The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘foraging’

yellow split pea and wild garlic tarka dhal

The recent announcement by the makers of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, advising consumers that their sauces should only be consumed once a week, struck me on two levels. Firstly, as the manufacturer was not required to make this declaration, I wondered what could have motivated it to take such a unilateral step. Ever the cynic, I believe this move was less about serving the interests of consumers and more about […]

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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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wild garlic oil

If you’re looking for an ethical reason not to eat meat, then it’s hard to better the words of the ancient Greek historian and philosopher, Plutarch who, in his work Moralia wrote: “but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy” Human beings […]

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nettle top fritters with chilli dipping sauce

Down on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, I’ve been busy of late sowing and planting in preparation for the new season’s vegetable crops. Although my focus is primarily on the future, I still have produce from the old season which has survived the mild winter and continues to provide us with fresh organic vegetables. Leeks, kale, spinach, chard and purple sprouting broccoli have done particularly well and are still […]

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strawberry crumble with elderflower ice cream

“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself”. —Rachel Carson, Silent Spring It was good to see on Tuesday of this week that the google search engine had as its theme an illustration depicting what would have been the 107th birthday of Rachel Carson. Rachel Carson was an American biologist and author of the seminal work “Silent Spring”, about the devastating […]

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smoked paprika tagliatelle with asparagus and wild garlic pesto

This week’s recipe combines two flavour-packed delights of early Spring, asparagus and wild garlic. Asparagus is at its best right now whereas wild garlic is already heading towards the end of its short but prolific season. If, like me, you are fortunate to be able to forage for wild garlic locally, please only ever pick the leaves not the whole plant, and always take only what you need. On reflection, […]

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wild garlic tartlets

According to Joanne Blythman’s book “Bad Food Britain”, which I have just finished reading, something dramatic has been happening to our collective cooking knowledge and skills over the course of a couple of generations. Fifty years ago the average British family meal took 1 hour and 20 minutes to prepare and cook. By 1980 that figure had dropped to an hour. Now it takes on average just 13 minutes to […]

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wild nettle pizza

During the transition between the end of winter and the middle of spring is a period which traditionally was known as the “hungry gap”. This marked the grim phase of the growing calendar when the last of the hardy winter crops had been used up and the new season’s first crops were not yet ready to harvest. In times gone by the poor had to rely on whatever food they […]

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plum and cobnut frangipane tart

I went to Rome for the first time a few years ago, a beautiful city, vibrant, cultured and steeped in history. Of the many fond memories of my stay there, one is of walking along streets lined with lemon trees. It has got me into wondering why our streets here in the UK aren’t similarly lined with fruit trees. Apart from anything else it could provide a ready and free […]

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