Category Archives: Recipes

How to cook a turkey

A whole golden, succulent roast organic turkey: the classic Christmas centrepiece. Our birds are the much-celebrated Bronze breed: a slow-growing traditional turkey that gives rich, juicy meat with an intense natural flavour. We include the giblets, so you can top off your roast with the absolute best proper gravy.

Here are some simple tips from our cooks here at the farm for cooking the perfect roast and making a sumptuous organic gravy too.

Firstly, the basics:
– Remove and freeze the giblets as soon as the turkey arrives (defrost in time to make your gravy).
– Allow the turkey as much air as possible, preferably by untying it to let air into the cavity.
– Take the turkey out of the fridge 30 mins before cooking.
– Untie the bird before roasting, or it will increase the cooking time.
– If the turkey has been frozen, defrost thoroughly in the fridge or a cold place before cooking.
– Don’t use the cavity space for stuffing – it slows down cooking, absorbs fat and will mess up the gravy. Instead use the neck cavity.
– Remove cooked leftovers from the carcass and put them in the fridge as soon as possible. Eat within two days. If you cook with leftover turkey, make sure it is piping hot.
– Make sure you save all your turkey bones to make stock with, if you are planning more than one Christmas feast it will make the perfect addition to future gravies.

To cook the perfect turkey, try this simple method our Riverford cooks have tried and tested:

Prep 15 mins, cook 45 mins per kg & 30 mins resting time
In addition to the turkey you will also need
400g stuffing (try our sausage meat stuffing recipe)
1 lemon, quartered
1 large onion, peeled & quartered
a generous sprig of herbs (bay, thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.)
50g melted butter

1. Weigh the turkey and work out the cooking time
Here’s an easy way to work out the cooking time without trying to balance a turkey on your kitchen scales! Each bird will already have its total weight on the label, so remove the giblets, weigh them separately and deduct their weight from the total. Add the weight of your stuffing (if using) to get the right cooking time. You will need to cook your turkey for 45 mins per kg.

2. Prepare the turkey
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Remove the giblets if you didn’t remove them on arrival (keep them for your gravy). Lift the flap of skin at the neck end and pack in your stuffing, then pull the skin back and secure under the bird, using wooden cocktail sticks if necessary. Season the main cavity, then push in the quartered lemon, onion and herbs. Transfer to a large roasting tin, breast-side up, and brush the breast and legs with the melted butter before seasoning. Cover the whole bird loosely with foil to protect the skin from over-browning, and transfer to the oven for the calculated time.

3. Cooking, testing and resting
Every hour baste with its juices. 30 mins before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil to allow the skin to brown up. At the end of the cooking time, check the meat is thoroughly cooked by inserting a carving fork into the thickest area of both breast and thighs. If the juices run pink, return to the oven for a further 15 mins and test again. Repeat until the juices run clear.

Once cooked, remove it from the roasting tray (you will need this tray for making your gravy in so don’t wash it!) and put it on another tray or plate. Cover the turkey with foil again and leave to rest for 30 mins. This will make it more succulent and easier to carve… and don’t worry, your turkey will stay hot for an hour after leaving the oven.

4. Make organic turkey gravy
To make perfect gravy you need to make sure you capture all the flavour the roasted bird has left behind. Using the tray you roasted the turkey in, skim most of the fat out – although leaving a little won’t hurt.

Place the tray over a medium hob and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of plain flour into the meat juices. If you like your gravy on the thick side, you can add more flour. Cook for a minute or so and tip in a small glass of white wine. Let it bubble away until it has reduced by half, using a wooden spoon to scrape and loosen all the interesting, sticky, roasting debris from the pan.

Add about 500ml of good poultry stock along with any resting juices from the turkey. Let it simmer away until thickened, then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. To create gravy just the way you like it, tweak the flavour with a little mustard, or a dash of red wine vinegar to add more piquancy. A little soy, Worcestershire sauce or even miso paste can add more depth if you feel it is lacking. Some people like to sweeten a Christmas gravy with a dab of redcurrant jelly or a tangle of slow-cooked onions. When it tastes just right, enjoy it with your festive feast!

