Lock down Cooking 2: Seasonal Spinach

People are enjoying a lot more home-cooking during this COVID 19 Lockdown period. Mostly because we are at home more but also because we can’t go out for meals. We’ve taken this opportunity to inspire you to get cooking with the great seasonal fruit herbs and vegetables we have available both in the shops and markets and even by having a go at growing your own.
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What to eat in May and June: Asparagus of course

Asparagus is one of our favourite UK seasonal vegetables and we greet the first local spears in the grocer’s shops with joy each May. We love to eat as much as we can until mid-June when it disappears from our shelves.

These days it doesn’t disappear though as you can find imported asparagus on supermarket shelves nearly all year round. Please don’t buy this out of season asparagus. It has come from Peru or Mexico and has a high carbon footprint.    This is because it has to be air freighted as asparagus loses flavour and texture after it has been cut and of course, South and Central America are many miles away. Peruvian asparagus is also grown in irrigated beds causing severe water shortages in a very dry region.

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What to eat in May: Rhubarb, rhubarb and more rhubarb

It’s May and a time of abundance for rhubarb. It’s the only UK fruit that is around right now so it’s time to make the most of this seasonal beauty.

Bright pink forced rhubarb has disappeared from the shops now but rhubarb is springing forth in allotments and gardens around the country and people are saying “what can I do with all this rhubarb?” Once you’ve stewed some to have with yoghurt and had a couple of rhubarb crumbles some people get stumped with what to do next.

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Cook-along Recipes

Whilst we are all stuck in our homes during the Coronavirus pandemic Seasonwell is trying to lift your spirits with some live cook-along tutorials on our Facebook page

Posted by Season Well on Friday, April 3, 2020

We’re also hoping to help you feed yourself healthily with what seasonal produce is available and using what you may already have in the cupboard.

I don’t know about you but we have really limited our supermarket visits since the lockdown as we’re just not finding then a pleasant place to be.  Now is the time to be using your local shops and market, use what’s growing around you and use up what you already have in your cupboards.

Posted by Season Well on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

So far we have cooked with Kale and Wild garlic ( see past posts for those recipes). Today it’s time for rhubarb. We are lucky enough to have some growing in our allotment. If you aren’t so lucky then do you have neighbours with an allotment (you could barter for toilet rolls maybe!)  Or maybe you are near to a community garden like Incredible Edible Aireborough who have rhubarb growing. Or think about getting a local fruit and veg box delivered.

We’ve made a healthy Rhubarb flapjack, using a recipe we got from our friend and colleague Jenny from Active-Eat.

Rhubarb Flapjack

Ingredients:

150g rhubarb ( approx 1.5 stalks)

zest & juice 1 orange

2cm piece fresh ginger root

300g porridge oats

2 medium bananas

200g dates ( de-stoned)

75g raisins ( or sultanas)

75g mixed seeds ( sunflower & pumpkin)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Equipment:

Shallow, square or rectangular baking tin, greased and lined with baking paper

Large mixing bowl

Large spoon or spatula

Food processor ( or large knife and chopping board)

Measuring spoons

small saucepan with lid

Instructions

  1. First, make the rhubarb compote. Chop up the rhubarb into 2cm chunks and place in the pan with the finely grated zest and juice of the orange and grated ginger. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and can be mashed with a fork. Leave to cool a little.
  2. Use a food processor to mash your dates into a chunky paste- you will need to add a splash of water
  3. Mash the 2 bananas until smooth
  4. Mix the date paste and the mashed bananas with the oats then add the seeds and the raisins
  5. Put half the oat mixture into your lined tin and press down so you have a firm layer
  6. Spoon over the rhubarb compote and spread to make a layer on top of the flapjack mix
  7. Dot over the remaining mixture then use your spatula or the back of the large spoon to gently smooth it so you have covered the rhubarb layer
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180°C
  9. Slice whilst still a little warm and leave to cool

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!)

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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.

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What veg to eat in February: Jerusalem Artichokes

We plan to give you a seasonal recipe a month highlighting what’s in season each month and what you can cook with it. So let’s start with a February veg favourite of Season Well: Jerusalem Artichokes

It’s not an artichoke and it’s not from Jerusalem. These are actually grown on an allotment near Harrogate which we support a learning disability charity to manage. They are a tuber so grow underground and look like a knobbly potato. They got their name because they are thought to taste a bit like artichoke.  The plant is part of the sunflower family and the Italian for sunflower is Girasole (follow sun) which sounds a bit like Jerusalem so hence the name.

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