Archive for January, 2012

The Barba of Italy

The bearded wonder: Monk’s Beard is back - just £2.98/bunch

Monks Beard

No, we haven’t completely forgotten to mow our lawns all year, what you see above isn’t a pile of untended grass, but rather a most delicious and unusual treat from Italy. Monk’s Beard, or Barba dei Frati in Italian, is also known as Agretti. It gets its name from the Cappuccino Monks who were well known for growing it.

Whatever you want to call it, the taste is incredible. Rich mineral notes, with an edge of tartness and wonderfully refreshing, crunchy texture make it well worth ordering this week.

How best to enjoy it? Remove the pink root, then blanch quickly, and finish in a pan with garlic and anchovies. Its lively flavour works well with fish, in salads or with eggs.

Why not try Stevie Parle’s recipe for Brill with anchovy sauce and Monk’s Beard -
click here

BUY NOW – just £2.98/200g

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Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes are tasting amazing at the moment. These knobbly roots may share a name with the artichoke, but are a completely different vegetable. They are actually the edible tubers of a plant similar in appearance to sunflowers. They are a favourite amongst chefs for the sweet flavour. Our Jerusalem artichokes are fantastic value – read on to find out why…

Jerusalem Artichokes

Taste: These sweet and nutty tubers belong to the sunflower family but look a bit like pink-skinned ginger roots. With their mushroomy, earthy flavour and crisp white flesh, Jerusalem artichokes are delicious roasted, sautéed, braised, or simply eaten raw in salads. They make a beautiful complement to meat and fish but are also enjoyable on their own.

Region: Our Jerusalem artichokes come from Lusia, in the province of Rovigo in the Italian region of Veneto. Lying in the Po valley, this exceptional land is crossed by a dense network of canals and lands that determined farmers have been reclaiming from the water throughout centuries, creating beautifully geometric plantations.

Quality: We only source the finest grade available on the market and our Jerusalem artichokes are firm and fresh. Our buyers only select what is looking and tasting best!

Cost: We always let you know the price per kg so you can easily compare our prices!
Our Jerusalem artichokes are not only superior in quality, but they are also better value than what is usually found in the supermarket…

Natoora “Jerusalem Artichokes”: £0.84 per 250gr, £3.35/kg
Abel & Cole “Jerusalem Artichokes”: £1.45 per 400gr, £3.63/kg
Waitrose “Jerusalem Artichokes”: £1.60 per 500gr, £3.38/kg
Fine food specialist “Jerusalem Artichokes”: £8.20/kg

Prices checked on 27/01/2012

Trout with Artichoke Purée

Artichoke PureeFor the purée

500g Jerusalem artichokes
75ml double cream
80g butter
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper

For the fish

extra virgin olive oil
4 trout fillets
50g butter

For the purée, peel and chop the artichokes then place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for around 8-10 minutes until tender. Then drain and puree them with the cream and lemon juice using a blender. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a saucepan with the butter, some salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For the fish, heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Season well and when the oil is nicely hot, add to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 4 minutes until golden brown and so that the fish is nearly cooked. Turn the fillets over and add the butter. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until cooked through.

Now spoon the puree onto each plate, place the fish on top and serve with salad or seasonal vegetables.

Seeing Red…

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year is one of China’s biggest festivals, beginning this year on Sunday 22nd January (Chinese New Year’s Eve) and lasting around 15 days. The lanterns are lit, red envelopes sealed…but what about the food? Stock up on Oriental essentials with our dedicated section - shop now.

Chinese Boxes

Each year in the Chinese calendar belongs to an animal of the zodiac. This year is the year of the dragon, and those born are said to be innovative, brave, and passionate…

Be innovative: try dimsum…but with traditionally English ingredients. How about spiced leek and potato wontons?
Be brave: try something new – have you discovered the fragrant flavour of fresh bergamot yet?
Be passionate: try the fiery heat of our incredible Calabrian n’duja, delicious in our arancini recipe

Arancini with N’duja

Bite-sized Italian nibbles will make an interesting alternative or addition to traditional dim sum this Chinese New Year. Try , canederli (Italian dumplings with speck), ricotta and parmesan dumplings or arancini (deep fried risotto balls)…

Serves 4

Arancini10ml olive oil
160g carnaroli risotto rice
40ml white wine
350ml vegetable stock
30g Parmesan (grated)
40g plain flour
1 egg
80g white breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, enough to deep-fry
salt and pepper
150g n’duja

In a saucepan, gently heat the olive oil. Add the risotto rice to the pan and stir until the rice starts turning opaque at the ends. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. Then add the stock, a ladle at a time until evaporated. After about 15 minutes, check the rice is cooked and take off the heat.

