Greens and beans!

Our member Roselyne, who runs vegetarian and dairy-free 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!  

I have been delighted to have had arugula or rocket in my veg box every week recently! Rocket is a detoxifying, cancer-fighting superfood; it is a member of the brassica family called cruciferous vegetables; a group known for its nutritional powerhouses: broccoli, kale and cabbage. All these vegetables are high in fibre and antioxidants, but they are also rich in compounds known as glucosinolates, which studies show may reduce the risk of developing lung, colorectal, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer. In addition, rocket has high levels of chlorophyll; it promotes bone health, reduces chronic inflammation and can protect the aging brain against cognitive decline! To preserve its nutritional values, eat it raw when possible, in salads or as an addition it to your home-made pesto (see below), but you can also shred it and add it to hot dishes.

Kale is next best on the list of green leafy superfoods; kale can find its way into almost any dish! You can roast it with other vegetables, such as squash, peppers, spring onions and mixed herbs, and add that mixture to fill a quiche or a pie to which you may add your favourite other ingredients such as English, French or Italian cheeses, eggs and seasonings. Add shredded curly kale to your stir-fry with other colourful ingredients such as carrots, red and yellow peppers, onions, cashew nuts or peanuts, ginger and garlic, or to your cooked noodles mix with a generous serving of peanut butter sauce. Add kale to your green daily juice to consume it raw!

We have had plenty of rainbow chard too, and these leaves and stalks can be substituted for kale every time. I made a tofu hot and sour soup with a base of dried mushrooms the other day; that soup had the stalks of the rainbow chard in it and some of its leaves shredded too; I also put some of the green beans in and although it was simple, it was delicious with rice vermicelli noodles in it and a good flavouring of plenty of freshly grated ginger, garlic, good quality natural soya sauce, a little bouillon powder and some of our delicious little red chillies.

We have also had plenty of French green beans and runner beans; these I use everywhere too; in a tomato sauce with cooked spaghetti instead of courgette or green pepper (photo below), in my leek and potato soup (top photo), or in a hearty brown lentil casserole, for the cold Halloween night! All are good!

Do not forget to pick herbs when you are at the farm and make your own pesto sauce; just grab a small food processor, put plenty of roughly chopped flat or curly parsley in it, 2-3 cloves of organic garlic, ½ to 1 tsp salt, a handful of cashews or walnuts (or a mixture) and process until the cashews are ground up and look like grated cheese. Add 3-6 tbsps olive oil and 2-3 tbsps grated parmesan cheese if you like, and whizz again; it will give you a paste which you can use with cooked pasta, over bread for antipasti, over toast (to go with your brown lentil casserole), or served with hummus. Raw garlic is such a powerful antioxidant, and parsley such a good blood cleanser! Both are very helpful in keeping us ‘colds-free’ in the winter months.

And, if you find that you have leftover pesto, you can add white or wholewheat breadcrumbs (made in your food processor) to it and this will make a good topping for a vegetable crumble or pie; just pop it in the oven until the topping is crisp and golden on the edges. Mmmm, very warming!

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