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to Spring! It’s the time of revival, re-growth and it’s the season for innovation. This spring issue is all the more needed because it covers the hungry-gap, that time of year when the summer fruits and salads haven’t arrived yet and the winter vegetables are running out. It’s at this time of year that you have to be most inventive to get by on locally sourced food. Some of our favourites from this season include: Sorrel Soup, Wild Garlic Pesto, Scots Rarebit (with a twist) and a delightful recipe from Geoffrey Smeddle at the Peat Inn, plus the first appearance of Rhubarb. After a long winter it’s great not just to eat food from the new season but to challenge yourself with different dishes and to take a walk on the wild side and re-connect with nature. This doesn’t have to be about foraging or exotic – but it can be as simple as using nettles or native herbs. Using what can be produced here well and with a natural affinity for the climate, a careful sprinkling of some more exotic herbs and spices can be all that you need to re-discover some new twists on familiar vegetables. Try the Spicy Tagine of Turnips, With Lamb or the Carrot And Beetroot Curry. Perhaps not combinations you instantly think of – but easily 80% locally sourced and 100% delicious. We believe that food – that thing which is immediately universal and personal, is a crucial key to empowering individuals to make critical decisions about their lives; a toolkit for community development and for regional expression. But better than that it tastes good. We hope you enjoy it!

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Bircher Muesli ................................................................................................................. Page 4 Frittata ................................................................................................................................ Page 4 Easy Soda Scones ........................................................................................................... Page 5 Little Loaf, Big Taste ..................................................................................................... Page 6 Taramasalata ................................................................................................................... Page 7 Cream of Sorrel Soup ................................................................................................... Page 8 Colcannon Soup ............................................................................................................. Page 8 Nettle Soup ....................................................................................................................... Page 8 Purple Sprouting Broccoli Quiche ......................................................................... Page 9 Spring Cabbage ............................................................................................................ Page 10 Roasted Cauliflower ................................................................................................... Page 10 Parsnips .......................................................................................................................... Page 11 Griddled Leek ............................................................................................................... Page 12 All Seasons Soufflé ...................................................................................................... Page 12 Chicken Leek and Vegetable Pie ........................................................................... Page 13 Cauliflower Curry ........................................................................................................ Page 14 Beetroot and Carrot Curry ...................................................................................... Page 15 Flatbreads or Roti ........................................................................................................ Page 15 Lamb and Mint ........................................................................................................... Page 16 Rhubarb and Rosemary Chutney and Fish ..................................................... Page 16 Herbs ............................................................................................................................... Page 17 Vegetables a la Polonaise ......................................................................................... Page 18 Spicy Tagine of Turnips, With Lamb ................................................................. Page 19 Gratin of White Turnips With Strathdon Blue Cheese. ............................. Page 20 Beef and Vegetable Stew .......................................................................................... Page 22 Spring Pastries .............................................................................................................. Page 23 Asparagus With Everything .................................................................................... Page 24 Aioli ................................................................................................................................... Page 24 Garlic Mashed Potatoes ........................................................................................... Page 25 Homemade Chips ....................................................................................................... Page 25 Roasted Rhubarb ......................................................................................................... Page 26 Rhubarb Cobbler ......................................................................................................... Page 26 The Last of The Carrots Cake ............................................................................... Page 26 Nettle Toast and Cheese ........................................................................................... Page 27 Wild Garlic Pesto ......................................................................................................... Page 27

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I use a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and linseed, but use what you find tasty. Keep a jar of seeds ready mixed, then just crush what you need each time. If you have them in your frozen stores, two or three raspberries, a couple of strawberries sliced on top or some fruit compote all look and taste great. Serves 1 50g/ 2oz rolled oats (roughly ½ cup) 2 dsp mixed seeds, crushed in a grinder or using a mortar and pestle ⅓ cup apple juice (or 50:50 juice: water) or enough to make the oats and seeds really moist 1 small apple or half a big one, grated Mix all the ingredients together and leave to soak for a few minutes before serving with a wee dollop of plain yoghurt.