Add the butter, Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix well. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for 10 more minutes until cold.

Now divide into 8 portions. Make a small ball of nduja and surround with rice to make a ball. Lightly dust each ball in flour, then dip into beaten egg and then breadcrumbs.

Heat the vegetable oil to 180C in a deep-fat fryer or medium sized saucepan. Fry the arancini for a few minutes until golden brown, then drain well on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

Purple Carrot Loaf

Carrot Loaf4 medium eggs
175g light muscovado unrefined cane sugar
160ml sunflower oil
200g self-raising flour
300g purple carrots, grated
1tsp mixed spice
100g flaked almonds
25g Turkish raisins
grated zest of 1 orange

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and grease a loaf tin, then line with baking paper.

Now mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, whisking until thick and creamy, then gradually add in the sunflower oil. Sieve the flour into the mixture and gently blend together. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Finally, pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until firm to touch and golden brown.

For a luxurious finishing touch, ice it with cream cheese mixed with a little icing sugar once cool.

Purple Carrots

Striking and delicious, purple carrots will make a wonderful change, not only for their glorious colour but also their incredible flavour. Find out why our purple carrots aren’t such a novelty food…

Purple Carrots

Taste: These refreshingly sweet and juicy purple carrots are famous for their striking colour and high nutritional value. They are full of vitamins and fibre, and beautiful too with an orange heart gradually fading into deep purple.

Region: Long before the 17th century, when Dutch growers selected the orange carrot line to celebrate their national colour, the purple carrot existed across Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Ours come from France, where the fertile soil conveys all its nutrients to this amazing carrot.

Quality: We only source the finest grade available on the market. Our purple carrots are fresh and juicy. Our buyers only select what is looking and tasting best!

Cost: We always let you know the price per kg so you can easily compare our prices. You will struggle to find this variety anywhere else!

Natoora “Purple Carrots” £2.75/500g or save 10% when you buy 1kg

Buy purple carrots online today

Prices checked on 19/01/2012

Don’t be bitter – Seville Oranges are now in season…

Natoora’s Market Report

Seville Oranges

It’s time to whip out the jam pot again – fantastic Seville oranges are now in season and ready to make the most fantastic marmalade. These glorious knobbly oranges have a thick skin and incredibly perfumed zest. Extremely bitter, they are best enjoyed in marmalade, but also used to create flavoured oils, sorbets, and orange curd.

They are only available for a short time so make sure you don’t miss out – buy today!

BUY NOW – £2.85/kg

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Scallops with Lemon, Bay and Rosemary


Serves: 4

12 scallops
4 rosemary stalks, leaves removed, but kept
pared zest and juice of 2 amalfi lemons
12 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Thread 3 scallops onto each rosemary stalk, alternating with three pieces of lemon zest and three bay leaves. Put the skewers in a roasting tin.

Pound the rosemary leaves and oil together (in a pestle and mortar if you have one) until fine and pour over the scallops. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Then preheat the oven to 200C. Season the rosemary skewers and put the roasting tin in the oven to bake for eight minutes only.


Try fragrant Kaffir Limes – now back at Natoora

Natoora’s Market Report

Kaffir Limes

The Kaffir Lime might not win any beauty contests with their knobbly skin and their small size, but what they lack in looks, they more than make up for in flavour. The peel and zest are full of a rich, exotic fragrance, simply incomparable to standard limes. Usually just the zest and rind are used as they don’t yield much juice and it is extremely powerful. Their intense, perfumed flavour is best suited to Thai cooking, where they are extremely prized.

These wonderful fresh limes are almost impossible to find anywhere else!

BUY NOW, 75p each!

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Welcome to our blog!
Welcome to the blog from Natoora. For those of you who don't know us, we sell some amazing food from our website (, from the best in fresh fruit and veg, to quality meat and fish, fine cheeses and charcuterie, and gourmet groceries. Click here to shop now!

Everyone here has a real passion for good food, not just from sourcing the very best available, but to preparing and cooking. Our fruit and veg is so good that we supply it to some of the best London restaurants such as The River Cafe, Theo Randall at the Intercontinental and The Greenhouse. With our professional and personal experience with food we have set up this blog to share our recipes, talk to other food lovers, and help you get the best out of what you buy.

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