I appreciate this looks like a jar of pond sludge, but I can hand on heart tell you it tastes fabulous! Punchy and fresh it’s equally at home stirred into pasta, as it is spread into a goats cheese sandwich or even as a dip with carrot and celery sticks (and kettle chips for that matter).
I had a huge bag of rainbow chard from a vegetable box scheme I’ve been trialling called Edible Ealing. Getting a box of veg is great for experimenting as I’ve never bought chard in my life and had no idea what to do with it. So I had to consult with the oracle that is the Northfields Cook Book Club for recipe inspiration.
The members had loads of good ideas, from fish stew to curry, but it was the pesto that really caught my attention. Cook Book Club member Ellie’s version had lime juice and coriander in it which I didn’t have, but the great thing about pesto is that you can customise it to your own tastes/what you’ve got knocking about in the fridge. So where i’ve used hazelnuts, you could use pine nuts or walnuts, where there’s lemon juice, you could use lime etc.
So here’s my version brought to you courtesy of the fabulouso Vitamix blender which I’m still playing with:
Chard and sunkiss tomato pesto
Big bunch chard
240g pot sunkiss tomatoes in oil (sunblush also fine here)
half a lemon, juice only
handful toasted chopped hazelnuts
1-2 cloves garlic
1. Wash the chard and remove the stalks as they’re a bit bitter. Put all the ingredients in a large blender, season with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. Pour into a clean jar, label and pop in the fridge. I’d try and eat it within a week or two.
I’m entering this recipe into Ren’s Simple and in Season event where everyone enters recipes using seasonal produce – the perfect place to head to if you’ve got random things in your veg box that you’re not sure what to do with!
Are you signed up to a vegetable box scheme?
Edible Ealing has been set up voluntarily by a group of volunteers who are interested in developing a more sustainable approach to food buying and growing in Ealing.
Their aim is to generate a local social enterprise that will provide goods that have not travelled a million miles, are at the least spray free and will boost the local economy.
It’s not something i’ve ever done before, but it sounded inviting so I gave it a go and this is what I got in my trial box…
The carrots were super tasty – Arlo munched his way through most of them single handed. I loved the small cucumber – it reminded me of the ones my dad grows in his greenhouse. The herby salad leaves were a far cry from the supermarket salad bags and an interesting blend of greenery.
Edible Ealing’s suppliers at present are Cultivate London, a local social enterprise who train young unemployed people to grow veg, and Choice Organics, a local wholesaler, WEN (West Ealing Neighbours) Hen Corner, a local free range chicken enthusiast who provides fresh eggs, and Celestial Cakes, organic cakes made by one of the Edible Ealing founding members.
The boxes are packed by volunteers bi-monthly, and it will be increased as the scheme grows and they can afford paid staff. Once you are on the list you receive the order form via email 4 days prior to the packing day and it is simple task of requesting what you want – there are veg and fruit boxes but also a chance to create a bespoke order.
To keep the costs down the goods are delivered to pick-up points around the area. It’s a really brilliant way of getting your veg, so if you’re a local reader of my blog then get yourself over to Edible Ealing!