The Gastrogays and Darina Allen share recipes ahead of GROW HQ

Local and seasonal are more than just menu buzzwords at GROW HQ in Waterford, where vegetables from the one-acre garden run by GIY can go from soil to plate in just 112 paces. To celebrate its commitment to creating “hyper-local”, chemical-free food, GIY is hosting homegrown, a series of long-table dinners this winter. Each meal will be cooked at GROW HQ by top chefs from across Ireland who have an appreciation for fresh ingredients.

Ballymaloe’s Darina Allen kicked off the proceedings in October, and next in the dinner series is Wade Murphy, of Bib Gourmand-winning restaurant 1826 Adare, who will take over the GROW HQ kitchen on Tuesday, November 13. On December 5, there will be a multi-cultural event with food from Our Table founder and direct provision resident Ellie Kisyombe. In January, it will be the turn of Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon – aka food bloggers GastroGays – followed by Living Dinners founder Katie Sanderson. Tickets start from €45; book at Here, some of the homegrown chefs share tasty ways for you to cook what you’ve grown.

The Gastrogays’ whole harissa spiced cauliflower

Serves 2-4. Marinating time required


1 head of cauliflower

1 tub of natural yoghurt

A handful of flaked almonds

1 fresh pomegranate, de-seeded

For the harissa spices: 1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

½ tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp flaked sea salt

½ tsp cracked black pepper

2 tbsp smoked hot paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the basil pesto: Rapeseed oil

10 pine nuts

Coarse salt

12-15 basil leaves

Cider vinegar


1. First, make the harissa spice blend by toasting the whole seeds (coriander, cumin, fennel, caraway) in a dry pan on a medium heat until fragrant but not coloured. Decant into a heavy mortar with the sea salt and pepper, and grind with a pestle until finely ground. Add in the pre-ground spices (paprika, garlic powder, cayenne) towards the end. Store in a jar but first add 2 tbsp of the spice blend to a couple of tablespoons of the natural yoghurt.

2. Prepare your cauliflower by taking off the outer leaves and cutting a little into the base so that the whole cauliflower sits flat. Get a heavy lipped dish or small pot and cover the cauliflower in the spiced yoghurt mix (upside down can be a good idea), then cover with cling film and keep in the fridge. Marinate overnight for best results, but if you can’t wait that long, give it as many hours as possible.

3. Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before baking while the oven preheats to 160ºC. Bake for 45-75 minutes (depending on size), checking after 30 minutes and every 15 minutes afterwards to ensure there’s even colouring. The yoghurt marinade will go hard and golden, while the interior of the cauliflower will be soft when a skewer is inserted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so while you prepare everything else.

4. Prepare a harissa oil by adding 1-2 tsp of the spice blend to 2-3 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Make your pesto by grinding pine nuts, coarse salt and basil leaves in a mortar while gradually adding rapeseed oil until it becomes a thin drizzling consistency. Add a dash of cider vinegar to balance the flavour.

5. Toast your flaked almonds on a dry pan over a medium-low heat, keeping an eye as they will colour quickly. You want a light golden hue to the flaked nuts. Also use this time to remove the seeds from the pomegranate – the easiest way to do this is slice the fruit in half, hold your hand over the exposed part of one, invert and tap with a wooden spoon over a large bowl, then repeat with the other half. Remove and discard any pith that falls from the fruit.

6. Serve the spiced baked whole cauliflower warm from the oven, drizzled with natural yoghurt thinned with a little water, the basil pesto and the harissa oil. Top with a scattering of both the flaked almonds and the pomegranate seeds.

Darina Allen’s Braised Lamb Shanks with garlic, rosemary, and beans

Serves 6


6 lamb shanks, weighing approx. 1kg

14 small sprigs of rosemary, plus extra to garnish

12 slivers of garlic

6 anchovy fillets, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

25g goose or duck fat, or olive oil

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 leek, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 bulb of garlic, halved horizontally

200ml gutsy red wine

150ml homemade lamb or chicken stock

1 sprig of thyme, plus extra to garnish

2 bay leaves

2 strips of dried orange peel

Green beans, to serve (optional)

For the bean sauce: 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

110g streaky bacon, cut into lardons and blanched

½ carrot, finely diced

½ celery stick, finely diced

½ onion, finely diced

6 garlic cloves

4 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced or ½ x 400g can tomatoes, plus juice

2 sprigs of thyme

Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped

225g haricot or borlotti beans, soaked overnight, drained, covered with fresh water and boiled rapidly for 20 minutes

150-300ml homemade lamb stock


1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas Mark 2.

2. Remove most of the fat from each lamb shank, then scrape the meat away from the bone to loosen it.

3. Make two deep incisions in each joint and insert a rosemary sprig and a sliver of garlic wrapped in half an anchovy fillet into each incision. Season the meat with salt and pepper.

