 x 5cm, with enough of the syrupy juices to keep the fruit juicy. (Any leftover can be served with the crumble.)
While the fruits are roasting, prepare the crumble. Mix the flour, sugar and ground almonds, then add the butter and rub together to make coarse crumbs. Stir in the orange zest.
Spoon the crumble loosely over the fruit, then scatter with the pine nuts. Bake straight away for 25 mins until golden and bubbly. Cool a little before serving with custard and any remaining syrup.
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
This recipe for a frozen daiquiri takes no time to make and it's the perfect summer cocktail.
35ml/1¼fl oz white rum
1 tbsp strawberry liqueur
1 tsp sugar syrup
20ml/¾fl oz freshly squeezed lime juice
4 fresh strawberries
Place all the ingredients into a food processor with a handful of crushed ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a goblet glass, garnish with a fresh strawberry and serve.
Salmon, strawberry & fennel salad
200g packet smoked salmon, torn into strips
1 large bulb of fennel, trimmed, cored, halved and finely sliced into strips
50g bag of rocket
200g ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
For the dressing
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp runny honey
crusty brown rolls, to serve
In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients, season if you want to; set aside. Put the smoked salmon, fennel, rocket and strawberries into a separate bowl.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently so everything glistens. Finish with cracked black pepper and serve with crusty rolls.
With its strong aniseed flavour fennel particularly complements fish, here are some recipes for those of you growing fennel that you might like to try.
Fennel & tomato gratin
For the fennel
3 tbsp olive oil
4 heads of fennel, trimmed (fronds kept) and cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
For the topping
85g white bread
50g parmesan, grated
handful fennel fronds
zest 1 lemon
handful black olive, pitted
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the fennel, cover and stew over a low heat for 15 mins. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 10-20 mins until the fennel is soft (the timing depends on how thick the fennel is).
Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins until the fennel is coated in a thick tomato sauce. Tip everything into a shallow gratin dish. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 4.
While the fennel is cooking, tip all the topping ingredients except the olives into a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Add the olives and pulse until chopped, but not blended. Scatter the crumbs generously over the fennel, drizzle with the rest of the oil, then bake for 20 mins until golden
Barbecued fennel with black olive dressing
An ideal vegetable option for the BBQ
2 fennel bulbs, sliced lengthways into 1cm-thick pieces
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped black Kalamata olives
1 garlic clove, crushed
juice 1 lemon
small handful each parsley and basil, finely chopped
Heat a BBQ or griddle pan. Toss the fennel in 1 tbsp of the oil, coating well. Cook for 5 mins on each side until golden brown and charred.
To make the dressing, put the olives, garlic, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl. Add the chopped herbs and combine. Lay the fennel on a platter and pour over the dressing. Eat warm or at room temperature.
Serve this gorgeous gratin dish with your favourite fish
4 large fennel bulbs
pinch grated nutmeg
1 garlic clove, crushed
200ml double cream
50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and put a pan of salted water on to boil. Trim the fennel tops, then cut into wedges. Boil for 5-6 mins, then drain well.
Arrange in an ovenproof dish, season and sprinkle with nutmeg. Stir the garlic into the cream and pour over the fennel. Top with the Parmesan, then bake for 20 mins until golden.
Classic Summer Pudding
OR 1 ¼ kg mixed berries and currents of your choice
7 slices day old white bread
Wash fruit and keep strawberries separate. Put sugar and 3 tbsp water into a large pan. Gently heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil for 1 min, then tip in the fruit (not strawberries). Cook for 3 mins over a low heat, stirring 2-3 times. The fruit will be softened, mostly intact and surrounded by dark juice. Put a sieve over a bowl and tip in the fruit and juice.
Line a 1.25ltr pudding basin with cling film with the edges overhanging, this will help you turn out the pudding. Cut the crusts of the bread, keep one piece whole and the rest cut into rectangles.
Dip the whole piece of bread into the juice for a few seconds to coat. Push into the bottom of the basin. Dip the rest of the pieces one at a time and press around the sides of the basin. Spoon in the softened fruits and strawberries. Dip the last of the bread and place on top. Keep left over juice for later. Bring the Clingfilm up and loosely seal in the pudding. Place a side plate on top and weigh down with a can then chill for 6 hours or overnight.
To serve: open out the cling film and turn onto a serving plate. Serve with left over juice any extra berries and cream – yummy!