Weaving the Food Web

Our veg boxes this week are a testament to the wonderful food community we have in the Huon. Thanks to our friends we feature gorgeous fruit from mates at Gardners Bay, beautiful beets from one of the finest market gardens in the valley – Scrubby Hill Farm in Geeveston and scrumptious sourdough ciabatta from our local woodfired bakeryCam’s in cygnet.

As small producers in an industry with famously low financial returns, we often feel the pressure to “go big” in order to justify our efforts and service the growing demand for local, sustainably grown (and delicious) food.

But in our experience, bigger doesn’t usually equal better and almost always brings more problems.

Our preference is to use and contribute to the great work of grass roots organisations, such as the Huon Producers’ Network, who build robust food and growing networks to unlock markets for small scale growers.

This also means customers get to savour a greater variety of produce and get access to some of the tastiest fruit and veg that otherwise might not have made it to market – that is, what’s left of it after we’ve “sampled” some for ourselves…

Baked Beet Risotto

This one popped up in our social media feed courtesy of Eat Well Tas and definitely deserves a whirl. We’ve dropped the sour cream topping from the original but no one’s judging if you add it back in…..Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh beetroot, chopped into small wedges
  • glug of olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 700ml hot vegetable stock
  • a heap of grated parmesan
  • chopped dill (parsley is good too, if you have it)
Method 

Step 1: Roast the beets in olive oil at 180C for about an hour.

Step 2: When they have about 20 mins to go, sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter in an ovenproof dish (with a lid) for a few mins.

Step 3: Add the rice and stir through for a minute or two. Add the wine and cook for another few mins. Add the stock and stir, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Stick it in the oven with the lid on for 15 mins.

Step 4: When done, puree about half of the beets (with a stick blender is easiest), and combine everything together with a good handful of parmesan. Add a squeeze or two of lemon juice if you have it. Serve with the herbs and more parmesan on top (and sour cream if you’re feeling indulgent!).