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Recipe Inspiration For National Allotment Week

10th August 2018

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August is a month of abundant harvests so you can end up with large gluts, from a plethora of red tomatoes to never-ending courgettes. Find some recipe inspiration for these delicious harvests in this blog, and don’t let any of your yields go to waste this National Allotment Week!

Courgettes
These plants are one of the most prolific croppers, and yields should be frequently picked to encourage the plant to continue producing. This will mean that you have lots of delicious courgettes to enjoy! Pick the yields when they are around 10-12cm in length.

Courgettes are hugely versatile and can be made into an array of dishes from savoury to sweet. For a delicious summer meal try grilled courgettes with ricotta, packed full of flavour with crunchy pine nuts to top the dish; or go for courgette and asparagus risotto, with this gluten-free risotto recipe by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne from The Genius Gluten-Free Cookbook. Alternatively, go for the sweet option – courgettes make lovely moist cakes. Try this recipe for lemon and courgette cupcakes to add that extra zing to your dessert menu.
courgettes


Beetroot
These root veg are packed full with flavour and can be used in a variety of savoury and sweet meals. When cultivating these yields, remember not to let any of the produce go to waste throughout the growing process! When you thin the yields, use these mini leaves as additions to salads and tasty garnishes, and once the beets are developing you can thin them again when the roots are the size of a golf ball to allow room for other specimens to grow to maturity. These mini roots can be eaten, too. Harvest mature yields when tennis-ball sized.

Use beetroot to create attractive and flavour filled dishes, such as delicious fresh beetroot and pumpkin seed soup. This root veg is also brilliant as an addition to cakes! Go indulgent with a super rich chocolate beetroot cake covered in ganache, or if you want to avoid gluten and dairy try this recipe for moreish cacao and beetroot brownies – only 97 calories per serving!
beetroot


Aubergines
These plants love growing in warm conditions, so those in greenhouses or warm areas outdoors are often bursting with yields in August. There are lots of varieties of these veg you can grow, from ‘Black Beauty’ to ‘Pot Black’ F1, that will produce flavour-packed yields. Harvest them when the surface of the fruit is shiny, and for standard-sized varieties they should be around 15cm in length.

Perfect as an addition to meals or as the star feature, they can go into a huge range of savoury dishes. For a delicious light lunch try making an egg-topped smokey aubergine salad. Alternatively, go for jam-packed flavour sensation choices with a spinach and aubergine curry, or make baked aubergine with Moroccan falafel crumb and enjoy the flavours of North Africa!
aubergines


Broccoli
These yields are a staple in the kitchen, as long as you pick them before the flowers open! Take the central spear to begin with, and then the sideshoots once they have developed to a sufficient size.

To make a delicious summer lunch, try a salad of purple sprouting broccoli, asparagus, peas and radish, or if you are a pasta lover go for this broccoli with penne pasta, pine nuts and chilli recipe! If a summer storm turns the day a bit cold however, then warm up with hot-shot broccoli, ginger, lemongrass and cashew soup! This tasty lunch option is filled with healthy veg.
broccoli


Carrots
For the best flavour from these crops, make sure you don’t leave them to mature for too long, as the younger yields are packed with a fresh taste. Use a fork to harvest these crunchy crops, after around three to four months from sowing (depending on variety).

Carrots make a delicious accompaniment to main meals, so try this side dish for baked beets with carrots and leeks if you are a roast lover! These roots can, however, also be the star of the meal – these carrot tartlets with flaky puff pastry prove just that. Of course for those who have a sweet tooth, making a carrot cake is a must, so go for this delicious dessert with vanilla cream cheese icing!
carrots


Tomatoes
These yields are one of the most versatile for creating different dishes in the kitchen, and can be used to make warming soups and flavour-filled sauces for pizza and pasta. Take the toms when completely coloured for the best taste and texture.

There is nothing quite like the flavour sensation of a freshly picked tomato, but when you get bumper yields from all the plants at once there can be too many to eat fresh. Roast these yummy morsels to bring out the sweetness and make a tomato risotto, or try oven-roasted tomato, spinach and mozzarella tarts, perfect for a summer gathering with friends and family. You can also make use of these fruits in a nutritious Italian style dish, penne arrabiata with cherry tomatoes – use your own homegrown yields in this dish, so they don’t go to waste!
toms

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