Vegan Christmas dinner

Riverford recipes for a vegan festive feast

Brand new to our range this year is a vegan Christmas dinner box, full of everything you need for a home cooked, organic festive feast, including:

a seasonal veg box, a nut roast centrepiece, cranberry sauce, mince pies, Christmas pudding, Tideford gravy and clementines; all 100% vegan and organic.

The Nut Roast, which has been fondly developed by our Riverford cooks, has the ancient grain amaranth, walnuts and cashew tumbled through rooty veg to create a filling and crunchy centre piece.

Our own recipe vegan mince pies are filled to the brim with apple, plump vine fruits, festive spices, candied peel, flaked almonds, and a slosh of brandy. Palm oil free, they are made with organic coconut oil which makes our vegan pastry decadently short and rich. They are then baked to perfection in a woodfired oven and are just wonky enough to look homemade!

With everything you need delivered to your door, and the centrepiece and gravy already to go, all that’s left to do is bring our organic vegetables to life. We don’t believe in boring boiled veg, so here are our recipe suggestions for an unforgettable vegan Christmas dinner.

Roast Potatoes with Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme

Crisp and caramelised from roasting, tart and tangy from the lemons, this variation on traditional roast potatoes makes a particularly good side.

See the full recipe for roast potatoes with lemon, rosemary and thyme.

Carrots in a Bag

We originally used this method in our farm restaurant, The Field Kitchen, for new potatoes in the summer, then found that it works brilliantly for carrots and Jerusalem artichokes too. It’s a nifty technique that seals in the flavour and lets the veg cook in its own moisture. You’ll need baking parchment and a stapler.

See the full recipe for carrots in a bag.

Stir-fried Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

This is a good, simple sprouts side with a bit of crunch and sweetness from festive nuts and berries. You could also make it with shredded cabbage or kale.

See the full recipe for stir-fried sprouts with cranberries and pecans.

Creamed Parsnips with Almonds


A simple, sweet and creamy parsnip recipe for those who fancy something a little different to roasted parsnips.
See the full recipe for creamed parsnips with almonds.

The vegan Christmas dinner box is now available to pre-order for £45.95.

 

 

Venison recipes

It’s venison season, and on health, welfare and sustainability grounds it can’t be beat. About as natural and unadulterated as meat gets, its breeding and life cycle has hardly changed in the last thousand years resulting in a tender, healthy meat that’s lower in fat than skinned chicken breast, higher in iron than any other red meat, low in cholesterol and brimming with Omega-3s.

All our venison comes from small organic herds reared on Westcountry family farms in Looe and Exmoor. They graze a natural diet of clover-rich grass and wild flowers, roaming the land in natural rutting groups. The meat has a deep colour and rich flavour which is less gamey than wild venison and therefore more versatile.

So well suited to autumn eating, our venison has a short season (only available throughout the next month or so) and works well with the earthy seasonal flavours of the root veg and greens in your veg box.

Venison Cottage Pie

Venison Cottage Pie

Traditional winter comfort food, this version of cottage pie works beautifully with venison. There’s no need to be too exact about quantities; this is a good way of using up odds and ends from your veg box. The nutty strength of celeriac in this mash pairs well with venison, but you could use other root veg with the potato – parsnip, swede or carrots. Serve with buttery Savoy cabbage or kale.

See the full venison cottage pie recipe here.

Venison Toad in the Hole

Venison Toad in the Hole

Before everyone settled on pork sausages, toad in the hole used to be made with any meat that was to hand – it works beautifully with the richer taste of venison sausages. Eat with rich, sticky onion gravy, roasted carrots and seasonal greens.

See the full Venison toad in the hole recipe here.

Venison Chilli with Chocolate

Venison Chilli with Chocolate

This chilli might seem a little heavy on the beans, but that’s the way we like it. Chocolate gives it extra richness and the extra spices make the whole dish a lot more balanced and interesting. If you have an army to feed, you can double the quantities by using more venison or adding in other diced or minced meat – the diced will give a bit of added texture.