These are so quick and simple to make - wonderful with soup, stew or as a sandwich. 250g/ 9oz self-raising flour ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt 2 tsp golden caster sugar

1 medium free-range egg 30ml/ 1fl oz sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing 175ml/ 6fl oz milk (or about 200ml/ 7fl oz buttermilk)

First heat your girdle, griddle or heavy frying pan to medium hot, smearing with a little oil.

Sift the flour and soda into a bowl with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, oil and enough milk (or buttermilk) to combine to a soft dough.

Do not over work.

some boiled potatoes, sliced leek, washed and sliced 25g/1oz butter/ 1 tbsp oil eggs (4-6 depending on people) salt and pepper

a pinch smoked paprika (optional) splash of milk optional extras: chorizo from Puddledub, sliced spring onions, grated Anster cheese

Fry the potatoes and leeks in the butter or oil, until slightly golden. Beat the eggs together with a splash of milk and season with salt, pepper and optional smoked paprika. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and add chorizo or spring onions if using. Reduce the heat and allow eggs to cook through. Finish under the grill with cheese if you like.

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Tip on to a floured board and shape (without kneading) into a round, to about 22cm/ 8½” in diameter and 2cm/ ¾” in thickness. Using a floured knife, cut into quarters. Dust lightly with flour and transfer carefully to the hot girdle. Cook for about 5 minutes (by which time they will have risen and will have formed a fabulous brown crust underneath) then carefully flip each over. Continue to cook until done (when you press down lightly there should be no liquid oozing out the sides, and the edges will be dry). Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm with soup or stew.

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Makes two small wholemeal loaves 375g lukewarm water (around 35°C depending on flour temperature) (each approx 500g in 6” x 4” tins) 4g dried yeast or 8g fresh yeast or two cobs. 30g dark muscovado sugar. 100g strong white flour 500g wholemeal flour 6 - 8g salt 40g olive oil Add the flour and salt, working the mixture by hand or with a spatula until all the flour is incorporated.

Pour on the olive oil and fold/knead into the dough.

A wet dough is messier but will rise better so think twice about adding Knead for 10 minutes. extra flour.

Place the dough in the oiled bread bowl, then turn it over so that the oiled surface on top prevents a crust from forming on the dough.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 50 minutes, until roughly doubled in size.

Punch the dough down to force out the gas. Cover the dough again and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes. Turn on the oven at 180 °C/350 °F/Gas 4.

Divide the dough in two.

Roll each piece into a log shape. Pinch the seams together. Place loaves in lightly oiled tins with seam up. Dough should fill the tins two-thirds full. Flatten the dough out then turn it over so that the oiled smooth side is on top. Press again into shape of pan. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes from the finish of the last loaf. 6

To make a cob, roll one half of the dough into a log shape then tuck in the bottom edge all the way round. Keep doing this until you have a ball of dough with a smooth round top. Put this smooth side down on a well-floured tea towel in a small wicker basket or equivalent, flip the ends of the towel over the loaf then leave in a warm place for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a floured baking tray, smooth side up. For tinned loaf or cobs, dust with flour (white, semolina, coarse oatmeal) then cut diagonal slits to allow the dough to continue to expand in the oven. Bake at 180 °C/ 350 °F/ Gas 4 for 45-55 minutes. Pour half a mug of boiling water quickly into a baking tin in the bottom of the oven immediately after you pop the loaves in, and again after 5 minutes to keep the top soft, so that the loaves can continue to rise. The bread is done when the sides and bottoms are brown, and the shoulders of the loaf are firm. If you make just one larger loaf, bake at a lower temperature for longer. Remove the loaves from the bread tins immediately and cool on wire trays. This bread keeps well and freezes well.

In spring, Ian Spink sells hard cooked roes from his Arbroath Smokies stall at the Farmer’s Market. It’s worth buying plenty, as they freeze very well. 1 medium sized piece of roe (about 10 or 12cm) 2 -3 tsp grated horseradish 2-3 tbsp crème fraiche (see Winter booklet for recipe) juice of 1 lemon salt and pepper Peel the membrane from the roe. Combine the roe, horseradish, and crème fraiche and mix well. Add half the lemon juice, and taste the mixture. Add the remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper as required. Enjoy with oatcakes.

