Sorrel-Onion Tart

Utterly delicious – worth keeping a small bed of sorrel somewhere.

I think Sally got this recipe from The Greens Cook Book. It is utterly delicious.

We keep a small bed of sorrel protected from the birds on our plot which keeps us going most of the spring and summer.

  • Tart dough for a 9 inch tart
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 8 0z sorrel leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 0 oz Gruyere cheese, grated

Prepare the tart dough and partially pre-bake.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and salt. Cover the pan and stew for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile cut the stems off the sorrel leaves and roughly slice the leaves. Add them to the cooked onion and cook until the sorrel has turned a grey-green colour (about 3-4 minutes). Whisk the eggs with the cream and then stir in the onion, sorrel and half the cheese. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spread the rest of the cheese on the bottom of the flan case, then spread the filling on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until set and well coloured. Serve hot.

Makes one 9 inch tart

Sally Foster

Spinach with Garlic & Ginger

Originally and Indian recipe for spinach, this works with cabbage or kale, too.

I learned this wonderful way of cooking spinach so long ago I almost forgot where it came from. I think it was a Sikh friend who showed it to me, but it doesn’t just go with Indian cooking – and it works with other greens besides spinach. I like it with cabbage, and even kale sometimes. This should be enough for two people who really like their greens.

  • 200 g or 300 g spinach
  • knob of ghee or else cooking oil and a knob of butter
  • about 2cm of fresh ginger root, grated
  • clove of garlic, pressed or chopped fine.

Wash the spinach well and drain. Heat the ghee (or oil and butter) with the garlic and ginger in a pan until it starts to sizzle. Then throw in the spinach, still wet, and cover the pan. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is soft and smells delicious. With other greens you may need to add just a bit of water to stop it burning.

Joe Foster

Gooseberry Fool

Made right, gooseberry fool is sublime!

A traditional English recipe made with fresh gooseberries and cream, gooseberry fool can be just sublime. This makes four smallish portions, but it is so intense you don’t really need much.

  • 200 ml fresh cream, either double or a mix of double/single, whipped.
  • 200 g young gooseberries
  • sugar to taste
  • 50 g butter

Stew the gooseberries and butter in a covered pan until they are just cooked – not too mushy. Smash them with a fork, sweeten with sugar to taste, and stir gently into the whipped cream. Spoon into small bowls or glasses and cool it in the fridge before serving.

From Sally Foster, inspired by our ancient copy of Jane Grigson’s Good Things.

Chocolate rhubarb sponge pudding

“This recipe is so good, I have to share it.”

I know you will think I am obsessed with rhubarb (I am!), but this recipe is so good, I have to share it. It’s really easy and so nice…

A good way to make use of your rhubarb (don’t forget you can donate some rhubarb to the Hedge Veg box for our neighbours if you have some spare, too). 

Serves 6 to 8

  • 600g rhubarb, trimmed
  • 125 g golden caster sugar
  • SPONGE
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 225g softened butter
  • 200g SR flour
  • 25g cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into chips
  1. Oven 200oC/ 180oC fan/ gas 6
  2. Cut rhubarb into 2cm chunks and mix with 125g sugar in an ovenproof dish (large).
  3. For the sponge, reserve 2 level tbsps sugar, then place all other ingredients EXCEPT choc chips, in food Processor and cream together. Add the chocolate chips afterwards and stir together.
  4. Smooth the sponge mixture over the rhubarb, scatter the reserved sugar over the top.
  5. Bake for 50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
  6. Eat hot, or even better, warm. Recipe recommends custard, I had some cream.

Angie Willshaw

3. 4. 5. 6.

Serves 6-8

Rhubarb

There is more to it than pie and crumble.

Starting in April, or earlier, we pick lots of rhubarb until June on our plots. Here are some recipes and recommendations from members for surprising ways of using it.

Sweet cicely is an attractive perennial herb with an aniseed scent, easy to grow. It combines especially well with rhubarb:

Baby Globe Artichokes

Pick them young, before the choke develops and try this.

Globe artichokes are coming on nicely at the moment (mid May).  Instead of waiting for them to get enormous, this is how I’ve been cooking them:

Pick them young and tender.

Cut of the top third, and take of several layers of ‘leaves’.

Cut them in two. There is no choke at this stage.

Boil in wine/water+lemon juice or vinegar for about 10 minutes. Dress them with vinegar or whatever.

Eat!

From Rosie Hall

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

JAs are delicious roasted, and as soup.

Jerusalem Artichokes are related to sunflowers so will grow tall and eventually have small yellow flowers.  The sprouts are brittle so take care not to break the growing tip when planting them. Its best to harvest them all in the autumn or over winter, and then replant each year – otherwise they get very congested. 


They are delicious roasted, and I like them as soup. Here is a simple recipe:

  • Peel the artichokes using a vegetable peeler or a teaspoon,  this is not absolutely necessary but makes a better coloured soup.
  • Fry gently with a couple of cloves of garlic in some oil or butter. Don’t let it burn. 
  • After a few minutes,  add enough water to cover and cook with a lid on for about 20 minutes until the artichokes are soft. 
  • Add a handful of parsley and liquidise to a smooth texture. I usually add milk to this,  I’m going to try oat milk next time.  

JAs contain inulin, a starch which encourages healthy gut bacteria but they can make you pretty windy, you have been warned!! 

From Rosie Hall

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower cordial made in June gives you the fragrance of summer all year round.

Our allotment site has lots of elder bushes growing around the edges which are covered with fragrant flower heads in June. There are lots of ways of using them, and elderflower cordial is our current favorite – the taste of summer all year round. We make a batch in June, and keep a few plastic bottles of it in the freezer. You can just dilute it with water for a refreshing drink, or use it more adventurously (elderflower sorbet?). My wife has used this cordial recipe for years, but now we can’t find the original on the internet any more. No matter, here is our version of it:

Pick the elderflowers on a dry morning, and try to use them within a few hours. Sniff them to find the best. Give each one a little shake to evict any insect visitors.

  • 25 elderflower heads
  • 1.5kg sugar
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 50g citric acid (from Wilko’s for example)
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, finely sliced

Boil the sugar and water to make a syrup, stirring until it is all dissolved. Turn off the heat and stir in the citric acid, then leave it to cool. Put the flower heads in a container and pour the syrup over them and add the sliced lemons.

Cover it and leave it for two days, stirring occasionally. Then strain it through a jelly bag or muslin. You can squeeze the lemons to get a bit more zing if you like.

You can freeze it in clean plastic bottles, or use it fresh from the fridge for a few weeks.

Joe Foster

Kale Sprouts

Spring is the time for kale sprouts – the best part of the plant.

Through March and April, kale which has survived the winter starts to put out flowering shoots, a bit like sprouting broccoli. Kale sprouts are delicious – the best part of the plant. They are much better than the tough older leaves that are served in trendy cafes along with quinoa and chia as “superfoods”. 

I gather the sprouts when they are still growing fast, and tender enough to break off the stem easily. I wash them in a bit of fresh water, then drop them, still damp,  into a pan with a bit of olive oil. Kale tastes best to me if I start it on a fairly high heat, tossing them in the oil. After a minute or two I turn the heat down and add  just enough water to steam them without burning, but not so much that they become soggy. (Well, I do get this wrong sometimes, but then they are just ‘pan browned’ – definitely not ‘burned’.) When they are tender and they smell done serve them up.

Cook lots, or you will wish you had.

I cook broccoli the same way. Sometimes I add a clove of chopped garlic to the oil, especially with supermarket broccoli, which isn’t as tasty on its own.

Joe Foster