Indian Summer

1474556073032With the weather still holding good, growing things don’t seem to be slowing down.  We found this amazing mop as we entered the hub this week.  Definitely one for a crazy photo award…and proof that FarmShare is still green-fingered.  The mop was used to clean down the hub a few weeks ago, gathering tomato seeds on its way, and hey presto, we have seedlings!  This reminded Harriett to tell us her FarmShare tomato story:  whilst unwrapping her veg share, she realised one of her tomatoes had a chrysalis attached to it – the beautiful golden-spotted kind.  She placed it on her window sill and to her surprise, the butterfly emerged – a red admiral.  It stayed in her kitchen for some days, not seeming to want to go, but on a sunny afternoon it fluttered off through the window.  You never know what hidden joys ours shares may hold (or what stories you’ll hear or sights you’ll see at the hub!)

It’s another balmy (if not a bit more breezy than last week) late September evening and I’m sitting outside enjoying a spot of moonbathing.  What lovely weather!  Perhaps you are still eating al fresco?  I hope so, and with the good weather set to continue into October, BBQ season is not quite dead!  So I’m going to share a few recipes that we tried out over the summer with our FarmShare veg.

Of course in all of this fair weather people are asking more than ever, when will we have our own land again to till and farm?  Rosi has a few updates about how the search for land is narrowing.  Look in your inboxes as a Newsletter containing land search updates has just been sent to our members and supporters, with some information about sites in Sprowston and the route we are taking to make sure the new farm is sustainable and ticks our members’ boxes.

So back to the BBQ whilst you can!  Meat fest BBQs can be a veggie or vegan nightmare – but with a bit of imagination you can enjoy a great outdoor feast with only vegetables and seasonings.

Who’da thought spinach or chard leaves could be a BBQ winner?  My hubby came up with this recipe which everyone loved:  Chard and Onion Skewers.  So the precept is the kebab (with a little bit of veggie magic):

To make 1 skewer:

1 medium/large onion

6 spinach leaves

125g of soft cheese (can be flavoured with garlic and herbs eg roule cheese or you can add your own flavourings – crush a garlic clove and add to the cheese with approximately a teaspoon of parsley/thyme/oregano or try spicy with a pinch of chilli and paprika)

Cut the onion into 6 segments and fry off in a pan until they start to soften.

Spoon the cheese into the middle of the segment and spread around the edge of the onion piece.

Wrap in a spinach or chard leaf and place on the skewer.

Repeat until all of the onion is on the skewer.

Place on the BBQ grill for around 15 minutes.

The chard will become crispy but will have also allowed the onion and cheese to steam inside the envelope it made – so it melts in the mouth with a crisp outside -mmm.

This recipe can be adapted for vegans by omitting the cheese and pre-cooking the onion segments in the pan as before but adding olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and herbs.

Or adapt it for meat eaters by alternating the onion with a inch square piece of fish, tuna/cod works well.  But to be honest it’s a veggie or vegan winner so no meat needed.

Of course any type of vegetable is great on a skewer and BBQ’d – especially our delicious cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and courgettes.  So you can always alternate the onion/chard parcels with other vegetables; tomatoes (especially end of season ones) are really good.

Courgettes are still in abundance!  So you definitely need this recipe;

Easy BBQ Courgette Slices:

Slice the courgettes into slices approximately 2mm thick/  Melt a little coconut oil and baste the courgette slices on both sides/  Season with salt and pepper/  Put on the grill for 5 mins – you should be able to see grill marks but not lose the courgette altogether! Finally….eat!

And the basil – I can’t go without mentioning that wonderful basil.  Everyone was oohing and ahhing as the scent from the 3 huge tubs of freshly picked herb filled the hub.  Basil is an amazing plant, don’t forget to use your share in Asian recipes as well as the usual Italian dishes.  Packed full of beta-carotene, a great source of vitamin A and minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium) it is said to be great for eye health, great for healthy skin/lungs and is a top rate free radical scavenger.  Basil oil is normally a stimulant, good for muscle pain and mental clarity – however you only need to ask Emma and Hannah about the stupefying effects of too much.  Travelling in the van from Salle surrounded by the liquorice-citrus smell they were almost overcome!  I fancy trying this recipe for basil sorbet with the rest of my share: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/basilsorbetwithindiv_88521

I’m still sitting in my garden; the moon has moved out of sight now and I do believe I can hear the munching rasp of a snail in one of my flower beds!  I did think of trying to find the culprit, but it’s such a gorgeous night even the snails can be forgiven….(although I expect some would say they could be BBQ’d) (with basil)!

Claire Gebbett

On behalf of FarmShare





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