The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics


sourdough multiseed loaf

This month marks Sourdough September, an annual event created by the Real Bread Campaign. Sourdough baking relies on just a few natural ingredients: flour, water, salt, water and yeast. At its heart is the sourdough starter, comprising naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria. It’s easy to make your own starter, just follow my method here. Your sourdough starter can survive with only periodic (in my case once a week) attention, and […]

Continue Reading →

green minestrone

The Covid-19 pandemic almost stopped modern civilisation in its tracks, and it is not yet over. For many of us, enforced lockdown was a time of reflection on the way we live our lives, the way we interact with our local community, the way we work and even the way we eat. In a survey carried out by YouGov, 85% of respondents said they wanted to see some of these […]

Continue Reading →

summer slaw with Pad Thai dressing

The benefits of gardening in respect of mental health and well-being are now well documented. Indeed, garden therapy is increasingly prescribed by doctors to help tackle anxiety, loneliness and depression. But research from the University of California suggests that gardening can also help tackle the growing problem of obesity, especially amongst children. We now know that being overweight puts us at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19. […]

Continue Reading →

courgettes with paprika, saffron and oregano

A recent report by the UK’s House of Lords Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee has looked, amongst other things, at the disproportionate rates of obesity amongst poorer families. The report has concluded that our current food production and pricing systems conspire to make unhealthy food much cheaper than it should be. Obesity is one of the so-called underlying health conditions that increases vulnerability to Covid-19, as well as a […]

Continue Reading →

pasta with pesto, potatoes and French beans

It was announced earlier this week that about 200 staff at a Herefordshire vegetable farm and packing business had been ordered into isolation on the property after 73 workers tested positive for Covid-19. Not long after this news was reported, stories began to emerge about squalid working conditions on the farm prior to the outbreak. It was claimed, for example, that employees had to work in the farm’s packing house […]

Continue Reading →

broccoli steaks with chimichurri sauce

Despite being closely allied to the meat industry, the dairy industry is often overlooked as a huge net contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent report, Milking the Planet, produced by the United States Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), has revealed the shocking scale of combined emissions by the world’s largest dairy corporations. Between them, the world’s thirteen largest dairy corporations produce the same level of greenhouse […]

Continue Reading →

cauliflower tempura with pickled ginger and coconut curry sauce

This recipe for cauliflower tempura with pickled ginger and coconut curry sauce signals the resumption of my association with Suma Wholefoods after an enforced hiatus due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Suma, a wholefood cooperative, and one of the largest of its kind in Europe, has performed wonders to keep its key supply chains open over the past few months. At the heart of each of these monthly […]

Continue Reading →

courgette linguine

This week the UK government further eased restrictions on the lockdown in England that has been in place for almost three months (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are subject to slightly different, and generally more cautious, restrictions). Curious to see how the populace would respond, I must confess to a feeling of deep depression at the sight of long queues of cars at fast food drive-throughs and of people lining […]

Continue Reading →