Roselyne's Blog - Enjoying the fruits of our labour!

Our member Roselyne, who runs cookery courses professionally, has kindly offered to provide recipes and tips for making the most of our produce. They will be posted here every week or two, and we hope you enjoy them! Here is her first post, on those abundant salad leaves:

I have made very tasty mixed salads with the selection of the various leaves and lettuces harvested, including rocket, red mustard, mizuna, baby spinach, the lovely looking curly lollo biondo, and an amazing cos lettuce – with no bites from slugs!

You may have found that some of the leaves go limp quite quickly, even when kept in the fridge; refresh them by plunging them in cold water for one hour; a little vinegar can be added to help ‘unstick’ and get rid of impurities and insects. Rinse twice under the tap, drain well in a salad spinner and these leaves will keep fresh and crisp for a few days in the spinner or in a Tupperware box in the fridge.

When making your salads, if you find the taste of some a little strong, chop them up into three or four pieces and mix them with other milder leaves. Bitterness in salad leaves is something most of us are not used to having very much of, these days; not like the Italians!

To make your ‘salade verte’ even tastier, add a lovely dressing made by mixing 2 tbsp walnut or olive oil, 1⁄2 to 1 tbsp of red, white wine or cider vinegar and simply a pinch of salt and black pepper. A scant teaspoon of wholegrain mustard or 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil can be added too.

To make your salads more nutritious try adding some super-tasting Tamari roasted seeds: toast 1 tbsp sunflower and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds in a dry heavy based, small frying pan and put on a medium heat. Cover with a lid when they start popping and before they all jump out of the pan! Turn the heat off when the sunflower seeds are a light golden colour. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 seconds. Add a dash of either Tamari or Shoyu (good quality soy sauces, or use any decent soy sauce), and stir quickly. Take the lid off and leave them until the seeds are dry, then sprinkle over salads.

Enjoy all these vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fibre is one of the best sources of probiotic you can have! It feeds and helps replenish the friendly bacteria in the gut.

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Welcome to the website of FoodSmiles St Albans, a community food-growing project launched this spring, and just starting to pick the first fruits of our labour!

We will be at St Albans Farmers Market this Sunday 13th July - if you're in the area, why not pop along, say hi, and find out more about the project?

This site is in its early stages, but please have a look around and learn a little about what we do, and if you'd like to get involved, do get in touch using the links provided.