2014 Recipe competition entries

Our first entry is a hearty Vegetable Cobbler from Angela

This is a hearty recipe, although it contains no meat it makes for a filling and satisfying meal. It's also really quite healthy too, the only fat is the small amount within the savoury scones. Serve it in a large casserole dish for the whole family or split it into smaller portions to freeze and enjoy on those days you would rather be spending time in the garden than in the kitchen.

This recipe was inspired from an old cut out of an unknown magazine. I first baked this recipe following my very first successful tomato harvest - hurrah! Unlike my harvest this year which has been beset with tomato blight - boo! There are plenty of other garden grown vegetables included in this recipe carrots, potatoes, celery and cauliflower. Celery being something I have yet to grow myself and my cauliflowers only ever seem to end up with small hearts - I blame the soil!

Hope you enjoy it.

Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

Vegetable Cobbler
Recipe (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 small onions, halved
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 225g / 8 oz potatoe, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 225g / 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 55g / 2oz red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3-4tbsp water
  • 300ml /10fl oz vegetable stock
  • 2tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2tsp Tabasco sauce - I don't always have this in the cupboard you could choose to miss it out altogether or replace it with some Harisa paste.

Herb Cheese Scone Topping

  • 225g /8oz self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g / 4oz butter
  • 115g / 4oz grated mature Cheddar cheese
  • 2tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 150ml / 5fl oz milk


  1. Preheat oven 180degreesC /Gas Mark
  2. Heat oil in large frying pan and cook the onions over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add celery,potato, carrots and cauliflower and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and lentils. Place cornflour and water in a bowl and mix to make a paste. Stir into the frying pan with the stock, Tabasco and oregano. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Now make the scone topping

  • Sift the flour and salt into bowl. Add butter and rub it in, then stir in most of the cheese and oregano.
  • Beat the egg with the milk into a small bowl and add enough to the dry ingredients to make a soft dough.
  • Knead, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick. Cut into 5cm / 2inch rounds

  • Remove the dish from the oven and increase the temperature to 200degreesC / Gas mark 6.
  • Arrange the dough rounds around the edge of the dish, brush with the remaining egg and milk mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese.
  • Cook for a further 12 minutes without the lid on, the scones should be golden on top.

Our second entry is a sweet and simple Runner Bean Chutney from Harry

Our recipe is for runner bean chutney, it comes from my grandmother and is great for using up a glut.

Runner Bean Chutney

  • 1.5lb runner beans
  • 1.5lb demerara sugar
  • 1.5pints malt vinegar
  • 4 onions
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2.5 tbsp cornflower


  1. Trim and finely chop the beans and onions.
  2. Boil in salted water until tender, strain.
  3. Return to the pan with the sugar and 1 pint of the vinegar. Bring to the boil.
  4. Mix the remaining vinegar, mustard, turmeric and cornflower to a paste and add to the bean mix.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about an hour until thickened. Stir frequently.
  6. Transfer to warm sterilised jars and seal. Enjoy with cheeses and cold meats

Next up is a home made Homity Pie from Kay Hepbourn

"Homity pie is a UK recipe, made famous by Cranks in the 70s, but originally made by the Land Girls in the second world war. They used to make it to send off with the soldiers in their pack-ups because they could grow most of it and it was hearty and nutritious."

"I like it because I can combine a little of everything that is growing or I have already grown and saved in one dish: onions, garlic, potatoes, courgettes, beans, chilli, tomatoes, kale, carrots and served with my own lettuce, cucumber, rocket, nasturtiums and beetroot. Add a dollop of homemade plum chutney and you have a rainbow of gorgeous food. That’s a total of 14 different homegrown vegetables all freshly picked and laden with nutrients! It’s just such a lovely pie to eat AND you get to say homity pie! What a cool name."

Homity Pie

Preheat the oven to at (Gas mk 6, 200 C/400 F)

For the pie crust:

  • 80gm butter or marg
  • 160gm flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (from my hens) beaten with a bit of water and 1tsp mustard

Rub the flour, salt and butter together and then trickle the mustard and egg mixture in and mix to a ball. There should be some egg mix left.

Line the pie dish and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with the rest of the egg and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes. This will stop the pie crust from going soggy.

Meanwhile Make the Filling:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A handful of kale- remove the stems and chop the kale
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 finely chopped chilli
  • 6 runner beans, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 1 small courgette
  • 100gm cheese grated- a sharp hard cheese is good
  • 3 medium tomatoes (I’ve used our golden ones)
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp chopped purple sage
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Dice the potato and steam it until it is soft.
  3. Saute the kale with onions and garlic for a few minutes.
  4. Add the steamed potatoes and mix well.
  5. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes and half the cheese.
  6. Mix well and press into the pie case.
  7. Top with the rest of the cheese and tomatoes and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with a corn on the cob, a green salad and some beetroot slaw.