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Serves 4-6 25g/1oz butter 225g/ 8oz sorrel leaves, shredded 100g/ 4oz lettuce, shredded 1 small onion chopped 225g/ 8oz potatoes, peeled and sliced 1.2 litres/2 pints boiling water salt and pepper 6 tbsp single cream

80g/ 3oz butter 2 medium potatoes 1 medium onion, sliced 1.1 litres/ 2 pints vegetable/chicken stock 1 cabbage, shredded

bagful of nettles olive oil 25g/1oz wholemeal flour salt and pepper 470ml/1 pint hot milk or good tasty stock

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For the Melt the butter in the pan and add the sorrel, lettuce and onions, frying gently for about 5 minutes. Add the boiling water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Blend or pass the soup through a sieve. Return to the pan, season to taste and bring back to the boil. Add the cream and serve.

Heat 50g of butter in a pan until foaming. Add the potatoes and onion, put the lid on and sweat for six to ten minutes. Add the stock and cook until soft. In another pan, heat 30g of butter in a few tablespoons of water. Once boiling add the cabbage. Leave to one side. Blend the potatoes and onion and thin down with milk. When serving pile the cooked cabbage in the middle of each bowl and pour over the creamy soup.

Boil the nettles in a tiny bit of water for about 15 minutes until tender. Liquidise until smooth. Put a good splash of oil in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring all the time. Add lots of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and beat in the milk or stock until the mixture is quite smooth. Add the nettle puree, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes before serving with oatcakes or good crusty bread.

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175g/ 6oz plain flour 80g/ 3oz butter cold water

This can be made by hand or in a food processor. Blend cold, cubed butter and flour together, or rub in butter by hand. Add enough cold water, down funnel of food processor, until mixture comes together as a smooth dough. Or by hand, use a palette knife. Leave to rest in fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas 6. Roll out to fill flan tin, prick and cover with paper and baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove paper and bake for further 10 minutes or until slightly brown. For the

Fry the onions in a little oil or butter, until soft. Cover base of pastry case with onions and other vegetables. Beat eggs and milk together, pour over vegetables and finally top with grated cheese. Sprinkle over paprika if you like. Bake until eggs are set but not hard at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4.

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3 or 4 eggs milk grated cheese broccoli and any other seasonal vegetables you like, chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 or 2 onions, sliced salt and pepper, sprinkling of paprika

Steam a handful of purple sprouting broccoli and place in a serving dish. Dry roast 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds and 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds for a few minutes in a heavy frying pan. Grind with a pestle and mortar or with an electric grinder. Slice half an onion very finely and mix together with a good splash of oil and a few drops of Cairn o’ Mohr fruit wine. Add the spices to this mixture and drizzle over the prepared broccoli.

Purple sprouting broccoli is a real treat after a winter of kale. Stir fry with a few toasted sunflower seeds and a drop of soy sauce 9


Steam some spring cabbage, and pour over a sauce of crushed garlic, soy sauce and tahini.

Parsnips are coming to an end in spring,

but I thought they deserved a mention!

Serve shredded cabbage steamed or gently fried with some chili flakes or a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Heat some butter in a pan with a lid. Add 700g finely shredded cabbage, a grated onion and two chopped rashers of bacon. Cook over a very low heat for 20-30 minutes until cabbage is just soft.

1 cauliflower a splash olive oil lemon juice cider vinegar 1 bulb garlic 1 tbsp smoked paprika Break the cauliflower into florets and put in a baking tray. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and cider vinegar. Pour over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Break the garlic into individual cloves and scatter over the tray. Use less garlic if it’s not your thing. Add salt and black pepper. Roast in a hot oven (220°C/ 450°F/ Gas 7) for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with whatever green herbs are around - perhaps finely chopped chickweed - and serve.

Cauliflower makes a wonderful simple stir fry with thin strips of carrot and some root ginger.

