The Secret Cook – Autumn and our vegetables now

The Secret Cook – Autumn and our vegetables now
The primary school children are preparing for a strange Harvest Festival this year, to take place in the local church, but with no parents or siblings present due to COVID precautions. Alongside difficulties with getting UK harvests completed due to the changing relationship we have with the EU, this seems less celebratory than usual. I believe it is so important in these times of climate emergency to be fully using our local food as much as possible. I am saddened to see the lack of care in the UK at a strategic level to ensure secure growing, farming and high animal welfare standards farming is actively supported in the UK.
However we can celebrate what Banc Organics is providing for us with healthy local vegetables and other organic produce, and I will give you another recipe today to take advantage of seasonal onion, garlic and end-of-season tomatoes to give a tasty nut loaf recipe. You can also include fresh herbs if you have some, and they then enrich the flavours in the recipe.
You can double this recipe, which is good eaten either hot or cold. It can also be frozen, pre-sliced making it easier to use as you need it. It is vegan can be made gluten free, with thanks to my friend Hazel.
Grease and line one or two loaf tins
Oven temperature is 375F/190C/gas mark 5.
In a large bowl mix the following ingredients well:
2/3 chopped tomatoes or 4-6 for double recipe
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes a tin can be substituted, but drain the juice off, either to contribute to the stock or to re-use.
6oz minced Brazil nut or 12oz for double recipe
2oz or 4oz sesame seeds, or minced sunflower seeds.
3oz or 6oz gluten-free breadcrumbs (or any breadcrumbs if you don’t need gluten free)
1oz or 2oz gluten-free oats
Herbs (fresh or dried) and salt & pepper to taste
Fry in oil:
1 or 2 chopped onions or equivalent shallots, plus garlic cloves to taste ( I use 1 or 2)
Mix 1 or 2 oz cornflour into a paste with liquid to make up 1/4 or 1/2 pint of vegetable stock, plus
1 tsp or 2 tsps marmite or miso dissolved in stock too.
Combine all ingredients and add extra seasoning/tomato paste/tamari etc to taste.
Put the mixture into the lined tins and cook for 45 mins.
You can serve this hot with mushroom sauce or onion gravy plus roasted/steamed vegetables, or it is also good cold with salad.
Have a good week and hopefully some more dry autumnal weather will come our way, along with the seasonal fruit and vegetables we can look forward to.