Thursday 23 May 2013

Best of British recipes for Open Farm Sunday

Open Farm Sunday is a nationwide event that is taking place on the 9th June and this year's theme is ‘Discover the story behind your food’. The event offers the public a fantastic chance to celebrate British farming and to see for themselves how the food and farming chain works, and in many cases see it in its entirety for a whole range of foods from fresh produce to dairy. Visitors to the hundreds of farms opening across Britain will get to meet the people that grow and produce their food and also to understand more about how and why farmers care for the countryside and why that matters to us all.

Open Farm Sunday is organised by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the leading organisation delivering sustainable food and farming and has a number of sponsors such as Waitrose, The Co-operative, Asda and Marks & Spencer. You can find out more at In the meantime, you might like to try out some more of the recipes that the sponsors have created to showcase British food, after seeing the Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tray Bake and the Cherry Tomato Tart that I shared earlier in the week - bon appétit !


Chocolate courgette cakes
(Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine)

The courgette makes these cakes light and moist, but they will only last a couple of days in an airtight tin. Alternatively, pop some in the freezer for another day.

Makes: 18-20 CAKES
Takes: 20 minutes to make + 15-20 minutes to cook

1 medium courgette (about 200g), peeled
150g unsalted butter
150g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 The Co-operative free range eggs
250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp The Co-operative semi-skimmed milk
For the Icing
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
To decorate, seasonal fruit eg raspberries, strawberries, blueberries (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4. Finely grate the courgette. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and cocoa until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs with a little of the flour, beating well each time. 2
2. Add the baking powder to the rest of the flour, then add to the butter mix along with the courgette and milk. Mix everything together. Divide between 18-20 paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. 3
3. Mix the icing sugar, cocoa and milk to a smooth paste and spoon a little over


Honey cake
(Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine)

This is not a big tall cake – it’s meant to be quite shallow. It has almost a slightly chewy texture and is bursting with honey flavour.

Serves: 8
Takes: about 10 minutes to make + 30 minutes to cook

125g The Co-operative clear honey,
plus 2 tbsp for drizzling on the top
125g unsalted butter
75g light soft brown sugar
175g self raising flour
2 The Co-operative free range eggs, beaten
A little icing sugar, to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/ Gas 4. Line and grease the base of a 20cm round cake tin. Put the honey, butter and sugar into a small pan and heat very gently until the sugar and butter have melted.
2. Take the pan off the heat, add the flour and eggs and beat together. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes. Check the cake after 20 minutes and cover with greaseproof and baking paper to stop it from going too brown on top.
3. Sit the cake in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then use a skewer to poke holes in the cake. Warm the remaining honey in a pan and drizzle over the cake. When totally cool, take out of the tin and dust with icing sugar.


Picnic Loaf
(Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine)

Serves: 4
Takes: 20-25 minutes to make + about 20 minutes to cook

2 of each The Co-operative red and yellow peppers
1 The Co-operative courgette, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium unsliced loaf from The Co-operative in store bakery
50g The Co-operative bagged mixed salad
125g The Co-operative Italian mozzarella or feta cheese, sliced
3 slices The Co-operative Parma ham (optional)
50g The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Summer Kiss tomatoes, roughly chopped (optional)
2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat the grill to very hot, halve and deseed the peppers. Place on a baking tray and grill until the skins turn black. Meanwhile, put the courgettes onto another baking tray and grill alongside, until just cooked. Put the peppers into a plastic bag and peel away the skins.
2. Cut the lid off the loaf and pull out the middle – leave a good crust so that it will stay crisp once the loaf is filled. Start layering all the ingredients inside with basil leaves dotted through the layers. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
3. Replace lid, wrap in greaseproof and baking paper and tie with string the keep it together or wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.


Red Onion Chutney
(Recipe courtesy of Asda Magazine)

Makes 1 Jar (450g)
Ready in: 2 hrs


700g red onions, halved and very thinly sliced
2tbsp sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
50g soft brown sugar
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
150ml red wine
75ml apple juice

1. Put the onions in a saucepan with the oil and stir to coat. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook over a very low heat, stirring often, until they’re really soft and falling apart but not coloured. This is called ‘sweating’ and will take 20-30 minutes. Doing this will make the flavour milder and will bring out the natural sweetness of the onions.
2. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, red wine and apple juice and cook over a medium heat, uncovered, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated. This will take at least an hour. Stir continuously towards the end of the cooking time to make sure the chutney doesn’t catch and burn.
3. Half an hour before the chutney is ready, wash a 450g jar and lid in hot soapy water and then rinse and put in the oven for 20 minutes at 140⁰C/120⁰C Fan/Gas 1 to sterilise. Or you could wash the jar on the hot cycle in a dishwasher.
4. Put the chutney in the sterilised jar and leave until cold. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.