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Makes about 12 1kg parsnips, peeled and chopped 50g butter 1tsp curry powder freshly grated nutmeg plain flour 1 – 2 eggs, beaten 100g fresh breadcrumbs vegetable oil for deep frying or shallow fry in oil and butter

Boil the parsnips until tender, drain and then mash. Add the butter, salt, pepper, curry powder and nutmeg. Leave this mixture to cool before rolling into croquettes (about 4cm by 1cm). Dip the croquettes in the flour, then egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. Leave covered in the fridge for 1 hour. Deep fry for 3 – 4 minutes until golden, or shallow fry turning regularly for an even colour. Scrub or peel your parsnips, chop and boil until tender. Add a little butter, salt, pepper, optional nutmeg and blend!

Parsnips are excellent roasted either in chunks along with potatoes and carrots in some olive oil and garlic, or on their own – like chips.

Sauté in a little oil a sliced onion, 1 tsp chopped ginger, 2 sliced leeks. Add 2 parsnips peeled and chopped to 1cm cubes, stock and simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Blend, season and add a dash of cream to serve.

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Enjoy leeks in their own right - one of the mainstays of the vegetable box.

Carefully wash leeks and slice in half lengthwise. Steam until just tender. Fry in a griddle or heavy frying pan with a splash of oil and a bit of lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot as a side vegetable.

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Serves 4 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and thickly sliced 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 1 garlic clove, crushed 150ml white wine 150ml chicken stock, hot 142ml carton double cream fresh tarragon, leaves picked and roughly chopped 375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry 1 medium egg

Shred then steam/sauté any seasonal, green, leafy vegetables you have e.g. spinach, leeks, greens. Layer at the bottom of the dish before putting in the oven. In spring, I would opt for an onion, garlic and leek base.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.

10g/ ½oz butter and finely grated cheese for coating dish 50g/ 2oz butter 25g/ 1oz plain flour 250ml/ 8fl oz milk

4 eggs, separated 150g/ 5oz cheddar cheese, grated (you can use much less) salt, cayenne and nutmeg 1 tsp cornflour

Then add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring, for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, add the wine and bubble away until reduced by two-thirds. Pour in the stock and simmer until reduced by half. Add the cream and tarragon, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-6 minutes until thickened. Season, then spoon into a 2.5 litre pie dish (or 4 x 300ml ovenproof dishes). Set aside to cool.

Butter and coat the inside of a large soufflé dish with grated cheese. Melt 2oz butter in a pan and add the flour. Stir to a paste and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking as you go until you have a thick sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg yolks, cheese, salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Whisk the whites with a pinch of salt and the cornflour until stiff. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the cheese mixture and mix in. Gently fold in the remaining. Fill the prepared dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden in a moderately hot oven, 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4.

Brush a little water along the edge of the pie dish or dishes. Unroll the pastry and cut out a piece large enough to cover the dish or dishes. Press down the edges and trim off the excess. Snip a small hole in the centre of the pastry to let the steam escape. Put on a baking tray and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4. Beat the egg with a little salt, then brush over the pastry. Bake for 40-45 minutes (20-25 minutes if you are making individual pies) until the pastry is golden. 13


a little oil equal amounts of carrots and beetroot (say four beetroot and eight carrots) 2 onions, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped curry spices: 1 tsp each of coriander powder, turmeric and ground cumin or a tbsp curry paste ½ tsp chilli powder thick yoghurt to serve 150ml/ 5fl oz vegetable stock

splash olive oil 2 onions finely chopped 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp whole cumin seeds dry toasted and ground 1 tsp whole coriander seeds dry toasted and ground ½ tsp turmeric bit of freshly grated ginger 1-2 dried hot chillies 250g/ 9oz yellow split peas soaked overnight and drained 750ml/ 1¼pt good vegetable stock 1 tsp salt 2-3 potatoes, cut into cubes 1 cauliflower Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and gently heat until translucent. Add the mustard seeds and wait until they begin to pop. Then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger and peppers. Stir for a few minutes before adding the split peas, vegetable stock and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for ten more minutes. Break the cauliflower into florets, slice these in half and add to the pan, cooking for 10 minutes or so, until everything is tender. Serve with Rotis and a wee side salad.

