What a dark summer we have had, not enough sun to bring on some of the fruit. I didn’t get a great crop on my blackcurrant bushes, so I made this recipe to make the fruit go further. It was a great success, and set very well.
- 500g blackcurrants
- 500g chopped rhubarb
- 1kg jam sugar
- 300ml water
- Simmer the blackcurrants in the water for around 15 minutes
- Add the rhubarb and simmer until soft
- Add the sugar, stir to dissolve it, and then boil rapidly to setting point.
- Pour into clean jars that have been warmed in the oven.
You can use cooking apples instead of rhubarb as well; rub the cooked fruit through a sieve or fine mouli to remove the pips.
This is a West Indian recipe, adapted from ‘Original Flava‘ to suit my taste and the ingredients in the garden. It is very easy, and can be cooked on a barbeque, but it is terribly midgy just now, so we skipped that bit.
- 500g scallops, cut into quarters
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 5 large spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp scotch bonnet paste (very spicy, use less if you wish)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 250g carrots, grated
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- Put all of the ingredients into a container with a lid, and put the container in the fridge for at least four hours
- Take a roll of tin foil, and tear off two pieces large enough to make a parcel with half of the mixture each. Spread the mixture onto the tin foil, and fold it over, crimping the edges to make the parcels air tight. Put the parcels onto a baking sheet.
- Heat the oven to 180C, and put the parcels into the oven, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the contents are hot.
- Serve with wedges of lime or lemon.
I’m sure you could use other vegetables as well, such as celeriac, or bulb fennel.
This soup is quite hot and spicy, but you can cut down on the chilli if you wish. The main flavours come from the use of Tunisian Tabil spice mix and from cumin seed. I got the spices from Seasoned Pioneers. There are a few variations that could be used. It could be vegan, you could add a seaweed stock instead of vegetable stock. If you stir in yoghurt, then it is still vegetarian, but not vegan. It is also good with a chicken stock. It also uses a lot of carrots, which is just as well, because I have grown very many.
- 600g carrots, grated
- 150g red lentils
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- a large thumb-sized nodule of ginger, chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp tabil spice blend
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 -3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Use a large saucepan. Heat the olive oil and cook the onions over a low to medium heat, stirring, until the onions start to turn translucent, around five minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic and spices, stir together and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the carrots and lentils, mix in well, and then add a litre of stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around seven minutes
- Use a soup wand or blender to blitz the soup until it is smooth.
We served this with bread and yoghurt.
This year has been a bit slow for growing vegetables, the lack of sun has not helped at all. I have now got a lot of carrots, some broad beans, we’ve had a couple of crops of mange tout peas as well. I headed up to Tagsa Community Gardens to get some chard to cook with the beans, and ended up coming away with a couple of delicious courgettes.
I made this recipe from ‘Dear Francesca‘, a book of Italian recipes, along with stories of the family that runs Valvona and Crolla. They used double these quantities; this made a good meal for the two of us.
- 2-3 courgettes
- 3 tbsp good olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- a sprig of fresh rosemary
- 180g spaghetti or similar pasta
- salt and pepper
- Put a large pan of salted water on to boil, and then cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the courgettes.
- Clean the courgettes, trip off the top and tail, and grate with a coarse grater
- Warm the olive oil, and add the garlic, fry it gently until it just starts to colour brown, and then add the courgettes. Turn the heat up a little and stir, cooking until the courgettes are beginning to brown a little at the edges. Add the rosemary and season with salt, and then cover, and turn the heat off.
- Drain the cooked pasta, and add to the frying pan with the courgettes, toss and mix everything together, and serve with black pepper.