Chard and Potato Curry
Chard is a wonderful vegetable to have on your plot – unlike spinach it doesn’t reduce to very little when cooked, but the stalks are tougher so need to be cooked separately from the leaves, as in this recipe.
About 500g Swiss chard
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cardamom pods, bashed
350g potatoes, chopped into chunks
250g plain yoghurt
1½ tablespoons tomato purée
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A small handful of almonds, cashews or pistachios, toasted and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Separate the chard leaves from the stalks. Cut the stalks into 2–3cm pieces and roughly chop the leaves.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until just golden. Meanwhile, pound the garlic, chilli and ginger together with a pinch of salt to a paste. Add to the onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Tip in the rest of the spices and stir for a minute or two.
Add the potatoes and chopped chard stalks and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, so that they are well coated with the spice mixture. Pour in about 400ml water – enough to just cover the veg. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10–12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Add the chard leaves, stir and cook until just wilted.
In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, tomato pure and some of the hot liquid from the curry. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the yoghurt mixture, return to the heat and warm through very gently (if it gets too hot, the yoghurt will curdle). Stir in most of the coriander.
Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter over the toasted nuts and remaining coriander, then serve with rice and naan or chapattis.
From River Cottage Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Rhubarb, almond and ginger crumble
Rhubarb is one of the easiest crops to grow if you have full sun and can sort out drainage, and it comes back bigger and better year after year. Herb sweet cicely, is also very easy to grow – as well as adding a lovely aromatic edge to a dish, the aniseedy leaves make tart fruits seem sweeter, which means you can use less sugar. Recipe by by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
For the topping
200g plain flour
A pinch of salt
140g caster sugar
2–4 tsp ground ginger, to taste
250g flaked almonds
200g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
For the base
750g rhubarb, trimmed
3 tbsp sweet cicely leaves, finely chopped, or 3 tbsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. For the topping, put the flour, salt, sugar and ginger together into a food processor and blitz briefly to combine. Add the flaked almonds and process just enough to break them up but not turn them to dust. Add the butter and process until well mixed.
The crumble should be in fudgy clods rather than in fine crumbs. Getting this right may take a little tweaking as the almonds can vary considerably. If the mix is too dry, add a little more butter; if it’s in one or two lumps, add a little flour.
For the base, cut the rhubarb into 5cm lengths, spread evenly in a baking dish and sprinkle with the sweet cicely or sugar. Scatter the clods of crumble mix evenly over the fruit, letting them sit where they fall rather than pressing them down. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden with a few darker brown patches. Serve with cream or fresh custard.