A little bit about us!

The Five A Day Market Garden is situated in the beautiful village of Englefield, West Berkshire. We are a not-for-profit community supported project which aims to engage the rural and urban community by:
- selling affordable, healthy, naturally grown produce
- educating children, adults and older people within an outdoor therapeutic environment, with a focus on art, nature and fruit and vegetable production
- encouraging people to get involved through volunteering
- offering a unique team building experience to corporate organisations

In March 2017, Pam Goddard, the Project Co-ordinator at Five A Day received an award from the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire in recognition of dedicated service to Five A Day and enhancing the life of the community.

We have recently been shortlisted for an award from Bayer / Farming and Countryside Education! Watch this space!

Have a look at our facebook page: 5adaygarden
We're also tweeting on twitter @5adaygarden

Welcome to the garden!

Our wonderful volunteers are busy in the garden with lots of seed sowing, vegetable planting and just a little bit of weeding!

We are always looking for more volunteers to help in the garden, get fit and eat lots of cake! Do get in touch if you would like to join our fantastic team of gardeners - no experience required!.

We're now selling our delicious rhubarb. Pop in Wednesday or Friday, 10am - 3pm or check our table at Englefield Garden Centre on a Saturday.

Download our latest newsletter!

Rhubarb cake

Spring recipe

Serves 8, preparation time: 15 min. Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 450 grams pink rhubarb
  • 150 grams golden caster sugar
  • 75 grams demerara sugar
  • 150 grams unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (grated)
  • 150 grams self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • salt

Method

You will need a springform cake tin with a diameter of 24cm and a depth of 6cm, greased, base lined with baking parchment.

  1. Cut 95g (3 1/2 oz) of the rhubarb into 1cm slices and toss them, in a class or china bowl, with 25g of the caster sugar.
  2. Cut the remaining rhubarb into 5cm pieces.
  3. Scatter 2 tablespoons of demerara sugar over the base of the prepared tin, then arrange the rhubarb pieces over in one layer (any that dont fit can be sliced and added to the rhubarb and sugar in the bowl).
  4. Sprinkle the remaining demerara sugar over the rhubarb in the tin.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5.
  6. Cream together the butter and remaining caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, followed by the orange zest.
  7. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon, then fold into the creamed mixture with the ground almonds.
  8. Fold in the rhubarb and sugar mixture and add sufficient milk to given an easy dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  9. Bake in the centre of the over for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30-40 minutes, or until the cake is firm to a light touch in the centre. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before loosening around the edges with a knife and turning out either onto a serving plate or a wire rack to finish cooling.

Creamy parsnip and apple soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

Method

  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onions and parsnips for 15 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add the garlic and apples and cook for a further two minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are very soft. Remove from the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Stir in the milk, adding a little extra if required. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Summer recipe

Stuffed tomatoes

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Slice a thin slice off the bottom of the tomatoes so they sit flat on the work surface. Slice off the top, then spoon out the flesh to make a hollow ‘cup’ shape. Reserve the flesh.
  3. Place the hollowed tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle over the honey.
  4. Mix the Stilton with the scooped out tomato flesh, then use the mixture to stuff the tomatoes. Drizzle over the olive oil and bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the stuffing is golden-brown.
  5. To serve, transfer the tomatoes onto serving plates and scatter over the chopped walnuts.

Spring recipe

Broad beans with pata negra ham

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 120g/4½oz baby broad beans, pods removed (podded weight)
  • 55g/2oz very finely sliced pata negra or similar high-quality Spanish cured ham, torn (the slices will be so thin that it should result in small shavings of ham)
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • splash sherry vinegar
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Cook the podded broad beans in a pan of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then refresh in cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel away the outer membranes.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cooked broad beans, pieces of pata negra ham and chopped garlic until well combined.
  3. Drizzle over the olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well. (NB: Remember that the cured ham will be salty.) Serve immediately.

Rhubarb muffins

Ingredients (makes 12)

100 ml buttermilk (or soured milk)

100 grams rhubarb

150 grams soft light brown sugar

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175 grams plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 pinch of salt

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200c.
  2. Line a 12 muffin tin with paper cases.
  3.  Beat together 125g of the sugar, sunflower oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk, until well mixed.
  4. Add the rhubarb. sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and baking powder, and pinch of salt. Mix until ingredients are just combined.
  5. Pour into muffin cases (they should be about 3/4 full) and sprinkle over the remaining sugar. bake on the middle shelf in the oven for about 18-20mins.

