I have a confession … I love recipe books. I love the way they inspire my cooking, help me find new ways to bake, roast, fry and grill, combine herbs and spices and create dinners that warm the tummy as well as the soul.
Riverford veg boxes have long been part of our weekly shop as are Riverford recipes. With our decision to eat less meat I’ve also been looking at new ways to cook seasonal veg. When Riverford Portsmouth offered to send me a couple of their seasonal recipe books, I couldn’t wait to try them out.
Riverford focus on organic, ethically sourced produce that is seasonal. From a green living perspective, this is what I aspire to do.
If you order Riverford veg boxes, you will find that they come with a handy recipe card and a newsletter from Guy Watson, Riverford founder. These are great prompts and a great read and in fact Guy’s newsletter is what prompted me to watch Cowspiracy and make the final push in our diet towards less meat.
The books go that one bit further. Encompassing the seasons, the vegetables you will find and how to get the most from them.
Beautifully laid out, they are just lovely to look at , hold and to use. Recipes are indexed using vegetables to help you if something arrives in your veg box that you just have no idea what to do with and amazing pictures inspire the humble domestic chef without intimidating.
The first thing I noticed when opening the Autumn/Winter book is we are in the ‘hungry gap’. The gap between the root vegetables of winter and the abundance of spring. If you want to cook with seasonal vegetables, this is a tough time. There’s still vegetables available but you have to make them go further. That’s where the Riverford chefs come in. They are brilliantly skilled at this task.
Thankfully for me, Riverford import some of their vegetables from carefully selected farms in Europe in order to make sure the veg boxes have enough variety in them.
This was my veg box last week:
When you order a veg box you can see in advance what you are getting so I sat down with the Autumn/Winter recipe book and planned out our meals. I needed to make a recipe that included mushrooms, one that had beetroot in it and one that had squash. The broccoli I used in a good old stilton and broccoli soup one of my favourites.
The three recipes I choose from the book were:
- Kale and mushroom lasagne
- Crown prince squash, goat’s cheese and spinach pie
- Borscht-style stew with soured cream
I did a bit of substituting so the crown prince squash was actually the sweet mama squash that was in the box and I swapped the spinach in the pie for kale, so that I didn’t end up wasting lovely green leaves by ordering too many of them.
I needed to order three extras to make these recipes.
- Wooton white (sheep’s cheese)
All of these recipes were easy to follow , well laid out and provide you with suggestions for alternatives for the main ingredients if you don’t have what you need.
Each recipe clearly states how easy it is, how long it’s likely to take and if it’s freezable. Great for preventing waste!
Both of these books are just lovely and encourage you to think outside the veg box and get creative with seasonal produce. great for any bussing seasonal veg chef.
If you’d like to know more about these books, there’s more information over on the Riverford website, just follow the link.
Thank you to Riverford Portsmouth for providing us with two recipe books for the purposes of review.
I’d love to know what your favourite seasonal recipes are, so don’t forget to let me know, below.