Organic Winter Purslane and Sorrel


Very excited – we have nailed this one – for ages we were trying to identify the name of a delicious salad leaf that we ate while living in Turkey some years ago.  We thought it was Lamb’s Lettuce, but now after a bit of idle Googling, we discovered it is actually Winter Purslane.

Purslane isn’t that often eaten now in the UK, so it’s become something of a rarity to find on the shelves as we are tending to reach for standard Mediterranean leaves.  This is a massive shame, as it is a hardy succulent leaf that is bursting with good nutritional value and full of fresh flavour in winter months.

Containing essential winter vitamins of A, B, C and E – and minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium – our earlier relatives would have regularly eaten this to ward off winter germs and keep their teeth in their heads.

It’s reputed anti-inflammatory properties also made it popular in Chinese medicine (where it’s known as Horse Tooth Amaranth).

Anyway, good stuff aside – it’s a wonderful leaf for a totally delicious Turkish side salad.  We used to eat this nearly every day with fresh tomatoes and cucumber.


Pic Highlights of Turkey – our village, by the way

It was called in our village of Çiftlikköy: Semisotto – and in the days of Dial-Up, we never did find the translation from the verbal interpretation…most people told us it was a local herb and not found in the UK as we tended to find it growing wild.  However, Bingo, we stumbled on a Turkish site and found it is spelled Semizotu and is our delicious Purslane.

Purslane has a slightly sour and citrussy flavour – a bit salty…so it works well with a creamier dressing – or a tangy citrus/olive oil combo.  Being in Turkey, the dressing was obviously natural yoghurt and they make a stunning combination which is the easiest thing in the world to prepare:

Semizotu Salad


  • A good handful of Purslane
  • 2 large tablespoons natural creamy yoghurt
  • 1 sprig chopped mint (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Seasoning – don’t be too light handed with the salt
  • Sprinkle red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix the yoghurt, seasoning, garlic and herbs together and gently fold into the purslane without crushing.  If your yoghurt is very creamy and thick, then just gently add a little milk or water to reduce slightly.  Drizzle with the olive oil and serve.


Image:  Nefis Yemek Tarifleri


Sorrel takes the citrussy, slightly tangy taste a little further down the line.

We would write a full blog about Sorrel, but the wonderful blog site of Chocolate and Zucchini does a stunning job of giving you all you can possibly know about this much underused veg.

Click on the link here and see a whole host of pairings and recipes.


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Organic Winter Purslane and Sorrel

Sussex Apples – How to choose?


Sussex is famous for apples (hence the vast range of fabulous cider brewed here) – but choosing is a more difficult matter, as we are not short of  varieties – all with their unique qualities and suited to different culinary uses.

With 11 new season varieties to choose from that are available now the mid-season fruit is picked – what would you prefer to use for your cheeseboard – as opposed to a quick snack – or to bake with?

Here is a quick checklist below to how to choose your perfect apple from the new season Sussex fruit:



The perfect cooking apple with a tangy, tart flavour and moist fluffy texture when cooked.



The classic Sussex apple.  Crisp and juicy with a russet skin and creamy white flesh.

Not for cooking.  Young apples are crisp and great for cheeseboards. As they mature, they are softer and delicious for snacking and tarts.


Charles Ross

A largeish apple related to Cox.  Sweet and good for a cheeseboard.

Again, crisp when young but more fleshy when mature.



Perfect for snacking and juicing. A really juicy apple with a bright red tinting on a bright lime green flesh.

Digital StillCamera

Ellison’s Orange

Sweet and fairly large with a hint of aniseed flavour.  Very juicy and the texture is more like that of a pear than an apple – so great for juicing.


Kidd’s Orange

A bright, sweet honey-scented apple – very juicy. Great for juicing and chopping into cereal for breakfast- or cheeseboards.


Lord Lambourne

A delicious sweet russeted apple.  Bright skin and deliciously rich taste – wonderful in salads and juices.


Red Devil

A bright red apple with red tinted flesh. Sweet and juicy so good for juices, snacking (if you like a more tart apple), salads and cheese board.  Beautiful pink juice.



A classic Sussex apple.  Very crisp flesh russeted and a distinctive honey flavour. Perfect for juicing and cheeseboards.

A marmite of an apple for snacking as some people are put off by the fibrous skin.



A perfect snacking apple. Crisp bright red skin and sweet flavour. Lovely on a cheese board with grapes or equally in a snackbox. Better when younger as not a great keeper.

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Sussex Apples – How to choose?

Locally Picked Yukon Gold Potatoes


It’s good timing that as we’ve tipped into October and the wind and rain has whipped up down here on the South Coast, we can turn to our  Yukon Gold potatoes from Morghew Park.  So all thoughts turn to deliciously buttery, soft and delicately flaky dishes that warm the cockles of the heart.

Yukon Gold are thin skinned, golden fleshed potatoes which are pretty much one of the earliest varieties to welcome Autumn. Originally a Peruvian variety, as most golden potatoes are, this made the journey to North America where it was dubbed Yukon Gold after the Yukon river.

People often avoid potatoes as carbohydrates, but they have such wonderful nutritional qualities that they shouldn’t be underestimated.  The Yukon contains nearly twice as much vitamin C as a regular baker and adds some potassium as well.

It’s also a highly versatile friend in your kitchen as it’s a robust roaster and chipper – and to that add hash browns and gratins as well –  but makes fantastically fluffy jacket potatoes as well.  They are little stars if you’re making Thrice Cooked Chips and of course, as crisps are utterly dreamy.


This variety has a very thin skin so needs some protection.  Store in the veg crisper drawer in a paper bag – or make sure a plastic bag has plenty of ventilation holes.  Keep away from light and remember these aren’t keepers.  Don’t store for more than a week or two, ideally, to eat them at their best.


Perfect Sauteed Yukon Gold potatoes – like roasties but crispy fried in the pan with clarified butter (which is actually very easy to make as well)…and pictured at the top of this page.

We have long argued at home whether Golden Wonder crisps are a Northern or Southern phenomenon…(fyi the North is winning out here).  Either way, they are THE crisps for kids of the 1970’s and 80’s and traditionally been made with Yukon Gold.  So no event worth it’s salt [and vinegar, heh] is complete without a very, very large bowl of freshly salted crisps – and homemade is possibly even better and worth the effort, if you can stop yourself from eating them all before serving. Not easy…


Yukon Gold Jacques Pepin Style – although we usually know them in the UK as Potato Boulangere…so named because French villagers used to put their dish of potatoes into the local bread ovens to cook slowly.  Actually, this is one of our family favourites so we often cook our pots this way – and as we have two veggies among us, we use a good quality low-salt stock and a sprig of rosemary from the garden for added flavour.  Deliciously flavoursome as a side with pretty much anything – and a warming dish to have on a cold evening which we often chuck some butter beans into for a warming easy one pot dish with a  steamed broccoli.

Nick’s sister introduced us to blinis one Christmas and it’s become a small obsession of ours.  Ethical caviar can now once again be a realistic purchase – with new production techniques which are harmless to fish, then blinis with caviar can be enjoyed with impunity – and what a delicious way to start a celebration with a soft pillowy Yukon Gold Potato Blini topped with salty caviar and creme fraiche.

By the way, for veggies, there is this abundantly luxurious recipe for aubergine caviar (eggplant) that makes a perfectly good alternative…or this version which includes quinoa for a similarly popping effect.


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Locally Picked Yukon Gold Potatoes