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Scrub or peel the carrots and dice into thick quarters. Top, tail and peel the beetroots and dice to roughly the same size. Heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid. Add the curry paste or your own mix of spices. Add the onions and garlic and allow to sweat over a medium heat - don’t let the bottom of the pan burn. Add the coriander, turmeric, ground cumin and chilli powder - adjust according to taste. Add about 150 ml of stock and let it simmer down for five to ten minutes. Add the beetroot and carrot and mix well for a minute or so. Top up with boiled water to just cover the vegetables. Stir well, put the lid on, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

1 cup of wholemeal flour A pinch salt ½ cup lukewarm water optional extras: dried chilli flakes, cumin seeds and finely crushed garlic These are so easy to make and yet so impressive! You need to be on a gas stove to get the final flourish. Mix ingredients together with your hands to make a soft dough. You might want to add a few drops of oil to your fingertips to make it easier. Split the dough into 8 equal golf balls. Roll each out on a floured surface, until thin and round whilst heating your frying pan or an iron skillet. Place the flatbread on the pan (no oil) until you see bubbles appearing on the surface then turn to cook other side. If you have a gas burner you can then use tongs to hold the roti in the flame for a few seconds, turning evenly so that you get a few blackened spots and it puffs up a little. 15


Season lamb chops. Mix together torn mint leaves, salt and pepper and oil with the zest of a lemon if you wish. Heat the oil mixture in a pan over a moderate heat and cook the lamb chops for a few minutes each side, ensuring you don’t overcook the meat or let the mint burn. Remove the chops and allow to rest, whilst preparing the sauce.

If using lemon, squeeze the juice in to the pan, otherwise add a little water or wine or stock. Deglaze the pan–heat and scrape up the morsels left, collecting the flavour from the meat and herb. Pour this over the chops and seasonal vegetables to serve.

This is perfect served with grilled oily fish like sardines or mackerel (pork or chicken will also work well). 1 shallot or small onion a little oil splash of vinegar or white wine 4 stems rhubarb – chopped

50g / 2oz sugar pinch salt 1tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft. Add a splash of cider vinegar along with the rhubarb, salt, sugar and rosemary and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes. Serve warm with fish, or will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge. 16

In Spring you still have all of the winter evergreen herbs available to you and as the winter recedes some early-year treats start to appear for a welcome change! As well as cultivated herbs, many wild herbs are starting to emerge including nettles for soup, beer or tea; dandelion leaves as a salad ingredient and wild garlic as a leafy alternative to cultivated garlic.

Mint thrives in Scotland and should be available from May. pour freshly boiled water over a few chopped leaves for a refreshing and free tea! chop and add to new potatoes mix through plain yoghurt with crushed garlic and lemon juice for a minty dressing or dip. make a beautiful salad – finely chopped parsley, mint and garlic, mixed with lemon juice, salt, pepper use to flavour plain tap water make your own mint sauce. Mix together 25g/1oz fresh chopped mint, 1tsp caster sugar, 1 tbsp hot water and 2 tbsp cider vinegar and leave to stand for 20 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Serve with roast lamb or grilled chops.

Thyme is a wonderful evergreen herb available all year round. It looks really lovely in the garden too. Its robust flavour goes well with other herbs like bay and parsley. Thyme will work well in slow-cooked stews and casseroles as it retains its flavour and tastes great with all meat. Try it with venison or game dishes.

Tarragon is a perennial plant and can be harvested from May onwards. It has a delicate flavour and is a classic herb for fish and chicken dishes.

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A Moroccan-inspired dish.

Serves 4-6

This is a great recipe for using up any left over vegetables, in any combination. Carrots, parsnips and leeks work well. You can use cauliflower, mushroom, onions, spinach. Sprouts are a surprisingly nice addition too! The only thing that didn’t work out was beetroot – too much pink… 680g/1½ lb vegetables 100g/4oz butter 1 heaped tbsp flour 300ml/½ pt milk 100g/4oz breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in butter for a few minutes. 4-6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped roughly Some chopped fresh parsley Wash and chop your vegetables into diagonal chunky slices. Sauté in a quarter of the butter, turning frequently. Meanwhile make a white sauce, melting butter then adding flour, cooking for a minute or two, then removing from the heat and adding the milk. Season. Return to the heat and thicken.

