I’ve always coveted having an organic-oh-so-good-for-you-and-the-enviroment veg box delivery. For years, I’ve looked longingly at the flyers that land on my doormat then stalked their websites, imagining what size box I would need; sighing over the fabulous fresh, muddy vegetables available, all the time acutely aware, that in my bit of London, a safe delivery spot, if I am not in, is non-existent. If not filched by human hand then the cats, foxes, squirrels or mice would inflict their damage. I was, therefore, thrilled to discover Sutton Community Farm. They not only deliver to homes but also to local pick-up points so that one may collect said muddy vegetables, on the way home from work. Within seconds of finding this out, I had followed them on Twitter, liked them on Facebook and registered on their website. I did not want to miss out…
Sutton Community Farm describe themselves thus; “We are London’s largest community farm, a not-for-profit social enterprise growing fresh vegetables using organic principles, as well as providing a shared space for the local community to cultivate skills.” And they make deliveries in a van powered by London’s waste cooking oil. How utterly wonderful – please do take a look at their website to see if they cover your area I cannot recommend this scheme highly enough… http://suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk
Just look at what I got in my small veg box…
Purple sprouting broccoli, onions, carrots, muddy(!) golden and red beets, crisp, firm mushrooms, gorgeous salad leaves plus they stock my favourite eggs. I am so thrilled to have found SCF and plan to order fortnightly.
How lovely that these delicious salad leaves were grown happily, without chemicals! We enjoyed them for lunch at the weekend.
And these are my favourite eggs – they taste like the eggs of my childhood and I wrote about them in my first ever recipe post https://selmastable.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/courgette-feta-and-thyme-bake/ Alas, the farmers market from where I used to get the eggs, is no-more so I am really pleased to have found them at SCF. We had the eggs for brunch on Sunday, poached with some steamed purple sprouting broccoli and a little hollandaise sauce.
The beets – beautiful and glowing jewel-like once scrubbed. If you follow Selma’s Table on Facebook, you will have seen me enthusiastically posting some of these photos.
Beetroot can be boiled, steamed and even thinly sliced and eaten raw. They are also wonderful juiced raw, with a couple of apples and carrots, a nugget of ginger and half a lemon. I find that roasting them intensifies the natural sweetness and transforms them to soft silky slivers that are wonderful in salads. Once cooked, they keep for days in the fridge (so you may as well prepare quite a few) which makes lunch boxes and salads so much more exciting. I like to start them off in a sealed foil packet and then, towards the end of the cooking time, open them out to the direct heat of the oven to caramelise.
If your beets are really fresh, they should have quite a thin skin. The red beets from the SCF were so fresh, that we did not need to peel the skins at all once they were cooked.
And just a reminder that red beets will stain everything porous…
My recipe for Mixed Roasted Beets with Goat’s Cheese, Honey and Mint is a great balance of flavours; warm beets with melting cubes of goats cheese and a sweet and sour dressing topped with mint.
Mixed Beets with Goat's Cheese and Mint
- 4 small to medium sized Golden Beets
- 4 small to medium sized Red Beets
- leaves from 3 or 4 Thyme sprigs
- 80 g firm Goat’s Cheese/Chevre, cubed
- A small handful of chopped mint leaves
- Olive Oil
- ¼ – ½ of a Lemon
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F
- Scrub the beets well – I use one of those green plastic scouring pads to get all the mud off.
- Peel the golden beets but leave the skins on the red ones to avoid staining everything
- Halve the beets then slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges depending on how large they are. Keep the two beets separate to preserve the colour of the golden ones.
- Tear off 2 sections of foil, large enough to wrap each pile of the beet wedges in.
- Pop the wedges on the foil, drizzle over a little honey and olive oil, scatter over a little thyme and sea salt, then wrap the foil to make a couple of packets.
- Roast for 30 – 40 minutes; depending on their size, they may need longer.
- Once soft, open out the foil, spoon over the juices to baste the wedges and pop back into the oven to caramelise for about 10 minutes.
- If the skins are tough on the red beets, remove them – they should slip off easily once they are cooked.
- Arrange on a serving plate, top with the goat’s cheese, squeeze over a little lemon juice, drizzle with honey and EVOO then strew with chopped mint leaves.