If you’re sat there looking at your kohlrabi wondering why on earth you’ve been sent a vegetable that has tentacles, fear not. I’ve been getting an organic veg box for years and I wanted to share some of my favourite vegetable box recipes. Sometimes you can end up with a vegetable you’ve never cooked with before so hopefully you can find a recipe for almost everything here! In this post I’ll take you through the contents of my most recent veg box and how I used everything up.
There’s no denying that this is a plate full of colour; it’s also absolutely bursting with flavour. These Tandoori Chicken Flatbreads are a recipe of two halves: you can make it all at once, or alternatively, do as I did and batch cook the tandoori chicken and keep it in the freezer to make weeknight meals like this. The flatbreads are topped with a whole load of fresh salad, spiked yoghurt, mango chutney, the warm chicken and fresh chillies. They are really flexible too; you can add or leave out anything that you prefer.
I’ve tried to make falafel a few times before without much success; it seems to fall apart when I cook it. Experimenting with this falafel recipe, a bit more of this and a bit less of that, means that I’ve now ended up with a pretty sturdy recipe. These carrot falafel are really easy to make; everything gets blended together, and I’ve served them with all my favourite sides. Quick pickled onions will be appearing on everything from now on!
You will need (for two):
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 100g carrots, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- Zest 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- Sesame seeds
- Oil for frying
For the Pickled Onions
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 100ml white wine or cider vinegar
I’m not ashamed. I will admit it. I am an aubergine-aholic. Babaganoush, parmigiana, in a curry, moussaka, stirred through pasta there isn’t any meal I don’t love which has aubergines in. This recipe may sound familiar, as I have made something similar before, but this miso glazed aubergine when combined with a quick pickled cucumber salad really is a match made in heaven. Depending on the size of your aubergines this takes around half an hour to make, a little longer if they are large and need more time in the oven.
You will need (for two):
For the aubergines
- 2 aubergines, sliced in half lengthways and flesh scored in a criss cross pattern (don’t slice into the skin though)
- 2 tbsp miso paste (the best you can get your hands on)
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp runny honey (use agave or maple syrup to make it vegan)
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the cucumber pickle
The elderflowers are here and it is the best time of year. If I was more of a poet I’d have come up with a second line to go with that. I’ve been shoving elderflowers into various different things for years: cordial, gin, crumble and sugar to name a few. I wanted to try something a little different, and a bit less time consuming this time round, to get that wonderful elderflower fragrance down my neck as soon as I could. A celebration of late spring flavours my Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint Fizz is just the ticket for a sunny afternoon.
You will need (for two glasses):
- ½ cucumber, grated
- 1 lime
- 3 heads of elderflower
- Small handful mint leaves
- Sparkling water
If you can pick your elderflowers on a sunny morning it is said to be better for flavour. Having picked in all manner of different weather I can confirm that sunny mornings are actually better; they certainly smell more intense anyway.
I leave my elderflower heads on my draining board when I have picked them to allow time and opportunity for any bugs to escape (it’s next to the window so they can go back to where they came from). I then follow this with a good shake outside to get rid of any others that are clinging on.
Squeeze the grated cucumber into a small lidded container to collect the juice. The leftover grated cucumber is excellent for making a raita.
Squeeze the juice from the lime into the cucumber juice. Bash the mint leaves up a little, either in a pestle and mortar or just whack them with a rolling pin, and add these to the cucumber juice too.
Pick the elderflower flowers from the heads, leaving as many stalks behind as possible, and add these to the container. Put the lid on and give everything a good shake. I prefer shaking it as I feel this more violent approach helps to release more oils and flavour.
Leave to infuse for an hour.
Strain the cucumber juice into two glasses and top up with sparkling water. Decorate each glass with a little mint leaf if you’re feeling suave.
This would be really rather delicious if topped up with some Cava or added to a gin and tonic. On its own it is so refreshing and has all the flavours of an English summer; I really like it with sparkling water, or just tonic, sat outside with a good book. It looks so delicate but don’t let that fool you, the cooling cucumber, sharp lime, refreshing mint and elegant elderflower all come through so well. If you are thinking of heading out to pick some elderflowers, check out my beginner’s guide to wild food!
