Hi everyone we're back and we hope you've had an amazing summer full of sunshine and fresh fruit and vegetables.


'A Handful of Rocket' has undergone a few tweaks while it’s been offline. With real life getting in the way of regular updates I wanted to have a bit of a re-launch. The idea being to update the site either with a relevant recipe of a pertinent blog on a more regular basis.


The unpredictable 2018 weather has made gardening a little more challenging than usual but now we’re facing Autumn and suddenly we’re have a glut of various vegetables. Nothing unusual in that but it does mean there will be nights of chopping, blanching, cooking etc to make sure none of the produce is wasted.


Having only planted 4 courgette seeds I was pretty confident that a manageable crop would ensue, however the hot weather coupled with late rain means it’s almost a losing battle to pick the fruits when they are still technically courgettes. Having said that we can cope when the courgette becomes a small marrow but baulk at dealing with a huge marrow, unfortunately the larger they get the less flavour they have. One of my food heroes Nisha Katona of Mowgli has a great recipe for using up marrows.


We also have a surfeit of runner beans but these are easier to deal with as we can blanch them and freeze for the winter or if needs must slice up and freeze raw. This is fine if you plan to use them up pretty quickly.


The rocket has just been amazing this year, large peppery leaves that are just as good in cooked recipes as they are in salads-I’m sure by now you know how much I adore this amazing little plant. We have juicy red leaved lollo rosso, rainbow chard and cavalo nero now joining in the party. The borlotti beans are ready so as well as using them up in recipes there will be enough to freeze too, these require no blanching and will sit in a sealed freezer container for months.


For the first year I can remember the few carrot seeds I had left over have grown into lovely plants but I've been very patient and only pulled one or two so far. Saving them for later in the year.


The Autumn hedgerows are full of blackberries but we also have a large crop of Autumn raspberries. Both fruits are brilliant for freezing but also great for making into jam if that floats your boat, jam isn’t something that makes many appearances in my kitchen though. I’ve been using the summer raspberries in ice-cream or just with ice-cream but I can see there are now too many to eat as we pick so the time has come to get creative.


I’ve added a few links here and there with ideas and recipes but also links to external websites/books that you might find interesting. I’m all about using up what you have, zero food waste and tasty economic dishes. This summer whist in London we visited Borough Market for the first time, a food heaven for someone like me. They have just produced a book on exactly the themes I explore here so worth a look.


There will clearly always be a place for something a little more extravagant but mainly I like to use up what I’ve grown, been given or have foraged. Please try some of the recipes, like and share as often as you like.


Happy cooking.