See the full venison chilli with chocolate recipe here.

Venison, Kale & Mushroom Stroganoff

Venison, Kale & Mushroom Stroganoff

This is a twist on a classic stroganoff, swapping beef for quick cook venison stir-fry strips and adding some kale for extra greens. Chestnut or portobello mushrooms make a great addition too.

See the full venison, kale & mushroom stroganoff recipe here.

Venison & Root Veg with Boulangere

Venison & Root Veg with Boulangere

A boulangère is like a gratin or a dauphinoise, where slices of potato are layered and baked in stock rather than cream. This provides excellent flavour without the extra calories, and a comforting accompaniment to venison cutlets.

See the full venison & root veg with boulangere recipe here.

5 Riverford recipes for August

As the heat of the summer lingers, we’re making the most of our seasonal veg and enjoying some Mediterranean inspired meals. Our basil crop is starting to slowly wind down now after growing so well this year. We are still using it in lots of dishes, such as bright, basil scented Tuscan panzanella – a beautiful salad in which the taste of ripe tomatoes really shines through.

The courgettes on the farm have rallied through the drought and grown away nicely, producing some fantastic plants that are yielding good quality courgettes – they seem to really like the sunshine. Pea shoot, courgette & whipped feta toasts are an interesting way to combine them with other stronger notes such as caramelised lemon.

Farinata (also known as socca) is wonderful discovery and a great gluten free option. A dense chickpea pancake, often baked in shallow trays in wood-fired ovens, it is perfect to drag through and mop up sauces. We have paired it with a rich but simple Ragú of green beans with tomatoes and olives.

Tomato & White Bean Panzanella

Traditional Italian panzanella is a way of turning stale bread into a salad that manages to be fresh and filling. Tomatoes, vinegar and oil soak into the bread and revive it, but if you don’t have stale bread, you can simply dry it in the oven for a while. We’ve added everything that’s good towards the end of summer – any extra ingredients are open for debate!

See the full tomato & white bean panzanella recipe here.

Pea Shoot, Courgette & Whipped Feta Toasts

You can treat this recipe as a posh open sandwich or a starter. The pea shoots are the first delicate stalks of a pea plant. More than just a garnish, they are sweet and succulent with a definite pea flavour. Charring the lemon really intensifies the flavour and gives it depth and warmth that cuts through the saltiness of the cheese as well.

See the full pea shoot, courgette & whipped feta toasts recipe here.

Ragú of Green Beans with Farinata

If steaming your green beans is the ‘go-to’, here’s a different destination for them. Green beans don’t always have to be bright and squeaky, they are more than happy to be given a little extra time and heat. What you lose in colour and bite, you make up for with a melt-in the-mouth tenderness. Served with Farinata (also known as socca) a dense and protein rich chickpea pancake, it makes a great vegetarian main or simply omit the Parmesan for a vegan option.

See the full ragu of green beans with farinata recipe here.

Spinach, Olive & Feta Tart

This is a really adaptable recipe and a great crowd-pleaser. Using the pastry case as your base, you can vary the fillings as much as you like. Use a good ready-made shortcrust to save time if you prefer.

See the full spinach, olive & feta tart recipe here.

Spinach Linguine with Roasted Tomatoes & Breadcrumbs

In Italy, ‘pangrattato’ or ‘poor man’s Parmesan’ (breadcrumbs with garlic and chilli) is traditionally sprinkled over pasta to give flavour and texture. This is another recipe that makes use of any leftover bread: here it is dried and blitzed into crunchy crumbs. Any extra can be kept in a bag or tub in the freezer where you can use directly, sprinkled onto gratins and other dishes for a little crunch.

See the full spinach linguine with roasted tomatoes & breadcrumbs recipe here.

