Dear Coleshill veg box customers, new and old,

This is Barny Haughton from Square Food Foundation. Well, what a time this is. I hope you are all managing ok.

I’ve written a couple of recipes to go with your boxes this week. Below, you’ll find one for steamed vegetables with wild garlic, walnut and goat’s cheese pesto. In a second post, you’ll find one for Wild Garlic Soup.

I hope you enjoy making them and, even more, eating them. They both use wild garlic. I know Sonia is hoping to harvest enough wild garlic to put some in all your boxes, but she’s not sure how much she will be able to harvest. If you don’t get some in your box this week, you will get some soon—or you can you use spinach instead. Go and pick some as well. It’s everywhere now. And perhaps making the pesto will make you feel like doing a small jig around the kitchen!

About the Square Food Foundation

I thought you might also be interested to know what the Square Food Foundation is up to in far-away Bristol. (Suddenly other towns and cities and even villages seem very far away!).

We recently re-purposed our kitchen here to produce free, delicious and healthy meals for local children and families, specifically those that rely on Free School Meals, during this long and difficult period. We hope to extend this service to older people and other groups at risk of loneliness, homelessness and poor health. If you’d like to find out more–or perhaps how you can help–please visit our website here.

Sonia and the Coleshill Organics team are brilliantly supporting this project; indirectly, so are you, so a big thank you all. Keep buying and cooking and eating those lovely vegetables. We really are all in this together.

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with another couple of recipes.

Best wishes,

Barny

INGREDIENTS

These days we tend to saute or roast or bake vegetables rather than steam or boil them. We want the flavours to be more concentrated and bigger. But steaming your lovely Coleshill vegetables, especially at this time of year, allows the individuality of their natural flavours to sing. They also go perfectly with the earthy sweet raw flavours of the pesto

For the pesto 

(You can use hazelnuts instead or a mix of both.)

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100g wild garlic leaves, very finely chopped
  • 100g toasted walnuts
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 100g crumbly goats cheese
  • 2 tbs cider vinegar
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pepper & salt

METHOD

On a large chopping board, crush the garlic and chop to a paste with a pinch of salt. Transfer to a bowl. Crush the hazelnuts, into coarse but evenly sized pieces and add to the garlic. Add the chopped wild garlic, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt and mix to a coarse paste. Add more lemon or olive oil to taste and perhaps a splash of water for texture.

To keep in the fridge: transfer to a tub, press well down and cover with a little olive oil. This will help keep it fresh for up to 3 days.

For the vegetables:

(This pesto is also delicious with freshly made pasta ribbons or a pumpkin risotto.)

A combination of, say, four different vegetables is good: maybe purple sprouting, carrots, cauliflower and potatoes, washed/scrubbed and broken or cut into biggish junks; if the carrots are small, leave them whole.

METHOD

Steam or boil the vegetables in minimum water, one vegetable at a time, using the same water for all of them, topping up as you need and keeping any left over water for soup. The vegetables should be cooked – not too crunchy. Put the vegetables in a warmed serving dish as you go and cover with a tea towel to keep warm.

Just before serving, squeeze the juice of half a lemon and a little olive oil over the top of the warm vegetables.

Barny Haughton is a chef, restaurateur, cookery school teacher and Eco Food pioneer. He has run three award-winning restaurants in Bristol over the last 25 years (Rocinantes, Quartier Vert and Bordeaux Quay).

Barny is best known for his work at Square Food Foundation, Bristol’s Cookery School & Community Kitchen, where he is Director and Head Teacher, teaching people from all walks of life to cook good food.

Barny Haughton