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Judy Ridgway

January 2013:


"Here's one of our favourite recipes” say Maggie and Martin at Mother's Garden organic farm in Priorat, in northern Spain. It’s a favourite not only because it is so yummy hot or cold, but because we can source most of the ingredients here on the farm. However a good local grocer will serve just as well."

This nut roast is quick, simple to make and can be enjoyed with roast potatoes and steamed vegetables, or cold with a fresh crisp salad. Use Mother’s Garden own extra virgin olive oil for this and to dress the salad or vegetables. It is pressed from local Arbequina olives and has a wonderful lightly herby aroma and flavour.

You can also serve the nut roast with homemade garlic mayonnaise (ali-oli) – also made with Mother’s Garden olive oil.

Ingredients for two roasts:
Two tablespoons of Mother's Garden Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
4 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
25g flour
thyme, fresh or dried, two or more teaspoons
300ml vegetable stock
300g mixed almonds, walnuts and hazels, ground or roughly chopped. We vary the percentages and sometimes replace one with bought cashews
200g breadcrumbs
One fresh free-range egg
Juice of a lemon
Large clove of garlic, finally chopped

Gently saute the onions in half the olive oil until tender. Stir occasionally. This should take about ten minutes
Use this time to mix your ground nuts and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and, if time, line two loaf tins with saved butter papers or grease-proof paper.
When the onions are soft add the flour. Stir for a minute then add stock and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat.
Now the sticky bit!
Combine the onion mixture with the ground nuts and breadcrumbs. This is when we add a farm egg and the rest of the olive oil. Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and then work the mixture together with a wooden spoon. It should provide enough mixture to three-quarter fill two loaf tins.
You can now leave these in the fridge for a few hours or, if your oven is heated and ready, pop them in.
We have tried baking at a high heat (200C) for 40 minutes, but prefer to cook them for an hour at a slightly lower temperature. It is always hard for us to gauge because of the personality of our woodstove, but all you have to do is keep checking. Sticking a knife into the roast is always a good test. If it comes out sticky it will need a little longer in the oven.
We have also learned to let them rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.


This makes a very sophisticated cheese course or you can serve it with a tossed salad and crusty bread to make an excellent light lunch or supper dish. Choose a mature but not an old Crottin. It should still have a moist skin. The very best of these small goat’s cheeses is Crottin de Chavignol.

4 Crottin de Chavignol cheeses
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons delicately flavoured extra virgin olive oil from Catalonia or Liguria
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 200C/Gas6.
Place the goat’s cheeses on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, taking care not to allow the cheeses to flop or run.
Meanwhile place the sesame oil and olive oil in a saucepan with the sesame seeds and place over a gentle heat until the sesame seeds begin to brown. Do not allow them to burn.
Place the baked cheeses on individual serving plates and pour the sesame dressing over the top.


Here is another simple but delicious recipe which is just right after the excesses of the Christmas and New Year festivities. There are quite a number of lemon flavoured olive oils on the market but the best are made by pressing the two fruits together. These are known as “Agrumato” oils. Good examples are produced by Castillo de Canena in Jaen and by Colonna and De Carlo in Italy and also by the Pata family in Calabria whose oils are marketed under the "Positively Good for You" brand.

4 apples
8 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons ground almonds, cut on small pieces
icing sugar
lemon flavoured olive oil

Wash apples and cut the pips out so that you make a hole in the middle of each apple. Mix almonds with 4 tablespoons of honey and put some mixture inside each hole. Arrange apples on the prepared tray. Heat the oven to moderate (180oC), sift the icing sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Arrange apples on small plates, pipe with the remaining honey and drizzle with lemon flavoured olive oil.

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