Sunday, 29 April 2012

An Aarstiderne phone app? Great idea, why not?

Did you know that there are plans to bring an Aarstiderne app to your phone? Yes, we can't give you a timeframe yet but behind the scenes the farm's techno-whizzes are working hard to put together an app that will let Aarstiderne's customers manage their accounts 'on the move': change subscription, get news about what will be in the next week's box etc etc.

This is just one of the customer requests that has come from the Aarstiderne's ideas' forum and that has resulted in action. On the forum customers can share their suggestions about what they think should be in the boxes and what they think would improve service. Ideas are put forward and opened up to comment from other customers and feedback from Aarstiderne.

You'd be amazed at what some customers have come up with: what about a box specially designed for new mothers still adapting to the changes in lifestyle that a new baby brings and needing extra rich nutritional food whilst breastfeeding? Or a box for someone who is housebound because of an accident? Or a box of champagne, bread and cheese to say 'Congratulations'? What about an sms/text-message the day before your delivery to remind you to put last week's crates out for collection?

Some ideas are very popular and they take off: later in May, Aarstiderne will be introducing a fruit and vegetable box just for juicing (together with recipes for delicious smoothies, of course!) and the great ideas for a snack bag with chocolate, nuts and dried fruit are under review. Aarstiderne's marketing team are also closing following the requests for a dessert box and want to hear from sweet toothed customers what kinds of treats they would like to see delivered to their door!

If you've got a good idea for something you would like to see added to the boxes or for a new box altogether, then join the ideas forum. Follow this link and add your comments in English or simply enter your idea in the box where it says 'indtast din idé'.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Gin and Tonic: Something for the Weekend

This morning the rain greeted the day with a gentle drumming on the window as it has done on and off for the past week. It has been wet and although that is doing wonders for the garden and all that dwells within I have to say that I can’t wait for summer to begin in earnest. 

For all those glorious day’s that demand supper in the garden accompanied by the sound of birdsong and children’s laughter. An evening table full of tempting salad’s still bursting with the scent and taste of the sun. The barbeque summoning one and all to the table with the promise of succulent, crisp, smokey meats and a residual heat to warm once the last of the sun has long disappeared. Then finally a good Gin and Tonic, for it is the drink to which we turn most often throughout the summer as an aperitif and for me a taste that summons up nostalgia in a sip.
First I like to chose the tallest glass and fill it with ice, the sound of the cubes falling into the glass never fails to satisfy. Next the lemon, unwaxed. A slice or two, never more. I tuck one slice into the ice cubes that will embrace the flavours as they melt then another on top so the smell of lemon immediately hits my nose when I take a sip. Gin to taste. Finally, tonic water that naturally jostles the ingredients together in a combination first created for the armies of the East India Trading Company in the last century.

Aarstiderne is very proud to announce the arrival this spring of the Gin and Tonic box containing Fionia, a Danish Gin distilled in a Micro brewery in Funen. Fionia-Ørbæk distillery has worked tirelessly to create a drink using the pure spirits of herbs, spices and fruits and the result is a tantalizing taste experience beyond the ordinary. Accompanied by Natural Light Tonic Water from the Ørbæk distillery, who are well known for their soft drinks and beers that are created using only organic ingredients. 
The box costs 445,00 kr and for this you will receive a 70cl bottle of Fionia Gin and 12 bottles of Natural Light Tonic water handily delivered straight to your door. Click here for more details

We shall certainly be ordering a box in anticipation of the summer that is to come, If I close my eyes tightly, I imagine that it is not rain against glass that I can hear but ice falling into a glass as the sun shrouds my shoulders in warmth.... mmmm Cheers!

Sally McWilliam

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Green asparagus tips

Don't blink or you might miss it! The asparagus season in Denmark is very short but not too short that you can't enjoy the appetising delight of the vegetable that is the harbinger of spring. Like its clean and fresh flavour, asparagus is a straightforward vegetable that only requires the quickest and gentlest of cooking (if at all) to bring salads and light dishes to life.

To trim asparagus: bend the stalk and it will naturally snap at the point where it becomes inedible. Watch Søren's video clip from Madbio for a demo (arguably the internet's shortest cooking demo!). 

Thereafter, it couldn't be easier: to cook, simply steam the trimmed stalks for 3 minutes (whole or chopped on the diagonal) or add them raw to salads, couscous or bulgar wheat. Asparagus can just as easily be grilled, thrown into the wok for a stir fry or folded into a spring risotto. 