5 vegetarian BBQ recipes

To plan a BBQ during a typical British summer you need to have a dash of optimism and good waterproofs. However, this year has been an exception. Although the hot weather is a challenge in the fields, the evenings are long, warm and ideal for gathering with friends and family to share an alfresco feast.

Sweetcorn is a sign of late summer; an iconic seasonal star. It’s also great vegan option if you are looking for something a bit different to put on the grill. We deliver it with the leaves intact to keep it fresh – natural packaging at its best.

With an abundance of summer veg, it’s great to have some new takes on old favourites: everyone loves potato salad, so here is a fresh version of a classic BBQ side, and a vegetarian salad niçoise featuring sweet, rich roasted cherry tomatoes makes a wonderful accompaniment. We also look forward to the first Padron peppers (pimientos de padrón). They originally hail from Galicia but we’ve discovered they also like growing on our farm in France. Some are hot and some are not – it’s impossible to tell which is which. Always great fun to eat and easy to make, serve them alongside your BBQ feast or as a starter.

BBQ Sweetcorn with Chipotle & Charred Limes

Smoky corn, spicy mayonnaise and zesty-sweet caramelised limes make a delectable trio that’s even better washed down with a cool beer. If it rains on your parade and you need to take your BBQ inside, this recipe also works well roasted in an oven.

See full barbecued sweetcorn with chipotle and charred limes recipe.

Padron Peppers

Play Russian roulette with Padron peppers grown by Guy’s team on our farm in France. These small green peppers are all the rage in tapas bars – fry or grill until blistering and serve with sea salt. Most are mild, some have moderate heat – and watch out for the occasional lurker with a real kick.

See our simple how to cook Padron peppers recipe

Courgette & Halloumi Kebabs with Green Tahini Dressing

A great vegetarian option for a BBQ or a simple summery lunch. Try with zephyr courgettes, grown on our co-op farmer Antony Coker’s farm, to add a dash of yellow to the table. It’s worth making extra of the nutty, creamy tahini dressing; it goes well with most roasted veg.

See full courgette & halloumi kebabs with green tahini dressing recipe.

Broad Bean, Saffron & New Potato Salad

This warm salad combines two of the best veg Britain has to offer at this time of year. The bright red saffron threads add a wonderful colour and subtle flavour but use it sparingly, or the flavour can be cloying. Try using a small handful of chervil for a slightly different flavour to parsley, or alternatively some chopped chives.

See full broad bean, saffron & new potato salad recipe.

Roasted Tomato Niçoise Salad

This is a substantial, flavour-packed French summer classic, with the roasted cherry tomatoes add extra intensity. At this time of year our tomatoes come from our polytunnels; you can’t beat them on taste. Each season we trial and test new varieties to be sure we are always growing the most flavoursome ones.

See the full roasted tomato niçoise salad recipe.

5 Riverford recipes for broad beans

Broad beans are the only beans that are truly happy in our damp, cool climate; so much so that the first sowings can be made in late October to November, though a February sowing often produces a better crop and only a week or two later. The first flowers appear in April, releasing a gorgeous scent to draw in the few bees that are hardy enough to venture out.

Like many children, Guy dreaded the dry furriness of broad beans. In his middle years however, the smell of them makes his ‘heart skip a beat’, and at Riverford we look forward to their brief season.

When young and small, they are best raw in salads. Leave double-podding – a pleasing task but time-consuming – for later in the season when the beans are getting hard, pale and much larger. Double-podding reveals their verdant inner green and rids the sometimes bitter skins – eating them this way can be revolutionary and convert even the most stubborn of broad bean hater.

Crushed Broad Bean Bruschetta

crushed broad bean bruschetta recipe
A delectable vegetarian springtime starter. Two lovely additions: spread your toasted bread with a little fresh ricotta before piling on the beans, or top the crushed beans with crispily fried pancetta or bacon lardons.

See full crushed broad bean bruschetta recipe.

