Apple chutney

Posted: September 7, 2014 by Paula Stephenson

There aren’t any apples in the garden, but we were talking about making chutney last week so I said I’d post a recipe. I haven’t tasted the chutnney yet, as it needs to be stored for a couple of months before you eat it.

Apple chutney ingredients

  • 1.5 kg eating apples
  • 250g cooking apples
  • 400g raisins
  • 150g dates
  • 1kg soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed died chillies
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 double thumb-sized piece root ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice 1/2 lemon

 How to make apple chutney

  1. Put everything in a preserving pan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Continue to cook until thick – count on this taking between 2 and 4 hours
  3. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down a little.
  4. Pot into warm sterilized jars.

Chutney is very versatile, have a look at some other chutney recipes here.


Spinach with lentils

Posted: July 22, 2014 by admin

Yesterday we harvested spinach from the garden, which I wanted to eat it while it was as fresh as possible. I made this really simple lentil dish to serve with slow-roast pork.


  • 100g Puy or green lentils
  • 6 or 7 spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (also from the garden)
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices from a log of goat’s cheese


  1. Rinse the lentils in plenty of cold water.
  2. Add to a small pan and cover with cold water.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil, then simmer.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, mix together equal quantities of lemon juice and olive oil.
  5. Add the chopped spinach to the pan of lentils and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and drain away any liquid.
  7. Tip the lentils into a serving dish, then add the dressing and garlic. You need to do this while the lentils are still hot so they will absorb the flavours.
  8. Add seasoning to taste.
  9. Allow to cool a little then chop the goat’s cheese into small pieces and add to the lentils.
Lentils with spinach and goat's cheese

Lentils with spinach and goat’s cheese



Ruskin Garden salad – recipe by Paula

Posted: June 24, 2014 by admin

Our clever steering committee member Paula has written this recipe blogpost using last week’s harvest. Yum!


Crabapple Jelly Tarts

Posted: September 23, 2013 by admin

Recipe from Therese
Crab Apple Jelly


· 4 kg crab apples
· 1 kg caster sugar
· 1 lemon, juiced


1. Wash the apples, remove the blossom heads and cut out any bruised bits. Put in a saucepan, fill with water to cover the apples and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until the fruit is soft. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag or several layers of muslin and let drip overnight into a pan beneath. Don’t squeeze the bag, it will cloud the jelly.

2. The next day, measure the juice, and combine with sugar at the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 sugar. Add the lemon, then bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep at a rolling boil for 35–40 minutes, skimming off the froth regularly. To test, chill a dessertspoon in the fridge. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. Pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dark place.



· 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
· 2 1/4 cups flour, plus more as needed
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
· 1 large egg yolk


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, flour and salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles very fine bread crumbs. Add the confectioners’ sugar, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons chilled water, and pulse a few times to bring the mixture together. Pour onto a work surface and knead the dough sparingly until smooth, being careful not to overwork it. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.


Lightly flour a cool work surface and roll the pastry into a large disk about 1/4-inch thick. Cut circles to fit in your tart pans, and push the circles into the pans. Fill each tart with a dollop of jelly. The jelly will melt in the oven, put enough in to cover the bottom of the tart to about 5mm high.

Bake in a 165 degree oven until the tart is golden brown and the jelly has melted, 15-20 min.

Roasted Jerusalem artichokes

Posted: by admin

Recipe from Kate


1 lb Jerusalem artichokes
olive oil
5 garlic cloves
Thyme to taste
sea salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Scrub Jerusalem artichoke tubers and cut out eyes. Cut tubers into 1-inch pieces.
3. Mix olive oil, thyme, garlic, and sea salt together in a large bowl; add Jerusalem artichoke pieces and toss to coat. Arrange coated pieces in one evenly-spaced layer on a baking sheet.
4. Roast in the preheated oven until Jerusalem artichokes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes.


Posted: by admin

Recipe courtesy of Thrive

Large bunch of fresh basil
Handful pine nuts (50g)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of salt and black pepper
50g grated Parmesan or other hard Italian cheese

1. Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and peel.
2. Pick the basil leaves from their stalks.
3. Blend the basil, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic in a food processor or a hand held blender.
4. Stir in the cheese.
5. Season to taste.
6. Serve with pasta or crusty white bread.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Posted: by admin

Recipe courtesy of Thrive
6 medium sized green tomatoes.
seasoned flour with salt and pepper.
bread crumb (using about half a loaf of bread).
2 eggs beaten.
olive oil.
1.Slice tomatoes into quarter inch thick.
2.Lightly dust with flour (can be done by tossing in food bag with flour and seasoning)
3. Dip in egg and shake off the excess.
4.Cover generously in bread crumb
5. Put in pre heated frying pan with generous glug of olive oil cooking on either side for around 3 minutes.
6. Lay on kitchen towel to get rid of excess oil.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Posted: June 19, 2010 by admin

I didn’t name the recipe but I do agree, yum!

