~ Real Seeds RECIPES~

Just a few of our favourite recipes. We add to this page over time, so check back if you have produce you need to use up.


Chilli jam

We made this with (deseeded) Lemon drop chillies, Napia sweet pepper, and Galina tomatoes, and it came out a beautiful glowing orange, with a warming heat that isn't overpowering.

Ingredients: 8 deseeded red peppers, 10 deseeded chillies, 5cm piece root ginger, peeled, 8 cloves garlic, peeled, 400 g tomatoes, roughly chopped, 750 g sugar, 250 ml vinegar, 1 cooking apple, grated.

Blend the peppers, chillies, ginger and garlic with a little of the vinegar. Put into a large heavy bottomed saucepan with the tomatoes, sugar, the rest of the vinegar and the grated apple.

Bring to the boil, and cook uncovered for around 1.5 hours, until thick. Stir frequently in the last half hour of cooking, as it may tend to stick.

Put the boiling jam into hot clean jars and seal immediately.

Pickled sweet peppers

These peppers are fantastic in a winter pasta sauce. They're only lightly pickled, so need to be bottled in a pressure cooker, and then used up quickly once the jar is opened.

3 1/2 lbs sweet peppers, 1/2 cup castor sugar, 3 cups cider (or white wine) vinegar, 3 cups water, salt, garlic

Wash and sterilise jars with lids that will seal (small kilner jars or pop-top jam jars).

Wash the peppers if needed, deseed, and cut into strips.

Mix the sugar, vinegar and water in a large pan, dissolve the sugar over a low heat then bring to the boil. Add the pepper strips to the pan and bring back to the boil, then immediately take off the heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peppers, and pack the strips into the sterilised jars, adding 1/2 clove garlic (peeled) and 1/4 tsp salt to each jar. Then bring the liquid back to a boil, and use it to fill the jars.

Seal the jars, and then bottle in a pressure cooker**. Bring up to pressure slowly, then maintain for 5 minutes. Turn off and allow the pressure cooker to cool fully before opening and removing the jars. Make sure the jars have sealed properly (lids popped down) before storage.

Store at room temperature, but they'll need to be refrigerated and used within a couple of days once opened.

** If you're not familiar with bottling using a pressure cooker, there are instructions at the bottom of this page.

Parsley and sorrel pesto-style pasta sauce

One large handful parsley (either flat or curly leaved), one large handful sorrel (optional, but add more lemon juice if not used), small handful cashew nuts or almonds, 1 small handful garlic chives (or substitute 1 clove garlic), 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste.

Wash all the herbs well, then put all ingredients in a blender. Blend thoroughly, adding a little water if necessary to get a good texture. Taste, and add more lemon juice, salt or olive oil if needed.

Mix into cooked pasta, serve immediately.

Courgette and Cucumber soup

1 onion, 1 medium potato, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 cucumbers, 1 medium to large courgette, bouillon powder

Use a medium/large heavybased saucepan. Soften the onion in olive oil over a low/medium heat. Peel and dice the potato, add to the onion, and continue to fry gently.
Chop the cucumbers and courgettes, add to the pan, and stir to mix. Then add 3/4 pint water & a teaspoon of bouillon powder (or 1/2 a stock cube). Simmer for 20-30 minutes then blend. Season to taste.

Vary the numbers & proportions of courgettes and cucumbers depending on surplus!

French beans in tomato sauce

Ideal for using up slightly over grown french beans and end-of season tomatoes

Soften a chopped onion and some crushed garlic in olive oil (don't let it brown)
Add trimmed french beans cut in approx 2 inch lengths, strings removed if necessary and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Then add roughly chopped tomatoes and a small teaspoon of bouillon powder (or 1/2 veg stock cube). Cook until the beans are tender & the tomatoes simmer down into a thick sauce.

Sweet & Hot Chilli sauce

250 gr fresh chillies, 2 cups white wine vinegar, 2 cups white sugar
8 cloves garlic, 5cm piece fresh ginger (approx), 3 teaspoons salt

Deseed the chillies (use rubber gloves). Peel the garlic and the ginger. Put chillies, garlic and ginger in a blender or food processor and blend briefly so that they are in small pieces (you may need to add some of the vinegar if using a blender). They should be a 'minced' consistency, NOT a puree.
Then put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Pour into hot clean jars and seal. Keep for at least 1 month before using. Use with caution!

Yacon syrup

There are instructions for making yacon syrup from your tubers in our 2010 Gardens report. Our experience is that you are likely to get a better syrup from tubers after they've been stored for a month or more, as they sweeten up in storage.

Bottling using a pressure cooker

If you've never done any bottling before, we'd really recommend reading a good book on the subject before starting out. Look out for the HMSO book Home Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables in your library, or alternatively read the Preserving by Heating section of this pamphlet (aimed at developing countries, but an excellent summary of the important points).

Note that it is VERY important to get your bottling right, otherwise you are at risk of severe food poisoning. Unless you are very experienced, only bottle acid fruits/vegetables, and always make sure that you definitely keep your bottles at full pressure for the time specified in your recipe.

To summarise the bottling process:

- Use a trivet, rack or folded cloth in the bottom of your pressure cooker, so that the jars don't come into too close contact with the heat
- Place your filled and closed jars into the pressure cooker, following the manufacturer's instructions if you have kilner or similar proprietary jars (with some jars, you don't close the lids fully until after they've been sterilised)
- Don't pack the jars too tightly in the pan, and make sure there's space between the jars and the sides of the pan
- Add water to come around half way up the sides of the jars (with a minimum of 2-3 inches from the bottom of the pan if using small jars)
- Seal the pressure cooker and bring up to full pressure slowly, then maintain that pressure for the time specified in your recipe
- Allow the pressure cooker to cool fully before opening it
- Check all jars are properly sealed before storage. Label jars with the contents and date of sealing.