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Newsletter 15 October 2020

Your boxes this week

This week’s small boxes contain our own spaghetti squash, spinach, bananas, alongside brown onions, lovely dirty carrots and ‘Desiree Red’ potatoes.
Medium+ boxes have all that plus mixed peppers, cocktail tomatoes and ‘Falstaff’ apples.
Gardeners’ boxes have chestnut mushrooms and sweet potatoes plus bananas, avocado, mandarins, a mango and a grapefruit.

Spaghetti squash is a strange vegetable whose flesh breaks into spaghetti-like strands when it’s roasted.
You will find plenty of recipes online. When some of them tell you that you won’t be able to tell the difference between regular spaghetti and spaghetti squash they are lying. They are not the same – the squashy version is brilliant, incredibly good for you and takes on the flavours of the things you cook it with.

We don’t really hold with all these recipes serving the squash in its skin like a boat. We think you do best mixing the strands up with all the tastier ingredients.

Next week’s box… nope!*

Some of our customers have told us they enjoy the surprise of their box. Not knowing what you’re going to get and looking up ways to eat new things is a big part of weekly veg box schemes. We do try to help by including at least one recipe in our newsletter.

So we won’t spoil the surprise by telling you! Customers who would like to know can be told separately by email, just contact us to let us know.

(*’Nope’ is a reference to a favourite card game of ours – Exploding Kittens)

New in the shop

Excitingly some lovely things are now appearing, such as walnuts, custard apples, bergamot lemons and parsnips.

We are shifting into a new season and so we see British tomatoes are coming to an end, including the heirloom tomatoes. The tomatoes in the shop are now from Holland. There are currently no cauliflowers although there are some interesting ones in the offing, figs are over as are our Poona Kheera cucumbers. Also no more Piel de Sapo melons, but as they’re known as Christmas melons we expect them to return!

Custard apples are not apples and are more closely related to pineapples. They originate from Central America and are from the genus Annona. Annona means ‘Of the harvest’ in Latin and was the Goddess of grain coming into Rome. There is also a crater on the planet Ceres named after her.

Garden news

We still have green cayenne and jalapeno chillies available and are hoping for more ripening to happen. Lots of customers tell us they love chillies but they don’t seem to be ordering them so that’s a puzzle for another day. If anyone would like to enlighten us we’d be happy to hear from you.

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Tomatoes and Peppers (serves 2)

The following recipe is meant for two with a small squash. Scale up for more people and bigger squash. This is a veggie recipe. For a vegan version you could use nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Meat eaters can go wild! Pre-cook some bits of bacon or chicken and add them at the same time as the squash.

Ingredients

Around 1kg spaghetti squash (uncooked and in its skin)
2 tbsps olive oil
1-2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
150g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
150g spinach
200g red or yellow pepper, halved lengthways then cut into 5mm slices (optional)
½ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
50g finely grated parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a sheet pan with aluminium foil.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub the squash with olive oil and sprinkle the cut sides with salt and pepper.
Place the squash cut-side down and roast for 20 minutes until it can be pierced easily with a knife. A medium sized squash will take around 40 minutes. A big one could take an hour.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, run a fork lengthwise to remove the flesh and break it into strands.
Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic (and chilli if using) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the tomatoes, peppers and spinach. Sauté, letting the spinach wilt for 2-4 minutes.
Add the squash, mix well and bring up to heat. Add salt, pepper and the parmesan. Taste it. If you think it needs more cheese, sprinkle some more on top.

Got too much squash? (“Never!” says Lyndsey)

After roasting, run a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into strands.
Put the squash in a colander and set the colander on top of a large mixing bowl. Cover and store it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. After it’s all drained, discard the water and scoop all the squash strands into a freezer-safe bag or container. Squeeze out all the excess air in each bag, label and date the bags, and freeze.

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