March 24, 2011

A walk on the wild side

Wild garlic is good for you. It’s particularly effective in reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Walk into a damp part of almost any wood in early spring, and an amazing carpet of wild garlic greets you. It flowers at the same time as bluebells, which colonise the drier ground. Try using the leaves and flowers as a base for pesto to eat with baked potatoes or pasta. This recipe is from one of my all-time favourite books, the Garden Cookbook, by Sarah Raven.

Wild Garlic Pesto

For a large jar:
2 handfuls (about 100g) of wild garlic leaves with flowers
200ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for sealing
50g pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper

Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water for about 10 seconds.

Refresh in cold water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Put the wild garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or walnuts, together with the garlic cloves, into a food processor and blend to a puree.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the grated Parmesan. Season carefully and put into a sterilised jar.

Pour over a little extra olive oil to seal and cover tightly.

Or, if you're feeling a little more adventurous, you could always try your hand at making dandelion pesto. I'm certainly going to give it a try. You can find the recipe on David Lebovitz's fantastic foodie blog

March 13, 2011

Eggstra! Eggstra! Read all about it!

Our six lovely hens have been dutifully laying between 4-6 eggs a day. To honour their efforts, I decided to add a few new lines to the early rhubarb range we sell at farmers' markets. In addition to the jams, jellies and syrups we now have:

Early Rhubarb Curd
Soft, smooth, intensely flavoured spread. Delicious alternative to jam on bread, scones, muffins, or as a luxurious filling for cakes and tarts. A total sell out at our last market, so come early to avoid disappointment!

Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble Muffins
Large muffins with chunks of rhubarb and stem ginger to add some kick, and topped with a crumble topping. A really naughty treat you have to try!

Giant Cocoa MeringuesHuge fluffy pillows of sugary eggy air laced with bitter cocoa. At home, these are fast becoming one of our weaknesses. They are just simply yummy! Eat them when you are on your own as they do make a bit of a mess and you do look slightly silly with cocoa powder and bits of meringue all over you face and front. They taste extra special with a good cup of coffee.

Market dates and locations:

Bath Farmers' Market
1st and 3rd Saturday of the month

Frome Farmers' Market
2nd Saturday of the month

Stroud Farmers' Market
4th Saturday of the month