Not only does March (hopefully!) mean a little welcome sunshine and the start of longer days, on the farm it also means the arrival of wild garlic, foraged from the woodland around our Devon farm, and purple sprouting broccoli (PSB).
As we approach the Hungry Gap, we’re grateful for the root veg harvested and stored through the winter, and continue to make the most of beautiful vibrant beetroot and our sweet, iconic carrots.
Here are our top five plant-based recipes for the Hungry Gap:
Wheatberries and purple sprouting broccoli with crispy garlic and chilli
A hearty and healthy dish combining toothsome wheatberries, PSB and crispy fried onions. Wheatberries are the entire wheat kernel except for the hull: they take a while to cook but have a good nutty texture, lending real substance to a dish.
Red pepper paella with garlic and almonds
Want to sound authentic and well-travelled? Learn to pronounce paella properly. Essentially the trick is to stifle the ll sound in the back of the throat and replace it with a y sound instead: pie-eh-ya. This recipe makes the most of wild garlic during its short season, and is topped with toasted flaked almonds for an added crunch.
Indian masala roast carrots with coconut red lentils and flatbreads
The sweet earthy qualities of the humble carrot make it an ideal vehicle for a whole world of spices. Set against this simple dahl-like bowl of lentils, carrots are best roasted with a little bite left to them.
Roasted beetroot, carrot, lentil and cumin seed salad
This colourful, hearty salad has sweet notes from the roasted carrots and beetroot, and a mild, earthy flavour from green lentils. We’ve finished it with a simple zesty dressing made from lemon and olive oil. Try other root veg in place of carrots and beetroot; parsnips or celeriac would work especially well.
Jerk chickpeas and roasted peppers with callaloo
Jerk spice is a Jamaican style spice mix traditionally used to flavour meat, but it also works for vegetarians with pulses and beans. We’ve swapped the blow-your-socks-off Scotch bonnet chillies for some paprika. This makes the flavour more aromatic rather than too hot to handle, as there’s also chillies in the callaloo spinach and coconut sauce. Callaloo is a Caribbean dish which uses an amaranth leaf native to the area, but spinach or chard work well as an alternative.