A visit from Triodos and a seasonal lunch

Global Generation has been banking with Triodos for the last 10 years, an ethical bank that we are proud to be associated with.  We were delighted when they called us to say that they were interested in visiting the Skip Garden and hearing about the story of Global Generation, writes Nicole Van den Eijnde.

Thirteen representatives from Triodos from across Europe came to the Skip Garden and we shared elements of our story with them, such as how the work of supporting young people to be catalysts for social and environmental change and connecting people of all ages to the natural environment has not been instrumented through a fixed master plan but rather it has emerged in ways we never could have imagined through adhering to values and purpose.  Also how working within the three territories of I, We and the Planet has  created common ground between different sectors in the community, enabling us to bring together education, ecology and enterprise within a connected and financially sustainable story.

It was great to meet like-minded people and to start making new connections with other organisations through Triodos.  The visit ended with a beautiful lunch, cooked by Skip Garden Kitchen Chef Sadhbh Moore.  Upon special request, she shares her recipes here for the Spiced Walnut, Leek and Blue Chees Shortcrust Tart, Curried Roast Cauliflower, Raisin, Almond and Puy Lentil Salad and Scandinavian Beetroot and Apple Salad.

Seasonal lunch recipes by Sadhbh Moore

Here are some recipes for dishes using seasonal and wintery ingredients - but they still fit in with our convenient summer menu style for buffets and catering at the Skip Garden Kitchen, writes Sadhbh Moore. I find they are easier for guests to help themselves to rather than serving what might usually be considered wintery dishes, like soups and stews. The quiche can be served still hot so it's still a warming dish, and the lentil salad is just as delicious if served with lentils and cauliflower that are still warm.

Spiced walnut, leek and blue cheese shortcrust tart

This recipe was adapted from Thomasina Miers post Christmas Guardian recipe in the Guardian's Cook magazine.
Makes 1 tart (6-8 slices)
250g plain flour
125g chilled butter, cut into small dice
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp or so cold water
Pinch of salt
For the tart
2 to 3 large leeks, about 650g, or mix with half spinach
60g butter
3 tbsp plain flour
250ml full-fat milk
75g walnuts
A few splashes Tabasco
For the eggy topping
6 eggs
50-100ml double cream
175g blue cheese, like a Stilton
30g parmesan, grated

Chop the flour and butter in a food processor to resemble fine crumbs, or rub with cold hands if you don't have a blender. Add the egg yolk, salt and a tablespoon of water, and mix until the pastry just comes together. Turn out on to a board, roll into a ball, flatten out, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for up to half an hour.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cut the leeks in half lengthways, wash and cut into 2cm slices. Try using more of the green tops than you usually would. They're perfectly edible when softened down, but are often thrown away unnecessary. Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in the leeks (and or spinach) and season well. Cover and cook on a medium heat for five to eight minutes, until soft, then take off the lid and cook for a few minutes more, to reduce the liquid (this will need more reducing if using spinach). Add the flour and cook, stirring and scraping, for five minutes to cook the flour – then add a third of the milk at a time, stirring after each addition to get it to absorb into this leek roux. Season to taste.

Toss the walnuts with a few splashes of Tabasco on a baking tray. Roast for five minutes. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Grease a 26cm quiche dish with butter, and lay the pastry inside. Prick all over with a fork and refrigerate or freeze for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk the eggs and cream, season with pepper and a little salt and pepper (the cheese is already salty).
Cover the chilled pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper and cover the base with baking beans or dried pulses. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then lift out the paper and beans and pour the beans back into a jar/tub to use next time. Fill the case with the leek and spinach sauce, crumble the cheese all over, and dot the walnuts about, some crushed, some whole. Then pour the egg mix on top. Scatter on the parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and quivering. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into sixths or eighths and serve with a portion of salad(s).

Curried roast cauliflower, raisin, almond and puy lentil salad


For 4 (as a larger salad or 4-6 as a side) 
250 g of puy lentils
Half a tablespoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Olive Oil
1 cauliflower head cut into florets
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of raisins
2 tablespoons of almonds roughly chopped
Bed of mixed beans to cover whatever plates or salad told you serving on.


Cook the lentils until just soft but still retaining their shape - 20 to 25 minutes, or as instructed on pack. 
Toss your cauliflower florets in half a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt and curry powder and smoked paprika. Roast at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Toast almonds on a baking tray for five minutes towards the end of the cauliflowers cooking time. 

To dress the lentils mix a vinaigrette of the Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and optional honey if you like it sweeter and are happy for it not to be vegan. Toss the lentils in vinaigrette, and taste as you go. The flavour gets absorbed into the lentils so if preparing in advance they may need a little extra dressing later to bring back to sharpness. 
Layer your salad leaves on your serving platter or plate, fill the central area with dressed lentils, then top lentils with roast cauliflower, toasted almonds and raisins. Add extra vinaigrette if you like everything dressed but the spices of the cauliflower should be enough with the dressed lentils.

Scandinavian Beetroot and apple cube salad with homemade mayonnaise and herbs

Serves 4-5 as a side salad
2-3 medium beetroot
2-3 granny smith apples
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (or make your own with an egg yolk, lemon, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and vegetable oil)
Optional dollop of creme fraiche to make salad dressing more creamy and a fistful of herbs of your choices - chives are nice. I used parsley recently too.
For a real Swedish version of this recipe use pickled beetroot (our apprentice, Sam, has just made some at the Skip Garden Kitchen, which will be on sale while stocks last).

To make your own pickled beetroot just boil some beetroot for an hour or so, and using rubber gloves (to avoid pink hands) and rub the skins off and top and tail them. Alternatively, buy pre boiled beetroot and pickle at home. Cut beetroot into cubes and marinate overnight in a pickling mixture of half and half wine vinegar and water with a tablespoon of brown sugar. 
Peel and core apples. Cut into same size cubes as beetroot. 
Mix beetroot and apple with mayo, creme fraiche, a squeeze of lemon juice and herbs. It's a lovely sweet, sharp and creamy wintery salad using seasonal veg.