When local produce is harvested frozen and crusted with ice it’s difficult to know how well it will recover, and we leave it in our chilly cellar to slowly thaw. Sometimes it’s fine, and sometimes it turns out damaged, particularly if it’s been roughly handled in the field. I was a bit concerned about this week’s Brussels sprouts so we had some for tea on Monday night; a little bruised perhaps, but we thought them very sweet and tasty. Eat them up as soon as you can, but please do let us know if you’re unhappy with the quality of any of the produce so we can offer you a credit and do our best to address the problem. Feedback is important to us. Also making their first appearance of the season are local Jerusalem artichokes and this week’s potato is the salad variety ‘Nicola’ from the kitchen garden at nearby Wortley Hall; firm ‘waxy’ flesh makes this a good one for boiling. Larger boxes have a bag of lambs lettuce, a winter salad leaf. It’s delicious but be careful to rinse it well as the rosettes can harbour a bit of grit.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Fennel Soup
Artichokes have a lovely earthy flavour perfect for soups. We’ve sent out this recipe before but if you’re new to veg boxes, and this particular vegetable, this is a classic ...
1 clove garlic finely chopped,
1 lg onion chopped,
1 medium potato peeled and sliced,
250g artichokes scrubbed and sliced,
1 bulb fennel sliced,
100 ml single cream,
salt and pepper ...
Heat the butter in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the potato, fennel, artichokes and stock.
Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Liquidise and pass through a sieve.
Add salt, pepper and cream to taste.
ROASTED ARTICHOKE AND TOMATO BRUSCETTA (for 2 or 3) ...
400g artichokes scrubbed and halved lengthways,
2 or 3 large slices of sourdough bread or ciabatta,
1 clove garlic,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
a handful of walnuts,
1 fresh mozzarella torn into large pieces,
3 tomatoes halved,
a handful of salad leaves,
a little chopped parsley,
salt and pepper ...
Coat the artichokes in oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes at 200c, placing the tomatoes (cut side up) amongst them after 15 minutes.
Shake together the lemon juice, 2 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and dress the salad leaves and walnut pieces.
Toast the bread and rub one side gently with the garlic.
Assemble the salad, vegetables, parsley, nuts and cheese on the toast, sprinkle on a little more dressing and serve.
This week’s English apple is a new one; ‘Crimson Pink’.