© 2012 by Bangers and Balls

Bangers and Balls

Our banging blog with ballsy ideas!


Straight from the farm to to the catwalk is the Captivating Carrot Top. This may come as a surprise but the green tops on your carrots are edible! They have a sweet earthy flavour, that is reminiscent of well - carrots. So don't throw them on the compost but let us tingle your taste buds with Duncan Tinklers mouth watering Carrot Top Pistachio Pesto.




What do you with the greens of your carrots?. We are delighted to see beautiful vibrant green carrot tops thanks to our fabulous weekly organic veg box from Jack's Veg.


Ok, so they look great - but how do they taste?


Carrot top greens look like parsley in appearance, texture and versatility, except carrot top greens actually taste like carrots!


Duncan's Five Favourite things about Carrot Tops


  • They are a great to add into stock - they give it a golden hue

  • They are highly nutritive, rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. They contain 6 times the vitamin C of the root and are a great source of potassium and calcium.

  • The Victorians used carrot tops to dye things yellow

  • They are delicious, cheap and available all year round

  • Zero waste - you get to eat the whole carrot


Carrot Top Pistachio Pesto

Duncan was inspired by his love of root to stalk cooking. Supermarket bagged carrots don't offer you the option of this beautiful green top which is why we love our weekly organic delivery!


If you want to pimp it up even further why not crumble some vegan cheese or goats cheese over the top for a real winter treat.


Carrot Top Pistachio Pesto


What you need to make it


- 1 cup of washed carrot top leaves

- 1/4 cup of shelled pistachios

- 1 large garlic clove, peeled

- 1 lemon zest

- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

- salt and pepper to taste


How to make it


1. Whiz up your pistachios and garlic in your food processor

2. Add carrot tops, lemon juice, lemon zest and blitz

3. Add olive oil to make a pesto consistency

4. Season to taste


Serving Tips

  • Toss it through pasta

  • Drizzle over Jack's organic potatoes

  • Serve it with delicious bread - homemade, warmed in the oven or shop bought - you decide.

  • Pimp it up with some goats cheese or a vegan alternative

Now put your feet up and enjoy it. Tonight we sat at the kitchen table and ate it drizzled over Jack's organic potatoes with our Christmas laterns we have made!


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Strutting its stuff on the catwalk this week is Wild Garlic one of the best scents of Spring. It is abundant, tasty and their will be a patch to sniff out near you this April.

If you are new to foraging wild garlic is a great place to start, as it’s very easy to identify, very prolific and delicious. What better way to add purpose to a walk and get the kids involved over the Easter Holidays.


Use Duncan's video guide below to find it and try his simple Wild Garlic Vinegar recipe to make you feel like a Domestic God.


wild garlic

Where to Find Wild Garlic

The plant, native to Britain, is also known as Bear leek, Bear’s garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic and can grow to heights of between 45 and 50 cm. We only pick a few leaves from each plant and never the bulb. It's sword-shaped, silky, moist leaves resemble those of Lily of the Valley so make sure you rub the leave between your fingers to check it realises that pungent garlic smell.


Watch Duncan's quick video to give you top tips on where to find it.



They Are Free and Easy To Find - but How Do They Taste?


It is a member of the Allium family which is the Latin world for garlic. The early leaves appear in March and have a combination of sweetness and astringency that makes leeks, onions, chives and shallots so useful in the kitchen. Wild Garlic hits its peak in April and you will find tight white buds decorating the garlic. From May to June the pretty wild flowers start to open in abundance it is a sign that the Garlic leaves have started to turn bitter. Use the potent garlic flowers to add a punch to salads and soups. They are so versatile you can quickly blanche them or wilt them in Garlic Oil they make a garlicky alternative to spinach. However like spinach they perform the same disappearing trick of making a full bag or basket of it disappear into what looks like a very tight serving for two!


Duncan's Five Favourite things about Wild Garlic


  • In the 18th century, French citizens reported protection from the plague if they drank garlic vinegar, and garlic was administered as an antiseptic poultice during the first World War. By the end of the 19th century, garlic was the most widely used medical plant in the world. Its anti-bacterial properties were proven scientifically by Louis Pasteur in 1858.

  • It is free and once you know what to look like you will find it flourishing everywhere. It always makes us feel like naughty children when we find it and pick nature's bounty.

  • If you are new to foraging, wild garlic is a great place to start, as it’s easy to identify, prolific and delicious.

  • It's proven effectiveness * in reducing blood pressure, heart disease and the risk of stroke. Although all garlic has this property, wild garlic has the greatest effect on lowering blood pressure.

  • It is pairs perfectly with seasonal produce from asparagus to jersey royals and compliments fresh eggs and chicken really well.



Duncans' Wild Garlic Oil

Duncan has been focused on how to preserve seasonal produce so we can use it all year round. It feels great to be able to take something we have foraged on a walk and turn it into a kitchen staple. He even shows you how to preserve it for the year in his quick video below.


