The best of the allotment’s ingredients were on show at The Cotswold Table last Sunday as the g&g stand was chocka with early Summer fare for the good folk of Kingham to try. And I’m pleased to say they did. With gusto in fact – I ran out of samples before the event finished. (Free food: always a winner!). I was busy promoting the personal cooking side of things, but also the exciting new g&g Pick Up Picnic – get yours here! (Shameles plug over, how crass).

Here are a few of the things I cooked up (but not all of them, Cheeky, otherwise I’d be giving away all my secrets now wouldn’t I).

Asparagus Quiche

Gorge on it while you can. It’s nearly the end of the season.

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
  • a few spring onions
  • handful grated cheddar
  • Sprinkle of parmesan
  • 1 batch of shortcrust pastry like this one

Blind bake the pastry as instructed in the link. Meanwhile, finely chop the spring onions and the asparagus, leaving the tips of the latter whole and separate. Mix the together with the creme fraiche, eggs and cheeses then season with salt and a little pepper. If you’ve got any other legume-type greens from the garden (peas, beans, broad beans…) chuck them in, they all add a delicious green freshness to this tart. (Not courgettes though, too watery.)

Once the pastry is cooked, pour the filling into the case and arrange the asparagus tips on the top (no shapes please, just an artless scatter). Bake at 175°C for around 45 minutes.

Cherry and Almond Bites

This is based on an Angela Hartnett frangipane recipe. The quantities are so simple you won’t need a recipe after the first go.

  • 125g ground almonds
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 15-20 cherries, stoned and halved
  • handful almond flakes

Beat together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs bit by bit then fold in the ground almonds. Gently stir in the cherries and spoon a dollop of the mix into silicone mini-muffin trays. If you don’t have silicone, use something non-stick and grease the sides as well. Or just make them in little petit four cases and be done with it.

Bake at 170ºC for 12-15 minutes or until lightly coloured on the top. Leave to cool a little before lifting out of the cases with a butter knife. They can be a somewhat contrary – if they’re too hot they crumble when you remove them, but too cold and they’ll stick.

(Pardon? What was that? Marshmallows, did you say? You want the minty marshmallow with strawberries recipe? Yes, a few people asked about that one. We’ll I’m afraid they’re my little bribe. You’ll just have to have me come over and cook for you and I might just bring some along…..)