Wednesday is delivery day for my organic veg bag and usually means I’ll plan food for the days ahead with the seasonal vegetables for that week. As the seasons change I find myself getting quite excited at the thought of what’s included as I rarely know the contents in advance.
As we move from the winter months into spring there’s a gradual change in the vegetables, moving from then arthy robust swedes, parsnips, winter cabbages, to tomatoes, courgettes, spring greens, spinach, asparagus and new potatoes.
Although there’s always the old favourites such as carrots and broccoli that get cooked every week, it’s nice to start thinking about some lighter dishes to cook.
This week is Fresh Week, launched by Tefal as a celebration of fresh food and healthy eating so it’s seems a good time to be writing about fresh seasonal food. There are lots of recipes for fresh ingredients on the Tefal website http://www.Tefalfreshexpress.co.uk/FreshWeek and you can also take the pledge to give up processed food for the week.
Letting the seasons dictate what I cook is something I enjoy enormously. It’s not just vegetables that signal the changing seasons, the range of meat, fish and game changes and there’s something very satisfying with going with what’s available. It’s such a great way to shop. The rhythm of my food shopping week is the veg bag delivery on a Wednesday followed by a farmers market on a Saturday and maybe even a Sunday.
The past few weeks there’s been plum tomatoes in the delivery but the highlight of a trip to Glasgow farmers market last weekend was undoubtedly Clyde Valley Tomatoes following the recent revival of the the Scottish tomato industry by partners David Craig and Scott Robertson.
Having followed their story since they began the venture last year, it was a real joy to see the tomatoes finally on sale. And shoppers were not disappointed. It was obviously a fantastic sensory experience, sight, touch, smell, and a taste of tomatoes that tasted like I remembered from childhood. It was also great to see so many varieties available, freshly picked and having travelled only 25 miles to market. Cucumbers were also available, and immediately two dishes came to mind. Tomato and cucumber raita to accompany Saturday night’s curry and a Greek salad with a Scottish twist for Sunday lunch.
Tomato and cucumber raita
130g mixed tomatoes chopped
50g cucumber chopped
200ml Greek Yoghurt.
2 tbsp chopped mint
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper.
Mix the tomatoes and cucumber with the yoghurt. Stir in the mint and cumin. together and season to taste. Tip into a serving bowl and sprinkle with cayenne and pepper.
4 large tomatoes
Half a cucumber
1 red onion
Black olives ..I use a small pack with about 20 olives.
Block of Feta Cheese
Herbs….fresh…Oregano is good but sometimes I use basil.
I used Summer Harvest rapeseed oil and bramble vinegar, a real favourite of mine
50 ml rapeseed oil
15 ml bramble vinegar
Freshly Ground black pepper and sea salt flakes.
Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite size chunks, slice the red onion thinly, add the olives and crumble over the Feta Cheese.
Combine the dressing ingredients and mix through the salad. Scatter the herbs on top, drizzle with some more olive oil and season to taste.
You can find out more about the revival of the Scottish tomato industry and Clyde Valley Tomatoes from http://www.clyde-valley.co.uk
More information on the bramble vingegar and rapeseed oil can be found at http://www.summerharvestoils.co.uk