Here are my recipes from the launch for a fantastic new intiative which is the world’s first ever fan grown harvest. It aims to help Australians to understand the whole experience from farm to store, so they can choose the freshest and best produce available to them. People who join the Facebook page can help cultivate a real crop of vegetables and be involved in making choices from what crop is grown to actual farming decisions.
Take part in the first ever fan created crop and share in the harvest.
To begin planting visit: https://apps.facebook.com/thecrop
Then use YOUR crop to cook the following recipes:
Leeks take centre stage in this impressive yet simple recipe. Served with good bread they are perfect for lunch or a light dinner or as an accompaniment to meat, poultry or fish.
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup white wine or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Trim the leeks leaving a little of the light green part on the top and a tiny part of the root so they will hold together. Clean the leeks under cold running water, as dirt can get caught in between their tight layers. Cut in half lengthwise. (For quicker cooking cut on the diagonal into 10cm lengths.)
Place a frying pan, large enough to hold the leeks in one layer, over medium-high heat. Melt butter and when foaming reduce heat to medium and add the leeks, cut side down. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle with garlic and cook a further 2 minutes or until leeks are beginning to soften.
Turn the leeks back over so the cut side is down, sprinkle with sugar, thyme leaves and season with salt. Add the white wine and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 – 30 minutes over medium-low heat. (Cut leeks will only require about 10 minutes.)
When the leeks are tender when tested with a knife, remove lid and bring the braising liquid to a rolling boil. Reduce by half, remove from heat, add parsley, swirl it around and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped nuts or toasted breadcrumbs
Lyndey’s note: Make golden crumbs for garnish and texture by heating ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, adding 1 cup (70g) sourdough or brioche breadcrumbs and cook, stirring until crisp. Sprinkle over leeks to serve.
Chana Masala with broccoli
Broccoli and the classic Indian flavours of chana masala is an inspired combination.
2 tablespoons (40ml) olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup (200g) red lentils, rinsed and drained
400g can diced tomatoes
2 cups (500ml) water
1 head broccoli, washed, stem peeled, stem and florets chopped
½ bunch coriander, leaves only, chopped, to serve
Place large deep frying pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, then the onion and spices. Cook for five minutes on medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
Add the lentils, tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broccoli stems and cook another 5 minutes. Then add brocolli florets. Cover and cook another 5 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
Taste and season well with salt and pepper. When broccoli is tender crisp, remove from heat and serve sprinkled with coriander.
Lyndey’s note: serve with a cup of Greek yoghurt, with ¼ cup chopped mint leaves stirred through.
Quick bok choy and mushroom stir fry
Stir fry stalwart, bok choy, shines in this speedy recipe.
2 tablespoons (40ml) olive, peanut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
300g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced thickly
3 heads bok choy, quartered
¼ cup (60ml) oyster sauce
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
4 green onions (shallots), sliced thinly
Rice or noodles to serve (optional)
Heat oils in a wok over medium heat. Stir-fry garlic and ginger until aromatic.
Add mushrooms and stir-fry for a minute or so. Add bok choy (trimmed and leaves separated) and stir-fry until wilted. Add sauces, chilli (if using) and stir.
Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately with steamed rice, rice or egg noodles if desired.
Lyndey’s note: sprinkle stir-fry with toasted sesame seeds