The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

broad bean, feta and chive tarts

broad bean, feta and chive tartlet

Is it possible that the tide is beginning to turn against fast food? Last month global fast-food mongers Pepsico and Kraft both posted a huge drop in profits for the first quarter of 2015. Business may be looking bad for them, but their troubles have been overshadowed by those of the global burger chain McDonald’s. It reported an 11% decrease in revenue and a 30% drop in profit for the […]

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butter bean and Spring herb dip

Spring herb and butter bean dip

Tomorrow marks the start of National Vegetarian Week, and this year the theme is “sharing”. If you normally eat meat, why not use the opportunity to try going a week without it? If you make the effort to look up and cook some decent vegetarian meals during the coming days you may be pleasantly surprised by the rich variety of flavours and textures which vegetarian cuisine can offer. Ethical considerations […]

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French tarragon and olive oil ice cream

French tarragon and olive oil ice cream

I wonder how many of you in the UK have come across those large delivery lorries with a “3663” logo painted on the sides and wondered what just what the “3663” represented. Well, for those of you who don’t know, 3663 is in fact a UK-based food supplier (“3663″ is the number that you type in if you try to spell the word “food” on a telephone keypad). The company […]

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open ravioli of asparagus with pea purée

open asparagus ravioli with pea puree

We live in a world where choosing to eat healthily is becoming more and more of a challenge. Everywhere, it seems, we are surrounded by cheap, processed and unhealthy foods, many of which are causing our bodies harm – it is diet that is the principle cause of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Treating type 2 diabetes already costs the UK’s NHS a massive £9 billion per […]

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rosemary flatbread biscuits

rosemary flatbread biscuits

It was nearly thirty years ago that the giant multinational burger chain McDonald’s first moved into the historic heart of the beautiful city of Rome, opening up a restaurant in the Piazza di Spagna, next to the famous Spanish Steps. For many Italians who cared deeply about their culture and their food heritage this incursion into their capital city was regarded as nothing less than an outrage, and McDonald’s arrival […]

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wild garlic tagliatelle with wilted greens

wild garlic tagliatelle with wilted greens

This post represents a departure from the usual format of posts on my blog. Instead of the typical, barely-controlled rant about some aspect of the food industry to which I happen to have taken exception, I am instead posting a short video showing me gathering the wild garlic used in this recipe and then creating the dish. The video was filmed and edited by the very talented Luke Smith of […]

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wild garlic oil

wild garlic oil

If you’re looking for an ethical reason not to eat meat, then it’s hard to better the words of the ancient Greek historian and philosopher, Plutarch who, in his work Moralia wrote: “but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy” Human beings […]

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nettle top fritters with chilli dipping sauce

nettle fritters with chilli dipping sauce

Down on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, I’ve been busy of late sowing and planting in preparation for the new season’s vegetable crops. Although my focus is primarily on the future, I still have produce from the old season which has survived the mild winter and continues to provide us with fresh organic vegetables. Leeks, kale, spinach, chard and purple sprouting broccoli have done particularly well and are still […]

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sweet potato, turnip and chickpea hash

sweet potato, turnip and chickpea hash

It’s Spring, at last, and the days are gradually getting longer and warmer. In the UK, the clocks go forward tomorrow and the Easter bank holiday is just a week away, a traditional time for many of us to start thinking about our gardens and allotments. One of the first jobs to tackle will be the weeding: as always it is the weeds, nature’s opportunists, which have stolen a march […]

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roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots with lemon and smoked sea salt

roast Brussels sprouts with shallot lemon and smoked sea salt

This week the Council of the European Union signed off a new Directive which could have huge ramifications for the food we eat. The Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will come into effect on 2 April. Its stated purpose is to allow Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territory, even if those crops have received EU approval. But at the same […]

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