Second Summer

Date Added: 18/09/2020

The children may have now gone back to school, but the Summer weather hasn’t retreated yet, with most of the UK experiencing an Indian Summer so far this month!

It would be easy to be fooled into thinking we are still in August, as the warming sunshine encourages us all to spend more time outdoors enjoying it.
But the nights are slowly pulling in and the leaves on the trees are turning from green to the warming hues of orange and brown.
They will soon begin to fall, along with conkers giving us the beautifully decorated grass and paths as the Autumn winds blow.


Harvest season is in full swing, with trailer loads packed full of freshly picked, Lincolnshire-grown produce going past our office window to be stored (Potatoes) or packed and distributed to our customers with speedy efficiency to ensure optimum freshness.


With the children back at school ‘meat and two veg’ dinners will be regularly hitting the tables up and down the country meaning in-season UK Broccoli is incredibly sought after!
Our harvesting and packing teams are busy ensuring that the supermarket shelves are full of tender and sweet Lincolnshire-grown Broccoli.

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous (Brassicaceae) family along with cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to name a few.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked or even blended into a nutritious smoothie, this ‘superfood’ is naturally nutritiously rich with just 80g counting as one of your five-a-day.
As well as being an excellent source of fibre and protein, Broccoli also contains iron, potassium, folic acid, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as an array of vitamins including A, C, E, K and B.
You’d be wrong to think Broccoli can only be served alongside meals, it also features in many recipes from stir-fries to pasta dishes. 

Also, a common misconception is that only the head of the Broccoli can be eaten, in fact the stalk and leaves are delicious too and full of nutrients plus reduces food waste.

If you are having a BBQ and want a different tasty salad to serve up, try mixing up some pasta with broccoli florets (cooked by adding to the pot of pasta for the last 2 minutes of cooking), pesto, a little olive oil and thinly sliced red onion.

As the weather turns cooler soup is the perfect swap instead of the salads and sandwiches for lunchtimes.
As well as being warming, if packed full of vegetables, soup can also be nourishing too.
Don’t reach for the tins of soup looming in the back of your cupboard as it’s incredibly simple to make your own soup!

Simply finely chop an onion, leek, stick of celery and one medium potato in a knob of butter and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.
Add 1l of vegetable stock and chunky bits of stalk from a head of Broccoli to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Add the rest of the roughly chopped broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Take off the heat, allow to cool slightly and then blitz until smooth.
Finally stir in 140g crumbled Stilton and season with black pepper and serve!

Our combining is now complete and now our focus has turned to preparing our fields ready for next year.
As you drive along the roads of Lincolnshire, you’ll soon start to notice the luscious green fields changing to brown as we start to plough the fields to allow them to lay dormant and rest over the Winter months in preparation for Spring 2021 planting.

Potato harvesters are now working in full throttle, filling carts full of Lincolnshire grown ‘Tates’ which carefully make their way back to our site, to be graded into boxes and stored safely in our stores where eventually they will make their way to packers and our customers right through until next May/June!

Red and White Cabbage is now being harvested into bins, which are safely stored away into controlled cold storage for supply through until July 2021.

Leeks are at their best from September to March, so our Leek rig is busy harvesting Leeks and will remain operating in our fields until next Spring.
Like onions and garlic, Leeks are a member of the Allium family but are much milder and sweeter in comparison to their relatives but are still incredibly versatile.
Leeks are not only great as a side dish served alongside meals, but they are also a great addition to many recipes from Soups to Risottos and pies too!

Here’s another inspiring Leek recipe on how to turn them into a warm and comforting Autumnal dish, paired with another seasonal vegetable – Butternut Squash! A favourite speedy but healthy mid-week meal in our house, this dish is also perfect for batch-cooking plus any leftovers heat up well the next day!


Oven-baked Bacon, Leek and Butternut Squash Risotto

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients -

  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 8 shallots, finely sliced
  • 400g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g back bacon, fat removed, cut into strips
  • 300g dried risotto rice
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp unwaxed lemon zest, to serve
  • roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  • 4 tbsp finely grated parmesan, to serve

Method -

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas mark 4.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into a large, non-stick frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  3. Add the shallots, bacon, leeks, garlic, celery and squash, and fry gently for around 6-8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the risotto rice.
  5. Add the stock, season and bring to the boil.
  6. Pour the rice mixture into a medium, ovenproof dish and bake for 45 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rise is al dente.
  7. Divide the risotto between 4 bowls and sprinkle each dish equally with the lemon zest, parsley and parmesan.
  8. Enjoy!


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