Friday 17 September 2021

Puy lentil dish with a refreshing carrot salad

This post was first made on 26 April 2020

Today's from Spade to Plate zoom session, we even ventured outside! We had a little walk through the garden where we saw the cherry, apple, pear, and strawberries in blossom. The coriander and mint were used in the carrot salad and the Purple Sprouting Broccoli leaves were used instead of Kale in the Lentil , lentil and goat's cheese dish

Instead of the goats cheese curd, I mixed cream with goats cheese to pour over the lentils. (Big success)

What is left of this curd, will be used up in the beetroot soup tonight.

As we had 1/2 a preserved lemon left I used this in the Carrot Salad as well. 

All in all a delicious meal

Stepover apple in blossom

Cherry and stepover apple in blossom

Blueberry  in blossom and grape showing first leaves

Strawberries in vertical garden in blossom

Broadbean in flower

Monday 13 September 2021

Ciabatta bread with a fig and Goat's cheese topping

 We made ciabatta bread which went down a storm. 

As the fig harvest is so good, we used the ciabatta as a base and the figs and goat's cheese with a balsamic vinegar and rocket topping. 

Instead of the balsamic vinegar we used the blackberry balsamic vinegar that was made a month or so ago.

As we had some waiting time, I showed how I normally make yoghurt. The yoghurt has just come out of the tea cozy and has set well. It will be in the fridge overnight. I will then put it through a muslin cloth to get a thicker greek style yoghurt and the whey will be just for scone making. As my old school friend Franka and her husband will be coming for tea and they love to try a real English scone (Alice's recipe)

Alice's scones


225g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoon salt

50g frozen butter 

1 small egg 

125ml plain yoghurt

150g crumbled feta cheese

2 spring onions, chopped, or herbs or chilli flakes (optional)

A little milk to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. With your fingers, rub in the grated frozen butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the crumbled cheese and chopped spring onion.
  5. Whisk the egg into the yoghurt with a fork. Make a well in the flour mixture, add the liquid and stir again with a fork, making a soft dough.
  6. Gather the dough in well-floured hands and knead very lightly. On a floured surface, press out the dough with a rolling pin to not less than 1.25cm thick.
  7. Using a 5cm glass or ring cutter, firmly cut out the scones. Gather up the scraps, kneading them together to more scones. 
  8. Transfer the scones to a well greased baking sheet. With a pastry brush wipe the tops of the scones with milk mixture.
  9. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well-risen and golden brown.
  10. Makes 6-8 scones depending on the size of cutter.
We also made some yoghurt. I normally do this using milk delivered in  returnable glass bottles so that we reduce plastic containers

How I make yoghurt 


2 cups  whole milk

2 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt


  1. In a saucepan, over low heat bring the milk to a simmer. It will take around 15-20 minutes. The freshest milk will yield you better yogurt.
  2. Once it starts to bubble turn off the heat and set aside. You notice a skin has formed on your milk, that is normal.
  3. Let it cool down to 120 degree F. 
  4. Once cooled whisk in the yogurt.
  5. Pour into a sterilized jar and tightly close the lid.  Line a deep bowl with a thick tea towel and place in the jar of yogurt. Wrap the jar up well in the towel and let it sit out in a warm part of your kitchen over night.  (you can also use a thermous flask
  6. After this time, pop the jar in the fridge and let it get cold, roughly 2-3 hours. Once chilled your yogurt will be firm and thick in texture. (you could drain this through a muslin bag to get a greek style yoghurt, keep the whey for baking)
  7. Before you add anything, keep a couple of spoonfuls aside for the next batch. At this point you can add sugar, sweetener, honey, fruit and vanilla.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Beet burger

 As my own beetroot is not ready (failed first sowing) Raymond gave me a bunch of his beetroot and thought of making some beetburgers (new recipe) and tomorrow when it is oven day I will make the beetroot and goat's cheese tart

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Preserving tomatoes

 Although the tomato season started very late and blight arrived at the allotment, I still managed to harvest about a wheelbarrow of great tomatoes unaffected by blight. The San marzano turned out well so decided to can these.

I have used some different techniques this year to see how we get on. I will try them in a month time in the hope they all have come out well.

Firstly on 24th and 25th August I used this recipe, no waterbath

Mary has another great video  on how to water bath

Then I made a couple of jars of roasted cherry tomatoes in oil

Today, 26th August I made another batch, using a mix of the two. I peeled the tomato (cross in the bottom and then in boiling water for a few minutes, making peeling much easier) did everything as no water bath recipe, put them in a jar and added salted brine 70mg to 1 litre of water, jarred the chopped tomatoes, covered in brine and topped it off with a layer of olive oil. I did however, put them in a hot water bath, to make the lids go vaccum

The skins were dried as the oven had been on and covered with some celery salt and sumac.a tasty treat to nibble on( rather than biscuits)

Before I treated the tomatoes I cut one good sample, tasted it and when it was to my taste, took some seeds to dry on a  sheet of kitchen paper, named them and will use them again next year.

Monday 6 September 2021

Courgette curry

 courgette curry

To use up some excess courgettes this curry went down very well. Would be good with rice as well as naan bread.