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New Potato and Edamame Salad

The father of a friend of my son has a potato farm in Jersey. He very kindly sent us a box of delicious early Jersey Royals. So flavoursome they don’t need much added to turn them into a delicious potato salad. You can buy podded, frozen edamame at most supermarkets now. This works well served with a tart perhaps, or just with some hummus, yogurt and flatbread.

The number is serves depends on how many potatoes you use and what you are serving with.

Small new potatoes (Any type will do)
A dollop of pesto – I used Basil but you can use your favourite type
A handful of edamame – or use broad beans or peas
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil and cook for 5-8 minutes depending on size. Check they are just soft. Drain and leave to cool.

Bring more water to the boil and cook the edamame as per the instructions. If using broad beans, boil for 3-4 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water then pop the skins off.

Mix the potatoes (cut them into chunks if they are on the large side) with the edamame and pesto. Add a little olive oil to loosen the dressing. Then season with salt and pepper.

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Spaghetti With Pea and Broad Bean Pesto

It’s pea and broad bean season on the allotment (but you can use frozen if you don’t grow your own).

Serves 4
100g shelled peas
100g shelled broad beans
1 small leek
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon
a small block of parmesan – about 100g – finely grated
more olive oil
salt
basil
200g spaghetti

Bring a large pan of water to the boil the add the peas and broad beans. Birng back up to the boil and leave boiling rapidly for 3-4 minutes. Drain then soak the peas and beans in cold water to stop them overcooking. Now the fiddly bit – remove the tough skins from the beans.

While the beans and peas are cooling, halve the leek lengthways the slice finely. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the leeks and garlic. Fry gently until soft then put the leeks and the beans and peas into a food processor. If you don’t have one, put them in a large bowl and get ready with your potato masher.

Add a handful of chopped fresh basil, salt, lemon juice, grated parmesan and good splash of olive oil then pulse with the processor blade or mash until you have a rough paste. Thin with more oil if needed.

Bring another large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the pack. When cooked, drain, return the pan to the heat and add the bean and pea mixture. Then add the spaghetti and stir well. Once the pesto has warmed through, serve with a simple tomato salad.

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Pasta with Mushrooms, Cream and Purple Sprouting

The snow appears to have destroyed the purple sprouting on the allotment. Last year the pigeons ate most of it so this year I grew it under netting. Now it snakes across the allotment floor looking distinctly sorry for itself and unable to raise itself from the ground. Good job then that Riverford delivered a nice big bag of the stuff to my door yesterday. I love the stuff, but how do you convince three teenagers to eat it? The answer….smother it is cream and cheese

This serves 6 or so hungry people

2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter
1 small onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
5 large field mushrooms – cut into chunks
2 tablespoons green pesto
170ml single cream
bunch of purple sprouting
Pasta shapes – about 400g
1 tablespoon capers – drained
125 mozarella
handful of pine nuts

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pruple sprouting until tender. Drain and leave to one side.

Bring another pan of water to the boil, cook the pasta till al dente, drain and combine with the purple sprouting.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. When hot fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft then remove from heat and combine with the pasta.

Add the pesto, capers and cream then place in a shallow oven proof dish. Top with torn mozarella and a handful of pine nuts then place in the oven at 190C for about 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and everything is hot.

Serve with grated parmesan and chopped red chili