I’ve decided to add a new section to ‘A Wee Pinch of Sugar’ – The organic veg bag. My delivery arrives on a Wednesday from Bellfield Organics and I just love having a rummage, thinking about what I’ll be cooking in the week ahead. It’s all Scottish seasonal ingredients and although I usually have a general idea of what it contains, occasionally there’s a surprise that I wasn’t expecting, maybe signalling a welcome change in the seasons. There’s also a great wee weekly newsletter, apparently very popular with Bellfield customers, with news of what’s happening on the farm at Bellfield and a recipe, always handy if my cooking imagination has dried up.
Root veg such as parsnips, carrots, celeriac and swede are regulars in the current Winter bags, but it’s also great when gems such as purple sprouting broccoli, kale and beetroot make an appearance. All of these fit well with my cooking at this time of year as I tend to slow cook, meaty casseroles and lots of soups.
Last weeks bag had my regular potatoes, carrots & onions with cauliflower, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and celery as the seasonal veg. I usually make soup every day and if it’s one of those quiet weeks of solo dining then I’ll make a few dishes for the freezer. Celeriac and parsnips are great for those dishes and I usually make a vegetable mash using parsnips, carrots and swede or celeriac and sweet potato. These freeze really well and when I’m reheating, a topping of breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs gives a great crunchy topping
Celeriac is a real favourite of mine and I like to use it for soups such as celeriac and leek, or celeriac,spinach and potato. Mashing celeriac with potatoes is a great way of adding extra flavour and an extra vegetable to a meal. This is what I did to accompany this shin of beef recipe and the additional flavour of the celeriac worked really well with the overall dish. This shin of beef recipe can be found in the first of ‘ The Whole Cow’ recipes. (Feb post)
Celeriac and Leek Soup
2 tbsp oil
I small onion chopped
I leek chopped
1 medium celeriac chopped
1 carrot topped tailed and left whole (I leave the carrot whole as it is reported to be more nutritious)
2 bay leaves
1 litre of stock. vegetable or chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of parsley
Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes.
Add the leeks and celeriac and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrot, bay leaves, stick and cook for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, allow to cool slightly and blend either in a food processor or with a hand blender.
Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
The cauliflower was used to make to make Aloo Gobi, a curry dish I really like as I love the combination of spicy cauliflower and Potato. The recipe came from ‘The Hairy Bikers, Great Curries’ and although the recipe suggests evaporating most of the liquid, you can see from the photograph that I like mine with some sauce. It can be a meal in itself served with naan bread and raita.
This newsletter recipe for this week is Curly Kale & Cheese Bake. This would be a great accompaniment to meat dishes or as a vegetarian dish with some good crusty bread.
Curly Kale and Cheese Bake
1 onion chopped
1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped
450g curly kale
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
175g cheddar cheese
2tbsp Parmesan cheese grated.
Pre heat oven to 180oc /Gas 4
Heat oil in pan, add onion and pepper and cook for about 5 mins.
Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Add the cheese, stir well and transfer to a baking dish.
Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top, cover and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Uncover and bake for a further 20 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
There’s still a few parsnips leftover so depending on what’s in this weeks bag, I might blanche and freeze for roasted parsnips or make a parsnip soup or mash.
Find out more about Bellfield Organics – http://www.bellfield-organics.com