 

Winter recipe:

Curly kale with rosemary and chilli

This recipe is lovely as a side dish with roasted chicken.  Alternatively, place on toasted bread and top with goats cheese.

Serve 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 medium or hot fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

250g/9oz curly kale or cavolo nero, trimmed of tough stems, rinsed and

cut into 1cm/&frac12in thick slices

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed lidded pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, turn down the heat and fry gently until very tender.

2. Add the rosemary, chilli and garlic and fry for one more minute.

3. Add the kale and season with salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to its absolute minimum and leave to cook gently for about 20 minutes. Stir once after five minutes, then again ten minutes later.

4. Remove the rosemary stalks, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve at once.

 

November / December’s recipe

Squash and sage cream soup

Serves 1

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the squash and sage, pour in the stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  2. Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth.
  3. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with a spoonful of cream.

September / October’s recipe

Baked apples with fruit and nut

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, mincemeat, flaked almonds, cinnamon, raisins and butter together and spoon it into the cavities of the apples. Place the excess in the bottom of a buttered baking dish.
  3. Place the apples on the fruit in the dish. Dot the top with butter and place in the oven for 45-60 minutes. Every 10 minutes add 2 tbsp of apple juice to the bottom of the dish and spoon the juices over the apples.
  4. Serve piping hot with double or clotted cream.

August’s recipe

Berry cheesecake in a glass

Serves 2

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat the berries, caster sugar and one tablespoon of the lemon juice in a small pan, stirring well to combine, for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the berries have broken down. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the biscuits into a freezer bag and crush using a rolling pin until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat.
  4. Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter in a bowl until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of two large serving glasses.
  5. Place the mascarpone into a large mixing bowl and fold in the lemon zest, remaining lemon juice and icing sugar.
  6. Spoon the mascarpone into the glasses, then spoon over the berries and juice. Serve immediately.

July’s recipe

Strawberry millefeuille with strawberry sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the millefeuille
For the strawberry sauce
To serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. For the millefeuille, roll the pastry out to 5mm/¼in thick. Cut into nine rectangles approximately twice as long as they are wide and place onto a non-stick baking sheet. Dust with the icing sugar and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until glazed, golden-brown and well risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Place the double cream into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the vanilla extract and caster sugar and whisk gently until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  4. For the sauce, place the strawberries and lemon juice into a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the sugar, to taste. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  5. To serve, carefully cut each piece of pastry in half through the middle to make two thin pieces. Place one piece in the centre of each plate and top with some of the cream mixture. Lay some of the sliced strawberries on top of the cream, then top with a second piece of pastry. Repeat the process with the remaining cream and strawberries and top each with the final glazed piece of pastry. Dust with icing sugar and spoon over the strawberry sauce.

June’s recipe

Rhubarb fool

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and enough water to cover the rhubarb in a medium pan. Boil rapidly until rhubarb is soft.
  2. In a bowl, fold the egg white into the whipped cream.
  3. When the rhubarb is soft, remove it from the liquid with a slotted spoon. Fold the fruit into the egg white and cream mixture. Reserve a little rhubarb for decoration.
  4. Spoon the resulting fool into a tall dessert glass. Top with the reserved rhubarb and serve.

Mays recipe

Leafy salad with feta and pomegranateServes 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Put the feta in a shallow dish, squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter over the garlic. Leave to marinate for about three hours.
  2. Toast the almonds under a medium grill until lightly browned.
  3. Toss together the rocket, spinach and watercress in a large salad bowl with the olive oil, sesame oil and salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Crumble in the marinated feta, and scatter the pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds over. Serve straightaway.

Aprils recipe

Rhubarb crumble – a classic pud!

Serves 4

Ingredients

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 7½cm/3in long sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle over the ginger and mix well.
  4. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb.
  5. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with double cream.

Winter recipe

Parsnip and chestnut soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat but do not allow it to colour. Add the parsnips and leek and let them fry gently for about 4-5 minutes, or until the parsnip is soft.
  2. Add the white wine and chestnuts (reserving a few for garnish) and fry gently for a further 7-8 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and blend with an immersion blender or in a food-processor until it’s nice and smooth. (If you’re using a food processor, allow the soup to cool a little before you blend it.) Pass the soup through a fine sieve and set aside
  4. Divide the soup in to four shallow serving bowls. Grate the reserved chestnuts on top.

December’s recipe

Creamed sprouts

serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 kg/2lb 3¼oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed

8 rashers cured bacon, cut into lardons

250ml/8¾fl oz double cream

garlic cloves, crushed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

Cook the Brussels sprouts in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and refresh in a bowl of ice and water. Drain again when the sprouts have cooled.