Gnocchi with Courgettes, Broad Beans & Peas

gnocchi & crème fraîche with courgettes, broad beans & peas recipe
The gnocchi and courgettes cook fast, leaving you plenty of time to pod your peas and beans. Podding has a meditative quality to it. If it’s speed rather than enlightenment you’re after, split the pile in half and race someone. You can use the broad beans with their skins on, but if you have time it’s worth slipping them from their skins

See full gnocchi & crème fraîche with courgettes, broad beans & peas recipe.

Moroccan Carrot & Buckwheat Crêpes with Broad Bean Salad

moroccan carrot & buckwheat crêpes with warm broad bean & herb salad recipe
Moroccan spices go well with carrots, and other roots for that matter. We’re using toasted buckwheat, aka kasha, as the filling for the crêpes alongside the veg and spices. It’s a gluten-free seed with a nutty flavour, a great source of protein, fibre and other nutrients. Following the theme, we’re also using buckwheat flour, which is used in traditional French-style crêpes. It gives the crêpes a slightly darker colour.

See full moroccan carrot & buckwheat crêpes with warm broad bean & herb salad recipe.

Broad Bean Dip

broad bean dip recipe
Eat as a dip with slices of pitta or salady bits, or use as a sandwich filler. A healthy green alternative to the usual chickpea hummus. This is a good way to use up older, larger beans, but make sure you double pod them before puréeing. It’s worth finishing with some good olive oil.

See full broad bean dip recipe.

Broad Bean Fritters

broad bean fritters recipe
These simple fritters make a good vegetarian main course but you could also serve smaller ones as starters or canapés for a summer party (they can be made in advance and gently warmed through in a low oven). Kids generally love them, particularly the dinky-sized ones.

See full broad bean fritters recipe.

5 recipes to celebrate The Veg New Year

Each season brings its excitement and pleasures in the kitchen; spring starts with scarcity (The Hungry Gap), then follows with abundance and variety, and what we call The Veg New Year. Each year, by June, a new crop is starting every week. Even after 30 years Guy gets excited by the first broad beans and their symbolism of plenty.

After the last month or two of relying on our French farm and other trusted growers overseas to help us fill boxes and offer variety, our boxes are now bursting with homegrown greenery.

Now’s the time to really embrace a life on the veg and celebrate the wealth of colourful, flavoursome veg, fruit and salad our fields and polytunnels have to offer. Here are 5 recipes to bring the best of the season to life.

Crushed Broad Bean Bruschetta


A delectable vegetarian starter. If you make this early in the broad bean season, while they’re still small and soft, you can skip the double podding that broad beans usually call for. Two lovely additions: spread your toasted bread with a little fresh ricotta before piling on the beans, or top the crushed beans with crispily fried pancetta or bacon lardons.

See full crushed broad bean bruschetta recipe

Summer Ham Hock Hash with Cucumber Pickles


The hash is a tick-list of the summer season. We have included some wet garlic which is, essentially, just young garlic, picked before the cloves fully form. It looks like an oversized spring onion or an undersized leek and only needs a very light cook to mellow any raw pungency. If you are an allium aficionado, you could even add it raw and finely sliced. The cucumbers, quickly pickled, make an ideal condiment to the salty ham hock.

See full summer ham hock hash with cucumber pickles recipe

Courgette, Fennel & Kohlrabi Salad


This fresh, summer salad uses crunchy raw courgettes, fennel and kohlrabi, paired with citrus and spices. The fennel seeds accentuate the fennel bulb’s natural flavour, while the caraway is a good match for the brassica flavour of the kohlrabi. If you don’t have all the spices just use those which you do.

See full courgette, fennel & kohlrabi salad recipe

Broad Bean Fritters


These simple fritters make a good vegetarian main course but you could also serve smaller ones as starters or canapés for a summer party (they can be made in advance and gently warmed through in a low oven). Kids generally love them, particularly the dinky-sized ones.

See full broad bean fritters recipe

Tomato & White Bean Panzanella


At its simplest, a traditional Italian panzanella is a way of turning stale bread into salad by mixing it with tomatoes, vinegar and oil. We’re aping stale bread by drying it in the oven for a while. The tomatoes and oil soak into the bread and revive it. Any extra ingredients are open for debate; try mini cucumbers, broad beans, peppers and whatever else takes your fancy.

