Main meals

SUMMER RECIPES (beans, courgettes etc): click here.

our squah 2014

Look at the size of this beauty, from our 2014 harvest! It’s a ‘rouge vif d’Etampes’.

Tonight in our house it will be vegetable tagine, including a successor of this one (I save the seeds).

It’s so simple. Tagine is basically a Moroccan spicy stew, traditionally cooked in a clay pot. Usually there’s a dash of sweetness; the squash will provide that, as would sweet potatoes; some people add a little honey or eg maple syrup; I like to add a few dried apricots. Here’s a recipe for you.

Winter Vegetable Tagine

INGREDIENTS (3-4 servings):
2 leeks or 2 onions
Two big potatoes diced (big chunks)
Three carrots diced (big chunks)
Two beetroot
1 small butternut squash or half a bigger red one, either prebaked or diced (big chunks) (I bake a whole squash, pricked, then scoop out flesh and freeze it)
Any other veg to taste, eg root veg, courgettes, peppers, aubergines
Optional (protein): canned chickpeas or beans

2-3 tbsps olive oil
Tin tomatoes
Cup stock if more liquid needed; otherwise veggie stock cube or Vecon
Small handful dried apricots if liked
Juice of half lemon

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
3 dessertspoons of harissa or 1 tsp chopped or dried chilli (less if you don’t want it hot)
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced or grated
1 tsp crushed coriander seed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of turmeric
salt & black pepper to taste

Optional to garnish:
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
1 tbsp of chopped mint
Almonds or cashews (protein)

Dry-toast the dried spices for a minute or two, then add oil, and sauté onions/leeks till soft. Add garlic and ginger. Add other veg and spices and simmer gently 10 minutes.

Add lemon juice and tin of tomatoes. At this point add stock if needed, or stock cube (etc) anyway, and apricots.

Simmer on a low heat for around 30-40 minutes. Taste and season.

Serve over rice or couscous with greens on the side (I love rainbow chard – the fiery colours of the whole thing are heartwarming); garnish with parsley and mint if liked. Some people add yogurt, or a vegan equivalent (Coyo is by far the best – yogurt from coconut! – but juicy on food miles and expensive)


Andie Lewenstein gave me this recipe:

Grains, chestnut & cabbage with dhal

Andie's millet etc recipeAndie: ‘I’m always keen to find tasty combos for the ‘anti-inflammatory’ grains: quinoa, buckwheat and millet.

‘I cooked this batch of millet by ‘toasting’ a cupful first in the pan in sesame oil, then adding more than twice the volume (cups) of water with Marigold bouillon powder.

‘I steamed sweetheart cabbage with pre-cooked chestnuts (vacuum packed or in tins, excellent though pricey store cupboard items) which I dressed with rosemary and garlic infused olive oil and black pepper.’
andie's tarka dhal
The dhal
‘I like dhal so much I could eat it every other day. For this one, I cooked 8 oz washed red lentils in a pint of water with a teaspoon each of coriander powder and turmeric. When soft, I used a stick blender because I like it smooth. Then I added some clumps of frozen leaf spinach. Add some salt at this point.

‘The tarka I made with sliced onion and garlic in coconut oil, and when they are soft add fennel seeds, mustard seeds, dried crushed chilli and cumin (either ground or as seeds). When ready, add to the dhal.’


Beetroot & potato patties, coconut kale, carrot salad

Here in Devon the wild garlic has started. I add it to everything I can think of, including the two hot dishes in this supper menu.

Make the carrot salad first, by mixing:
3 carrots, grated
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2-3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, OR pumpkin seeds, OR cashew nuts – or a mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of one lemon
(1 tablespoon of raisins if liked)

I need to credit Riverford for the last two parts, which I’ve adapted from their recipes.

The patties (to serve 2/3)

6 small potatoes
3 medium-large beetroots
1-2 tablespoons flour, for binding
3 cloves garlic finely chopped or 3 leaves fresh wild garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
half-teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch each oregano, thyme
salt and plenty of fresh-ground pepper
(optional: 1 teaspoon toasted ground sesame seeds)
olive or sunflower oil for frying

Parboil the potatoes. Meantime, peel and grate the beetroot. Drain the potatoes, keeping the water for the kale dish.

Heat the oil. Grate the potatoes into the beetroot. Season well, and taste. Mix flour, a little at a time, into the vegetable mix until it more-or-less holds together. Using damp hands, make 6 flat patties. When oil is medium-hot, drop the patties in and flatten further. Let them gently cook on each side (take care on turning; they may break up anyway) for 15 or so minutes.

Coconut kale

1 big bag of kale, chard or spinach
1 large onion, chopped
4 or wild garlic leaves or 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons mixed herbs or herbes provencales (or fresh rosemary – a little)
stock: potato water + bouillon (1 cupful)
salt and pepper
coconut oil
juice of half a lemon

Wash and tear up the kale. Melt the coconut oil. When medium-hot (don’t heat too high), add the onion and let it soften. Add kale.

After a few minutes add the chopped garlic cloves or leaves. When wilted, stir in the stock, half a cup at first. Add the lemon and herbs.

When the kale has reduced add more stock only if needed – you don’t want it to be too liquid. (You could replace the stock with coconut milk + bouillon.) Taste and season before serving.

This menu looks wonderful: orange carrots, red patties, greeny kale dish. Enjoy it!