Add the bacon lardons to a non-stick frying pan, and fry over a medium heat until crisp.

Add the cream and crushed garlic to a small pan and bring to the boil.

Stir the sprouts into the crisp bacon; then stir in the hot cream.

Season with salt and pepper and serve straightaway.

October / November’s recipe

Squash Risotto

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2kg squash (any type)
six cloves of garlic
olive oil
rosemary

For the Risotto:
5 tablespoons of olive oil
325g of risotto rice
175ml dry white wine
250ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
50g unsalted butter
one medium onion (finely chopped)
salt and pepper
parmesan to taste

Instructions

For the Squash:
Cut the squash into small cubes and roast with olive oil, rosemary and the garlic until the squash is still firm but cooked.

For the Risotto:
1. Take all olive oil and half the butter and gently sweat the onion until translucent.

2. Add the rice to the onion and oil mixture. Pour over the wine.

3. Stir in the stock a bit at a time until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

4. When cooked or aldente, Italian for to bite, add the roasted squash, the remaining butter and as much parmesan as you feel necessary.

Septembers recipe

Caramalised apples and apple ice cream

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Put a medium sized oven tray in the freezer.
  2. Peel, core and chop the cooking apples and add to a deep pan with the juice of a lemon and four tablespoons of golden caster sugar. You can even leave the squeezed lemons in the pan. Pop the lid on and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. A bit of texture is welcome in the ice cream so don’t let the apples soften to a purée.
  3. Tip the cooked apples into a large bowl, pour the ready-made custard over and fold together. Tip the mixture into the chilled tray and freeze for two hours, giving it a stir at the halfway stage.
  4. When the ice cream is almost frozen, peel and core the dessert apples and cut into segments. Warm the butter in a frying pan and add the apples with the remaining four tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Turn them occasionally making sure that all the apples are evenly caramelised, which should take 10 minutes or so.
  5. Serve the piping hot apple segments with the home-made apple ice cream.

Augusts recipe

Raspberry pudding

This is a great pudding if you’re feeding extra people. A simple pudding that works best with freshly picked raspberries.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease a 20cm/8in springform tin with butter.
  2. To make the base and topping of the pudding, use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Place half the mixture in the bottom of the tin and press it down firmly with your knuckles.
  4. Place all the fruit evenly on top of the firm base.
  5. Pour the remaining mixture over the fruit and again press down to firm.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and further compress the pudding by placing a plate or pan on top filled with weights. A couple of tins would do the trick. Set aside to cool.
  8. When cooled, remove the pudding from the tin and dust with icing sugar. Serve with fresh raspberries and double cream.

July’s recipe

Strawberry cream-filled meringues : a scrumptious summer recipe!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the meringue

For the strawberry cream

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas ½.
  2. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the caster sugar, whisking continuously, until all of the sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  3. Place a few dots of meringue onto a baking tray, then lay greaseproof paper on top (the meringue will help hold the paper in place on the tray). Spoon 8-12 dollops of the meringue onto the paper, leaving a generous gap between each mound of meringue. (Prepare two meringues per person.)
  4. Bake the meringues in the oven for one hour to one hour and 30 minutes, or until the meringues are firm but still slightly soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray.
  5. For the strawberry cream, place half of the strawberries into a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Reserve 4-6 of the remaining strawberries for garnish, then roughly chop the rest and set aside.
  6. Whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then fold in the strawberry purée. Add icing sugar, to taste, then fold in the chopped strawberries.
  7. To serve, place a spoonful of strawberry cream onto half of the meringues, then top with a and serve.

June’s recipe

This is a lovely simple dish which tastes delicious with fresh bread or pasta.

Broad beans with pancetta and shallotsIngredients

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Remove the tough outer skins of the broad beans.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the pancetta and shallots until the shallots are soft and the pancetta golden-brown. Add the prepared beans and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir-fried chard and couscous

May 2014

Serves 1

Chard is rarely seen in the supermarkets.  It is a delicious vegetable and very easy to grow.  The stir-frying of the chard helps the leaf stems retain their attractive colours and looks lovely.

Ingredients

One bag of chard roughly sliced

Olive oil

1 packet of couscous with added seasoning or spices

Salt and pepper

Preparation method

Make up couscous according to the packet instructions.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.  When hot, stir-fry the chard until wilted but still crunchy (about 5 minutes).  Spoon half the couscous on to a serving plate and add chard.  Season with salt and pepper as required.

