Sales and Marketing Director Sarah Prentice is passionate about the homegrown fruit and veg from her garden, but with food waste one of the biggest problems facing our planet, what can be done with those leftovers?
We have a fantastic allotment in our garden. I would like to take credit for it but in reality, my husband does everything and thankfully we both cook.
As the summer leaves us and the autumn creeps in we’re often left with excess fruit and veg that we haven’t managed to eat.
If like me, you’ve got excess ingredients lying about, here are some simple ideas to make the most of your produce, whether home grown or not, they will reduce your food waste and give you some really tasty accompaniments.
Whether pickled using white vinegar or malt, with spices and sugar mixed in or without, shallots add the perfect burst of crunchy acidity to cut through the richness of a good strong cheddar cheese. The ploughman’s lunch would be lost without it too. Brine them first for that extra crunch and squirrel them away for a couple of months before tucking in.
The fish and chip shop favourite. There is a good reason for this, as it does provide a great contrast to fluffy chips and crisp battered fish, but it has many other uses besides. Chopped in a tartar sauce, they keep to their job of accentuating the taste of fish, while placed on the side of a salt beef bagel they are certainly at home.
A mixture of chopped vegetables and spices, with its distinctive yellow colour made with the inclusion of turmeric, piccalilli is thought to be an English take on the hot mixed pickles popular in the East Indies in the 18th century. A festive favourite, try it with a thick slice of good boiled or roasted ham. Remember to check the spelling when writing your label!
The cream tea classic, no scone with clotted cream would be complete without a generous dollop of strawberry jam. In Devon it’s cream first, in Cornwall it’s jam. Whichever way you prefer it, the combination is a winner every time. Although it can be enjoyed at any time of the day, it is particularly good in the mornings with a nice fresh croissant and a good strong coffee. (for me, jam first!)
Tomato and Chilli Jam
This jam can be put next to almost any savoury dish to add some bite! Perfect to spice up a bacon naan or a cheesy toastie, it’s a great way to use up your tomatoes and chillies from the summer growbags and will last for a good few months – if you can leave it alone.
Made into a compote they can be used to make red wine and cherry sauces for duck, spread on toast as a jam, or maybe placed between two sponges for a Victoria sponge that may not gain the approval of the WI (raspberry is the law) but will certainly deliver on flavour!
However you decide to use up your excess ingredients this year, it is important to try and put them to good use if possible. Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions the world over, and if we can make even a small difference by preserving our fruits and vegetables then it’s certainly a worthwhile (and delicious) endeavour.