This week I have been making a concerted effort to eat as much organic produce as I can – even more than we usually do. It’s all down to the Organic Trade Board (OTB) ‘Feed Your Happy‘ campaign, a month-long program of activity which is all about encouraging people to share the organic food that makes them happy – and why.
As part of the campaign, the OTB asked me to blog about a recipe that fills me with joy when I eat it or serve it to my friends. As soon as I read the brief I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use. It’s a slight adaptation of a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe from his Veg Everyday cookbook, and uses one of my favourite ingredients – the humble courgette.
To serve two, you will need:
- Organic soft goats cheese 200g
- Organic sourdough bloomer – 4 slices
- Organic courgettes x 3 (I got mine from a Riverford veg box and they were delicious!)
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Dried thyme
- Salt & pepper
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add in one minced garlic clove and three thinly sliced organic courgettes. Season with salt and black pepper and fry over a medium heat until mushy – but don’t let them catch. Once cooked, add the juice of half a lemon and remove from the heat.
- Whilst this is going on, cut four slices of the organic sourdough bloomer and toast them lightly. Whilst they are still warm, take one garlic clove, cut it in half and rub it over each piece of bread.
- Next, take the soft, organic goats cheese and spread it thinly (or thickly if you’re feeling indulgent) onto your slices of garlicky toast.
- Top each slice of garlicky toast with a generous pile of mushy, warm courgettes, and sprinkle with half a tsp of dried thyme, and season to taste.
- Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and dig in!
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it takes a simple, cheap ingredient – the humble courgette (which is in season right now) – and turns it into something totally gorgeous. Whenever I can, I use organic produce to make it, because after lots of reading around the subject, I believe that organic farming is the kindest, most environmentally sensitive method of food production. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that organic farming benefits biodiversity. What’s more, an in-depth report from Compassion in World Farming concluded that looking for The Soil Association label (the UK’s leading food and farming charity and organic certification body) can help consumers pick out products with significant animal welfare benefits. To learn more about which labels to look for when you’re out shopping, check out this guide.
Sara Cox, one of the UK’s most loved BBC presenters, is an ambassador for the ‘Organic. Feed Your Happy’, campaign, and you can find out why organic food is important to her by watching this short clip.
Do you eat organic food at home? Why do you choose it? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.