The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

spinach, walnut and rosemary pesto

spinach, walnut and rosemary pesto

The worldwide fishing industry is in crisis. Fish stocks are in steep decline, and are not being replenished anywhere near as quickly as we are plundering them. Rather than respond to the crisis by drastically reducing the overall amount it catches, the industry has instead responded by employing more and more extreme techniques to maximise its haul of the dwindling fish stocks that remain. What is more, it has been […]

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roast savoy cabbage with miso and sesame

roast cabbage with miso and sesame

Those of us who grow our own food usually spend this time of year leafing through seed catalogues and planning what we are going to grow in the season ahead. Many of us will also have saved at least some of our own seeds from last year’s crops for sowing this year (I, for example, will be sowing pea, chickpea, tomato, pumpkin, butternut squash, Japanese onion squash, dwarf French bean, […]

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leek tart with hazelnut crust

leek tart with hazelnut crust

Many years ago a friend of mine used to wear a tee-shirt emblazoned with a native American proverb. It said, “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money”. There are some things – food, water, air – that we literally cannot live without, but our lives have become so sophisticated that it […]

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winter salad: red cabbage, apple and cranberry

winter salad - red cabbage, apple and cranberry

I am indebted to Nell, who blogs about gluten-free cooking as DeliciouslyNell, for nominating me recently for a “Very Inspiring Blogger” award. Nell’s nomination was a total, but delightful, surprise!     The rules of the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award are as follows: 1. As the recipient you should thank the person who nominated you by linking to his/her blog and displaying the award logo; 2. Nominate up to 15 […]

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pumpkin seed, cranberry and nut tartlets

pumkin seed, cranberry and nut tartlets

For decades official nutritional guidelines have warned us that saturated fats cause heart disease. This guidance was based upon the findings of a single, biased research project carried out in the 1950s, but it has taken the best part of sixty years to overturn those findings. Earlier this year Cambridge University became the latest respected institution to publish research which concluded that saturated fats are not, and never have been, […]

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parsnip crisps with smoked salt and thyme

parsnip crisps

Rickets is a disease associated with poverty. It was once common in Britain, during the Victorian era, caused by a combination of poor diet and a lack of access to sunlight. Rickets predominantly affects children, and its elimination in the UK decades ago was rightly regarded as a sign of a civilised, caring society. But now rickets is making a comeback, along with scurvy and other conditions historically associated with […]

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kale, quinoa and nut roast en croute

kale and nut roast en croute

Well, now it’s December I reckon it’s probably safe to start talking about Christmas. And for those of you looking for a vegetarian alternative to the ubiquitous turkey, here’s a recipe for a stunningly good, meat-free Christmas dinner. In our household Christmas is a busy and often raucous occasion, with usually anywhere between 10 and 16 for Christmas dinner, which is always followed by a loud and raucous Christmas quiz […]

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spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan sausages

spinach and parmesan sausages

California, the state known as America’s breadbasket because it provides so much of the USA’s fresh food, is going through its worst drought in a generation. California is used to drought, and its fertile growing region has survived plenty of such droughts in the past. However, what is happening there to deal with this latest challenge is typical of the responses to water shortages in areas of intensive agriculture across […]

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apple strudel ice cream

appel strudel ice cream

An astonishing amount of food waste occurs within the link between supermarkets and their fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers. As a matter of routine, perfectly edible fruit and vegetables are rejected before they even reach supermarket shelves simply because they do not conform to standard shapes and sizes. As a grower of fruit and vegetables I have come to love and cherish the knobbly potato, the misshapen pear and the […]

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beetroot, kale and blue cheese tartlets

beetroot, kale and blue cheese tartlets

Last week was rather a good week for the “Save Farm Terrace” campaign. The campaign was set up to try to save an historic allotment site in Watford from the predatory clutches of the local borough council and housing developers. On Thursday, a judicial review – which had followed a High Court ruling last year – again overturned a decision by the UK government’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to allow […]

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