Summer recipes: Rhubarb, rhubarb

Rhubarb has grown in abundance this year. It’s the only UK fruit that is around in spring and grows right through the summer

Bright pink forced rhubarb has disappeared from the shops now but rhubarb is growing brilliantly in local allotments and gardens around Yorkshire 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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Allotment Cooking Demonstration- Spring Green Hummus and Herbed Flatbread

We love to show people what to do with local grown food so were delighted to be asked to deliver a cooking demonstration for Leeds Allotment Federation as part of their annual learning day in May.

Rocket

 

We had a lot of rocket left in our SeasonWell Food Garden that had overwintered and so thought we would use that to demo how to use spring greens in a hummus.

You can also use wild garlic in early spring or nettle tops. You have to use the nettle tops before the plant has flowered so you need to make that in spring too or find a patch of nettles which gets regularly mowed and keeps coming back.

 

We teamed it with some herby flatbreads using thyme and chives and their flowers from our food garden too. Here are the recipes:

 

                                  “Use Your Greens” Hummus 

 

Ingredients:

3-4 handfuls spring greens (eg nettle, wild garlic,  rocket, parsley, spinach)

1 tin (240g) chickpeas

Juice of a lemon

1-2 garlic cloves minced (omit this if using wild  garlic)

2 tablespoons tahini

Black pepper & a little salt to taste ( ¼ teaspoon)

extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil to drizzle

 

Utensils:

Sharp Knife & chopping board

Lemon squeezer

Food processor (or large bowl & stick blender or fork and strong arm)

Measuring spoons

Garlic press ( or large sharp knife)

 

Instructions:

  • After washing your freshly picked greens, remove the leaves from the stalks and roughly tear into your bowl. If using nettles remember to wear rubber gloves for this. You may also want to blanch the nettle leaves in boiling water for a few minutes. Squeeze out excess water and set it aside.
  • Crush the garlic gloves.
  • Juice the lemon. Drain the chickpeas but reserve some of the water
  • Combine the greens and chickpeas with the lemon, garlic, tahini, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of either chickpea water or nettle water, if using nettles.
  • Either mash together with a fork or potato masher, or for a creamier (and quicker) hummus combine in a food processor. Just blend until creamy. Add more nettle/chickpea water for a looser texture if wanted
  • Taste! You can add more lemon, garlic, salt and pepper as required.
  • Serve in a shallow dish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. You could also top with some seeds, or a few chopped fresh herbs like chives, parsley or coriander.

 

Easy Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients (Makes 4 large or 8 small)

 

  • 250g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting ( or use a mix of ½ wholemeal ½ white)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ tea spoon baking powder 
  • 250g natural yoghurt

Method

  • Put all of the dry flatbread ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and tip in the yoghurt. Fold the flour and yoghurt together to form a dough. 

(If the dough’s a little wet still, you may need to add another sprinkling of flour) 

  • Dust your work surface with a little flour, then tip the dough onto it. 
  • Knead the dough for a minute or so to bring it together, and then divide the dough into about 12 equal-sized pieces. 
  • Dust a rolling pin with flour then roll the pieces of dough out into side-plate-sized rounds. 
  • Stack them between small sheets of greaseproof paper next to the hob ready to cook. 

To cook your flatbreads 

Put a large dry frying pan on a high heat t. Once it’s really hot, cook each flatbread for a couple of minutes per side, until slightly puffy and lightly charred – you’ll need to do this in batches and keep the bread warm in the oven till you have made all the breads

Once cooked you can brush the bread with a little olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle over chopped herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano or chives.

For more seasonal food inspiration check our our social media

 Facebook: @seasonaleating , Instagram: @SeasonwellCIC

 

Kombucha and Kindness

 We recently held a launch party for our new grow-your-own garden based at Full Circle Funerals in Guiseley.  They have very kindly given us the use of their garden for us to makeover into a kitchen garden and use to demonstrate how to grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables.
We have lots of plans for the garden. Fortunately we have been awarded a grant from Leeds Community Foundation to make the garden suitable for us to hold Food Growing for Wellbeing groups in the future.
At the launch event, we had homemade apple cake, raspberry scones and pumpkin soup to eat plus herbal teas and seasonal fruit kombucha to drink.  We were showing people how to make their own bouquet garni from fresh-picked herbs and how to make wildflower seed bombs. We also asked people’s opinions on our plans and got lots of advice and pledges of support.
All part of the Kinder Leeds Festival. We were celebrating the kindness of Full Circle in giving us the use of their garden!
A popular giveaway were our Kombucha starters ( Called SCOBYs which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)  so people can make their own Kombucha at home. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink which we flavour with our seasonal fruit. it’s a lovely alternative to soft drinks but much healthier as it’s very low in sugar and as it’s fermented it’s good for your gut bacteria.  Healthy gut bacteria makes for a healthy immune system, so very important at this time of year.
So here is our recipe for making Kombucha from our gifted SCOBYS. If you’d like to hear more about our garden and how to get involved in any future groups and maybe get gifted your own SCOBY do contact us to go on our mailing list.

Seasonal Kombucha Reipe

Ingredients

  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 80-100 grams sugar
  • 4 tea bags
  • Scoby (from a friend, or available online)
  • Scoby starter liquid
  • Fruit for flavouring e.g. raspberries, apples, fresh ginger

Utensils:

Heatproof bowl

Wooden spoon

Large glass jar (1.5 litres or larger)

Muslin cloth (or other, very clean cloth)

Screw-top or swing-top  bottles

Method

  • Before you start, wash everything thoroughly in hot, soapy water – we only want the good bacteria!
  • Make a big cup of tea in the bowl with the water, tea bags and sugar. Stir and  leave to cool
  • Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a large jar
  • Add the Scoby and its liquid – it might float, sink, or something in between – it doesn’t matter
  • Label the jar with the date and leave for 7-10 days to ferment – it should be slightly fizzy and sour – taste it each day with a clean plastic spoon (not metal) until you like the taste
  • You can drink it straight away but it’s better with flavour. In autumn we like to add apple and ginger or autumn raspberries – you will need about 1 tablespoon of fruit per 500ml bottle. Cut fruit into raw chunks, or cook into a puree.
  • Sliced fresh ginger also goes nicely with autumnal apple
  • Remove the Scoby. You can use it again but remember to reserve a couple of tablespoons of the liquid to act as a new “starter”
  •  Funnel the liquid into 2 bottles. Add your fruit and seal.
  • This ‘second fermentation’ takes 2-4 days depending on the temperature – unscrew the lid every day to stop too much gas building up. It should be nicely fizzy and ready to drink.
  • You can keep the kombucha in the fridge for a couple of months – but you will want to drink it before then!

What to eat in August: Summer Salads with Red Cabbage & Courgettes!

When you think of seasonal eating in August, it can be a surprise to learn that Red Cabbage comes into season this month. On the other hand, some of you might be sick of Courgettes by now, and even having them being pushed on you by family, friends or neighbours! 

We’re here to give you tips and tricks on getting the most out of seasonal eating, and August is really the time to get your teeth into summer salads!

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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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