Saturday 24 March 2012


Here is the latest offering from the Willis kitchen: beef goulash "Hungarian style" [i.e. with paprika], and "European Salad". Jane was responsible for the goulash, and I made the salad.

This post is not intended to provide a recipe - I'm sure there are already hundreds of recipes for Hungarian goulash on the internet - but instead to be another opportunity to sing the praises of the veg from Abel and Cole! In the goulash Jane made use of the really amazing Red Pepper that came in our latest Veg Box. Just look at this lovely specimen:-

Without something to compare it with, it's hard to get an impression of its huge size (it weighed over 600 grams), so here it is alongside a normal hen's egg:

My so-called "European Salad" made use of some other great ingredients from the same Veg Box, especially these beautiful tomatoes:

Although I didn't photograph everything individually, my salad selection included these things:

Witloof chicory (Belgian Endive) and red onion
Grated raw kohlrabi with parsley in a lemon-flavoured vinaigrette
Beetroot with shallots and chives
Home-grown lettuce ("All Year Round")
Tomato salad with shallots, thyme and red wine vinegar

It would be hard to exaggerate how good the vegetables from Abel and Cole are. We have been hugely impressed with the quality. Furthermore, because we are not paying for them, (the veg boxes were a prize) we have been inspired to try a few things that we don't normally buy, such as Jerusalem Artichokes and Fennel, and they have been very good. Fennel is something which I have never previously enjoyed, and when bought in our shops it is often dry and coarse. The Abel and Cole Fennel on the other hand was crisp and succulent - so good in fact that I was stealing it before it ever got onto a plate!

My home-grown veg is going to have to be good this year if it is to bear comparison with the contents of these veg boxes, but I'm going to have a try...!

While we're on the subject of food, I thought you might like to hear about our recent "Ristorante a Casa" pop-up Italian restaurant experience, which Jane has described on her blog The Competition Grapevine


  1. It looks delicious, and so does the salad, in fact the salad looks like a meal in it's own right. The veg box sounds like a good idea to fall back on when there's not much being harvested from the veg garden.

  2. Your salad and goulash would go well with the European bread I made...:)
    Perfect meals you've made there!

  3. The Goulash and salad look delicious! After seeing your fresh veggies last time from Abel and Cole, I looked for deliveries of fresh veggies in our neck of the woods from various farms and alas, we are too far from Orlando to get them! They don't ship: just truck delivery. I guess I will just have to keep going to Farmer's market. I am impressed with the variety you get.

  4. That's some pepper size! Oh, I can imagine the taste!

  5. Hi Mark - I'm so glad to read your posts again!!! For some reason the usual email feed to your blog hasn't been working so I've just caught up with your last 3 posts!!! That pepper is amazing and your leylandii looks great! I still think you and Jane should publish a gardening/cookbook cos your photos are incredible!! lol xxx

  6. Nice tomato selection - I hope it tasted as good as it looked.

  7. Oh loving the colours on those tomatoes, can't wait to taste home grown once again.

    Are you still having problems commenting on my blog Mark, I thought I had resolved the issue. Hope your well.

  8. Jesus H Crikey Man.. that is one GIANT pepper... well done wife for that wonderful Goulash looks bloody amazing... recipe please?

  9. Amazing bell pepper. How did they get it to grow so big. And that salad looks really good to me.

  10. Wow what a big pepper! That's a lovely dish. How nice to have that service. I know I'd be looking forward to the box when it's delivery was scheduled.


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