July in the Kitchen

3 Jul 2012 | 0 comments

Two of my all time favourites are ready to harvest in the garden.

First - artichoke. The plant is magnificent and whilst the artichoke may be a little complicated to prepare & eat, the first taste tells you it was worth the effort. The following recipe for Artichokes with Lemon Mayonnaise is simple perfection. 

Second - raspberries. It’s hard to perfect a bowl of fresh raspberries but when there is a glut Raspberry & Whisky Cream makes a great Summer pudding

Artichokes with Lemon Mayonnaise

serves 6

6 artichokes

1 large egg plus 1 yolk

1/4 teaspoon salt

300 ml olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

freshly ground black pepper

juice & zest of 1 lemon

Remove all but 1cm of each  stalk.

Cut the top 1/4 off each leaf with scissors. This removes the spike at the tip of the leaf, which is really quite sharp!

Cook in boiling water for 15 - 30 minutes, until tender. Drain well and place on individual plates.


Pull off a leaf at a time and dip in lemon mayonnaise. Use your teeth to pull the flesh off the base of the leaf, throw away the rest of the leaf. Continue until you're left with the heart and the flowery thistle. Cut off the thistle  and discard then finally enjoy the heart dipped in the remaining mayonnaise.


Lemon mayonnaise


Combine the eggs and salt in a bowl and whisk well. Continue whisking as you drizzle the oil into the bowl in a slow steady stream, when the mixture begins to thicken add the white wine vinegar and then continue to drizzle in the oil whilst continuing to whisk. Finally add the lemon zest, juice and black pepper.


Raspberry and Whisky Cream

Serves 6

1¼ lb (600g) crowdie (a creamy soft Scottish cheese.  If you are unable to source crowdie use a 50/50 mixture of yoghurt and mascarpone)

1 oz (30 ml) whisky

2½ oz (60g) icing sugar

7 oz (200g) raspberries

2 tablespoons toasted oats

6 raspberries


Place the crowdie, icing sugar and whisky in a bowl and blend together. Spoon this mixture into serving glasses alternating with raspberries, finish with a layer of crowdie. Chill overnight.

Remove from the fridge, sprinkle over the toasted oats, pop a raspberry on top and serve.

June in the Kitchen

3 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

A dazzling splash of red amongst the green caught my eye in the garden at the weekend – the first strawberries from Ash & Kate’s plants are ready to pick. Even though poly tunnels and varieties have extended the season (along with imports!), strawberries, for me, will always symbolise the British Summer harvested and enjoyed between early June to late August. Here's some recipes to celebrate this glorious Summer fruit.



Strawberry – almond milk

serves 2 (or 1 generously)

8 fl oz almond milk

1/2 tsp rose watercress

10 strawberries

1 teaspoon honey


Place all ingredients in a blender, whiz together, pour into 1 or 2 glasses and serve.



Strawberries with rose petal jelly

serves 1

Handful of strawberries hulls removed

1 dessert-spoon of rose petal jelly


Place the strawberries in a bowl and drizzle over the jelly


Rose petal jelly

1 lb (450g) scented rose petals

8 oz (225g) sugar

8 oz (225g) honey

juice of 2 lemons


Snip the bitter white heels off the rose petals.  Simmer the petals in a little water until tender, stir in sugar, honey and lemon juice.  Cook until the syrup is thick, pour into jars and seal.



Strawberry porridge

Serves 1

Handful of sprouted buckwheat

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

4oz (110g) almond milk

1 dessertspoon agave syrup

dozen strawberries

1 tablespoon ground flax


Soak the buckwheat and seeds with the agave syrup in the almond milk overnight.

Add the strawberries & top with ground flax.


June in the Garden

1 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

May was a very successful month for us and the weather changed just at the right time as we had about 15,000 plants that were waiting to be planted out. With the ground finally dry enough to cultivate we were able to get round to plant the onions which was 3 or 4 weeks later than we had hoped. However, when we started to plant I noticed signs of leek moth damage and at closer inspection found most of the onions to have larvae in their leaves. We decided to cut off all of the foliage as it appeared that most of the larvae had not yet got down into the bulb, and the leaves have grown back and all looks ok. In the UK leek moth is a relatively new pest, which affects all of the allium family and has two generations a year. The moth lays its eggs on the leaves of the plant in April/May and August/September. The eggs hatch and the larvae burrow through the leaves, eating for about a month before pupating. The second generation usually causes more damage and wiped out our leek crop last year (so we decided not to grow leeks this year). The adult moths then overwinter in plant debris, re-emerging in spring to start the cycle again. It is a very difficult pest to control in organic horticulture, but I have no doubt that in time natural predators will follow (as they often do in a balanced system) and the pest levels will be reduced and reach an equilibrium.


We planted all of our courgettes, squash and sweetcorn (thanks mainly to our wwoofer volunteers) as well as borlotti beans, kohl rabi, dill, basil, more spring onions, beetroot and chard. The hot weather from the middle of May meant that the tomatoes, beans and cucumbers got off to a good start and are looking very healthy. Sideshooting of tomatoes has become a weekly routine and hoeing during the dry weather has been important to keep the weeds in check.


During June we will continue to plant more French beans, runners and drying cannelini and our second batch of lettuce as well as various other successional plantings. We also plan to undersow our squash with clover by the middle of the month to act as a green manure without having to take the land out of production. The bulk of the brassicas will be sown this month in module trays and planted where the lettuce currently are in July.


As the majority of plants are in the ground the most important thing will be to keep the weeds down and begin to harvest more interesting things this month, with wet garlic continuing, spring onions, carrots, French beans, broad beans, cucumbers, courgettes, baby beetroot, chard and possibly some new potatoes.


We will be at the Green Scythe Fair on Sunday 17th June selling some plants and veg, and will also be resuming our stall outside Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis from the 23rd June with lots more vegetable varieties.

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