Wednesday 19 June 2013

Calling all hungry North Londoners,

With the temperature rising the summer produce is really starting to kick on and is coming in thick and fast now. And, according to expert meteorologist (and sausage-maker) Andy from Gill Wing, we can look forward to 30oc temperatures this weekend. 'The animals are lying down and you can just smell it'. Who needs the BBC when you have Andy!

The first of the Gooseberries from Hertfordshire are now ready for picking. There is so much to enjoy in the gooseberry and few summer fruits can rival their complexity, depth and zesty oomph. Whether its a simple fool, or a lovely summer tart there are loads of wonderful recipes to make use of them. They are complemented beautifully by elderflower, and this week Wild Elderflower Cordial is on offer at only £2.79.

The first of Matthew's New Season Bunched Carrots arrive this week. Always very popular, they are sweet and crisp, so  its time to get grating, chopping and roasting. We also have Organic Bunched Carrots from Perry Court.

Over at Wild Fields Farm they have sprung into action as the warmth has brought on their Spinach and Cabbages enough to grace our plates. Again, it's all new season so bursting with flavour.

The first of the summer veg from Gill Wing is also coming in now. They have Bunched Radishes for a crunchy bite in your salad and Red Chard, handily filling in while there is a crop gap at Ripple Farm.

We're bringing back potted herbs this week. And now it's warm you have a fighting chance of keeping them going out in the garden. We have Chives, Coriander, Basil, Mint, Curly and Flat Parsley. Calls for a Salsa Verde me thinks.

We are now stocking Fresh Yeast which, if you have ever tried to buy before, is very hard to come by. It is considered superior to the dry stuff in both taste and action (i.e it works quicker and is more reliable). If you've never tried your hand at home baking then we have a lovely recipe for Pizza Dough to get you started. Beats shop bought and takeaways any day and it's loads of fun!

There are a couple of new cheeses in this week. Luke has been raving about Y Fenni cheese from his native Wales for a while and has finally managed to source some much to our delight. It is a good strong cheddar with an extra punch provided by wholegrain mustard and welsh ale. We also have a Red Leicester with a summery twist of lemon and black pepper.

We're offering 15% off Sutton Hoo Marinated Spatchcock Chickens.
A Spatchcock bird is one which has had its backbone removed and is opened out like a book so it needs much less cooking time than a whole bird. In just 20-25 minutes you have a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Finally, hot off the boat, Dylan has just informed us that the sea is teeming with Turbot at this time of the year which means they're excellent value now. For something a bit different try barbecued Turbot steaks.

All the best,

Sam and the Farm Direct team.

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Gooseberries - Tarte, Sharp Sour & Fresh
Great, yet often neglected, gooseberries are one of my highlights of the soft fruit season. They have a fresh, tangy astringency which perfectly compliment foods which share their seasonality. Mackerel for example adores it's sharp flavour, and when mixed with elderflower adds that bit of perfection to fools and jams.
Gooseberry season is short, so it is a happy accident that they freeze so well and their flavour can re-appear all throughout the year.
Try gooseberries this season for £2.65 per punnet or 2 for £4.99.

Happy Chickens
Sutton Hoo firmly believe in the slow process of rearing birds in the traditional way. The birds live in small groups and shelter from the elements in mobile houses that have no artificial lighting and are naturally ventilated. From about two weeks of age the happy chicks venture outside to enjoy exploring the farm. From then on all feeding takes place outside by hand with additional nutrients foraged from the surrounding vegetation. Their poultry enjoy an additive free diet without antibiotics or drugs of any kind.
Get 15% off Marinated Spatchcock Chickens this week.

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