You can make this vegetarian by omitting the lamb & lamb stock, and adding some chick peas.

500g lamb, cubed salt and pepper 1 tbsp oil 250g parsnips, cut into chunks 750g turnip, cut into smaller chunks 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1tsp each of ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger and black pepper ½ tsp cinnamon a pinch of saffron 1¼ litres/ 2 pints vegetable or lamb stock handful of raisins/ prunes or apricots, chopped lemon juice/ cider vinegar

Season the lamb and brown in the oil. Put aside then gently fry the onion. As it begins to soften, add the spices and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the stock, dried fruit and a good squeeze of lemon or a small splash of vinegar. Return the lamb to the pan, add the turnips and parsnips and bring to the boil. Cover and put into an oven at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4 for 1-1½ hours. Serve with steamed greens and flat breads.

Layer the ensemble – vegetables, sauce, eggs, breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes in a hot oven. Garnish with the parsley.

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We serve this dish in The Peat Inn, as an accompaniment for a hearty main course in the middle of winter, usually with duck or braised beef or in the early part of a cold spring. It is hard to beat. The gratin is also excellent with roast shoulder or leg of lamb, especially if you toss a few morsels of chopped tinned anchovies through the mix as it is layered up. I have substituted the blue cheese with my own local favourite, Anster with delicious results. 1 sprig thyme 500g potatoes, large, peeled 1 sprig rosemary 600g large white turnip, peeled 1 tsp black pepper 170g cheese, Strathdon blue, or your own choice 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 270ml double cream Preheat the oven to 170째C/ 325째F/ Gas Mark 3. Place the cream in a saucepan and add the peppercorns, thyme, rosemary and garlic, then place over a gentle heat. Crumble one third of the cheese into the cream so it can melt more easily. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then reduce the heat, allowing it to warm and infuse. Remove from the heat after 10 minutes and set aside.

Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the gratin dish so each slice overlaps the last until it is covered. Now repeat with a layer of turnips and season lightly with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper. Continue like this until you have used all the turnips and potatoes, finishing the top layer with potatoes. As you go, scatter some of the reserved blue cheese every three or four layers you build, spooning a little of the cream mix across the layer as well. When you have filled the dish, pour any left over cream over the top of the dish and gently tap the whole dish down on the table to help it all settle. Place the dish on an oven proof tray to catch any spillages. Cover with a well fitting piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven. Every 20 minutes or so, remove from the oven and press down gently but firmly with the bottom of a food tub or similar to compress the layers together as they bake. To check it is cooked, insert a skewer or small knife, the layers of potato and turnip should offer no resistance. When done, remove from the oven and stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Alternatively, this dish can then be stored in the fridge for one day, even two if well covered with cling film. To serve, peel off the parchment paper and reheat in the oven at 180째C/ 350째F/ Gas Mark 4 until hot all the way through then serve at once. Rub the inside of an oven proof baking dish or gratin dish (measuring about 18cm by 30cm) with the butter, making sure it is evenly covered. Slice the potatoes and the turnips very thinly. Reheat the infused cream and stir thoroughly to ensure the cheese has all melted and pass the mix through a sieve to remove the herbs and peppercorns. Divide the cream between two medium sized mixing bowls. Place the sliced turnips in one bowl and the potatoes in the other and toss gently to coat. 20

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Serves 6 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, whole 500g/ 1lb 2oz organic stewing steak some dried mixed herbs or chopped fresh like sage, rosemary, oregano 2 carrots, sliced 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced ¼ turnip, cubed salt and pepper bottle of ale, like Luckie Ales stout 2 bay leaves Pat the beef dry with kitchen paper and coat the cubes in the dried or fresh herbs. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and brown the beef on a moderate heat. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and add the garlic, chopped carrots and turnip to the casserole. Fry the onions gently in the same pan then tip into the casserole. Add the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Put the frying pan back on the heat and add the ale. When it is boiling, pour into the casserole and add enough hot water to cover the meat and vegetables. Stir, cover with a lid and put in a warm oven (150°C/ 300°F/ Gas 2). Leave to cook for 3-4 hours until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