Next is Courgette and Potato Rostis with Quick Ratatouille and Spicy Chickpea 'Smush' from Kathryn Fisher

I was inspired to create this meal because we have such a glut of courgettes and also lots of potatoes and tomatoes to use up. I am passionate about cooking hearty meals event though I am on a tight budget. I think this demonstrates that you don't have to have 'special' or expensive ingredients to enjoy great food.

Recipe 1

'Yes, I’m still cooking with courgettes! I refuse to let any go to waste and am trying to come up with new recipes. I’m really pleased with this one. It was really inexpensive to make and tastes great!

I have used homegrown Potato, Courgette and Tomato. I would have used my own onions but, I have eaten them all already! We also have Chili growing but, they aren’t quite ready yet. This is a true ‘Budget’ meal. Only using a few ingredients to make a really tasty, filling meal.
Courgette and Potato Rostis with Quick Ratatouille and spicy chickpea ‘smush’ (meal for 2)

Rostis: Makes 4-5

  • 200g each Grated potato and Courgette (before you weigh the grated veggies, give them a little squeeze to get rid of excess moisture)
  • 1/2 and onion (grated)
  • 2 tbsp gram flour mixed with 2tbsp water
  • 1 heaped tsp Parsley (fresh of dried)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • I also added some chili flakes
  • Oil for frying


  1. Place all veggies into a bowl and season. Mix gram flour and water to form an ‘egg’. Add this to veggies and mix well. The gram flour ‘egg’ will bind the mixture.
  2. Heat oil in frying pan, add a heaped tbsp of mixture and press lightly to form a patty. Turn over when the side is browning. Either serve now or place on baking sheet to be re heated. (They also freeze well)

Quick ‘Ratatouille’

  • 200g Diced Courgette
  • 200g Tomato with the skin off (Fresh is preferable) Chopped
  • 1/2 Onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1tsp Fennel seeds
  • 100ml Veg stock
  • Pepper
  • Oil for frying


  1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Saute until softening and add the chopped garlic.
  2. When the onion and garlic are starting to brown, add the fennel seeds and cook for a couple of minutes until the seeds become aromatic.
  3. Now add the courgette and tomato, veg stock and ketchup.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook until the sauce is thickened. Taste and season with pepper (salt if required).

Spicy Chickpea Smush

Ok, So I didn’t grow the Chickpeas but, my Blog is all about cooking on a budget.


  • 1 tin chickpeas (400g)
  • 1/2 an onion (sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 chili (heat as per your taste!)
  • Oil for frying


  1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and gently saute the onion and garlic until soft and aromatic.
  2. Add the chili and parsley. Cook for a couple of minutes until onions are browning.
  3. Add the chickpeas. Use a Potato masher to gently ‘smush’ some of the chickpeas. Just so some are broken down.
  4. ‘Stir fry’ until heated through and so you can begin to see a ‘crust’ on the chickpeas.
  5. Taste and season as per your own requirements.


Next a second entry from Kathryn Fisher with her Courgette, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

We are still getting loads of courgettes from the allotment. This time we had some slightly overgrown ‘onion’ courgettes, the round variety. They are great for soup. So now my freezer is stocked up! This made 8 portions (bowls full)


  • 900g courgette (I peeled mine) rough dice
  • 400g carrots rough chop
  • 200g red lentils
  • 1large onion rough chop
  • 2 large garlic cloves rough chop
  • 1 large pinch dried parsley
  • Veg stock (read methods for volume)
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Another simple soup that packs a whole lot of flavour and goodness into each bowl.
  2. Simply roughly chop the onion and saute in a little oil a large pan until just softening. Add chopped garlic and cook until aromatic and just Browning.
  3. Now add the rest of the veg. Cook for a little while, moving the veg continuously.
  4. Now add the parsley and stock. The stock should just come to the top of the veg and some courgette will start to float on top.
  5. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until begins soft. Top up a little if you thinking needs it. Lentils will be cooked by then.
  6. This soup needs to be whizzed up to a smooth soup and seasons as per your own taste.


Our next entry is from Kay Sexton with her Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream


  • One large handful fresh lemon verbena leaves, stripped from stems, washed and towel dried
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150ml full fat milk
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (use the whites to make meringues to accompany the ice cream!)


