The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

portobello and wild mushroom and ale pie

portobello and wild mushroom and ale pie

It is something which is at once amazingly powerful and yet incredibly fragile. Without it we would not exist. Indeed, without it there would be no life on Earth. What is it? Soil. The living skin of planet Earth. This thin, fragile layer on the surface of our planet is literally teeming with life. Grab a small handful of soil and what you hold in your hand will contain more […]

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roast chicory and olive tart

roast chicory and olive tart

A bizarre, but also deeply disturbing, battle over food labelling has been waged across the USA over the past couple of years. On the one hand are consumer groups who believe US citizens have the right to know whether the food they buy contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). On the other are the very companies responsible for putting GMOs into food who do not want US citizens to know if […]

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pear, walnut and pomegranate salad

pear, pomegranate and walnut salad

Whether it is through unfair European Union and government subsidies, or through the taxpayer having to underwrite the cost of cleaning up the environmental damage their growing methods can cause, fruit and vegetables grown using non-organic, chemical interventions such as pesticides often end up cheaper in the supermarkets than their organic equivalents. Being lured by the artificially lower prices of such produce can, however, mean exposing ourselves to greater risk. […]

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noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

A large proportion of the fruit and vegetables I grow on my allotment plot are so-called heritage varieties. In other words, I can save the seeds from the best of each year’s crop and sow them again the following year and expect to get pretty much the same plant again. Quite a few of the heritage varieties I grow are illegal to buy or sell, not because there is anything […]

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apple and rosemary tartlets

apple and rosemary tartlets

Last Saturday I visited a fruit farm near Newent in Gloucestershire with around twenty others, all of us there with the same purpose: to collect as many apples as we could on the day. This was my first such outing as a “gleaner”. The farmer had kindly agreed to open his orchards to our group of “gleaners” for the day, and between us we harvested three and a half tonnes […]

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six seasonal hearty vegan soups

six seasonal  hearty vegan soups

Here in the UK the clocks went back an hour last weekend, signalling the end of British Summer Time and the start of darker evenings as the autumn and winter weather draws in. In anticipation of the colder weather ahead, here are a seasonal six warming and restorative soups from the Circus Gardener’s Kitchen archives to keep you nourished and healthy. potato, rosemary and chilli soup Inexpensive and quick to put […]

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sweet and sour glazed carrots

sweet-and-sour-glazed-carrots large

For several weeks now the British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been waging a dogged and passionate campaign calling for the UK government to introduce a tax on food products containing excessive amounts of sugar. The proposal has the support of the British Medical Association and the National Obesity Forum. On Thursday of this week the campaign was given a further boost by the publication of a report by Public […]

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char-grilled baby cauliflower with salsa verde

chargrilled baby cauliflower with salsa verde

A law passed by the European Union in March 2015 finally allowed EU member countries to decide on an individual basis whether they wanted genetically modified (GMO) crops to be grown on their territory. The law was seen in some quarters as a way to get round some of the famous Brussels bureaucracy, which had frustrated GMO companies like Monsanto because of the long time it took for the EU […]

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spiced red rice and lentil salad

spicy lentil and red rice salad

In some quarters it is regarded somewhat scornfully as a badge of vegetarianism, but the lentil is actually a pretty amazing vegetable which does not deserve to be treated with such disdain. It has one of the highest proportions of protein of any plant and yet contains just 1% fat. It also has a high proportion of dietary fibre, and is a good source of iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium and […]

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cobnut and cacao nib ice cream

cobnut and cacao nib ice cream

Nearly 70% of the world’s supply of cocoa comes from two west African countries, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Despite being part of a lucrative market, cocoa farming in these countries often provides a below-poverty income for the farmers who actually produce the crop. The west African cocoa industry also has a long and scandalous history of child labour, which still persists to the present day. In large part this is […]

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