National Allotments Week was founded in 2016 to coincide with a time of the year that many fruit and vegetables come into bloom and are ready to be harvested. This can sometimes mean that people end up with a surplus, so gardeners share their spoils with others. Although you may end up with a diverse selection, you could also end up with punnets and punnets of tomatoes or strawberries. Some allotments in the UK make large boxes of fruit and veg to give to local religious groups or food banks so that those in need benefit, too. Most of us know some basic recipes for our harvests but if you’re wanting to try something new, look through our list of ideas for some of the fruit and veg that may reside in your allotment or garden.
- Bloody Mary
Probably the most fun recipe in this list. Blend around 225 grams of tomatoes and run it through a strainer for one serving of tomato juice perfect as the base of this brunch time cocktail. For bonus points, garnish with a celery from your harvest! You can add Vodka or Gin with a twist of lemon then sit back and enjoy your produce.
- Tomato Chutney
A great way of preserving your harvest for Christmas time cheese and crackers is to turn it into a chutney. If you make enough, you can even give them as gifts. You can get quite experimental with chutneys and add chilli for a fun kick or coconut with mint for a gorgeous Southern Asian style dip for Pakora and Bhaji.
- Beans on Toast
Warming and comforting, proper baked beans on thick sliced toast is not to be underestimated. Just fry ¼ onion, a pinch of chilli flakes and add canned haricot beans (or butter beans) with mashed skinless tomatoes to the mix. Bake on a medium heat for 20 mins and pour over freshly buttered toast for a simple but filling brunch. If you’re feeling decadent, put some fried or poached eggs on top.
- Strawberry Pop Tarts
You can get little ones involved with this one. The fact that this recipe uses homemade strawberry jam means you can enjoy it all year long. What a lovely idea for Fireworks Night or on those horrid snow days! You can swap standard sugar for coconut sugar to make the jam, making it healthier.
After making the jam, just brush onto flat, rolled out pastry strips. Fold the strips over to keep the jam inside and use a fork to crimp the sides down. Brush with a little egg and bake until golden. Make these even more fun by pouring liquid frosting made from icing sugar over the on top and use food colouring to make fun colours then sprinkle hundreds and thousands on top.
- Strawberry Cake Kebabs
A tasty dessert when you’re having a BBQ, just pop strawberries, marshmallows and cubes of angel cake onto wooden skewers and toast over a low heat BBQ until the cake and marshmallows are browned. These can be eaten as is or dipped into whipping cream for extra scrumminess.
- Strawberry & Balsamic Vinegar Tarts
Don’t knock this combination until you’ve tried it. The simple recipe requires pastry cases, filled with whipped double cream and icing sugar combined then topped with fresh strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
- Baby Shepherd’s Pie
A great way to use up other vegetables, hollow out baked potatoes and fill with a veg rich shepherd’s pie then top with a buttery mash made from the insides of the potato. Bake to get a rich crisp topping.
- Avocado Potato Salad
A genius alternative to the humble potato salad, avocado provides a rich creamy texture when mashed and mixed with boiled potatoes. Add some spring onions or chilli flakes to give this BBQ staple a kick. Want extra points from your guests? Mix crispy bacon or vegan bacon for crunch and saltiness.
- Potato Chocolate Cake
Yes, you have read that right. Potatoes are not just savoury, and this cake proves that. Add mashed potato to cake flour, baking soda and sugar and mix for one minute. Put melted chocolate, butter and vanilla and mix for a further 2/3 minutes or when fluffy. Whisk 2 large eggs and 255 grams of buttermilk then add slowly to the mixture. Bake the mixture in a bundt pan or cake tin at 170 Celsius for an hour or when until a metal skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
You can add a chocolate glaze to this cake made from melted dark chocolate and cream once the cake is fully cooled.
- Pork & Plum
It’s not just apples that go great with pork, cooked plums taste great with a pork loin. To keep the rich flavour in the plums, poach them and use the jus to drizzle over the cooked meat.
- Plum Salad with Black Pepper & Parmesan
Make a dressing from vinegar, honey and black pepper then drip over sliced plums. Add Parmesan and toss the mixture before serving as a side or a starter. Garnish with more parmesan, salt and pepper.
- Charred Plums & Cheese
This dish is made for the summer, the tartness of the fruit cuts through the creaminess of the goat cheese to create an interesting juxtaposition. Crumble goats’ cheese over plums that have been cooked on a skillet until slightly charred and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Summer is a great time to experiment with food and to share recipes with other gardeners and chefs alike. Your allotment may yield great harvests during this time and if you attend a few summer parties, make the most of them and try your new recipes out. Also, if you’re cooking for a few people, you can use up more of your harvest. If you still have some leftover, it may be worth seeing if your local food bank or church will take any of your harvest. If you decide to use any of these recipes, tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as we’d love to see your hard work!
We have a large range of items that can help you build your allotment into something amazing at Original Organics.