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Food and Drink – In Season

Pots of gold

If you’ve decided to rest the vegetable plot this year or have limited garden space to work with, there is plenty of fruit and vegetable variety that can be grown in pots. From berries to beans, we look at what is ripe for the taking and planting this month…

Gooseberries

Gooseberries are one of those treats remembered from childhoods, spending time scouring the bushes in your grandparents’ back garden. It’s not often you see them in the supermarket and they are usually pretty expensive when they do briefly appear. Growing your own is easy and they tend to do well in containers. The roots are fairly shallow so a pot of 15 inches will suffice. Try making a gooseberry sorbet with your harvest with the recipe shown, or make into compote to add to other desserts.

Gooseberry Sorbet

  • 300ml Sauvignon Blanc (sparkling is preferred but not essential)
  • 200g white caster sugar
  • 900g gooseberries
  • 5 tbsp undiluted elderflower cordial
  • 1 egg white
  1. Put the wine and sugar in a large pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the gooseberries and elderflower cordial, cover and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. In two batches, blitz to a purée in a food processor. Transfer to a freezer-proof container (about 2 litres should do it), cool at room temperature, stirring now and again, then cover and freeze overnight until solid.
  3. Remove from freezer and leave at room temperature until just softened. Chop into rough chunks, then process with the egg white until thick, pale and smooth. Spoon the sorbet back into the container and refreeze.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2014

Runner beans

Keep runner bean seedlings inside/covered for as long as possible as they tend to attract slugs. Once ready to transfer you’ll need to put them in a large pot as they require lots of water. Make a wig wam shape with canes or long branches for the plants to grow up, and keep them amongst your flower pots as they need the bees to pollinate them (they produce pretty little orange or white flowers themselves so will fit right in!). If you get a glut of beans, bag them up as they last pretty well in the freezer.

Mange tout

I like to take the literal translation of the name a bit further and eat every last one of these green pods of deliciousness. You can sow mangetout (snow or sugar snap peas) directly outside in June and they need plenty of sun. Toss the results into a stir fry, add to an avocado salad or combine with spring onions, garlic and mint for a simple but effective side dish.

Courgettes

The best thing about growing courgettes is you get plenty of them per plant, so you’ll be looking up lots of recipes. Luckily they are another easy and versatile vegetable, and nothing beats throwing them on the BBQ grill when the weather allows! Plants need quite a bit of space so a large pot or grow bag is best, and use some liquid feed every couple of weeks.

Article by: Kayleigh Ziolo

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