Cookbook that covers whole year of veggies

ORGANIC veg box scheme Riverford has just released its second cook book, Everyday and Sunday – Recipes from Riverford Farm by Riverford founder Guy Watson and head chef Jane Baxter.

This follow-up to their award-winning first book, The Riverford Farm Cook Book, describes what vegetables are in season month by month and the best ways to use them in the kitchen, alongside Guy’s no-nonsense take on food and farming.

There are recipes for quick, everyday meals, alongside one or two for a more celebratory dish, or an indulgent Sunday feast.

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From a warming Kale Gratin in March, to a fresh Salad of Braised Little Gems and Mint in June or a Swiss Chard, Squash and Blue Cheese Torte in October, Jane’s simple and inspiring recipes will help you make the most of your veg, all year round.

Riverford Home Farm is based at Newby Wiske, near Northallerton, and delivers more than 3,000 veg boxes to homes in Yorkshire and the North-East every week.

Peter Richardson, owner and farmer of Riverford Home Farm said: “Despite the hype from celebrity chefs and the best endeavours of our government with its “5-a-day” campaign, the consumption of fresh, unprocessed vegetables has declined by 45 per cent over the last 30 years.

“We have to make cooking with seasonal, fresh ingredients easier for the people who find it a struggle. That is what this book is all about.

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“The ‘everyday’ recipes are there to broaden everyone’s cooking repertoire and some of them, I hope, will become the favourites you resort to whenever you are under pressure to feed your family without the time to think too hard about it.”

As well as organic vegetable boxes, Riverford is expanding into home-delivered organic meat.

“Previously we only offered our meat boxes for Christmas, but the full range is now available for home delivery all year round. You can choose a box with set contents or pick whatever you like from the full range, with a minimum order of £25.

There is plenty of choice, from sausages and minced beef for quick meals to stewing steak and joints for roasting,” explains Peter.

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“For most of us, eating less meat, less often would be better for our health, better for the planet and, if we use some of the money saved to buy thoughtfully, better for the animals involved. Grazed grass and clover plus manure (the welcome by-product) are also vital to maintaining soil fertility and allowing us to grow vegetables successfully.

“Riverford’s message, which you will hear us preach occasionally through the year, will be to eat good meat less often, to eat all the animal and to be sure that you are happy with how it is produced.

“Riverford knows all the farmers who supply our meat, the animals are slaughtered carefully in a small, family-run abattoir and hung and butchered by hand by our team of skilled butchers.

“I am a committed, unquestioning, steak-loving carnivore but I find that, though it may take a little more thought, I am happy to eat much less meat than I used to.”

Braised little gems, radish, spring onions and mint

Serves 4-6

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2 tbsp olive oil, 3 little gem lettuces, cut into eighths lengthways, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 tsp caster sugar, 1 tsp cider vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 10 radishes, cut into very thin rounds, 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped, leaves from 1 bunch of mint, shredded

This salad is a versatile summer side dish.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the little gem wedges and stir quickly, then add the garlic, sugar and vinegar and stir for about 10 minutes until wilted. Season well. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, reserving some to sprinkle on the top when serving.

Asparagus with fennel and goat’s cheese

Serves 4 as a starter

1 bunch of asparagus, 2 tblspn olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 head of fennel, 10 cherry tomatoes, slow-roasted (see below), 10 basil leaves, torn

For the dressing: 100g crumbly goat’s cheese, 50ml milk, juice of half a lemon, 1 tspn thyme leaves

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Toss the asparagus in the oil, season, and grill on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes on each side. Set aside.

Trim the fennel, remove the core and shave finely on a mandolin or grater.

To make the dressing, crumble the goat’s cheese into the milk, add the other ingredients, warm gently until melted together and season.

Place half the fennel in a serving dish, and top with the asparagus and remaining fennel, scatter with the tomatoes, drizzle with the goat’s cheese dressing, and finish with the basil.

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For the slow-roasted cherry tomatoes: Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Place on a baking tray cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cook slowly in a low oven (120C / gas mark 1) up to two hours.

New potatoes with crab, chilli, parsley and lemon

Serves 4

1kg new potatoes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 150g picked white crab meat, juice of 1 lemon, plus more if needed, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 1 red chilli, deseeded if preferred, chopped, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes, then drain. Allow to cool, then cut them into halves or quarters.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together and toss through the potatoes.

Adjust the seasoning and add extra lemon juice if required.

* Everyday and Sunday – Recipes from Riverford Farm is available from and all good outlets. Hardback RRP £24.99, paperback £18.99 (paperback only available through Riverford).

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