See full tomato & white bean panzanella recipe

5 Riverford recipes for June

June is the start of The Veg New Year. The Hungry Gap has ended and our fields are suddenly bountiful with all sorts of greenery and vibrant veg; new potatoes, spinach, British asparagus, broad beans and more are in abundance.

Make the most of them in these gorgeous summer dishes, picked by legendary Riverford cook Kirsty.

Warm Potato, Radish & Bean Salad

When new potatoes and radishes are in full swing, how better to celebrate than with this superlative salad. The herbs and capers create a salsa verde – a perfect match for the beans and eggs too. Just be careful with your seasoning, as the capers and olives both lend a saltiness to the finished dish.

See the full warm potato, radish & bean salad with eggs, olives & saffron mayo dressing recipe.

Frying-pan Spinach Soufflé

The word soufflé seems to strike fear into the hearts of even competent cooks, but this version is simple and accommodating. All you’re looking for is to get the eggs to rise slightly, then crisp a little on top, like a puffy omelette. The two things to get right with any form of soufflé are to whisk your egg whites until you can tip the bowl over your head without them falling out (really!) and to fold them in gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

See the full frying-pan spinach soufflé recipe.

Gnocchi with Courgettes, Broad Beans & Peas

The gnocchi and courgettes cook fast, leaving you plenty of time to pod your peas and beans. Podding has a meditative quality to it (for anything less than a kilo!). If it’s speed rather than enlightenment you’re after, split the pile in half and race someone. You can use the broad beans with their skins on, but if you have time it’s worth slipping them from their skins to reveal the bright green bean inside.

See the full gnocchi & crème fraîche with courgettes, broad beans & peas recipe.

Asian Raw Green Bean Salad

Raw beans can add a great crunch to a salad, but they don’t hold a dressing well when kept whole. Slicing them finely creates more nooks, crannies and surface area for all the flavour to cling to. Here we’ve dressed them with an Asian dressing and added radish and peanuts for a satisfying crunch.

See the full Asian raw green bean salad recipe.

Asparagus & Portobello Noodles

Seasonal asparagus is brought to life in this quick, simple stir-fry dish, with Asian flavours from ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and chilli. The cooking for this dish is done at such a pace that it is vital to have all your ingredients prepared and to hand before you start, preferably in the order they are to be used. Peanuts finish the noodles with a salty hit and satisfying bite.

See thefull asparagus & portobello noodles recipe.

5 asparagus recipes to enjoy this spring

Tender, sweet and delicate – the flavour of English asparagus just can’t be beaten. For an organic farmer though, asparagus is the ultimate challenge; weeds being the problem. Asparagus’ tall wispy foliage never casts enough shade to supress weeds, while its unruly growth habit makes row cultivation difficult. For the cook however, it is a delight and an iconic marker of the start of another season.

Our top tip for prepping asparagus is to hold the stalk at either end and bend it gently. It will break naturally at the point where the stalks become woody. There’s no need to waste the bases – they add a lovely flavour to homemade stock.

Here are our top 5 recipe picks to make the most of this seasonal star.

Asparagus, Spinach & Lentil Salad with Hazelnuts & Wootton White


This is a simple and nourishing dish, making a veg hero of asparagus. A bed of lentils and new potatoes are topped with roasted asparagus and one of our favourite cheeses, Wootton White, a British sheep’s cheese that’s made in the same way as feta, for a tangy flourish. Toasted hazelnuts finish it off for a satisfying crunch.

See the full Asparagus, Spinach & Lentil Salad with Hazelnuts & Wootton White recipe.

Asparagus, Potato & Spelt Pizza with Courgette & Rocket Salad


New potatoes, asparagus, red onion, courgette, rosemary and more top this satisfying spring pizza. A very hot oven and a restrained hand with the toppings are the key to a good end result. The temptation is to load it with all kinds of goodies, but the deeper the toppings, the soggier the result and the longer the cooking time. We suggest turning the toppings in a dash of oil so that they roast on the pizza rather than scorch in the intense heat.

