I’ve not managed to write about my veg boxes for the past couple of weeks. As much as I’ve wanted to, the last few weeks have been a little bit repetitive so I’ve not had anything new to write about. As we head into the hungry gap (the part of early spring when almost nothing is in season) I might have less interesting vegetables to write about. I’m really excited and impatient for it to be summer, when every week’s delivery is diverse and exciting and colourful!
This week we have:
Sometimes this is labelled winter purslane, other times they call it claytonia, but as far as I can tell they’re both the same thing. Whatever you call it, it’s a soft and mild small-leafed salad green. At this time of year, after months of living off root vegetables and cabbage, I find it so exciting to start getting salad.
I love celeriac so much, it’s always a joy to get one. It can be a bit of a pain to prepare, you need a really good vegetable peeler (I’d recommend a ceramic peeler rather than metal) or failing that a really sharp paring knife. It’s worth it though, it’s warm, spicy, earthy, and totally unique. You can use it to make some pretty damn fine soup (like my celeriac and cider soup). I also particularly enjoy making alternative chips or wedges, by roasting it with curry powder, or chilli flakes, or just a bit of salt and pepper. Gorgeous!
OK, this wasn’t actually in my veg box, it is a home-grown gift from my mum (who you might notice commenting on my posts as tuthersue). Mum has a lovely, well-kept allotment, and grows tonnes of fruit and vegetables, so whenever I see my parents I always get a bag of home-grown vegetables. My brother lives much closer to home and occasionally gets home from work to find a surprise marrow on his doorstep. Anyway… red cabbage. I’ve got two favourite recipes for red cabbage, and while they have similar ingredients they’re completely different. The traditional way of cooking it is to braise it for an hour with a cup of vegetable stock, a knob of margarine, three-quarters of a cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon of sugar. To get a more intense flavour, or if you’re in a hurry, you should try Valentine Warner’s recipe for (in his words) red cabbage done properly. He’s got a really entertaining way with words, it’s worth reading his recipes even if you’re not planning to make them.
Also received this week: two different kinds of oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, two cute squashes that will almost certainly end up being stuffed and baked, cauliflower.