I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different and obscenely summery: Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint Gin.
You will need:
- 10 elderflower heads (here’s a useful guide to identifying elderflowers)
- 3 sprigs fresh mint
- ¼ cucumber, sliced
- 150g sugar
- 700ml gin
As with any foraging expedition, do make sure you know what you’re picking.
Elderflowers (and anything else you pick in the wild) need a good shake off before using them to get rid of any insects that may have come back attached and a quick wash under a running tap isn’t a bad idea either.
Put all of the ingredients together in a sterilised jar and give it all a good mix together.
Leave everything to infuse for two days before sieving the elderflower, mint and cucumber out. I also passed this through a muslin after I had strained it to get rid of any smaller bits and pieces.
I have tried this in two different ways so far; add a drizzle to a glass and top up with some bubbles and mixed with tonic. Because of the sugar in the gin it was really nice to add a bit of sweetness and a delicious summer flavour to some Cava rose. It is also divine mixed simply with tonic and enjoyed on a lovely evening. The elderflower, cucumber and mint work so nicely together and it takes hardly any time at all for the flavours to infuse. Such an easy thing to make with really tasty results. I like that it’s green too, another favourite of mine (but pink this time) is to add some grenadine.
As it’s Mother’s Day soon there are many things to consider: will it be flowers, chocolates, something else or a simple card. My Mum isn’t picky or fussy and would be just as happy with a few daffodils as a full blown Mother’s Day themed weekend. So really, as our lives both revolve around feeding us and other people, I think the real decision is whether to eat out somewhere or eat in?
Both have their merits. Having lunch at a restaurant means no washing up and someone else worries about what to cook but is much more costly than eating at home. Cooking at home is cheaper, you can make it your own and you can eat as much as you want. I think I’ve just answered my own question. However, I don’t want to be spending hours in the kitchen getting all of a fluster and make my Mum feel bad about the hours of work and mountains of washing up that have been created. Simplicity is key and so I give you my relaxed, Asian inspired Mother’s Day lunch: Duck Lettuce Wraps.
You will need (this is for four but just keep adding more bits for more people):
For the duck:
- 2 Gressingham duck breasts
- 1 pack of Gressingham Duck Mini Fillets
- Oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- Whole lettuce leaves
Salad and crunch:
- Spring onions
- Sesame seeds
- Chilli sauce(s)
- Soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Plum sauce
- First of all, get the table laid and ready then as you get things prepped you can get them straight to the table.
It’s all about green beans and peas at the moment and a veg box delivery last week left me with beans coming out of my ears! I wanted to put them on toast to make them go as far as possible so I tried out a broad bean and feta smash. I like the slightly odd bitterness from broad beans and it goes so well with salty feta cheese. The cucumber and dill salad on the side adds real sweetness and freshness to the meal. It’s super quick to make too so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen when you want to be outside; perfect for summer.
I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to know what to cook when it’s hot. I don’t want to be hanging around the oven or hob making unnecessary heat but I also don’t want to eat cold food all the time. The worst thing about it is having to do the washing up (no dishwasher in my house!) when all you really want to do is sit outside. I think this meal of Greek salad, hummus and pitta bread is a great compromise; there isn’t too much clearing up afterwards and the toasted pitta bread means that it’s not an entirely cold meal.
Scandinavian food interests me; cured salmon, pickles and dark rye are the things that immediately spring to mind. By coincidence I was sent two different crispbreads to try; some from Finn Crisp and some from Plain Tasty so it seemed the perfect opportunity to try and make a Smörgåsbord with a Swedish salad; Swedish style anyway! Something very different for dinner in the ATIE household.
You will need (make as many as you need):
- Cheese and cream cheese
For the salad:
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1 small fennel, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
- Handful fresh dill and parsley, chopped
- 3-4 spring onions, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
I took inspiration for the salad from the Jamie Does book. Put all the prepared salad vegetables into a bowl and mix it together. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper together then dress the salad.