Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Return of the veg!

A couple of years ago I had a go at having veg boxes delivered from Riverford. I posted about it at the time - go and have a look if you've got nothing better to do! They were great, but I was a bit overambitious and went for the 'seasons' boxes - they were really exciting, because they involved all sorts of unusual seasonal veg like wild garlic and kohl rabi, but realistically they were too expensive and there was just too much veg for me. I found that I couldn't use it all before it went manky. So I stopped having the boxes delivered, but recently I'd been thinking more and more about how nice it would be to have a veg box again, so I decided to go for it.

This time, I've gone for the 'mini' box - you get seven varieties of veg, usually including potatoes and onions. Much more manageable, I hope! I've gone for a fortnightly delivery, which I'm hoping will work well, and I'm also hoping it'll get me more into meal planning so I don't end up grabbing stuff from the supermarket every evening.

This week I've got a lovely little bag of potatoes, two onions, two avocados, two parsnips, a punnet of cherry tomatoes on the vine, a bag of purple sprouting broccoli and three lovely big portobello mushrooms. Yum yum! And everything except the avocado and tomatoes is British. So this week, I'll be using the perishable bits - the tomatoes, the avocados (although they're still quite solid so they should last a good few days yet), the broccoli and the mushrooms - and then after that I can use up the potatoes and parsnips, and I'll use the onions as and when.

My first veg box dinner used the tomatoes, which I'm not a huge fan of in their raw state. So I decided to roast half the punnet, and then I made this lovely creamy tomato and barley risotto from Oh She Glows. I had all of the other ingredients in the house already, so it was absolutely perfect! I used pearl barley rather than pot barley, because that's what I had, and I roasted some garlic with the tomatoes and added that to the risotto. Apart from that, I stuck to the recipe, but I halved it and got two nice portions.
I topped the risotto with my roasted tomatoes, a bit of balsamic and some sunflower sprouts for added crunch and healthiness! It was creamy and comforting and totally gorgeous. Veg success!

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