  1. Put all the milk and half the cream into a pan with the leaves and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat, and leave to steep overnight.
    The following morning strain through a sieve, pressing down gently to remove all the liquid but not so much you bruise the leaves (you will end up with pale green ice cream if you are heavy-handed, rather than rich yellow).
  2. Put the steeped liquid back into a clean pan and heat gently. While it warms, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and then add the remaining cream. As soon as the steeped cream begins to bubble at the edges of the pan remove from the heat and add to the egg yolk mixture one tablespoon at a time, whisking as you go. This is ‘tempering’ and it stops the egg curdling. After eight tablespoons you can start to pour the hot mixture into the coolone in a thin stream, continuing to whisk.
  3. Once the two liquids are fully mixed, pour the whole lot back into the pan and stir over a lowish heat for 5-7 minutes until it has started to thicken. Then set aside to cool.
  4. Once fully cooled, place in the bowl of your ice-cream maker and churn for 25 minutes before freezing. Alternatively pour into a freezer-proof container (preferably round as it’s easier to work with) and freeze for an hour, take out and beat briskly with a fork, return to the freezer for another hour and repeat (this stops large ice-crystals forming that can make your ice cream more ice and less cream!) then freeze overnight.

Deliciously rich, sweet and highly fragrant, this is an ideal ice-cream for dinner parties - very good with dessert wine!

Our next entry is from Eleanor Powell with her Somerset Sausage Casserole

My inspiration for this recipe was being on a very tight budget with growing and hungry children! Getting kids to eat healthily and cheaply is not easy! I've made this recipe many times with loads of variations and it never fails to satisfy and even if all ingredients are bought it can still be put on the table for about 37p a portion so a winner all round.

This is a hearty warming sausage casserole, that is so amazingly versatile. Pretty much all of the ingredients can be changed to suit what you have available. I have used real sausages for mine but it works just as well with left over chicken or hotdog sausages and smokey BBQ or fajita seasoning. The hotdog sausage and smokey BBQ seasoning version is great for the kids as you can incorporate all of their 5 a day and the baked beans and sausages means they wolf it down. The vegetables, again, can be changed to suit. Carrots, kidney beans, green beans, chickpeas or lentils can all work just as well.


  • Sausages grilled (allow 2 each)
  • 10/15 tomatoes puréed and sieved or 400g passata
  • 500g new potatoes par boiled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 300g sweet corn
  • 300g broad beans par boiled
  • 300ml stock (any sort)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1tsp oregano
  • 1tsp marjoram
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Par boil and chunky chop the potatoes
  2. Grill the sausages until 3/4 cooked and slice thickly or chop chicken or hotdog sausages into chunks
  3. In a large saucepan sweat the onion and pepper with a tiny bit of water, when soft add the tomatoes or passata.
  4. Add herbs, spices, sugar, bay leaves and a very generous splash of Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
  5. Add all the rest of the veg and stir well
  6. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 35 mins stirring occasionally
  7. Remove bay leaves
  8. Serve in bowls with a crusty roll.

Our next entry is from Robert Atkin with his 50/50 Jam


This is my recipe entry for my 50/50 Jam. I found a mixed berry jam recipe and adapted it for the fruit from my allotment. We tried a few combinations but this one seems to be the best. I call it 50/50 Jam because it is 50% raspberry and 50% blackberry.


  • 370 g (13 oz) blackberries
  • 370 g (13 oz) raspberries
  • 740 g (26 oz) sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 packet pectin powder


  1. Sterilise glass jars – I put in oven at 140°C for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Place two saucers in the top drawer of freezer.
  3. Heat raspberries and blackberries gently in jam pan.
  4. Add sugar, lemon juice and pectin powder. Raspberries have medium pectin content and blackberries have low pectin so the powdered pectin helps the set.
  5. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Once the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
  7. When the jam has reached temperature (I use a jam thermometer), continue to boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Test for a set at 6 minutes – take a teaspoon of jam and put on one saucer from the freezer. Push your finger nail through the jam. If it wrinkles it is ready. If not try again at 8 minutes on the other cooled saucer.
  9. Once you are happy that it will set, remove from the heat.
  10. Ladle the jam into the sterilised jars. A jam funnel helps with this part.
  11. Put a wax disk on top of the jam (wax side against the jam) and cover lid with either a plastic disk or the jar lid whist the jam is still hot.

The quantities above made four jars of 50/50 jam

Our next entry is from Tamsin Walsh with her homegrown Frittata and Salsa Verde

A healthy, tasty and economical way to cook up homegrown veg using only few store cupboard ingredients.