April’s recipe

Pea Shoot Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 knob Butter
  • 300g Risotto Rice
  • 100g Sugar Snap Peas
  • 100g Pea Shoots (2 bags)
  • 30g Parmesan plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp Crème Fraiche
  • 1½ pints Vegetable StockSalt and Pepper

Finely chop the onion and garlic.  Fry on a medium heat in the oil and butter for 5 minutes until translucent.

Add the risotto rice and fry gently for 2 minutes.  Do not allow to colour.

Add a ladle full of stock to the pan and stir.  Once the stock has been absorbed continue to add ladles of stock until 1 pint has been used.

At this point add the sugar snap peas. Then continue adding ladles of stock until it is all used up.  The rice should be cooked through but still with a slight bite to it.

Stir in the crème fraiche, parmesan and finely chopped pea shoots.  Cook for a further 5 minutes then season to taste, and serve.

Delicious with a lightly seasoned baby leaf salad, dressed simply with olive oil.

March’s recipe

Rhubarb crumble

A classic recipe which is sure to satisfy!

Serve’s 4

Ingredients

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 7½cm/3in long sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle over the ginger and mix well.
  4. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb.
  5. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with double cream.

Parsnip crisps

Serves 1

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan, half of vegetable oil, until a breadcrumb sizzles in it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous! Do not leave unattended.)
  2. Add the parsnip slices in batches and fry until golden.
  3. Drain onto kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt, to taste.
  4. Serve in a bowl.

Apple and pumpkin soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the pumpkin, chopped apples and sage.
  2. Cook for another 2 minutes, season well and add the stock and the cider or apple juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the ingredients are tender.
  3. Liquidise and serve piping hot with crusty bread.

Spiced apple chutney

Makes 4-6 jars

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz onions, chopped
  • 900g/2lb apples, cored and chopped
  • 110g/4oz sultanas, raisins or chopped dates
  • 15g/½oz ground coriander
  • 15g/½oz paprika
  • 15g/½oz mixed spice
  • 15g/½oz salt
  • 340g/12oz granulated sugar
  • 425ml/¾ pints malt vinegar

Preparation method

  1. Put all the ingredients into a preserving pan. Slowly bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Simmer for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney sticking to the pan.
  3. When it is very thick and you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid, the chutney is ready.
  4. Turn into sterilised jars, seal and cool.
  5. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two to three months before eating.

September / Octover’s recipe

Courgette cake

This is a great cake that kids will enjoy making!

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Before cooking, wash your hands and put on an apron. Weigh and measure all the ingredients. Ask a grown-up to preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Grease a small (500g) loaf tin with a little vegetable oil using a pastry brush.
  2. Place the sugar and butter into a mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork mash the ingredients together until completely combined.
  3. Break the egg into a cup and whisk with a fork. Add the egg to the sugar and butter and stir.
  4. Grate the courgette and add this to the mixture with the flour, mixed spice and lime juice and stir using a wooden spoon.
  5. Put the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Ask a grown-up to put it in the oven for 20–25 minutes until golden-brown on the top. Serve in slices with some fresh fruit.

Blackberry and honey fool

August’s recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Blend the blackberries in a food processor until smooth. Spoon a third of the purée into a serving glass
  2. Whisk the double cream and vanilla seeds until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  3. Fold in the yoghurt and honey. Gently fold in the remaining blackberry purée to create a ‘ripple’ effect.
  4. Spoon the cream mixture into the serving glass, top with the blackberries and sprinkle over icing sugar.

Meringues with strawberries and cream

Serves 8 (or 6 if you’ve got a sweet tooth)!

Ingredients

For the meringue
  • 8 free-range eggs, whites only
  • 200g/7oz white caster sugar
For the filling

Preparation method

  1. For the meringue, preheat the oven to 100C/200F/Gas ¾. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. You may want to draw circles on the paper to help keep your meringues the same size.
  2. Place the egg whites into a clean glass or metal bowl and whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  4. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large plain or star nozzle.
  5. Pipe into 16 small rounds onto the prepared baking tray.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the oven off but leave the meringues in the oven for at least two hours.
  8. When crisp, remove from the oven
  9. For the filling, whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in half the strawberries.
  10. Place a meringue onto a serving plate. Spread the whipped cream lightly over the meringue to cover totally, and top with more strawberries. Place another meringue on top of the strawberries.

