Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup)

Nettle Kail (i.e. Nettle Soup) Nettles are often thought of as a hippy food, or as a plant to be feared for its sting; however, nettles have been eaten in Scotland for as long as anyone can remember. William Gardiner notes in The Flora of Forfarshire (1848): ‘Plentiful by hedge-sides and in waste places, particularly near the habitations of man….

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Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s

Dried broad beans from Hodmedod's

Dried Broad Beans from Hodmedod’s Dried broad beans were once a common ingredient in Britain, and have been eaten here since the iron age. Broad beans are one of Europe’s oldest and most important crops, having been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The dried form was valued for its high protein content, especially at times when there…

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Swedish Turnip to Neep Purry

Swedish Turnip, Neep Purry

Swedish Turnip to Neep Purry Swedish turnip doesn’t have much going for it in today’s world. Its tough and dense flesh can be unforgiving on anything but the sharpest of knives. It also takes a fairly long time to cook, so it doesn’t always seem to be well suited to a faster age. It is the country bumpkin of the vegetable…

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Clapshot

Clapshot

Clapshot is one of Scotland’s better known vegetable dishes. Although, it has to be said, there aren’t that many in the first place. According to F. Marian McNeill (The Scots Kitchen, 1929) clapshot is an Orcadian dish, or rather, clapshot is an Orcadian word. In his book Reminiscences of an Orkney Parish (1920), John Firth remembers eating clapshot with bere bannocks: ‘This vegetarian…

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Garlicky Carrots from Portugal

Garlicky Carrots from Portugal

Garlicky Carrots from Portugal The credit for this photograph has to go to my lucky sister who was in Portugal last week, so I got her to snap a photograph of these delicious garlicky carrots and buttery black olives. This little nibble (hors doovers) is something you get in many of the shack-like plastic tables and chairs type restaurants by…

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Grimbister: A Great Scottish Cheese

Grimbister Cheese It is a shame Grimbister cheese is not more well known. It is a delicious cheese that will not be enjoyed by those people who think only strong tasting cheeses like Roquefort are worth eating. Grimbister is admired for its soft crumbly texture and mild milky taste. It has a slight taste of sour milk, which doesn’t sound…

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Sbyoes for a Scottish Salad

Syboes-for-a-scottish-salad

Syboes for a Scottish Salad F. Marian McNeill is best known for her highly regarded book on Scottish cookery The Scots Kitchen, a subject she was passionate about. In an article she wrote for the Scotsman titled Salad-Time is Here: Be Salad Minded (10th June 1935) F. Marian McNeill shows us how the demise of British food is nothing new….

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Hotch Potch: One Pot Cooking

Hotch Potch: One Pot Cooking

  Hotch Potch: An Ancient Dish for Modern Times Hotch potch is a great example of how good Scottish cookery can really be. Hotch potch is cooking at its most elementary – a cheap cut of meat on the bone simmered in water until it is melting and soft, then go in plenty of young, juicy summer vegetables and you…

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Two Simple Fennel Recipes

  We don’t eat enough of this wonderful vegetable in Britain. There is no excuse considering how versatile it is, and it goes with almost everything. Here are two simple recipes for fennel to show off this wonderful vegetable. The first recipe is for a fennel and parmesan salad, showing how refreshing fennel is when it is served raw, thinly…

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Smoked Aubergine Curry

This is a wonderful Punjabi dish of smoked aubergines cooked with onions, tomato, hot green chillies and cumin seeds. The aubergines become smokey from the way they are cooked. They are rubbed with butter and set over a flame until the outside is charred. The skins go charcoal black, and cracks when you tap it. This is then scraped away…

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