What you need to make it


-Wild Garlic

- Vegetable Oil



Serving Tips

  • Drizzle it over pasta🍝

  • Add it to a freshly tossed salad🥗

  • Dip fresh bread 🥖 in it

  • Get the kids involved making them this half term. It is a great way for them to get inventive in the kitchen

  • Pimp it up further with some cheese melted on top.

Now put your feet up and enjoy it and feel like the kitchen whizz that you are! What not share a picture in our our Food Collective?


Not a member? Join our free Facebook Group the Food Collective today and meet like-minded foodies and seasonal produce seekers in our collaborative fun space. It is the perfect space to share, ask for help, pick the brains of others and contribute your amazing ideas and recipes.


*A 2013 study out of Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid University published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, revealed that garlic was at least as effective as the powerful blood pressure lowering medication atenolol for decreasing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants who’d been diagnosed with essential hypertension.







Strutting its leaves on the catwalk this week is the Lushious Leek. Hippocrates thought they could cure nosebleeds and Moorfields Eye Hospital say they are a good for your eyesight.

Read on to find out who thought they could improve your singing voice and to try Duncans Poached Leeks with Dragoncello Sauce Recipe. Something special for the weekend!




Leeks are easy-to-grow vegetables, standing proud through the harshest winter until you’re ready to enjoy them. Coming from the same family as onion, garlic and chives.


Ok, so they are easy to grow - but how do they taste?


Tantalizing to the taste buds the French often call them 'Poor man's asparagus'. The leek has a mild flavor and a subtle onion-like taste. They taste great in soups, salads and curries.


When you cook them they should be tender and silky not mushy or stringy.


Duncan's Lushious Leeky Facts

  • Hippocrates the ancient Greek physician and ‘father of medicine’ prescribed the leek as a cure for nosebleeds.

  • Romans considered the leek a superior vegetable and Emperor Nero got through so many he gained the nickname Porophagus (leek eater); he is reported to have thought that eating leeks would improve his singing voice

  • The leek is worn in the caps of today’s Welsh soldiers every year on St David’s Day. On the same day, in the prestigious Welsh Guards Regiment, a large raw leek has to be eaten by the youngest recruits to the cheers of comrades.

  • Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin A, which aids vision and supports the immune system, and bone-building vitamin K and manganese. They also contain vitamin B6, which appears to reduce homocysteine in the blood; elevated levels of this amino acid are associated with a greater risk of heart disease, blood clots and strokes.



Duncan was inspired by his road trip to Spain to put a Spanish Twist on his Poached Leeks by adding in moscatel vinegar. We try to use things that most of you have in your cupboards but we would really recommend buying this as it dances circles around most domestic balsamic vinegars. It really elevate the most modest of vinaigrettes by giving it more purity of flavor. The Dragoncello Sauce is like a Bearnaise Sauce only better! The Anchovies, capers and good red wine vinegar add essential saltiness, depth and complexity. Ours were from the Cantabrian Sea which is off the coast of Northern Spain and were delicious. The Bay of Biscay fishery is a sustainable choice. The Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay) purse seine anchovy fishery is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable. Anchovy are a species with a low vulnerability and high resilience and as such can sustain high levels of fishing pressure.

Duncans Dragoncello Lushious Leeks


Poached Leeks


  • 3 Large Leeks

  • 1 Garlic Bulb

  • Hand Full of Bay leaves

  • 125ml White Wine

  • 25ml Moscatel Vinegar

Dragoncello Sauce

  • Small chunk of sourdough or ciabatta bread

  • 20ml red wine vinegar

  • 2 eggs, hard boiled

  • ½ garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon of chopped capers

  • 1 anchovy fillet

  • A bunch of tarragon, finely chopped

  • A squeeze of lemon juice

  • Olive oil


How to make it


Poached Leeks


1 Pop the leeks, garlic and bay in a snug dish

2. Pour over the wine and vinegar then add enough water to cover.

3. Season then cover and cook at 160C for 30 minutes.

4. Leave to cool in the liquor.

Dragoncello Sauce


1. Soak your bread in the red wine vinegar 2. Use the large holes of your grater to roughly grate your hard boiled eggs, 3. Flip the grater and grate the garlic on the fine side

2. Add them to a bowl and mix with the tarragon and lemon

3. Pour the remaining vinegar that hasn't soaked into the bread into the bowl, then pour olive oil over it to cover


To serve


1. Slice the leeks in half lengthways.

2. Pour a little of the liquor over the leeks, then finish each with a spoonful of the dragoncello.

Tips

  • Eat them all up! They never taste as good after being in the fridge

  • Serve as a starter on their own with a crisp fresh white wine

  • Serve with potatoes and some seasonal green veg like chard or kale


Like what you see? Join our Facebook Group the Food Collective today and meet like-minded foodies and seasonal produce seekers in our collaborative fun space. It is the perfect space to share, ask for help, pick the brains of others and contribute your amazing ideas and recipes.