Because cooking asparagus is so simple, things in the kitchen are sometimes made more exciting and the stalks can be kept upright during steaming using an asparagus holder but it can be cooked just as well without.

It is not only the taste of asparagus that appeals but it also has great nutritional value: it contains a lot of water and so the calorie count is low and it is almost fat-free. The tips are rich in folic acid, good for both the immune and the digestive systems. They also contain vitamins B and C, calcium and sodium and antioxidants.

Ever wondered what is the difference between green asparagus and the white variety with the chunkier stalks? Or why the long green asparagus stalks are called 'tips'? Well, the two 'varieties' are the same thing but the green asparagus is the stalk that is left to grow for longer and grows up above the ground.

This week many of the Aarstiderne boxes include a bunch of young green asparagus and amongst the recipe archives are some delicious dishes - a couple of which are translated for you below:

If asparagus isn't on your menu for today, don't forget that it can be stored for up to 2 weeks if kept in a plastic bag or damp towel in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. To freshen up the stalks, give them a fresh cut and stand them upright in cold water for a couple of hours. 

Asparagus Risotto

Put some olive oil in a saucepan, add rice and chopped shallot, stir for a few minutes and then add the white wine and half the stock. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat. Watch that it does not boil dry, add more water if necessary. Peel the white asparagus and snap off the ends. Rinse the green asparagus, snap the ends and chop to pieces of desired length. Add the stalk ends and peel to water and make a stock (boil them in water and drain) and add this to the rice for more flavour and to stop it boiling dry. When the rice is almost tender add the white asparagus and steam it until tender. Then add the green asparagus and some dill, and stir it all gently for 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the freshly grated parmesan and a little lemon juice.

You will need:

½ bunch green asparagus
½ kg white asparagus
500 ml vegetable stock 
4 tbsp. olive oil 
50 g parmesan cheese 
1 tbsp. juice of lemon 
200 g risotto rice 
½ cup white wine 
1  shallot

Asparagus Soup

Rinse the asparagus. Peel the white stalks with a paring knife from the head downwards. Cut the heads of both the white and green asparagus. Boil the white asparagus heads in a little water with some salt for 2-3 minutes and put them aside together with the raw green asparagus tips. Cut the rest of the asparagus into 2-3 inch pieces, put them in a saucepan with 4 cups water and salt. Add the potatoes and onions peeled and cut into small cubes, and cook, covered, for approx. 15 minutes until everything is tender.

Blend everything in a blender and return it back into the pan through a sieve. Boil the broth through for 4-5 minutes. Blend half with egg yolks and cream and pour it back into the saucepan. Give the soup a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and heat the raw green and cooked white asparagus heads up in the soup before garnishing with a shot of freshly chopped chervil. Serve with wholemeal bread.

(Katherine Ball)

You will need:

½ bunch green asparagus
1 kg white asparagus
2 pasteurized egg yolk (s) 
150 g potatoes
1 bunch chervil 
1 onion 
½ lemon 
500 ml water 
1 ½ cups cream 38%

Friday, 20 April 2012

Pizza: Something for the Weekend

During the working week when we bounce from one day to another with schedules bursting with travel, meetings and school activities it can be a little hard to maintain routine and family tradition. Quiet times together are so important which is why on the Thursday afternoon drive home my children are eagerly asking their most favourite rhetorical question of all, "Is it movie night tomorrow?".

Movie night is the same each week, we like it that way, as soon as the front door has closed my job is to start preparing the pizza's that always always accompany whatever film we have chosen for the evening. I'd like to say that the children wait patiently as I prepare the meal but that is not quite the case so alongside the pizza's I prepare copious amounts of carrot sticks and other brightly colored vegetables, super healthy and handy for nibbling on.

I don't know about you but by Friday evening I am pretty worn out, children can have that effect, so I am extremely grateful to be able to buy the most delicious pizza dough ready to unroll from Aarstiderne. The pizza and tart dough box provides us with two pizza bases as well as two tart pastry bases that we either use during the weekend or that can pop into the freezer ready for another day. The bases are produced by the French bakery Les Delices in Brittany and are very popular with those in the know.