Shortbread almond slice
(Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine)

This is the perfect sweet treat to enjoy on your picnic as it travels well so still looks great when you arrive. Serve with a big tub of fresh cherries or everyone to help themselves.

Makes: 12 slices
Takes: 20 minutes to make + 25-30 minutes to cook + at least 10 minutes to chill

For the topping
50g The Co-operative unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 tsp almond essence
100g flaked almonds
For the shortbread
225g plain flour
3 tbsp cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
150g unsalted butter
125g golden caster sugar
Few drops vanilla extract
4 tbsp The Co-operative Truly Irresistible raspberry conserve
To serve, fresh cherries or seasonal berries

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/Gas 4. To make the topping, put the butter, sugar and essence into a small pan, heat gently until the butter and sugar have melted, add the almonds and stir. Set aside and leave to cool. 2
2. For the shortbread, put the flour, cornflour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub the mixture between your fingers to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix together with your hands. Push the mixture into a 20cm square tin lined with greaseproof and baking paper, put in the fridge and leave to chill for at least 10 minutes.
3. Dot the jam over the shortbread and spread carefully to cover. Top with the almond mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes until the shortbread is cooked and the almonds are golden. Use a knife to loosen around the edges and leave in the tin to cool. Cut into 12 slices.


Stuffed pork fillet
(Recipe courtesy of Asda Magazine)

Serves: 4
Ready in: 1 hrs 25 mins


1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
4 green pitted olives, drained and roughly chopped
25g parmesan, grated
2 level tbsp pine nuts
2 courgettes
2 red onions
2 medium carrots
1 Butcher’s Selection Pork Fillet (weighting approx 500g)
6 rashers Asda Extra Special Streaky Bacon
New potatoes, boiled to serve
Gravy, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C/170⁰C Fan / Gas 5. To prepare the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the crushed garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped green olives and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Drain the oil off into a roasting tin. Tip the olive and tomato stuffing mixture into a bowl and leave to cool.
2. Add the grated Parmesan and pine nuts to the cooked olive and tomato stuffing mixture. Season the stuffing with freshly ground black pepper – you won’t need to add any salt. Cut the courgettes, red onions and carrots into small, even-sized pieces. Put into the roasting tin containing the frying oil, and toss to completely coat the vegetable piece. Set aside.
3. Trim off any fat and sinew from the pork. Make a cut all along the fillet, about three quarters of the way through, being careful not to cut right through. Open out like a book. Put the stuffing on one half, spreading it evenly. Then fold over the other side. Place a rasher of bacon on a chopping board and run the back of a knife along it to stretch it and make it a little thinner. Repeat with the other rashers.
4. Wrap the bacon round the pork fillet, making sure the ends of all the rashers are tucked underneath. Put in another roasting tin and cook for 45-50minutes. Roast the tin of vegetables at the same time. Remove the pork from the oven, loosely cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before the slicing. Serve with the roast vegetables, boiled new potatoes and gravy.


Union Flag Tart
(Recipe courtesy of Asda Magazine)

Serves 12
Ready in: 1hr 30 mins


225g butter, in small cubes, plus extra for greasing
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
50g icing sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the mascarpone
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly (optional)
375g mascarpone
¼ tsp vanilla extract
225g reduced fat crème fraîche
250-400g strawberries, depending on if they’re halved, green tops removed
150g raspberries
200g blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C / 170⁰C Fan / Gas 5. Lightly grease a 33 x 23cm shallow tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.
2. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour, using your fingertips, until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in 50g icing sugar.
3. Mix the yolks with 3 tbsp cold water and add to the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. You may need more water – add a teaspoon at a time. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 2cm larger than the tin. Carefully transfer to the tin using the rolling pin. Press into the corners and sides. Prick the base with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
4. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and rice or beans and bake for 8 minutes. Cool.
5. Melt the jelly, if using, in a small pan and brush over the inside of the pastry case. Leave to set for 10 minutes.
6. Mix the mascarpone with the vanilla, crème fraîche and remaining icing sugar and spread inside the pastry case.
7. Arrange the berries to make a British flag.


Warm pea & chilli salad
(Recipe courtesy of Asda Magazine)

Serves 4
Ready in: 30 mins


350g new potatoes
350g frozen peas (or fresh)
200g fine green beans, trimmed
3tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 or 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1tbsp Asda Cider Vinegar
1tsp clear honey
1tsp Asda Dijon Mustard

1. Boil the new potatoes until just tender, then drain. When cool enough to handle, halve or quarter them, depending on size. Put in a bowl.
2. Add the peas and beans to the pan with enough boiling water to just cover them. Bring back to the boil and simmer covered, for 4 minutes. Drain and add to the potatoes.
3. Heat 1tbsp oil and cook the spring onions and chillies over a low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the rest of the oil, the vinegar, honey and mustard. Season.
4. Add to the potatoes, peas and green beans and toss together before serving.

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