June’s recipe

Broad beans witn pancetta and shallots

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Remove the tough outer skins of the broad beans.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the pancetta and shallots until the shallots are soft and the pancetta golden-brown. Add the prepared beans and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

May’s recipe

Risotto of nettles and wild herbs

Serves 2

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Blanch the nettles in boiling water for two minutes, then drain, squeeze dry, and chop finely. Wash and finely chop the other hedgerow herbs.
  2. Bring the stock to simmering point on a low heat. In a separate, fairly heavy-based saucepan sweat the onion or shallot in the butter for a few minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and cook for a further few minutes.
  3. Add a ladle of the hot stock and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally to make sure the risotto does not catch on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Continue to add the liquid by degrees, incorporating the wine towards the end of the cooking, until the liquid is all absorbed, the risotto is creamy, and the individual rice grains tender with just a hint of chalkiness in the middle.
  5. Stir the chopped nettles and herbs into the risotto, which should become a beautiful pale green, flecked with tiny pieces of herb. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. The risotto should be served not piping hot, but tiede, with a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs and a trickle of olive oil on each portion. parmesan cheese is not required.

April’s recipe

Rhubarb crumble

Serves 4

Ingredients

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 7½cm/3in long sticks and place on an oven tray, sprinkle with the water and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle over the ginger and mix well.
  4. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb.
  5. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with double cream.

March’s recipe

Pea and spring onion champ

Serves 6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. To make the champ, cook the potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes, until tender.
  2. Drain three-quarters of the water and continue to cook on a low heat. Avoid stabbing the potatoes with a knife, because if they’re floury potatoes they’ll break up if you do.
  3. When cooked, drain all the water off, peel and mash with most of the butter while hot.
  4. Meanwhile, place the milk in a saucepan with the peas and spring onion and boil for four or five minutes, until cooked.
  5. Add the parsley and take off the heat.
  6. Add the potatoes, keeping some of the milk back in case you don’t need it all.
  7. Season to taste and beat until creamy and smooth, adding more milk if necessary.
  8. Serve piping hot with the remaining butter melting in the centre.

February’s recipe

Roasted root vegetables

Delicious with couscous, meat or fish

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
  2. Cut the vegetables into chunks approximately the same size.
  3. Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil and put into a large roasting tin. Top with the thyme sprigs.
  4. Bake in the oven until tender, about 40-50 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve at once.R

January’s recipe

Leek, carrot and ginger soup

A lovely healthy and warming soup – the ginger can be replaced with mixed herbs if preferred.

Serves 1

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oil a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, leek and ground ginger and gently fry for 2-3 minutes, until the leeks have softened.
  2. Add the carrot and the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for ten minutes, or until the carrot is cooked through.
  3. Place the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. To serve, place the apple into a warm bowl and pour in the soup.

December’s recipe

Brussels sprouts with caramelised onions and toasted almonds 

Everybody will love this tasty alternative to boiled sprouts!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Melt 175g/7oz of the butter in a large sauté pan and gently sweat the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened and caramelised.
  2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the sprouts for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in ice cold water.
  3. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the almonds. Fry gently for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
  4. Melt the remaining 25g/1oz of butter in a large sauté pan and sweat the sprouts for 3-4 minutes, tossing, until just softened. Stir the onions and almonds through. Season with celery salt and lots of pepper. Serve at once.

November’s recipe

Marrow curd

This recipe does not sounds very attractive, but try it and be surprised.  The marrow gives it a lovely texture.  The curd is a lovely filling for a cake as well!

Ingredients

One large marrow

3 large lemons

2lb sugar

Cut up marrow into small chunks, steam until mushy.  Put into a saucepan with the sugar and juice of the lemons.  Heat up slowly until the sugar melts, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it thickens like jam.  Pour into warm, sterilized jars and when cool, store in the fridge.  Scrumptious!

October’s recipe

Roasted spicy squash

Ingredients

1 large butternut or other

squash, olive oil, 1 tsp

ground cinnamon, salt & pepper,

large handful fresh sage leaves,

1 dried redchilli.

Method:

Preheat oven to 180ºC.  Grind dried chilli in pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt; add cinnamon and sage

leaves and pound some more. Add a little olive oil to make a loose mix. Halve squash, scoop out and keep seeds; cut

squash into thin slices with skin still on. Rub pieces with spicy mixture and lay in a single layer in large baking tin.

Scatter seeds over top and season with pepper and salt; cover with tin foil and bake for 30—45 mins. Uncover and bake

for further 10—20 mins more to crisp up.

September’s recipe

Borscht soup

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 onion, 1 potato, 1lb/450g

raw beetroot, 1oz/25g butter

or margarine, 2pts/1.2 ltrs

vegetable stock, 3 tbsp/

45ml cider vinegar, 1 tsp/

5ml yeast extract (e.g. Marmite),

salt & pepper, ground

nutmeg to taste, sour cream

or natural yoghurt garnish,

chopped parsley garnish.