Makes 4 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).

2. In a large bowl, beat margarine, peanut butter, and sugars.

3. Add eggs and beat again.

4. In a small bowl, combine flour and soda, set aside. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. Drop on cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

Double-Dutch Mac and Cheese with Chard

Posted: June 13, 2010 by admin

The metallic flavour of the chard is great with the cheese.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese plus 1/2 cup finely grated (about 10 ounces total)
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated Edam cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed
12 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless sourdough bread
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then flour; stir constantly 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups coarsely grated Gouda and 1 cup Edam. Stir until cheeses melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2- inch baking dish. Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer chard to plate; cool. Reserve pot with water. Squeeze water from chard; chop finely.

Return water in pot to boil. Add macaroni; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Stir macaroni into warm cheese sauce. Place half of macaroni in dish; smooth top. Top with 1 cup Edam cheese, then chard. Top with remaining macaroni mixture; spread evenly.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter. Place breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Drizzle butter over; toss. Add 1/2 cup finely grated Gouda and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over mac and cheese. Sprinkle cumin seeds over, if desired.

Bake mac and cheese until breadcrumbs are golden and edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Very chocolately cookies

Posted: by admin

Korova Cookies
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces; 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits

1. Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and keep close at hand. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. (Alternatively, you can do this and all subsequent steps by hand, working with a sturdy rubber spatula.) Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated—the dough will look crumbly, and that’s just right. For the best texture, you want to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter. (Cookie-dough logs have a way of ending up with hollow centers, so as you’re shaping each log, flatten it once or twice and roll it up from one long side to the other, just to make certain you haven’t got an air channel.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 2 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)

3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand.

4. Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. (Don’t be upset if the rounds break; just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) spread space between them.

5. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature—it’s your call. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.

Dough can be made ahead & chilled or frozen. If frozen, the dough needn’t be defrosted before baking—just slice the logs & bake 1 min longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temp for up to 3 days; they can be frozen up to 1 month.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted: by admin

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Posted: by admin

1 2/3 cups pecan halves (6 ounces)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Toast pecans in oven, then cool. Leave oven on.

Pick out about 36 of the best-looking pecan halves for topping cookies and finely chop remainder.

Blend together butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a fork until combined well. Stir in flour and chopped pecans until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky).

Form 1-inch balls of dough and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls to 1/3 inch thick using bottom of a glass (flour it if necessary), then push a pecan half onto center of each cookie.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Cool cookies on sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Posted: May 24, 2010 by admin

adapted from a recipe by Barbara Kafka

This is the primary reason I grow chard, it is one of my favourite soups.

Yield: Makes about 5 cups (1.25 liters); 4 first-course servings


1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard or kale
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Remove the stems from the chard and chop them.

In a medium saucepan, cook the chard with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the chard, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the chard.

Very finely chop the capers together with the rosemary.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the capers and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Stir in the chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.

Chestnut and Kale Soup

Posted: May 15, 2010 by admin

This is one of my favourite soups. I made it today using Cavolo Nero from my garden.

FROM: Gourmet | December 2003

Zuppa di Castagne e Cavolo Nero

Cavolo nero is a member of the kale family. Between farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores it is available year-round. To find it, be aware of its many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, lacinato, and dinosaur kale. Its rich, sweet, almost meaty flavor will have you hooked from the first bite.

Yield: Makes 6 first-course servings


1/2 pound dried white beans such as cannellini, Great Northern, or navy (about 1 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed (I use two cans of cannellini beans)
1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (28 fluid ounces)
2 cups water
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (roughly 3 by 2 by 1/2 inch)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts (8 ounces), halved (I use 1 box 1 box)
1/2 pound cavolo nero or regular green kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Garnish: Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings; extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling; black pepper; fresh thyme sprigs; whole chestnuts


Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches in a bowl at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak (see cooks’ note, below). Drain well in a colander.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, water, cheese rind, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard cheese rind and stir in chestnuts.

Transfer 2 cups soup to a blender and purée until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then return to pot. Stir in kale and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until leaves are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in thyme.

Cooks’ notes:
·Soup can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, thinning with water as necessary.
·Beans can be soaked at room temperature up to 12 hours.
·To quick-soak beans: Cover beans with cold water by 2 inches in a 4- to 5-quart pot and bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil beans 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour.

Seasonal veg recipes

Please post your seasonal vegetable recipes here!