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This afternoon we popped down to the Walton Lea Garden Party in Warrington.  We went last year and it’s always a lovely opportunity to go and enjoy their pretty walled garden and buy some gorgeous homegrown vegetables and fruit. 

We had a nice wander round the walled garden whilst munching on teeny tiny cupcakes – literally a mouthful.  I so enjoy seeing vegetables and fruit growing in such a beautiful old walled garden and going to the Walton Lea Project is almost like going to a National Trust garden.

Everything is looking a lot more parched and dry than last year what with all this steaming hot weather we’ve been having recently. 

But there is some gorgeous vegetables – like these stunning onions, all of which are for sale in the shop…

There is also a lovely selection of bedding plants and some good sized fruit bushes (redcurrant, whitecurrant and jostaberry) for a very good price – I would like to come back and get a few for the allotment.

We came away with…a selection of yellow and green courgettes, a punnet of redcurrants (destined for the pot to make a relish to go with a bacon and brie sandwich Mr Rigg fancies) and a punnet of blackcurrants (possibly for blackcurrant cordial)…

They were out of blackcurrants when we arrived, so whilst we enjoyed a stroll around the walled garden, someone went off to collect us a punnet of them!  Where else do you get service like that?!

And this gorgeous bunch of sweetpeas picked from their walled garden – and for only £1!

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I have been wanting to make and devour this meal ever since I spied it.  What would we do without Nigel Slater?  This recipe was found in his book Tender, which is fabulous, and everyone should read it.

We had rain yesterday and this morning, but by the time we got home from work it was hot and sunny again.  A perfect excuse to use the barbeque, if only to chargrill some courgettes.

The green lentils are boiled until cooked, then mixed into a dressing of red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar (I substituted sherry for cider as this is what I had), olive oil, finely chopped garlic, sliced spring onions, salt and pepper.

For the courgettes, you slice them thinly (I used a selection of green and yellow), pop them in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  You leave them for at least half an hour, then wash them and pat them dry.

Chargrill them, then toss them in extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

And finely, the ham.  This was excellent quality, acorn-fed Spanish ham.  That’s it.  You don’t do anything to it, just lay out the slices on your plate, or tear them up a bit.

Altogether on a plate this is a beautiful combination of tastes and textures.  Eaten outside it is, of course, all the better.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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