Method:

Chop vegetables, melt butter and fry onion until transparent. Add potato, beetroot and stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 mins. Allow to cool before liquidising. Return to pan, add remaining ingredients

and season generously. Reheat to serve, stirring in sour cream just before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

To serve chilled, liquidise the soup, stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill; serve garnished as above.

August’s recipe

Stuffed tomatoes

Beef steak tomatoes are the best type of tomatoes to use for this lovely seasonal treat.  Replace the stilton with cheddar if preferred.

Serves 2

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Slice a thin slice off the bottom of the tomatoes so they sit flat on the work surface. Slice off the top, then spoon out the flesh to make a hollow ‘cup’ shape. Reserve the flesh.
  3. Place the hollowed tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle over the honey.
  4. Mix the Stilton with the scooped out tomato flesh, then use the mixture to stuff the tomatoes. Drizzle over the olive oil and bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the stuffing is golden-brown.
  5. To serve, transfer the tomatoes onto serving plates and scatter over the chopped walnuts.

July’s recipe

Strawberry cream-filled meringues

Summer wouldn’t be Summer without British strawberries!  This is a lovely simple recipe that’s bound to impress!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the meringue

For the strawberry cream

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas ½.
  2. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the caster sugar, whisking continuously, until all of the sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  3. Place a few dots of meringue onto a baking tray, then lay greaseproof paper on top (the meringue will help hold the paper in place on the tray). Spoon 8-12 dollops of the meringue onto the paper, leaving a generous gap between each mound of meringue. (Prepare two meringues per person.)
  4. Bake the meringues in the oven for one hour to one hour and 30 minutes, or until the meringues are firm but still slightly soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray.
  5. For the strawberry cream, place half of the strawberries into a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Reserve 4-6 of the remaining strawberries for garnish, then roughly chop the rest and set aside.
  6. Whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then fold in the strawberry purée. Add icing sugar, to taste, then fold in the chopped strawberries.
  7. To serve, place a spoonful of strawberry cream onto half of the meringues, then top with a and serve.

 

June’s recipe

Broad beans with pancetta and shallots

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Remove the tough outer skins of the broad beans.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the pancetta and shallots until the shallots are soft and the pancetta golden-brown. Add the prepared beans and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

May’s recipe

Nettle and potato soup

We made this soup in the garden recently and it tasted delicious.  Use fresh ‘tops’ of nettles and harvest away from road verges and footpaths.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 onions,

2 potatoes,

2 cloves garlic,

2 handfuls of nettle tops,

1 litre veg or chicken stock,

2 tbsps olive oil,

175ml single cream,

Salt and black pepper,

2 bay leaves,

grated nutmeg.

 

Method:

Fry chopped onions and garlic in oil till soft; chop nettles (wearing gloves) and add to pan, cover and ‘sweat’ over low heat till wilted. Add diced potatoes, stock and bay leaves, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

When potatoes are soft and cooked, remove bay leaves and let soup cool before liquidizing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in most of cream and grate in nutmeg to taste. Warm through gently before serving with a swirl of cream in each bowl, or with a little grated cheddar or garlic croutons

April’s recipe

Rhubarb Fool

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and enough water to cover the rhubarb in a medium pan. Boil rapidly until rhubarb is soft.
  2. In a bowl, fold the egg white into the whipped cream.
  3. When the rhubarb is soft, fold it in to the egg white and cream mixture. Reserve a little rhubarb for decoration.
  4. Spoon the resulting fool into a tall dessert glass. Top with the reserved rhubarb and serve.

March’s recipe

Crunchy Winter Salad

Ingredients

Serves 2

Preparation method

  1. Place the sliced cabbage, carrots and walnuts into a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, sherry or red wine vinegar and mustard. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle over the salad and toss well to coat.
  3. To serve, pile onto a serving plate.

February’s recipe

Caramelised apples and apple Icecream

Ingredients

Serves 4

Preparation method

  1. Put a medium sized oven tray in the freezer.
  2. Peel, core and chop the cooking apples and add to a deep pan with the juice of a lemon and four tablespoons of golden caster sugar. You can even leave the squeezed lemons in the pan. Pop the lid on and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. A bit of texture is welcome in the ice cream so don’t let the apples soften to a purée.
  3. Tip the cooked apples into a large bowl, pour the ready-made custard over and fold together. Tip the mixture into the chilled tray and freeze for two hours, giving it a stir at the halfway stage.
  4. When the ice cream is almost frozen, peel and core the dessert apples and cut into segments. Warm the butter in a frying pan and add the apples with the remaining four tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Turn them occasionally making sure that all the apples are evenly caramelised, which should take 10 minutes or so.
  5. Serve the piping hot apple segments with the home-made apple ice cream.

