We had a lovely Easter at Nethergong with a special visit from the Easter Bunny and plenty of chocolate. It was a bit nippy but only one short shower so the campers were ecstatic.
Lewis was at Broadstairs Food Festival and did a roaring trade with wild garlic and the first local asparagus selling like hot cakes (or perhaps that should be hot potatoes). We also signed up several new customers to get their introductory half price box, hopefully leading to regular orders. Welcome to Nethergong if you are one of our newbies.
My baby plants are doing well in the polytunnel but the forecasters say we could have frost this week which will slow them down again. If it’s a heavy frost the apple and plum blossom might be affected which will lead to less fruit this summer. A shame because it has been a particularly heavy year for blossom and we were hoping for bumper crops.
In your boxes……………..
We have some fresh spring cabbage (pointy cabbage) this week. Its much lighter than the dense winter cabbages and steams really well. Normal cauliflowers are still in good supply as are the lovely little leeks from Tanya. For that spring feeling we have cucumbers and flat lettuces from Steve Parsley.
Recipe 1: Spring Cabbage with ginger
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger
500g/1lb 2oz spring cabbage, shredded
Heat the oil in a frying pan, then cook the mustard seeds until they are fragrant and starting to pop. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, then fry until golden. Tip in the cabbage and stir to coat in the spices, then cook for 5 mins until tender. Season and serve immediately
Recipe 2: Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese type of pancake, their favourite ‘fast food’ . This si a westernised version but delicious all the same
150g cabbage, finely shredded
80g leeks, well washed and chopped
130g wholemeal flour
A pinch or two of sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
Toasted flaked almond and chives, to finish
1 Combine the cabbage, leeks, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with a dusting of flour. Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is evenly coated.
2 Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Scoop the cabbage mixture into the pan, and using a metal spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. To flipthe okonomiyaki, slide it out of the skillet on to a plate. Place another plate on top and flip both over together. If you need a bit more oil in your skillet, add it now, then slide the okonomiyaki back into the skillet. Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side – another 3 -5 minutes.
3 Sprinkle the okonomiyaki with toasted almonds and chives, and slide it on to a cutting board to cut into wedges
Recipe 3: Spring Cabbage and Onion Tart – serves 4
175g plain flour Pinch salt
1 tsp caster sugar
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
About 3 tbsp cold water 1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp caraway seeds
325g spring or pointed cabbage, shredded
325g potatoes, peeled & finely sliced 4-6 spring onions, sliced
125g crumbly full-flavoured cheese e.g. Wensleydale, crumbled
375ml crème fraiche 3 eggs
Salt & pepper
To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and blitz briefly. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Gradually add the water and pulse until the mixture combines into a dough. Roll out on a floured work surface and line a 23cm flan tin or dish. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the caraway seeds. Fry gently for a minute, then add the cabbage and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain.
Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Remove the flan dish from the fridge, take off the cling film and line the pastry with baking parchment or foil. Fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes (it’s easier to handle the dish if you place it on a baking tray).
Remove baking beans and paper or foil, then bake for another 5-10 minutes (don’t let it go brown).
In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, potato, spring onions and most of the cheese (save a couple of tablespoons).
In a separate bowl, beat the crème fraîche with the eggs and season well. Fill the pastry case with the cabbage and potato mixture, spreading it out evenly.
Pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until just set and lightly browned.