The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

roasted asparagus with almonds

Our attention has been focused intently for the last few months on the Covid-19 pandemic. A huge amount of money has been spent trying to stem the spread of the virus and in shoring up the floundering world economy. Where has all this money come from? After all, it was only a few months ago that the UK Prime Minister resorted to crowdfunding to try to pay for Big Ben […]

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sourdough bread

Over these strange past few weeks I have returned to bread baking, something I have done episodically for years, but which I am now doing routinely. I create my sourdough loaves and rolls using a sourdough starter, along with flour, salt and water. My bread has no other ingredients. It takes a long time to ferment and prove until it is ready to go into the oven – typically around […]

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sourdough starter

Sourdough is the oldest form of leavened bread. It takes much longer to ferment than most commercial UK bread but it produces a much superior loaf, both in flavour and texture. I’ve had several people ask me to share my sourdough recipe after I recently posted a picture of a couple of my sourdough loaves on Instagram, so I’ve decided to do so. But, first things first. The base component […]

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Mediterranean chickpea, pepper and olive stew

Covid-19 is what is known as a zoonotic disease, that is one which is passed on to humans from animals. As such, it is merely the latest in a growing number of zoonotic diseases that have – quite literally – plagued us in recent years. Others include HIV, ebola, zika virus, SARS and bird flu. It is simply too easy, as President Trump is trying to do, to lay the […]

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storecupboard granola

It was a giant meteor which did for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Measuring several kilometers across, the meteor crashed into planet Earth near the area we now know as Mexico. The impact was catastrophic, causing a huge tsunami and sending tons of rubble into the atmosphere, blocking out much of the sunlight for months. In the absence of sunlight, plants began to die. Herbivores, which were dependent on […]

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green shakshuka

I am writing this post in my garden on a warm, sunny afternoon as the UK prepares for a fourth week in lockdown. I am surrounded by birdsong and buzzing insects. The usual distant hum of traffic is absent. Right now, I feel blissfully calm and contented. I know that I am privileged compared to many. I am fortunate to have a garden to sit in, I do not live […]

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Cuban-style rice and beans

As we came to the end of a second week of virtual lockdown here in the UK, I found myself drawn to a little reported item of news about a group of Cuban doctors and nurses arriving in Italy to help tackle the Coronavirus outbreak there. It took me back to just over a year ago when I was fortunate enough to explore the island of Cuba. As well as […]

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broccoli, almond and buckwheat noodle salad

This recipe for broccoli, almond and buckwheat noodle salad is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website. This recipe was created prior to the unprecedented restrictions under which many of us […]

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spicy swede oven fries

We are living through uncertain and scary times as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly through the human population. Whilst the pandemic has seen numerous acts of local kindness it has also seen examples of brazen selfishness and stupidity, in particular through the panic buying and stockpiling of food, hand sanitizers and – bizarrely – toilet rolls. Some UK supermarkets are beginning to resemble their third-world counterparts, with rows […]

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vegan rhubarb and lemongrass fool

Bumble bees, the wild cousins of the honey bee, are crucial to our existence. They help pollinate around a third of the world’s farmed and wild plants upon which humans and other species depend. Over recent years their numbers have declined alarmingly as a result of multiple factors, including intensive farming, pesticides and parasites. However, a new study conducted by the University of Ottowa has revealed that climate change is […]

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