January’s recipe

Baked leeks with goats’ cheese

Ingredients

For the baked leeks
To serve
  • 2 large handfuls baby leaf spinach, washed
  • 4 slices pumpernickel bread

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the baked leeks, place the leek pieces into an ovenproof dish and drizzle over the oil.
  3. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then sprinkle over the chopped garlic.
  4. Transfer the dish to the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, or until the leeks have softened. Set aside to cool a little, then carefully remove the hardened outer skin on each piece of leek.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat together the cheese, butter and egg for about five minutes, until smooth and well combined. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the chives until well combined.
  6. Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
  7. Spoon a little of the cheese mixture onto each of the roasted leek pieces and press down gently.
  8. When the grill is hot, place the leeks under it and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese mixture is golden-brown and bubbling.
  9. To serve, divide the baby leaf spinach equally among each of four serving plates. Cut each slice of pumpernickel bread into fingers and place one piece of baked leek on top of each. Place one portion of bread and baked leeks alongside each portion of spinach. Serve immediately.

December’s recipe

Stir fried Brussel sprouts and chestnuts

Serves 4

Ingredients
20 Brussels sprouts, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil

100g chestnuts (halved or chopped)

Method
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook on a high    heat for about five minutes, until cooked through but still with a bite.
2. Add the chestnuts and stir well for a couple of minutes.
3. Pour into a large bowl and serve.

November’s recipe

Quince and apple cobbler

Serves six to eight.

1kg Bramley apples
500g quince
100g butter
100g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1 pinch salt
80g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
120ml buttermilk (or milk to which 1 tsp lemon juice has been added)
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Peel and core the apples and quince, and cut the flesh into chunks. Melt the butter in a big saucepan and cook the fruit with the caster sugar until it has slightly softened, about five minutes. Spoon the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

Sift the flour, baking powder, 100g of sugar and salt into a bowl, add the butter and rub together until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs (or pulse in a food processor). Whisk the egg yolk with the buttermilk, add to the flour bowl and work into a soft, sticky dough (don’t overwork it). Drop spoonfuls of dough on top of the fruit, leaving small gaps in between, and brush all over with milk. Sprinkle the sugar on top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Leave to cool slightly before serving.

October’s recipe

Baked apples with fruit and nuts

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, mincemeat, flaked almonds, cinnamon, raisins and butter together and spoon it into the cavities of the apples. Place the excess in the bottom of a buttered baking dish.
  3. Place the apples on the fruit in the dish. Dot the top with butter and place in the oven for 45-60 minutes. Every 10 minutes add 2 tbsp of apple juice to the bottom of the dish and spoon the juices over the apples.
  4. Serve piping hot with double or clotted cream.

September’s recipe

Spaghetti Squash Soup

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  2. Toss the chopped squash, red pepper, garlic and shallot in olive oil and season.
  3. Place on a baking tray with the hollowed squash and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Bring the chicken or vegetable stock to simmer in a saucepan.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, stir together and season to taste.
  6. Pour the chunky soup mixture into the hollowed roasted squash and serve.

 August’s recipe:

Beetroot Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

  • 500g whole raw beetroot (3-4 medium beets)
  • 100g unsalted butter , plus extra for the tin
  • 200g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder

 Method

1.      Wear a pair of rubber gloves to stop your hands from staining, then top, tail and peel the beetroot – you’ll need about 400g flesh. Roughly chop and put into a large bowl. Add a splash of water, cover with cling film, then microwave on High for 12 mins or until tender.

2.      Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. While the beetroot cooks, butter then line a 20 x 30cm traybake or small roasting tin. Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes. Tip the cooked beetroot into a sieve, drain off any excess liquid, then put into a food processor or blender with the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whizz until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. The chocolate and butter will melt as you do this.

3.      Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl, then beat using an electric hand whisk until thick, pale and foamy, about 2 mins. Spoon the beetroot mix into the bowl (it won’t look too pretty at this stage, but bear with me), then use a large metal spoon to fold it into the whisked eggs. Try to conserve as much air in the mixture as you can. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold these in to make a smooth batter.

