Spring suppers

Two tasty ways to eat your greens

It’s all in the name – spring greens are the first cabbages of the year, and are at their seasonal best right now, between April and June. They’re sweet and crunchy, and packed with vitamins C, E and K – as well as iron, potassium, fibre and calcium.

For a simple supper with style, why not try getting creative with your spring greens, and give Riverford Organics’ two recipes a whirl this month?

Spring green linguine

Serves 2

Spring Green Linguine

Ingredients

  • 200g linguine
  • 2 handfuls breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 glass (125ml) white wine
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 200g spring greens, tough stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
  • 125ml crème fraîche/double cream
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan/pecorino cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Method

Bake the breadcrumbs at 200°C for 5 to 6 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to one side.

Heat the oil in a pan, and fry the onion gently for 8 minutes without colouring. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the instructions, drain, and toss in a little olive oil.

Add the garlic to the onions, and fry for a couple of minutes. Next, add the wine and simmer for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest and greens. Wilt for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cream, parmesan, half the breadcrumbs, pasta, seasoning and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle over the rest of the breadcrumbs to serve.

Spring green, ham and bean broth

Serves 4

If you don’t have time to soak the gammon, bring it up to the boil in a pan of water, then discard the water. Carry on as if you had soaked it overnight.

Spring Green Ham Broth

Ingredients

    For the gammon:

  • 1kg whole uncooked gammon
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • A few whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

    For the broth:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 2 large or 4 smaller potatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300g spring greens, tough stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
  • 400g tin cooked white beans
  • Small handful shredded wild garlic leaves (optional)

Method

Soak the gammon in a pan of cold water overnight. Drain, and put back in the pan with the onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and bay. Cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1½ hours.

Taste the liquid – if it isn’t too salty, you can use it for the broth instead of the vegetable stock; otherwise, drain it.

Leave the gammon until cool enough to handle, then cut in half, keeping one half for cold cuts. Dice the other, discarding any fat.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme, and fry gently for a few minutes. Add the paprika, stock, potatoes and bay, and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.

Add the diced gammon, greens, beans and wild garlic if using. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Check the seasoning before serving.

(24 October 2013)