Make the most of the carrots in your vegbox. Rather than boiling them, Jane Baxter, Head Chef at Riverford’s Field Kitchen shows you how to make crushed carrots with feta, mint and almonds in this week’s video.
what’s what in the box – 14th february 2011
In this week’s What What in the Box video, Jane Baxter (Head Chef at Riverford’s Field Kitchen restaurant) gives you tips for using leeks.
what’s what in the box – 24th january 2011
In this week’s video, Jane Baxter, head chef at our Field Kitchen restaurant shows you how to make creamed parsnips.
what’s what in the box – 13th december 2010
See the recipe here.
In this week’s video, Jane gives you tips on using sweetcorn, savoy cabbage and calabrese broccoli.
what’s what in the box – 4th october 2010
Here is our recipe for creamed corn with cumin and thyme.
Try cooking it in a little bit of oil with bacon and caraway seeds. Cook the seeds and bacon, then when the seeds start to pop, throw in the shredded, washed cabbage and sweat it down for 5 minutes.
Try this recipe for Annie O’Carroll’s roast calabrese with chilli and soy.
In this week’s video, Jane Baxter talks French and runner beans, calabrese broccoli, leeks and fennel.
what’s what in the box – 23rd august 2010
For a great pasta and calabrese broccoli dish, cook your pasta in boiling salted water. While that is cooking, cook the calabrese for about 3 minutes in little florets, chop it up small and mix it with anchovies, chilli and garlic. Toss through the pasta once the pasta is cooked.
order calabrese broccoli from Riverford.
Leeks are back again. A good thing to do with them is cook them for a couple of mins in boiling salted water, cut them in half and then grill them on a griddle plate. Dress them with oil and lemon.
order leeks online from Riverford
One head of fennel will go a long way. Slice it thinly and use through salads, cut into wedges and roast or try slow cooking it in olive oil until it goes soft and brown- that’s really nice with pork.
buy fennel from Riverford Organic
In this week’s video, Jane Baxter talks about our Italian food, an idea for using tomatoes and mozzarella and cooks pasta with potatoes and pesto. If you have any questions about cooking, visit our questions to the cook blog post.
Order Jane’s Italian Essentials online
what’s what in the box – 16th august 2010
pesto pasta with vegetables:
1 medium potato,
Thinly slice the potato and boil the pasta with the sliced potato. Slice the beans and add them to the pan. When the pasta is done, sieve it all and put it all into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of pesto, then finish it with some parmesan. Add a little salt and pepper if you like and finish with some olive oil.
Try using it with chopped tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, a little bit of shredded basil, black pepper and olive oil. You could also try the mozzarella with grilled fennel, beans in balsamic vinegar or even with roast beetroot.
As I write, the last lettuces are being planted into a perfect seedbed under a promisingly leaden sky. We would still like to see a little more rain, but it has been a very easy planting season, with moderate amounts of rain at the right time; enough moisture to get crops established without delaying the planting teams for more than a few hours. Where we irrigate the reservoirs are getting low, but with already shortening days and heavier dews we will have enough water to see us through.
Timing is critical for these last plantings; in terms of growth, one sunny, warm, sixteen-hour day with plenty of moisture now is worth ten bleak, frosty eight-hour days in January. A week’s delay in planting can mean a two month delay in harvest. Over the years we have recorded and computed planting and harvesting dates but still have to take into account the aspect, fertility and location of the field. Every year is different anyway so it invariably goes wrong at some point in the winter.
With the planting over and so many of you on holiday or munching through allotments and gardens, we find ourselves surrounded by more veg then we can fit in the boxes. French and runner beans, calabrese, bunched beets and tomatoes are all at their peak and at their best, to name but a few. We are starting to see the first red chillies and sweetcorn and even a few leeks. August and September are a veg lover’s paradise, with an abundance and variety in the boxes to inspire any cook. If you have any friends who might be on the verge of trying a vegbox please give them a nudge now. I know many of you refer people anyway (thanks for your support; word of mouth recommendation is easily our largest source of new customers). I resent every penny spent on marketing. We would rather give that money to you or a good cause and will happily put £10 on your account (or to Send a Cow if you prefer) if you feel inclined to refer a friend. Just tell your friend about it and ask them to call Customer Services on 0845 600 2311/01803 762059 or email email@example.com/blog.
In this week’s video, Jane Baxter talks about sugar snap peas, an idea for a North African fattoush and cooks a swiss chard, mushroom and onion gratin. For more tips on using your veg, see our Questions to the Cook blog post.
what’s what in the box – 9th august 2010
sugar snap peas:
Sugar snap peas are in season, if you do cook them, don’t cook them for too long, only a couple of minutes. They’re good tossed in butter or mix with blanched runner beans with a tahini and yoghurt dressing.
to use a lot of the veg in this week’s box:
Chop the cucumber, tomato, a few sugar snap peas, a bit of onion, blanched runner beans and mix them together to make a version of a North African fattoush. Some toasted pitta bread tossed in at the last minute and a vinaigrette with cumin seeds makes an interesting salad.
swiss chard, mushroom + onion gratin
half an onion
6 or 7 mushrooms
4 or 5 large swiss chard leaves
1 clove garlic
Chop the mushrooms and the onion. Add onions, mushrooms, butter and oil to a pan.Wash the chard, rip out the stalks, then cook in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes. Refresh in cold water then when it’s cool, squeeze out the water.Add some crushed garlic to the mushrooms, then the chard, and a little bit of crème fraîche. Stir to combine, check the seasoning and transfer to a gratin dish. Scatter over some grated cheese and bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes.
As you may have guessed, I am a vegetable bore. Twenty five years ago when I sowed my first leek I was fairly well adjusted but now my wife reckons I can turn any conversation to growing, cooking or eating veg within seconds. The box scheme was founded on the invigorating but dangerous assumption that my obsession was, at least partially, shared by customers.
This year I set out on a cooking odyssey to understand how others use or don’t use our vegetables. I cooked in village halls, in my bus, on the beach, in tents in Wales, on stage at WOMAD but most of all in customers’ homes. The experience has been fascinating (for a veg bore), frustrating (you are all so different) and humbling (there is life after vegetables). My abiding impression is that most of you do share an enthusiasm for our veg, but that we need to make it easier for you to incorporate them into often busy lives. According to our customer survey last year only 5% of you find it really easy to use your box and 32% struggle. However fresh and tasty, local and minimally packaged, fairly traded and sustainably grown those carrots and beans are, if you are struggling to use them we will lose you in the end.
Our mission for the coming months is to make life with a box easier. There will be a few minor changes like less clods of mud but mostly we want to do this by cooking with you; both virtually and in person. We plan to team up with around 100 like-minded professional cooks who are inspired by our veg and on a par with our chef, Jane Baxter when it comes to cooking them. They will work part-time with us and our customers, inspiring, teaching, demonstrating, creating recipes. We plan to run initiatives including affordable cookery classes and demos in homes, workplaces and community venues; lunch clubs, supper clubs and cooking clubs and a recipe exchange for customers. We have already run some pilot events and now we really want to get going.