4.      Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 mins or until risen all over, with just the merest quiver under the centre of the crust when you shake the pan. Cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

July’s recipe:

Gooseberry and elderflower fool

This is a lovely seasonal recipe.  Elderflower heads are easy to gather – just avoid any which are near the roadside and make sure you’re collecting elder flower heads and not cow parsley which is poisonous!  If in doubt, omit the elderflowers from the recipe – it will still taste good!.

Ingredients

Preparation method

  1. Place the gooseberries in a large pan with the water and bring to the boil. Cook gently until the gooseberries begin to soften and release their juices.
  2. Wrap the elderflower heads in muslin, tie and push into the gooseberries. Allow to simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  3. Roughly mash the gooseberry mixture with a fork or potato masher, or lightly pulse in a food processor. Tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Remove the elderflower infusion from the gooseberries and squeeze all the juices back into the bowl. Discard the muslin bag. Spoon a quarter of the gooseberry pureé into a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the crème fraîche to the remaining gooseberry pureé and gently fold it in.
  • Spoon the reserved gooseberry pureé between the serving glasses. Layer the fool mixture on top of that and place the glasses in the fridge to chill until they are needed.
  • To serve each fool decorate with sprigs of lemon balm, mint or elderflower berries and serve with sponge fingers, if liked.

June’s recipe:

Summer pudding

Ingredients

  • 400g/14oz fresh raspberries
  • 800g/1¾lb fresh strawberries, hulls removed, cut in half
  • 600g/1lb 5oz fresh blackcurrants or redcurrants
  • 300g/10½oz caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 300ml/10½fl oz water
  • 12 slices thick-cut white bread, crusts removed
  • fresh Jersey double cream, to serve (optional)

Preparation method

  1. Bring half of the fruit and all of the sugar, lemon juice, wine and water to a simmer in a pan. Continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the berries have softened and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Transfer the cooked fruit to a sieve using a slotted spoon and strain any liquid back into the pan. Set the drained fruit aside.
  3. Bring the fruit juice mixture to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced to a syrup.
  4. Strain the syrup mixture into a clean pan, reserving 200ml/7fl oz of the strained syrup in a separate bowl.
  5. Return the cooked fruit to the pan containing the fruit syrup. Set aside to cool.
  6. When the syrup and cooked fruit are completely cool, add the remaining (uncooked) fruit and stir well to combine.
  7. Line a 1.8 litre/3 pint pudding basin with 2 large sheets of clingfilm (the edges of the clingfilm should hang over the top of the basin so that they can be used to cover the base of the pudding).
  8. Cut 10 of the bread slices into two equal-sized rectangles. Thoroughly paint one side of each bread rectangle with the reserved 200ml/7fl oz of fruit syrup.
  9. Using the open end of the pudding basin as a template, cut a disc from one of the remaining whole slices of bread and paint one side of it with the fruit syrup.
  10. Using the base of the pudding basin as a template, cut a disc from the remaining whole slice of bread and paint one side of it with the fruit syrup. (Reserve any remaining fruit syrup.)
  11. Put the small bread disc, painted-side down, into the base of the pudding basin. Arrange the bread rectangles, painted-sides down, around the insides of the basin, overlapping the slices slightly where they join.
  12. Fill the pudding basin with the mixed fruit and top with the remaining large bread disc.
  13. Draw the excess cling film layers over the base of the pudding until it is completely sealed. Place a small plate on top of the pudding basin and weigh down with a heavy weight.
  14. Chill the summer pudding in the fridge overnight.
  15. To serve, unwrap the clingfilm from the base of the summer pudding. Invert the summer pudding onto a serving plate and remove the remaining cling film. Cut the summer pudding into wedges and serve with cream (if using) and any remaining fruit syrup.
Overnight preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 6

April’s recipe:

Rhubarb fool

Serves 4

Ingredients

Preparation method

1.      Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and enough water to cover the rhubarb in a medium pan. Boil rapidly until rhubarb is soft.

2.      In a bowl, fold the egg white into the whipped cream.

3.      When the rhubarb is soft, fold it in to the egg white and cream mixture. Reserve a little rhubarb for decoration.

4.      Spoon the resulting fool into a tall dessert glass. Top with the reserved rhubarb and serve.

January’s recipe:

Baked Apple

Ingredients

Preparation method

1.      Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

2.      Place the apple onto a non-stick baking tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and then drizzle the honey over.

3.      Scatter with damsons / dried fruit and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

4.      Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Spoon yoghurt on top, to serve.

You can find the Five A Day Market Garden at: The Street, Englefield, Theale, RG7 5EL For a map and directions, Click here