The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

green pea and coconut dhal

green pea and coconut dahl

Rice plays a pivotal role in the diet of over half of the world’s population. Without it, many people in Africa and South East Asia would simply starve. But overdependence on rice in the diet comes at a price. Whilst it is rich in carbohydrates, rice is also poor in nutrients, and relying upon it as a principal food source can lead to vitamin A deficiency. In children under the […]

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gooseberry and mint sorbet

gooseberry and mint sorbet

Like it or not, each time we buy food we are, in effect, voting for the type of society we wish to live in. When we buy cheap, processed, subsidised food, or food grown using chemical interventions or exploited labour, we are implicitly sanctioning the processes by which that food ended up on our plate. Cheaper, non-organic food costs less because governments hand out disproportionate subsidies to agribusinesses which rely […]

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socca pancakes with char-grilled asparagus, tomato and herbs

socca pancake with chargrilled asparagus

I am posting this recipe from the Pays des Bastides in the south west of France, where my wife Sara and I are enjoying a week’s break. France doesn’t have a great reputation for vegetarian food so we are self catering, but that’s fine because one thing France does do in style is its wonderful food markets. The market stalls in the various villages we have visited so far have […]

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broad bean and coriander falafel

broad bean and coriander falafel 3

Growing your own food is not only a liberating and fulfilling experience: in a world where so much of our food is controlled by global corporations it is also an act of dissent. Some of the fruit and vegetables that I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden are rare, heritage varieties which, under draconian EU seed legislation, are now illegal to buy and sell. In recent years, the […]

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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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