At the Farm Shop we don’t treat cooking as a precise science. Nor are we trying to give a comprehensive list of recipes. These are some of our favourite dishes and we hope you’ll give some of them a try. They’ve worked for us on countless occasions but that doesn’t mean, with a bit of imagination and a few tweaks, they can’t be improved. Good luck and enjoy your cooking and eating.
Plum FrangipaneBy Ben WatsonFrangipanes of various kinds have been my go-to dessert for years. Let’s face it; it sounds, and is, a bit more impressive than Bakewell tart. The frangipane is easy-peasy, and doesn’t change much and for the fruit – the choice is yours. And varying, all year round, seasonal frangipane is a distinct possibility because forced rhubarb works a treat – as does all the end of season pears, blackberries, damsons etc. Bottled, spiced plums are good but fresh, slightly underripe ones are just tart enough to keep it interesting. Using, and blitzing, a third, whole almonds adds a bit of texture. Homemade pastry is always best but if you’re feeling lazy, just go and buy some. It will still be good. The quantities below make a Watson sized, 26cm (approx. 3cm deep) tart but you can never have too much frangipane.
Lily Watson’s Grilled ‘Kimchi Hispi CabbageBy Ben WatsonForty years is a long time in the food business and I have to confess that staying ahead of the game in the food world can be trying. So, I’ve delegated to my daughter Lily. Since running the Smokehouse last summer, she’s actually moved up to the smoke and been working in some uber cool coffee joint in Shoreditch. I thought it might be a good idea if she brought us up to speed on what’s happening on the edge. First up is her grilled ‘kimchi’ hispi cabbage that worked so well last summer. The world seems to have slightly fallen out of love with kimchi (let’s face it, it is a bit overpowering) and moved on to other ferments, but this is a great recipe that doesn’t blow your head off.
Coffee rubbed bavette steak with pounded herb sauceBy Ben WatsonFlank steak is a cut of beef steak taken from the flank, which lies forward of the rear quarter of a cow, behind the plate. Over the narrow sea, they're a little more specific and French butchers call it bavette, which means "bib". bavette is big on flavour and tender enough, as long as you don't overcook them and eat fresh off the griddle or barbecue. Unless you really like it blue, resting for more than a few minutes will toughen things up. I'm not doing much of a sales job here but in France, onglet and bavette are up there with the best. They should be here too!
Rowley Leigh’s FritteddaBy Ben WatsonFrittedda is a tasty vegetable stew originating in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Prepared with fresh broad beans, peas and artichokes, it's a primavera classic for the spring in Italy or early summer in the UK and can truly be called "spring on a plate". The vegetables are slowly sautéed, and gently shaken rather than stirred in order to preserve the texture and flavour of each ingredient - the sweetness of the peas, the pleasant bitterness of the artichokes and the nutty flavour of broad beans. These flavours can be rounded with the addition of agrodulce sauce, made with caramelised sugar and vinegar. Back in Palermo, it is often served with panelle, a Sicilian chickpea/gram flour fritters.
Ruth Rae’s Broad Bean and Goats Cheese PâtéBy Ben WatsonEdgy Veggie is a vegetarian and vegan takeaway that took off during lockdown and has since moved in a few doors down from our Totnes shop on the Totnes high street. It's broad bean season and our shops are brimming with them, so we asked owner and chef Ruth Rae to share her favourite broad bean recipe. A perfect dish for spring and summer, this earthy yet tangy and refreshing dish is light but satisfying.
Ben’s Wine & Tapas’ Vegan CaponataBy Ben WatsonThe tapas bar have been playing around with their version of caponata as a summer special and have settled on an eclectic mix, using seaweed powder and fermented bean paste (instead of anchovies) to keep it vegan. We make the agrodolce tomato sauce and add the aubergine and other vegetables as needed and there's no reason why you can't do this at home. One batch should keep you going all summer! 
Elizabeth David’s CaponataBy Ben WatsonAlong with Tuscan Panzanella, Sicilian Caponata is a good way of pulling any mezze or antipasti style meal together and, as such and given how long it keeps, should have a berth in everyone’s fridge through the summer. Most people don’t see caponata as a pickle but it ticks most of the boxes.
Baba GanoushBy Ben WatsonWhether grilled, charred or cooked on an open-flame, 'smokiness' is what defines this classic mezze dish. There are many ways to skin an aubergine and it seems to be the fiddlier and messier, the better the result.
Rowley Leigh’s CaponataBy Ben WatsonTraditionally a Sicilian dish, caponata can be found in numerous variations of chopped aubergines, celery, capers and with older versions that even include cocoa powder. Although, this could be a step too far. Last July, chef Rowley Leigh hosted a Summer Feast with us and he opened with his classic caponata recipe served alongside our charcuterie.
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