See the full Asparagus, Potato & Spelt Pizza with Courgette & Rocket Salad recipe.

Risotto Primavera


A classic Italian dish, using any seasonal spring veg. Here we’ve chosen asparagus, broad beans and spring onions, adding a fresh herby hit to finish off the dish. The onion, celery and carrot trinity are known in Italian as ‘soffritto’ (literally, ‘slow-fried’); they give a good flavour base to any risotto, soup or stew. The two minute wait at the end, stirring in butter and Parmesan to finish is known as the ‘mantecura’; it adds the final creamy touch to the dish.

See full Risotto Primavera recipe.

Asparagus & Portobello Noodles


A quick, satisfying bowl of egg noodles in a soy and hoisin sauce, with ginger, garlic and chilli and seasonal veg asparagus. Portobello mushrooms, cashew nuts and coriander finish it off nicely. The cooking for this dish is done at such a pace that it is vital to have all your ingredients prepared and to hand before you start, preferably in the order they are to be used.

See full Asparagus & Portobello Noodles recipe.

Asparagus & Perl Las Blue Tart


This vegetarian tart pairs asparagus with many of its foodie friends; blue cheese, eggs, nuts, fennel and citrus. We’ve suggested serving them with a fennel, orange and hazelnut salad, but any salad you have to hand would work.

See full Asparagus & Perl Las Blue Tart recipe.

5 vegetarian recipes for May

May is a tricky time of year for us, as we’re a midst The Hungry Gap; the time of year when the winter crops have tailed to an end and we’re still waiting for the first of the summer veg. However, with the help of our French farm, the organic growers we work with in Spain and others, we’re able to keep the boxes full and vibrant.

From now until late summer our carrots will arrive on your doorstep with their gorgeous green tops. Don’t immediately toss them on the compost or give them to the nearest rabbit or guinea pig, but instead eat them. They are especially good made into a pesto.

Other highlights for May include broad beans, asparagus and spinach. Here are 5 recipes to keep your plate colourful and veg filled.

Crushed Broad Bean Bruschetta

A delectable vegetarian springtime starter. If you make this early in the broad bean season, while they’re still small and soft, you can skip the double podding that broad beans usually call for. Two lovely additions: spread your toasted bread with a little fresh ricotta before piling on the beans, or top the crushed beans with crispily fried pancetta or bacon lardons.

See full crushed bean bruschetta recipe

Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot tops are full of flavour, and like the leaves of other roots (e.g. celeriac or beetroot) if they’re in reasonable nick, they’re good to eat – so don’t throw them on the compost. Pick off and discard the larger stems, keeping the feathery leaves. This pesto is great tossed through pasta, or drizzled over roasted carrots, new potatoes or greens. Try crumbling mozzarella or sheep’s cheese over the top too.

See full carrot top pesto recipe

Asparagus, Spinach & Lentil Salad

This is a simple and nourishing dish, making a veg hero of asparagus, a favourite spring vegetable. We suggest topping with one of our favourite cheeses, Wootton white, a British sheep’s cheese, but feta or soft cheese will work.

See full asparagus, spinach & lentil salad recipe

Spinach Linguine with Roasted Tomatoes

Avoid wasting leftover bread by drying it out, blitzing and sprinkling onto pasta dishes like so for a little crunch. Here breadcrumbs top linguine pasta with wilted spinach, sweet, juicy roasted tomatoes, a garlicy hit and a kick of chilli.

See full spinach linguine with roasted tomatoes recipe

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Almond Curry

This is a mildly spiced curry with warming garam masala, a mix of aromatic spices that includes clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin. Lightly bashing the cardamom opens up the seeds for more flavour. Seasonal spinach adds a hit of green, and can be interchanged with swiss chard or spring green.

See full sweet potato, spinach & almond curry recipe