What to eat in March: Kale of course

Season Well loves Kale, It sees us through the winter months and is fresh, green, healthy and delicious. It’s not bitter if you make sure you eat the smaller, young leaves. Even the bigger ones are great for soup and making kale crisps.

I started Season Well by running cooking classes for Orb community arts. They have a beautiful, productive kitchen garden but 3 years ago people had no idea what to do with the produce being grown. I stepped in to show them how  and the spark of Season Well was born.

Jon, the gardener at Orb, loves kale too and grew a few kinds: curly,  Cavalo Nero (AKA black Kale) and Russian Kale. I had to come up with so many Kale recipes I joked I would have the makings of a 100 Ways with Kale Cookbook (that’s still in my mind to do sometime!)

Anyway, March is a great time to be cooking with this fabulous green which is still seeing us proud before the spring greens are in abundance

Have a go at this delicious curry recipe which went down well with everyone (even  the Orb student who was heard to say once “not bloody kale again!”)

Kale & Chickpea Curry

Makes enough for 6 people

Ingredients
1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tin plum tomatoes
800g/2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1-2 chilli, chopped (depending on strength of chilli wanted)
1 tsp turmeric
200g kale, chopped

Utensils:
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Frying pan
Wooden spoon
Measuring spoons

Method
1. Wash and chop the Kale into small pieces

2. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces

3. Crush the garlic and coriander seeds.

4. Chop the chillies

5. Heat the oil in a lidded pan over a medium heat and when it’s hot add the mustard seeds and then the cumin seeds.

6. Stir for a minute until you can smell the aroma of the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds stop sizzling, then add the diced onions. Fry the onions for 15 minutes until they start to brown

7. Add the garlic. Fry together for 4 minutes before adding the tomatoes, stir and leave to cook for a few minutes.

8. Add the crushed coriander, chilli, turmeric and salt and leave to cook on a gentle heat until the tomatoes start to break down and create a thick sauce (about 10 minutes).
Turn the heat up to thicken the sauce a little if required.

9. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the sauce. Add a splash of water and let them simmer for 5 minutes.

10. Add the chopped kale, a handful at a time, stirring in between. Leave this to cook for 5 minutes until kale is soft and tender. Serve with naan or chapattis and some fresh plain yoghurt.

If you want to cook this with Becky then have a look at our Facebook page for her live Cook-along on Tues 2nd April

And if you enjoy it what not have a go at growing your own Kale. lots of instructions in this article from Grow Your Own magazine

Read our Working With You pages to find out how we could  bring some kale growing and cooking to your organisation or contact us for a chat about how to help you get growing and cooking seasonally.

What to eat in April- Wild Garlic

Hooray it’s Wild Garlic time again

This is the first wild spring green I felt confident about picking. I now pick a much bigger range of wild greens but this still remains my favourite. It’s easy to spot with its broad green leaves and garlicky smell and is found in shady damp spots. You mainly eat the leaves but the white star-like flowers are edible too and are nice sprinkled on a salad. You can also pickle the unopened flower buds and use like capers.

I love the leaves just roughly chopped in scrambled eggs and omelettes or baked in a quiche ( well I did before turning vegan!) It’s also great in salads.

My favourite thing to do with it though is to make wild garlic pesto. It packs a real punch. It’s gorgeous just stirred through pasta or used to flavour savoury muffins scones or soda bread.

So I’m sharing with you my recipes for both the pesto and wild garlic soda bread.

Happy foraging!

Wild Garlic Pesto 

Makes enough pesto for 2 jars (or about 10 servings)

Ingredients
75g almonds (or a mix of almonds and pumpkin seeds.
75g Parmesan (or pecorino for a vegetarian alternative) plus extra to serve
(optional)
160 ml virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
75ml olive oil
100g wild garlic
Juice 1 lemon

Utensils:
Chopping board
Sharp knife
1 baking tray
Food processor or pestle & mortar
Wooden spoon
Jars or tubs for storing pesto
Lemon squeezer
Cheese grater

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Spread the nuts out on a baking tray or roasting tin. Place in oven for 10
minutes then put onto a plate to cool
3. Wash wild garlic and pat dry with a towel
4. Grate the cheese & squeeze the lemon
5. Place cheese, and wild garlic into food processor with cooled nuts and

whizz until thoroughly chopped. Add lemon juice and oil and whizz again
until forms a chunky paste. Your pesto is now ready.
If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop the wild garlic then
grind them in a pestle and mortar with the nuts and cheese, adding oil near
the end.

Put  the pesto into a sterilised jar, cover the surface with a little
more olive oil and put a lid on it. It will keep for 2-3 weeks like this in the fridge or put into plastic pots and freeze for longer

Adaptations
You can make a dairy-free version by just leaving out the cheese and
swapping the almonds for cashew nuts. Or use a tablespoon of nutritional yeast or even 1/2 a tablespoon of white miso paste is nice
You can make a less garlicky pesto by using half and half wild garlic and half
kale leaves
You can use any other nut in place of almonds e.g. pine nuts, hazelnuts,
walnuts or even pumpkin seeds

Wild Garlic Pesto Soda Bread

Ingredients

250g plain white flour
250g plain wholemeal flour
½ teaspoon ( tsp) salt
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
200 ml yoghurt
230 ml milk
4 tablespoons pesto

 

Utensils:

Large mixing bowl
Spatula
Measuring spoon
Measuring jug
Weighing scales
Chopping board
Baking tray
Bread knife
Wire cooling rack

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees for conventional ovens or 180 degrees for fan ovens
  2. lightly oil a flat baking tray.
  3. Weigh out both your flours in a large bowl, mix together and add your salt and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. In a separate jug, measure out your yogurt and milk. Add pesto and stir together.
  5. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with your hands or a spatula until it just forms a dough.
  6. Turn out on to a lightly floured board and use your hands to form into a ball.
  7. Transfer onto the oiled baking sheet and Use a sharp knife to draw a deep cross in your dough.
  8. Now just pop the tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes until the bread has risen slightly and turned a nice golden colour. You’ll know if the bread is fully baked if it sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  9. When you’re happy that your bread is baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. If you like you can place a slightly damp tea-towel over the loaf as it cools to prevent the crust becoming too hard.

 Serve slightly warm with butter.

Is nice toasted and topped with wilted spinach and a poached egg

Adaptions

For a gluten free version just use a gluten-free flour

For dairy-free version use, 300ml  of your usual plant milk with l tablespoon cider vinegar and  You will need to use a cheese-free pesto too. (Alternatively, just whizz 2 handfuls of wild garlic in a food processor with a little olive or rapeseed oil)

Remember to wash your garlic leaves before using!