Salmon with buttered leeks and lemon dressing

Salmon with buttered leeks and lemon dressing – Peter Kane

A simple favourite way with salmon.

25gm/1oz butter (we use margarine).

4 leeks fresh from the allotment, washed and thinly sliced into circles.

4 x 125gm/4½oz Salmon fillets (skin removed if you prefer)

For the lemon dressing:

2cm/¾ piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated.

2 x garlic cloves, crushed.


1 small red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped.

2 table spoons lemon juice (Yuzu juice if you have it).

4 table spoons light olive oil

Salt and freshly grated ground black pepper

To garnish:

Small bunch coriander 

Radishes thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler 


  • Preheat oven 200⁰C/180⁰F
  • Heat the butter in a large frying pan, add the leeks, fry for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Tip into an oven proof dish or roasting tin.
  • Put the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper into a bowl and stir.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of this dressing. Sit the salmon fillets on top of the leeks, season with salt and pepper and spoon the dressing over so the ginger and chilli is on top.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked. 
  • Toss the coriander and radishes in the reserved dressing. Spoon the leeks onto  the plates and top with the salmon. Pile the radish and coriander on top of the salmon.
  • This is a simple but very delicious dish

Broad Bean and Pea Risotto

Broad Bean and Pea Risotto – Sue Lancey

Serves 2

150g broad beans

500ml veg. stock

25g unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ 50g bunch spring onions finely chopped

110g Arborio rice

ḱḱ60ml white wine

75g garden peas

15g Parmesan, finely grated

1.   Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 2 mins.  Drain, refresh in cold water, drain again and slip out of their skins.

2.   In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable stock to simmering point and keep warm over a low heat.

3.   In another saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-high heat, add the garlic and spring onions and sauté until soft.

4.   Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in butter.   Stir for 2 mins. until it looks translucent.

5.  Pour in the white wine, stirring.   Once it has almost absorbed, stir in a ladleful of hot stock.   Continue like this for 20 to 25 mins. until the rice is creamy and al dente.   

6.   When the stock is absorbed, stir in the peas and broad beans.   Season and garnish with the Parmesan to serve.

Butternut Quash and Leek soup

Butternut Quash and Leek soup – Deanee Clark

Large Butternut Quash – or whatever size you have grown

Leeks – same weight as your prepared Quash

Onion – LARGE

Large Potato – optional

Veg stock – I use stock cubes,  for a large Quash use 3 pints of stock 

This makes a thick soup add more stock if you want a thinner soup

*  Prep the Butternut into cubes – Remove the skin

*  Chop the leeks 

  • Chop the onion

*  Put all the ingredients into a large pan

  • Add in the stock

*  Salt & pepper to taste

  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the Quash is soft

*  Let it cool a bit and then blitz with a hand blender

Filling and very tasty

Celariac and Spinach Soup

Celariac and Spinach Soup  – Jeni Boyd

It doesn’t sound that exciting but it has become one of our favourite ‘allotment soups’.

550g celeriac, roughly chopped

200g spinach

1 leek, sliced

1 litre water

250ml of wine (or add equivalent of water as you can’t taste it so why waste it?)

Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, no need to ‘fry’ anything off first.
  • Bring pan to the boil – this automatically happens when you get bored and turn your back for a nanosecond.
  • Simmer for 20-25 mins then remove from heat.
  • When cooled a little blitz with a hand blender or other kitchen gadget.

It really does make a delicious soup – in spite of my initial misgivings.



  • Finalise the plan of your plot – have you decided what is going where?
  • When the soil is dry enough fork it through
  • Make sure your tools are cleaned ready to go
  • Order potatoes and start to chit them towards the end of the month (doing this in egg boxes is a nifty way).
  • Prune your fruit trees
  • Force rhubarb by covering the crown with a bucket
  • Get organised; prewrite plant labels.
  • Collect and clean seed trays.
  • Stock up on canes, pots, netting etc.

You sould still be eating your own, home grown;

Brussel Sprouts
Winter cabbages
Hardy herbs


  • Packs of lolly sticks can be found in bargain shops; these make good, cheap plant labels. Write on them with an HB pencil and it won’t fade – you will remember what you have planted where!



  • Have you got your plot plan decided yet? It’s about time you did!
  • If your grass in the garden has started to grow it is a sign that the soil has warmed up a bit and you could consider starting planting (maybe around the middle to the end of the month).
  • When the weather gets a little more clement, and the soil a bit warmer, you could consider sowing the following outdoors;
    • Jerusalem artichokes
    • broad beans
    • chervil
    • parsnips
  • Black polythene spread over areas of your soil will warm it up and give you a head start on planting.
  • You might think about chitting your first early potatoes.
  • Horticultural fleece could be useful to cover your fruit bushes and strawberry plants.