250g/ 9oz/ 2 cups wholemeal flour 250g/ 9oz/ 2 cups self-raising flour ½ tsp salt 175g/ 6oz butter at room temperature 40 ml/ 1½oz/ ⅓ cup water 1 egg, beaten for finishing pastry, or milk Put the flour, butter and salt in a bowl and rub together until you get breadcrumbs. Add enough water to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for an hour.

splash olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped any mixture of the following root vegetables, peeled and diced into the same size (small, about 1cm): carrots, parsnip, potato, turnip or whatever else you have and like salt and pepper green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach, shredded

Warm the oil in the pan and add the onions, allow to soften before adding all the other cubed vegetables, salt and pepper. Let this mellow on a low heat, lid on, stirring regularly. After about 10 minutes, add the greens and return to heat for another 5 minutes. You want the veggies to still have some ‘bite’ for when they go in the oven. Allow to cool a bit before assembling. Using a rolling pin and floured surface roll a golf ball of pastry out to a circle. If you like things neat you can then use an upturned saucer as stencil to get a perfect circle. You want the pastry to be about 2 cm thick. Put 2 spoonfuls of filling in the middle of the circle and wet the edges of the circle with water. Bring the edges up to meet each other, and press together to make a fluted sort of edge. Keep going until you have used everything up. Place the pastries on a baking tray dusted with flour, and brush with the beaten egg or milk. Heat oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4 and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Eat them hot or save them for the next day… I had some pastry left over so used some cold, boiled beetroot, chopped and sprinkled with cumin seeds as an alternative – and it was very nice!

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If you’re going to follow a more local diet then it’s a good idea to like potatoes! Asparagus in season is amazing and something that Fife produces well on a good year. The season is so short lived that you can’t really overdo it, so stock up, enjoy and eat like a king as we come out of the ‘hungry gap’. To prepare just hold the asparagus top and bottom and bend it so that it will snap, finding the point where the woody stalk ends all by itself. Asparagus is so delicious it needs little in the way of preparation - lightly steam in a pan with the lid on for just a few minutes.

serve with butter, salt and pepper or some lemon juice and olive oil serve with a hollandaise sauce add some warmth to a salad beautiful with pasta and a sauce of melted butter and chilli. for a luxury breakfast, dip into soft boiled eggs

Here are some all year round ideas for what to do with those tatties…

as many potatoes as you need about ¾ pint of milk 3 – 10 garlic cloves

sea salt oil or butter

Peel the potatoes and put in a pan with ⅔ cold water : ⅓ milk so that the potatoes are covered. Peel and squash with a flat knife between 3 - 10 garlic coves depending on how garlicky you like things. The flavour of the garlic comes out mellow though, so don’t worry too much about it being overly pungent. Add the garlic cloves to the pan, with a little salt. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes – but keep the cooking liquid. Start to mash the potatoes and garlic together adding the cooking liquid as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste and a little oil or butter if you like. Boil some wee tatties, steam dry, add a knob of butter, toss in a handful of toasted pinhead or coarse oatmeal and a handful of chopped parsley - simple and tasty.

Serve with steamed or poached fish, as a dip with seasonal crudités or with lightly steamed asparagus. 4-6 cloves garlic peeled, adjust according to taste 1 egg yolk salt 250ml/ ½ pint olive oil

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In a large bowl mash and pound garlic to a fine pulp and mix with the egg yolk. Season with salt and gradually whisk in the oil, using as much as you require until the sauce thickens up. This can also be made in the food processor, by slowly trickling the oil down the funnel.

potatoes, peeled 2 tbsp olive oil sea salt optional smoked paprika or dried chillies Halve the potatoes from head to toe, and then halve and halve again until you have wedges of equal-ish size. Bring to the boil in salted water and boil for 3 minutes. Then drain. Using your hands toss in the olive oil – let them cool a bit first! – add the salt, paprika and chillies until evenly coated. Meanwhile put a metal baking tray in oven to heat. Tip the oily potatoes onto the hot tray and hear them sizzle. Put back in a hot oven for 10 – 15 minutes then take out and turn. Put back in for another 10 – 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and ready. 25


