This week’s ‘Cara’ potatoes, carrots, onions and beetroot are from Herefordshire, the leeks and Savoy cabbages are local and the red peppers and celery are Spanish. The Cauliflowers in the larger boxes are from Brittany, as ours were badly affected by the cold spell and are still in short supply. This week’s apple is English ‘Fiesta’ and large fruit boxes have Fairtrade pineapples from Ghana. We’re going to squeeze in two recipes; both make good use of seasonal produce.
45og beetroot washed,
1.5L vegetable stock,
1 tsp caraway or cumin seeds,
2 bay leaves,
2 medium onions chopped,
half a Savoy cabbage shredded,
1 large potato cut into small dice,
2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil.
To garnish, sour cream and, if available, chopped dill or chives.
Simmer the beets in the stock, with the caraway seeds and bay leaves, for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until tender.
Fish them out and set to one side, reserving the stock.
In a second (largish) pan heat the butter and very gently cook the onions, potato and cabbage for 10 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to the boil.
As soon as the potato is tender slip the beets from their skins, dice them up, and add them to the soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering of herbs.
Bolognese Apple Cake
Unusual and delicious; like bread and butter pudding with a hint of Christmas cake, and a good way of using up any wrinkly apples and bits of stale bread
7og polenta or ground almonds,
125g plain flour,
70g stale breadcrumbs,
70g caster sugar and a tbsp for dusting,
2 large eggs,
70g runny honey,
40ml olive or vegetable oil,
125g sultanas ( or a mixture of chopped figs and sultanas),
400g dessert apples peeled and diced,
1/2 tsp cinnamon,
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon,
½ tsp salt
.Heat the oven to 180c.
Grease a cake tin (about 22cm) and mix the polenta, flour, breadcrumbs, and sugar in a large bowl.
In another bowl mix the eggs, milk, honey and oil, and stir in the fruit, cinnamon, salt and zest.
Mix together the contents of the two bowls and pour into the tin.
Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours, lowering the temperature if the cake looks like it’s browning too much.
It’s cooked when a knife poked into the centre comes out fairly clean, and cracks appear on the surface.