2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
Half a teaspoon ground cumin
Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
Half a teaspoon ground ginger
Quarter teaspoon ground cloves
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1kg butternut squash
750 ml vegetable stock
1 tin chickpeas
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or similar)
1 tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Peel and chop the onion & garlic.
Peel the butternut squash and cut into chunks.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic
Cook gently for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften, then add the spices, sugar and butternut squash
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring until fragrant.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer gently until the squash is tender.
Add the chickpeas, Tabasco and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Puree the mixture in a food processor or with a handheld blender until smooth. Serve piping hot, with a sprinkling of cayenne if liked.
100g dried fruit of your choice – mixed tropical fruit is good
1tsp ground cinnamon
4tbsp clear honey
50g chopped hazelnuts – can be omitted
4 large cooking apples
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Roughly chop the dried fruit and mix with the cinnamon, honey and hazelnuts. You can also add a little vanilla or rum at this point.
- Core the apples and score the skin around the middle. Place in a baking dish.
- Brush the hollows of the apple with lemon juice.
- Fill the centre of the apples with the fruit and nut mix.
- Bake for 30–40 minutes until golden and soft. Cove r with foil if filling starts to get too brown.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 finely chopped courgette
Good splash of olive oil
150g Risotto rice
Half a litre of vegetable stock (a little more may be needed)
1 wine glass white wine
Handful of chopped herbs (such as thyme, marjoram, parsley) and courgette flowers
Garnish: Courgette Flowers
Fry the onion, garlic and courgette gently in olive oil until softened but not brown. Add Risotto rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, gradually add stock and wine. Return to heat and simmer gently, stirring very frequently, until the stock is absorbed and the rice cooked (add more hot stock if necessary). Add the handful of chopped herbs and flowers and mix well. Serve with the garnish.
If you already have chive plants, once they start to flower you can use some of the flowers to make into a butter to add colour and flavour to dishes such as jacket potatoes, grilled fish, steak, or lightly steamed vegetables, or even added to sandwiches.
Pick flowering stems, and discarding the stems, crumble the florets of the flower into butter at room temperature, mix and return to the fridge to allow the flavour to develop, in the same way as for herb butter.
(Wild ramson flowers can also be treated in the same way, but be wary, it can be very strong!)