If you had been working your allotment last year, you could be eating your own, home grown;

Brussels Sprouts

Plus, of course, anything you have stored (like potatoes carrots, Butternut quash and onions).


  • Collect loo roll middles; good for sowing your runner beans in and then planting out directly when the time is right.
  • Save up old newspapers – useful for putting underneath your runner beans or for making into biodegradable pots to sow seeds in (such as tomatoes, courgettes, peppers etc.)



  • Chit Potatoes – this is not essential so if we are delayed putting the tubers in by the weather don’t wait for them to chit, if the soil is warm and dry enough just put them straight in.



  • Sow early carrots – its probably still a bit too cold for this, but some warm weather might warm the soil up enough to get some early carrots (such as early nantes) in.


  • Broad beans – these can be sown directly into the ground in March. However it might be better to sow them into cell trays or I use the insides of toilet rolls (I don’t know if this is a recognised thing – its just how I’ve done it) inside until the plant has started to grow. Then you can put them out in the middle/end of April to be ready to harvest by the end of June.



  • Jerusalem Artichokes, rhubarb, shallots, onion sets and peas can all be planted outside in March


  • Richard has a little bit of kit that makes small pots out of strips of newspapers. Its really useful as you can sow stuff into them (eg. Tomatoes, cucumbers) and then plant out leaving the paper pot in place. The roots of the plant aren’t disturbed and the paper pot will rot away in time
  • Germinating parsnips can be made easier by putting them in a freezer bag with a little damp compost. After about a week you will begin to see little white tails, you can then sow them directly into the soil.



Now it is all starting to happen.

However we could still be at risk from frost so early shoots may need to be protected.

Many people say that you should plant your potatoes on Good Friday – and mine are indeed out – but it is still quite cold, mound earth over any shoots to protect them from the frost.

You could be getting your trench or bed ready for celery if you are going to grow any. You could also be getting supports ready for your peas.

You could be thinking about sowing loads and loads of things outdoors, like;

Artichokes, asparagus, broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, chicory, endive, kohl rabi, leeks, lettuce, rocket, parsnips, peas, radish, spinach, spring onions, swiss chard & turnips.

You could be planting out;

Asparagus crowns, globe artichokes, onion sets, shallots, strawberry plants & summer cabbage seedlings.

Tips; peat modules are a good way to bring on plants, especially those that don’t like having their roots disturbed when you plant them out (eg sweetcorn). Grow them in the modules indoors then plant out.

AND: make the most of the April showers – check out your rainwater collection systems!



Tips  for August;
Sit in your allotment, with a glass of something, and admire the fruits of  your  labour!
Pot up strawberry runners (cut from parent plant)

Lift onions to dry and store

Remove lower trusses from tomato plants
Support Brussels sprouts with canes
Sow outdoors;
Spring Cabbages, carrots, lettuce, peas, turnips, winter spinach.
Top tip for August;
Lift garlic, separate into cloves and freeze in a plastic tub. When you need garlic the cloves can be taken straight from the freezer and chopped as normal, or pureed





Collect fallen leave and start making leaf mould for use as a winter mulch.

Cut back yellowed asparagus leaf

Keep your brassicas netted to protect from the hungry birds.

Sow outdoors; Baby spinach, onions, turnips, winter radish.

Plant; spring cabbage.

String up your chillies for drying – don’t forget to wear gloves.

If you have lifted pototoes and are storing them, make sure they are kept in the dark so that they don’t sprout. Your onions, however, need to be in good sunlight otherwise they will sprout!




Make your strawberry beds – They like a lot of well rotted organic manure dug well in.

Protect your winter carrots and spinach with straw

Plant out broad beans, overwintering onion sets and spring cabbages.

Collect fallen leaves to make leaf mould.





Rake up your leaves and put them in the leaf mould container.

Lift the remainder of your carrots and parsnips for storage if you aren’t going to leave them in over winter.

Dig up your rhubarb, split and replant.

Put a net over any winter brassicas

Continue with your winter digging and adding organic matter.

Plant broad beans, garlic, hardy peas.





Light a fire in your living room and sit in front of it reading the seed catalogues – make sure you’ve got what you want ordered.

Lift your celery as required.

Dig up potatoes, parsnips, leeds for your Xmas dinner J

Pick Brussels sprouts and kale

Finish pruning your fruit buses and trees, but not when the ground is frozen.

Dig over bare soil if workable to expose any soil pests to the hungry birds.

Feed your garden birds – fill up the bird feeders.

Clean your greenhouse and staging to kill red spider mite eggs.

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