As you know I have been urging you all to give veg boxes a try by posting my veg box contents each week, along with musings and ideas - even the occasional full on recipe! - on what I plan to do with it!
Johanna's food blog takes this a step further by challenging us to show that we are using every little bit of our veg with as little waste as possible. She recommends this great resource too - LoveFoodHateWaste - it's a great website full of ideas for making the most of your food and eliminating the throw-away food culture which, with prices rising at a steady pace whilst incomes seem to be falling, can only be a positive thing. Go check it out now. I'll still be here when you get back...
So in order to fully participate in the veg box challenge I am going to change my veg box posts slightly. I will still show and tell each box but I will also try and include a montage of pictures of all the things we made to eat using the contents of the previous box plus a recipe too. I will continue to update my pinterest board - focusing on one or two items in my box each week - so if you don't fancy what I have done there is plenty of other inspiration for you!
What's in the box this week?
- lots of baby new potatoes
- runner beans
- peas in pods
- a HUGE leek
- cherry tomatoes
- 2 little gem lettuce
- 2 gorgeous purple plums
- half a melon
Peas! I adore freshly picked peas, straight out of the pod. A rare luxury at this time of year - I can only assume that they are grown under cover along with all the lovely summer veggies - tomatoes and courgettes for example - that I have been getting recently! Not quite sure how this fits in with 'seasonal eating' but all the veggies in my box are grown locally and organically so I'm not going to quibble!
|peas in a pod|
|who knew peas were so photogenic?|
To be fair there were barely enough peas to get excited about - just a handful of pods. Not enough as a side even but enough to add a little spherical green accent to a dish. And what better way to use them than in a risotto...
Leek, Pea & Mushroom Risotto
Let me start by saying, apart from the rice (4oz) and the liquid (1 pint of water with 2 rounded teaspoons of Marigold Vegetable Bouillon or other good veg stock) I am not giving you any actual amounts for this recipe. I have used what I have which in this case was one large leek, half a dozen white mushrooms and a handful of pea pods. It seemed to be enough but, you know, if you have more peas or more mushrooms (or different mushrooms) then I'm sure it will taste just as good!
First you need to finely chop your leek and mushrooms ( I used my little Braun herb chopper for the mushrooms but by hand is fine) and pod your peas. I may have mentioned before that I am not the worlds biggest mushroom fan - mainly I can't stand the texture of them cooked. Chopping them finely like this takes that texture thing out of the equation and allows the full mushroom flavour to infuse the dish.
Melt a knob of butter in a large pan and add a splash of vegetable oil. Add the leeks - allow to cook gently for a few minutes before adding the peas and mushrooms. Cook for another minute or so then add the rice. Give it a good stir so the grains are coated in butter then start adding your stock. I keep mine simmering in a small pan and add it a ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding the next ladle full. There is no rushing a risotto - it doesn't take that long in any case, about 15 mins or so.
Keep on the simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally to stop the rice sticking to the pan.
Serve straight away with a little grated Parmesan or crumbled goats cheese if you want, although it is good just as it is!
Serves 2 as a light supper or starter