Research shows that more and more of us are eating foods grown in our own gardens or allotments. The physical and mental positives of gardening are well documented when friends and families work together in producing colourful food to eat.
Growing your own has the additional benefits of naturally exposing our palates to a healthier diet and also in giving children the chance to taste vegetables such as peas in their natural gorgeous state, rather than frozen.
A number of studies show that fruit and vegetables from places such as a supermarket, usually have a lower carbon footprint than other animal-based products. Therefore, transport is one of the biggest factors in the overall carbon footprint of plant-based foods, so buying locally sourced vegetables and fruit is a good start in helping to limit your impact on the environment. However, filling your plate with homegrown produce really is at the top of the rung on the low carbon footprint ladder…so why not start with one of our recipes devised for Burpee Europe by the chef Valerie Hamelin
Carrot ‘Short ‘N Sweet’ is easy to grow and full of vitamins, this rich, sweet flavoured carrot has 10 cm roots that are bright orange to the centre. It was bred especially for heavy or poor soil and can also be grown in large containers….and it is simply perfect for the recipe below:
Carrot, Chickpea & Kale Moroccan Style Stew
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion – diced
6 “short & sweet” carrots – peeled and cut into 2 cm half-moons
4 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
2tsp Harissa paste
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 medium tomatoes alternatively use 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500 ml of vegetable stock
2 tins of chickpeas – drained from liquid
1 handful of curly kale or spinach
1 tbsp of low-fat Crème Fraiche (optional)
Sprig of coriander
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Method In a large pan, place the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the chopped onions, carrots & garlic, stir well and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the fennel seeds, harissa paste, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and tomato paste to the pan and stir well. It will form a thick paste.
Then add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, until reduced down.
Add the vegetable stock & the chickpeas to the pan and season with the salt and pepper, cook for 15 minutes until the stew looks a good consistency & glossy
Finally, add a handful of kale a couple of minutes before finishing cooking. (So the kale doesn’t discolour)
Taste and adjust with more Harissa if necessary
To serve Place the stew in a large bowl and garnish with a blob of Crème Fraiche & chopped fresh coriander Tip You can add a lovely piece of grilled marinated salmon and place it on top of the stew. Delicious!
This dish can be made Vegan without the Crème Fraiche.