|Skip Garden and Kitchen|
London is a city that never ceases to surprise me. Last week, I went with my sister to meet a friend for lunch at “a green oasis” in the middle of the massive King’s Cross regeneration development: the Skip Garden Kitchen. Before getting to the food, I’ll tell you a bit about the place. It presents itself as a “moveable sustainable urban vegetable garden built in skips”. It’s moveable because it temporarily occupies a plot of land amidst the construction work which is earmaked for development. When the heavy machinery and the army of builders arrive, the garden and kitchen relocate to another plot within the area. Their current location is the fourth and possibly the last one on this site.
It’s a nice community project that involves not only young local people but people of all ages, who help with growing the vegetables and herbs, making furniture (everything is built using recycled materials, mostly from the building site around it), making jams and pickles, looking after beehives and chicken coops etc. It’s a project that excited us.
The food at the café is simple and hearty, made with some of the produce that is grown locally in the skips and pots. They make everything in their small kitchen and the menu changes daily. You can walk around the garden, eat al fresco at a communal table, or shelter inside the shack if the weather is challenging. There is a larger space above the café with a little balcony that they hire for private functions.
The whole place is full of little surprises created with the recycled materials – some of the pieces are designed by students from the neighbouring Central Saint Martin’s School of Art. The toilets are well looked after, which is always a good sign. So, if you are in the King’s Cross area or thinking about exploring, do pop in at Skip Garden for lunch or for a coffee and cake. You can, in the process, enjoy the walk around the new regenerated area.
|Veg and herb garden built in skips.|
|Mini veg and herbs pots.|
|A partial overview.|
|Greenhouse made with recycled sash windows.|
|The funky chicken coop.|
|Some of the food served at the cafe.|
Back in my kitchen
Lunch next day at my home was inspired by the food and the produce from the Skip Garden.
|Vibrant salad to enjoy al fresco.|
|Flavours and vitamins galore...|
|...finished with my savoury granola.|
Roasted beetroot salad with goat’s cheese, orange and fresh leaves
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a light main course
4-5 medium sized organic beetroots, quartered
2 medium organic oranges, sliced
180g goat’s cheese log, sliced
110g organic salad leaves of your choice
Savoury granola for sprinkling (see recipe here), as you like it
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Trim and wash the beetroots really well. Keep the skins on. Place them in an oven tray, drizzle some olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for approximately 1 ½ hour or until tender. Remove from oven and let them cool.
Assemble the leaves, beets, oranges and goat’s cheese on a salad dish. Sprinkle over it the savoury granola and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t make a dressing for it as the spices in the granola, the juice of the oranges and the olive oil all add a lovely flavour when mixed together. It’s colourful, earthy, crunchy and fresh. A really flavoursome dish. Enjoy!
A healthy note: This salad contains lots of fibre (which helps lower cholesterol and improves blood glucose control), and good fats (great for your skin health). It’s a good balanced meal. I’ve already written about the benefits of beetroot here.
Till next week!