Hello Fennel, Cherries, Artichoke, Raspberries, Chard, Kohlrabi... Friday Food Thoughts June 25, 2021

Elderflower might be almost over and local asparagus off the list until next year and we think that's pretty exciting because - to turn a phrase - to us they are the 'gateway' produce or runway into to lots more fruit and veg coming in to season and into our and hopefully your food too!

Celeriac Might As Well Have Been A Moon Rock

One of the things I know from both personal experience and the questions and comments we get from you guys is that some veg are a little bit daunting... There was a time when, for me, celeriac might as well have been a moon rock. So this week we are taking the opportunity to demystify and give you some ideas for the seasonal veg coming over the horizon...

Demystifying Your Seasonal Veg Draw

Pictured are some of the amazing produce that was in the veg box we got from Rosewood Acres last week and talked through in our monthly Eat The Seasons class.  Chard, Fennel, Spring Onions, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Rocket, Basil (and lots of other herbs) and artichokes are all in season or coming in to season now. Not to mention peas,  beans and the first of the tomatoes....

What To Do With It All...

Artichokes - cut the stalk to about two inches long.  Pop into a steamer and steam for 25 minutes (or put them in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes).  To eat pull off the individual leaves, dip the fleshy bit at the bottom in vinaigrette (we like elderflower or chive) or mayo and scrape off with your teeth. Yum. Once you've eaten all the fleshy bits from the leaves you'll find the 'choke' which is basically the furry bit of the thistle.  You don't want to eat this, it will make you 'choke' (not sure if the two chokes are connected).  Cut the choke out and you are left with the 'heart' - dip in vinaigrette and eat.  
Kohlrabi - remove the tough skin and grate or chop into a slaw or remoulade.  Has the texture/ taste of a savoury apple. Save the leaves for Veg End Stir Fry or Omelette (see below)
Fennel - roast the bulb whole (especially if the aniseed flavour puts you off) or chop bulb and fronds into salads and stir fries.  We use the fronds to as a herb when we pickle veg...
Swiss chard grows like a weed. Treat it like spinach but with a bit more about it! Stalks take longer to cook so strip them out, chop them up and sauté or steam for five minutes before you add the leaves. The colour means they're especially good for you - and they are great in a stir fry or omlette.
Herbs - we love making tea with mint, preserving flavours like tarragon in vinegar, drying thyme for later in the year and whizzing up basil with olive oil to add to salads - freezes well too...

Don't Forget The Fruit (& Cherry Gin)

We are now getting strawberries and raspberries from Graveney. Mount Ephraim has cherries which you will find in shops - and if you are near Faversham and want to to see an old school orchard in operation then go and see Terry on The Graveney Road.  We'll be using cherries in our Cherry Mess next Friday and our Italian Feast on July 23.  The picture opposite shows you a regular 'sweet' cherry and a wild cherry.  Wild cherries line the hedgerows around here and are well worth foraging for the most amazing Cherry Gin...
Cherry Gin Recipe... Equal weight wild cherries (stalked, not pitted) and gin (or brandy), 10% by weight of sugar.  Combine into glass jar. Put somewhere dark and forget about for at least five months.  Will be good before then but worth waiting as long as you can... Sweet cherries will work but wild cherries make it special.
If you checked out where the wild cherry blossom was earlier in the year like we told you to you'll know where to go now!  Just sayin'.

Where To Get Your Five A Day

There are lots of great shops and market stalls selling local produce in this area.  From Macknade and The Goods Shed to smaller indie grocers - and of course, where we really luck out around here, the farms themselves. We work with Rosewood Acres Regenerative Farm.  Click through below to find out more about what they do and their open Saturdays when you can go up and see what they do and buy veg and flowers directly.
Visit Rosewood Acres Regenerative Farm

How To - Veg End Omelette

When veg is as good as it is at the moment it seems a shame to throw any of it away.  Veg End omelette is super tasty and easy too.  Step 1 - chop your veg ends. Step 2 - saute with a bit of garlic and olive oil until soft then remove from pan. Step 3 - make your omelette. Gently whisk your eggs (this was four) and pour into a non stick pan. Cook until almost 'done'.  Step 4 - put sauted veg on top, add cheese if you fancy it. Fold over.  That's it. Even if you mess it up it will taste good!  Not an omlette fan, try stir fry.