4. Heat the goose or duck fat or olive oil in a heavy sauté pan or casserole and sauté the meat for 5-10 minutes until well browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan.

5. Add the carrots, celery, leek, onion and garlic bulb, and cook over a high heat for a further 5 minutes until well browned. Add the wine to the pan and bring to the boil; stir for a minute or two. Add the stock, the remaining rosemary sprigs and the thyme, bay leaves and orange peel to the pan, then place the lamb shanks on top. Cover and cook in the oven for 4 hours.

6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan and brown the bacon in it. Then reduce the heat and add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic cloves and cook for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomatoes, herbs, beans and enough stock to half-cover the beans. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the beans are cooked but still keep their shape.

7. When the lamb has finished cooking, remove the thyme, bay leaves and orange peel. Season to taste.

8. Serve the lamb shanks on a hot, deep dish with the beans and vegetables poured over and around. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and thyme. There will be lots of delicious cooking juices in the braising pot. Drain, save and use in a soup or as a basis for stews or gravy.

Darina Allen’s Swiss Chard with tahini, yoghurt, and toasted cashew nuts

Serves 4


1.3kg swiss chard

25g butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve 40g

Cashew nuts or almonds, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced

4 tbsp currants, sultanas or raisins

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sweet paprika, to garnish

Flatbread or pitta, to serve

For the tahini and yogurt sauce: 50g light tahini

50g thick natural yogurt

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed a little honey, if necessary


1. First make the tahini sauce. Put all the ingredients in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, season with a pinch of salt and whisk until smooth. Taste and add a little honey, if necessary. Set aside.

2. Separate the green chard leaves from the white stalks. Cut both into 2cm-wide slices but keep them separate.

3. Bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil, add the chard stalks, simmer for 3-4 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the chard well until it is completely dry.

4. Next, put the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the nuts and toss them in the pan for about 2 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and dried fruit and toss until they begin to turn golden. Return the chard to the pan and toss until warm. Season to taste.

5. Serve the chard with some of the tahini sauce on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with freshly cooked flatbread or pitta.

Serves 4


225g basmati rice

I cinnamon stick

2 Cloves of Garlic

125 raisins

75g salted butter

Pitch salt

fresh coliander


1 wash the rice with the hot water drain the water , Saucepan the pot on the fire add the butter to the throw your chopped Garlic to the butter .cook Gralic till in burn and or the Garlic smells are flourishing

2 Add your rice to the pain then a pitch of salt add your cinnamon powder or stick , Double the volume water to the rice let it cook for 10min on a high fire , the reduce the fire .

3 : Let it simmer for another 5 to six minutes , then when its ready you can serve

4 Serve it with Chicken Beef seasonal vegetables or Peanut butter veg.

The Gastrogays’ Broc n’ Blue soup

Serves 4


1 white onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

Ghee or oil or butter, for frying

Salt and pepper

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks (creamy varieties like Kerr’s Pink or Désirée, or all-rounders like Rooster or Maris Piper)

500ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 large head of broccoli, florets removed (you can use the stalk too, but finely chopped)

150ml cold water

50g Young Buck or Cashel Blue cheese + 25g for sprinkling on top at the end

Crusty real bread and butter (it would be a sin not to have alongside)

Oil, to serve


1. Sweat the onion, garlic and celery in a saucepan in a little ghee (or oil or butter) for a couple of minutes over a medium-low heat until softened. Add a little salt to help this process and stop anything sticking.

2. Add the potato cubes and, after a minute, introduce the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, put on a lid and allow the potato to completely soften (about 5 minutes).

3. Add the broccoli until just cooked. You don’t want it to lose its colour, so introduce it to the hot liquid only to soften – even a little al dente is desirable, bearing in mind it needs to be blitz-able.

4. When the broccoli is cooked, add 150ml cold water into the pan to help bring the temperature right back down and add in the larger quantity of the blue cheese.

5. Using a hand/stick blender, blitz the soup instantly to your desired consistency; if it’s a little thick, you can add in some extra milk or water to thin it to the desired silkiness. Swirl through a little fresh cream if you want it to be more indulgently rich.

6. Taste for seasoning. Always taste for seasoning – adjust if necessary. You might prefer the fieriness of white pepper? Season to taste.

7. Serve between four soup bowls (or two larger ones, depending on portion size) with some slices of crusty bread on the side, fresh from the toaster or grill and spread liberally with some proper real butter. Drizzle the soup with a little oil (plain or flavoured: your choice), a final sprinkling of the crumbled cheese, and you could add in some chopped herbs if you like, but we like this simple and seriously satisfying.

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