CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Keep it fresh, keep it British

PUBLISHED: 16:36 08 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:02 08 July 2014

Panfried sausage and broad bean pasta / Photo: Martin Turzak

Panfried sausage and broad bean pasta / Photo: Martin Turzak


Evelyn Curtis provides three quick and easy recipes using seasonal ingredients, locally sourced

Fresh British strawberries / Photo: Denis LarkinFresh British strawberries / Photo: Denis Larkin

We now see the arrival of British-grown, early-season vegetables. If you grow them yourselves, so much the better, as nothing tastes as good as home-grown.

Summer’s first real crop of broad beans will have arrived and, as with strawberries, the beans’ arrival will be heralded by continental imports attempting to poach our British home-grown show!

When you first see beans in the shops, my advice is to check their origin carefully and boycott the impostors. Those of us lucky enough to have a local green-grocer or market to shop in will probably not have this problem.

Fish is also at it’s freshest, with sea trout and salmon top of the list.

So this month let’s make the most of summer’s first real crop of home-grown fruit and vegetables with two quick and easy recipes and a seasonal strawberry dessert.

Panfried sausage and broad bean pasta

I like to serve different variations of sausages and vegetables which include cooked pasta, and they’ve now become a firm family favourite.


Take 6 port and herb sausages; 3 tbsp olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, chopped; 1 onion, chopped; 2 courgettes, sliced; 750g (I1b 10oz) tomatoes, quartered; 250g (9oz) broad beans, podded; 3 tbsp chopped parsley; white wine 150ml (¼ pint) 400g (14oz short pasta).


Heat oil in large pan or casserole, add sausages, garlic, onion and courgettes and fry for 10 minutes until sausages are cooked, and vegetables have softened and browned. Add tomatoes and white wine, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add broad beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes until beans are tender. Meanwhile cook pasta until al dente, drain and add to casserole. Season to taste, add parsley and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Fish Pie

Salmon can be expensive, but you can use cheaper tail off-cuts or even tinned, and a mixture of cod, haddock or plaice. This dish makes a light main meal and freezes well.


700g (l½lb) fish, mixture of salmon, cod, haddock plaice etc; 50g (2oz) margarine; 2 teaspoons dry mustard; 50g (2oz) plain flour; 110g (4oz) finely chopped onion; 3 teaspoons lemon juice; ¾ pint of milk.


110g (4oz) plain flour; 50g 2oz margarine; 75g (3oz) grated cheese; salt and pepper;


Poach fish for approximately 12 minutes, drain, remove bones and skin and allow to cool. Melt margarine in a saucepan and gently fry the onion. Stir in the flour and mustard and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the milk. Return to the heat and stir constantly until the sauce comes to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the fish and lemon juice. Season to taste and then put into a large shallow baking dish.

To make topping put the flour into a bowl, add seasoning and rub in the margarine. Mix in the cheese, sprinkle over the fish mixture in baking dish. Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 350F, 180C, Gas Mark 4 until top is crisp and brown. Serve hot with green vegetable or salad. Serves 6.

Strawberry dessert

Put 450g (I1b) strawberries (or raspberries) in an oven proof dish. Cover with caster sugar and stand until the sugar is dissolved. Whip 300ml (½ pint) double cream until stiff and firm. Cover strawberries with this, then cover cream with Demerara sugar. Place under a very hot grill for 1 minute, keeping watch all the time. Leave until cold and chill for about 2 hours. Serves 4.

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search