The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

gluten free

scallopini soup with garlic and mint

There’s been some good news recently for those of us concerned about the prospect of genetically modified (GM) crops entering our food chain. The global chemical giant and leading GM proponent Monsanto has announced that it is withdrawing several applications to grow genetically modified crops in the EU. These relate to genetically modified soya beans, corn and sugar beet. This decision may not necessarily be a victory for anti GM […]

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calabrese pakora

Before we start cooking I’d like to draw your attention to a recent, apparently minor, item of news that in all likelihood escaped your attention. A leading British researcher, Dr Helen Thompson has just quit her post with the government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in order to take up a post with the global giant chemical company Syngenta. Why is this significant? Well, in a previous blog I […]

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vegetarian salade niçoise

A family friend keeps a variety of free range poultry, and the catalyst for this recipe came when she recently gave us a dozen fresh quail eggs. Aside from the eggs, maple syrup, olives, capers and lemon, the other ingredients in this dish came from my allotment plot, the Circus Garden. In getting to my kitchen they travelled just one mile in my bicycle basket. Had I instead purchased these […]

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summer fruits creme brulee

Growing and cooking in harmony with the seasons, as I am trying to do, is based upon the fundamental recognition that no crop has a year-long life cycle. Of course, a wander up and down the fruit and vegetable aisles in our local supermarkets would suggest completely the opposite. There, fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries appear to be in magical, perpetual supply, despite the reality of their relatively […]

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green chickpea hummus

Earlier this year, as an experiment, I sprouted some dried chickpeas and planted them on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden. Traditionally, chickpeas are used in Middle Eastern, Indian and North African cooking. Around three quarters of the world’s supply of this highly nutritious, protein-rich food is grown in India and Pakistan, so I didn’t harbour great hopes for my own crop here on the outskirts of Worcester in the […]

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hazelnut meringue gateau with raspberries and cream

If you are fortunate enough to grow your own raspberries then you’ll no doubt be harvesting plenty of them right now. I have brought back several punnets of them from my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, over the past week or so and it seems that with each return visit there are just as many more waiting to be picked. Raspberries are one of the easiest and most trouble free […]

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potato, spinach and broad bean frittata

To me, there’s always a profound thrill in harvesting the first crop of potatoes on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden. You can never be sure what’s down there. It’s like digging for buried treasure. This year I’m growing eight different varieties of potato. That may sound somewhat excessive, and if I’m honest perhaps I did slightly overindulge myself at January’s National Potato Day at Garden Organic’s Ryton Gardens (these […]

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Indonesian style noodles with cabbage

This year I am growing several different varieties of cabbage on my allotment plot, The Circus Garden, and all being well these should keep us supplied with cabbage from now through to January. Regular readers of my blog will know that I grow my vegetables using organic principles. This means that I do not use pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers. To deal with the pests and diseases that cabbages […]

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