From balcony so quantity depends on what you have:

  • Freshly dug potatoes, cut in half and then into 1/2 cm slices
  • Young crunchy courgettes, cut to same size
  • Just cut chard, stalks finely chopped and leaves shredded separately
  • Freshly podded peas
  • Freshly picked beans, cut in half
  • Baby tomatoes from the vine, halved
  • Handful each of basil, mint and parsley.
  • 1-2 chillies

Store cupboard

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • Sweet potato, same quantity as potato, prepared in the same way
  • 1-2 chorizo sausages cut in cubes
  • 6 eggs well beaten and seasoned with white pepper
  • 100g manchego cheese grated


  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled


  1. Turn oven on to 180 degrees
  2. Beat eggs and mix in grated cheese. Set aside
  3. Steam potatoes and sweet potatoes until almost cooked
  4. In an oven proof pan, sweat the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft, add in the chorizo and cook until coloured and fat runs. Add the courgettes and fennel seeds.
  5. Once the courgettes are coloured tip in potatoes and chard stalks. Add more oil if needed. Stir and cook for a few minutes letting then soften and colour, then season with black pepper
  6. Now add the chard leaves with the peas and beans so they maintain their bite and stir everything together.
  7. Only once everything is combined and mixed well add the tomatoes. One quick stir then pour over the eggs and cheese mixture
  8. Leave on hob for a few mins until small bubbles appear on surface of egg. Then put into oven for 15 mins
  9. Whilst the frittata is cooking whiz together the mustard, capers, vinegars, garlic and chilli into a paste. Add all the herbs and whizz whilst slowly adding olive oil to desired consistency, allowing the mixture to emulsify. Season to taste.
  10. Frittata is cooked when middle is set with a bounce. Turn out and allow to cool, then serve in wedges drizzled with salsa verde

Our next entry is from Claire Proctor with her Bruschetta

Here's my recipe for Bruschetta using homegrown tomatoes.
(originally posted on my blog)

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50g butter
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 thick slices of white bread
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mixed herbs


  1. Peel garlic and push through garlic press.
  2. Chop tomatoes
  3. Cut thick slices of bread
  4. Mix together garlic and butter
  5. Spread generously on the bread
  6. Top with chopped tomatoes
  7. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and mixed herbs
  8. Place under a moderate grill for about 5 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy.

Our next entry is from Abbygale May with her vegetable terrine


Any veg grown - courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes, etc - sliced thinly with a mandolin and put in a loaf tin.


  1. Season sporadically.
  2. Heat cream and vegetable stock until simmer with mixed herbs ( dried or fresh) pour over and top with cheese cool for an hour on 180 until golden on top and cooked through.
  3. Eat hot or cot with crusty bread

Our next entry is from Sisley White with her Roasted Tomato Salad

I have left the recipe simple so you can make as much or little as you want.


  • Baby tomatoes
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Salt and pepper
  • Granulated sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Lettuce. I like a mix of crisp and baby leaf which is a bit peppery (I used home grown lettuce)
  • Mozzarella
  • Goats cheese
  • Lemon juice


This is great to do after you've used the oven for something else as it saves on electricity for just eating the tomatoes for 10 mins in the oven.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Cut up as many tomatoes you want, in half and place the insides up in an oven proof dish.
  3. Cover the tomatoes in a slight sprinkling of all the herbs, salt and pepper and sugar.
  4. Sprinkle with a light glug of olive oil making sure at least most of them are covered.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees and then turn the oven off leaving the tomatoes in the hot oven for at least 1 hour. 2-3 is best.

When you are ready to make the salad

  1. Lay a bed of lettuce on a serving dish.
  2. Top with the cheese. I think hand pulled makes it looks so much better than cut.
  3. Take the tomatoes out of the oven and spoon them on to the salad.
  4. Don't through away the juice from the roasting tin but add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and extra olive oil to taste.
  5. Pour over the tomatoes and serve.

This is a lovely salad by itself but with a quiche or at barbeque it works very well too!

If you like spicy food you can add some chopped up chillies to the tomatoes before they go into the oven. It works really really well.

This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson who I have loved since receiving her domestic goddess book when I was 13. It is also inspired by a love for tomatoes and herbs de Provence which always remind me of salads in France when I was little with my parents on holiday.

All the best

From Sam, a homemade courgette cake

Now before I hear you all make huge groaning noises of disgust please hear me out…

This is actually a very sweet cinnamony bread very similar to banana bread, or teabread.

My 10 year old ate it and he agrees it tastes nothing like the vegetable its made from, so if you want a cheeky way to get some extra veggies in heres a sugary way.

So if you are feeling adventurous heres the recipe (makes 2 loaves)


  • 3 eggs
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Melted marg
  • 1tsp Vanilla
  • 500g Finely grated courgette
  • 500g Plain flour
  • 150g Sultanas
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • Icing sugar to dust


  1. Grease your loaf tins and set your oven to gas mark 4.
  2. In a large mixing bowl stir the eggs, sugar, marg, vanilla and courgette together.
  3. In a second bowl mix your flour, sultanas, salt, baking powder and Cinnamon together.
  4. Now gradually add your flour mix to the courgette mix until all mixed nicely. Fill your tins with your mix and pop them in the oven and bake very slowly for about 1 hour.
  5. Check the cakes by popping a skewer through the centre of the cake, and if it comes out clean then its done.
  6. Sprinkle with icing sugar and wrap in foil when cooled.

It may not last as long as you think x