Nearly 100 of you entered our allotment recipe competition to win a garden shed - and our judges have had some mouthwatering times going through them all. Main meals, snacks, sauces, desserts and soups have had us all hungering for our own plot!
It was hard to find the winner, but we managed in the end. The best recipe we were sent was Jane’s Gypsy Cheese (delicious with some focaccia…). She wins this overlap garden storage shed - we’re sure you’ll agree it’s a magnificent dish!
Jane’s Gypsy Cheese
We loved this idea for using up a few plot veggies - with the addition of a few staples from the cupboard, these allotment ingredients make a quick, tasty way to get some of your five a day!
- One medium onion, roughly chopped
- One clove garlic, chopped
- One medium courgette - roughly chopped
- One medium aubergine - roughly chopped
- One green or red pepper, diced
- One pound of tomatoes - chopped
- Two eggs
- Grated cheddar cheese for topping
- Olive oil
- Chilli - chopped and deseeded
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Soften the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil.
- Add the chopped aubergines and cook a few minutes more.
- Add the chopped, deseeded chilli, sliced courgette and chopped tomatoes. Season and cook until soft.
- Stir in beaten egg, Top with grated cheddar and brown under a hot grill.
- Gorgeous with crusty bread or (better with) home made focaccia.
The best of the rest
We have four runners-up to congratulate as well, who all win a set of solar lights for their garden. Their recipes are below. But keep your eyes peeled for our Allotment Recipe e-book, which will contain some of the other entries into the competition as well:
Simple, hearty and tasty (and with a great name too). Trevor’s soup is a tasty and straightforward way to use the fruits of his labour. He didn’t send us a snap of his soup, but we bet it looks even better than the one we’ve shown!
- Two large onions - roughly chopped
- Five carrots - sliced
- Three large potatoes - cubed
- Three stalks of celery - sliced
- 100 grams of green beans
- Ten fresh tomatoes - roughly chopped
- Five cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 500ml vegetable broth
- 30 grams of chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
“I love making this soup for my family which features the best of the produce from my allotment. We now call it our 'allot'o'soup' as it makes a tasty, generous and delicious dish which we all enjoy! :)”
- In a large saucepan gently heat the chopped onions and celery until they are softened.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and 100ml of the vegetable broth - cook for five minutes.
- Add the remaining vegetables, herbs and broth and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.
Sasha’s Veg bean curry
A bit of spice is always welcome at Waltons HQ, and Sasha’s given us some great inspiration for using up a glut of beans. Of course, you can always adapt this with other veg, but even the raw ingredients for this dish look amazing.
- One large onion
- Four cloves of garlic
- Four cubes of ginger
- Bowl of fresh beans
- Kale – handful of leaves
- One jar of tomato passata
- Other veg to add (optional): sweetcorn, courgettes or aubergines
- Spices to taste: cumin, coriander, tumeric, chillies
- In a deep frying or saute pan add olive oil and gently fry the onion whilst you are preparing other veg.
- Add garlic and ginger.
- Add spices to the pan and stir for 30 seconds.
- Stir in beans and sweetcorn, courgettes or aubergines, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook approximately 15 minutes until vegetables are well done (not crunchy).
- Cut kale in thin stripes and saute gently in a separate pan for a few minutes.
- Add kale, followed by tomato passata, to the curry and give it a good stir. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Every now and then remove the lid and stir.
Adelle & Justin’s Redcurrant ice cream
Not only have Adelle & Justin managed to keep the birds off their berries, they’ve given us a beatifully easy (and tasty) recipe to try. This redcurrant ice cream recipe has the double benefit of being easy and delicious!
- 500g/17½oz redcurrants
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar
- 300ml/10½fl oz whipping cream
- Pre-chill a clean, dry plastic container in the freezer.
- Put the redcurrants in a colander/strainer, rinse under water and pat dry.
- In a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat, cook the redcurrants until they have burst (about 5-10 minutes).
- Strain the redcurrants through a fine sieve and combine with sugar to taste. Refrigerate.
- Whisk the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled redcurrant concentrate trying not to lose too much of the air.
- Pour into the pre-chilled container, cover and freeze until firm.
Mary’s tomato chutney
We love this recipe. Tomatoes and tang, all in one jar. Even just reading the ingredients list had our mouths watering in anticipation of a piquant preserve! Sweetness and spice, all in one place. Delicious.
- 1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 450g onions, chopped
- Two garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Two eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- One chopped red pepper
- 50g chopped crystallised ginger
- 100g sultanas
- Two dessert spoons of yellow mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon chopped dried red chillies
- Pinch ground cloves
- 200g sugar
- 600ml cider vinegar
- Bring the pan of the ingredients to the boil stirring constantly and then turn the heat down to a medium to slow simmer (reserve 300ml vinegar to add at the end), stirring occasionally. You will see the reduction start to happen and the food will become more tender. This should be done quite slowly - probably 30 to 40 minutes, and it will look like a wet paste by the time its ready to add the rest of the vinegar.
- Stir the rest of the vinegar into the chutney. Cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring often, or until thickened. If it's still runny, simmer for another 10-15 minutes. If it looks like chutney, it's ready!
- When it’s reduced divide the hot chutney between sterilised jars and set aside to cool.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, for about a month before eating. It will keep for up to 6 months. Chill and use within 1-2 months after opening.
- Makes about 1.2kg. Takes 1¼-1½ hours to make, plus cooling and at least 1 month's maturing (if you can resist it for that long!).
Thanks to everyone that entered - and we’ll be publishing our free recipe e-book ‘Grow your own meal’ soon, which will contain even more tasty treats - so keep your eyes peeled for some more tasty plot to plate concoctions!
Lead image: Syd Wachs via Unsplash