Earthy sour rhubarb thrives in cold climates. Roast your rhubarb to use in cakes, pies, crumbles and muffins! Wash and trim the rhubarb. Cut into pieces, approximately 5cm in length. Place in a baking tray and sprinkle with sugar. Give the tray a good shake to coat the pieces and then ensure they lie in an even layer. Cover the tray with foil and roast at 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas 6 for 15 minutes. Remove the foil lid and roast for another five minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Fill an oven dish with your roasted rhubarb. Rub 100g butter into 225g self raising flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (or use a food processor). Stir in 50g sugar. Beat together 1 egg and 4 tbsp of milk, and add this to the dry ingredients, stirring it in to form a dough. Roll out the dough to 4cm think and cut into 12 scone sized rounds. Arrange over the top of the rhubarb, overlapping if necessary and brush with 1 tbsp of milk , sprinkle with any sugar, and bake at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4 for 30 minutes or until the scones are golden. Serve with homemade custard: heat 250ml of milk and 250 ml of cream, with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bring to the boil, then pour into a jug and wipe out the pan. Whisk together four egg yolks and 80g of caster sugar until thick. Whisk in the milk then return to the pan over a low heat. Keep stirring until the custard has reached the desired consistency - do not take your eye off the pan unless you want custard-scrambled eggs!

Here’s a delicious vegan cake recipe.

1 cup of sugar ½ cup oil 1½ cups mashed carrot 2 cups wholemeal flour 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp salt

1½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice ½ tsp grated ginger seeds of 5 - 7 cardamom pods 1 cups raisins (optional) ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix the honey or sugar, oil and carrot together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl sift the flour in with the soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cardamom. Mix the wet and the dry mixtures together, add the raisins and nuts if using and pour into one 8”/ 20cm oiled cake tin. Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for about 80 minutes.

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Nettles are widespread throughout Scotland. Find them in hedgerows, woodland, wasteland and near buildings. Use thick gloves to pick and process nettles. Look for the young tender shoots, cut with scissors and remove the tough stems. The youngest new leaves are the best and the tips of these: the best of the best.

This is a new twist on a very old recipe. The ‘rarebit’ recipes date back to a 1747 cookery book which gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit”. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” with mustard rubbed on the cheese and “English Rabbit” which used a glass of red wine poured over the toast beneath the cheese topping. The Scots version stirred ale added to the cheese mix. Take your pick! Heat a large glug of olive oil and add a bag of nettle tops, stirring until they have wilted. Drain off the nettles and roughly chop them before adding to a bowl with two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, a cup of crème fraiche or plain yoghurt and half of a good hunk of Anster cheese, grated. Then spread the gooey nettley mix on to two slices of toasted sourdough (two for each person, one won’t be enough!). Then sprinkle on remaining grated cheese before grilling and adding some pepper. Serve alongside the first salads of the year. You can use nettles in place of spinach. They also make a wonderful detoxifying herbal tea!

Wild Garlic is one of the first plants to harvest every year, coming up just after the snowdrops appear. It has a powerful flavour and can be used to replace garlic in any dish. Use in salads or as a lovely garnish for potatoes. Or try this fantastic Pesto. Finely chop the tender leaves Then add oil as required and season to taste. Stir in some grated Anster cheese if you like.

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Cauliflower, lettuce, radish, strawberries

Asparagus, spring cabbage, chard, pak choi, sprouting broccoli, salads, spring greens, rhubarb Kale, leeks, parsnips Beetroot, carrots, celeriac, onions, potatoes Bay, chives, lovage, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, mint, oregano, sorrel, tarragon Nettles, wild garlic, chickweed, dandelion For an accurate and current guide on what fish to eat and what fish to avoid go to the Fish on Line website.

www.fifediet.co.uk Fife Diet is supported by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund Illustration and design by Xiao and a special thanks to Adam, Elly, Meg and Patrick. Š Fife Diet


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