Organic Veg Box Week Commencing 20th July 2020
Our veg boxes that were delivered in and around the Staffordshire Moorlands week commencing 20th July 2020 included the following:
(Feature pic courtesy of Moorland Eater)
Yellow Patty Pan Squash from Bedlam Farms Cambridgeshire
Although pumpkins have been grown in Britain for centuries, and marrows too, it’s only in the twentieth century that courgettes and their cousins have been bred in Italy, and then quickly transported to America by migrants arriving there in the 1920s. It took another 30 years for them to feature in British recipe books, and yet now they’re enormously popular, with butternut squash in particular appearing in many a vegetarian soup, risotto, tart and gratin.
With its unmistakable ‘alien spaceship’ appearance, the patty pan has a soft, mild and nutty flavour and is pretty versatile in much the same way as courgettes are.
Some of you will have had just one (larger) squash, and some a couple of smaller ones and maybe even a tiny UK courgette (or two) so the Italian bread salad recipe below is a great way to use either or both of these, along with those cherry tomatoes and some stale crusty bread, and a glass of rose to accompany it (as suggested here but definitely go for a dry Italian or French one).
Broad Beans from Somerset
These have been grown in the UK since the sixth century (!), but the days of them being perceived simply as peasant fare are well behind us now with plenty of modern dishes featuring them in salads, pastas, risottos, custards and dips. I loved it when one of our customers sent me Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe though - it’s so simple!
Broad bean hummus
400g shelled broad beans
½ - 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little salt
3 tbsp rapeseed/extra virgin olive oil
Generous squeeze of lemon juice
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Simmer beans for 5-10 minutes (until tender)- drain, cool and slip out of their skins. Blend/process with the rest of the ingredients to a thick, slightly coarse puree, adding more oil if too dry. Taste and adjust seasoning/add lemon juice if required.
Hugh suggests serving on Little Gem lettuce leaves, but this will definitely be in our lunchtime wraps thanks to Jackie’s recommendation. A word of warning though - although this freezes well, she tells me that the garlic becomes more pronounced so be wary of that!
Rainbow Carrots from Norfolk
Indigenous to Britain, the orange carrots that have become standard today actually originated from Afghanistan and were introduced by Flemish refugees in the fifteenth century. Before that, they were purple, white and red, much like the ones you’ve had in your box this week! Still seen as a ‘staple’, and included in your selection every week, we were delighted when we saw that these were available. In fact they all taste the same, regardless of colour, so we hope you’ll be pleased if we decide to go all purple in future weeks!
You’ll have also had green Batavia lettuces from Lincolnshire, Maris Peer potatoes and bunched radishes from Norfolk, Primo cabbage from Yorkshire, and those fabulous chestnut mushrooms from Armagh this week - the blackest cherries and beautiful Opal plums from Herefordshire too if you’ve had a fruit box.
Did you know that only 2.7% of the total farmed land in Britain is organic? Of that, 63% is pasture, 20% temporary pasture and 8% cereal crops. Of the 485.2 hectares that the organic farm land represents, only 9.4k are dedicated to vegetables, and a mere 2.0k to fruit and nuts….so your cherries and plums are rare jewels indeed!
Look forward to seeing the pictures of what you make with it all this week...
Leonie and David