Simply pre heat the oven, (I always use a pizza stone that stays in the heat whilst the oven warms up). Choose your toppings, our favourites include ham and pineapple for the boys and roasted tomato with extremely fresh mozzarella, parma ham and rocket for the grown up's. My method is to top the base with a good tomato sauce and any toppings that need heating plus the cheese, carefully place on the hot stone and bake for ten to fifteen minutes. When the dough has risen slightly and the crust is good enough to bite I remove the pizza from the oven and top with the rocket leaves and parma ham. Delicious, quick and extremely convenient.

Tonight the ritual will continue, there'll be a film for the family and we'll enjoy fresh homemade pizza together while the working week melts away just like every mouthful of soft comforting mozzarella. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

The pizza and tart dough box costs 99kr and can be ordered at your convenience here

Or alternatively call 70 26 00 66 to speak to someone at Aarstiderne directly.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Be a part of it!

Per Kølster, Aarstiderne’s resident brewery master, is a visionary whom some credit with putting the term ‘organic farming’ into our everyday vocabulary. From a background in science, Per worked both as a researcher and teacher at the Agricultural University of Copenhagen collaborating with other national and international programmes focussing on organic farming in the mid 1980s. The challenge then was to show how organic farming ideas could be made a reality without compromise to health or quality at every stage from the soil to the table (a beautiful phrase in Danish, ‘fra jord til bord’!).

In 1997, Per started his own organic farm and it was the apples in the orchard that first took him down the road to becoming a brewer. His passion for cider making led to his first book, ‘Æbler’ in 2005 and thereafter to a book on beer ‘Alle tiders øl’ in 2007.

Per came to the Aarstiderne farm at Krogerup in January 2012 and opened the brewery with the first brew, Gækkebryg, being launched a couple of weeks ago at the Easter Market. Per says that he is enjoying being a part of the Aarstiderne team and that his own vision to harvest from the land not just food but something to drink is a natural bedfellow to the organic farming work.

There are plans to plant apple trees at Krogerup too, to develop an orchard for cider making and for growing edible and cooking apples. There is so much work to be done this spring to also prepare the ground for the new ‘old fashioned’ vegetable patch, where Jerusalem artichokes, horse radish and lesser known breeds of cabbages will be grown.
Perhaps it is Per’s scientific background and his years spent in research that means he doesn’t shy away from some of the bigger questions that face farmers today. Farming, he says, like any industry, has to grapple with the challenges that the future holds. For him it’s about taking the big issue and distilling it into the things that can be done by individuals on a daily basis.
Per uses the example of the Aarstiderne boxes; customers buy a box and they ‘become part of something’. There are the events too - a wonderful opportunity for people to visit the farm and join in with what’s happening.

Inspired? Come to Krogerup and meet Per and the brewery team at a ‘become a brewer’ event on 26 May 2012. You can try your hand at brewing with a one day course that includes a tour of the brewery, a chance to tap and bottle some beer and then take home your own brewing kit!

(Katherine Ball)

Become a master brewer at Aarstiderne 

Do you have a brewer hidden in your (beer)belly? 

Beer belly or not, be sure not to miss this day out at the brewery where we will be talking beer by the bucketful! We will of course be tasting the delights of the brewery too along the way.

Brewing master Per Kølster will teach you the techniques so you can brew at home and show you how the process works on a bigger scale with a tour of the farm's own brewery.
It won't all just be about drinking though and there will be breakfast and a hearty lunch too.

At the end of the day, participants will work in pairs and tap and bottle a brew and receive a home brewing kit. For an additional 125 DKK guests will also be able to purchase a fermentation bucket.

The farmshop will be open and there will naturally be lots of good beer on the shelves there for sale too

Date: Saturday 26 May 2012
Time: 9-17
Place: Aarstiderne, Krogerupvej 3, 3050 Humlebæk
Price: 1400 DKK.
Tickets can be purchased online here (Danish) or you can all Aarstiderne direct on 70260066

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Why only on Wednesdays?

(and other frequently asked questions)

One of the wonderful by-products of this English blog is the dialogue that has begun between Aarstiderne and the English speaking community. Not just the translation of recipes that customers find so useful but also answers to questions  about the boxes, their contents, delivery times, subscriptions etc. Not surprisingly, people want to know more!

One customer I spoke with recently wanted to know, 'why only on Wednesdays?'. This customer buys the family meal box that contains the ingredients and the recipes for healthy, tasty, organic meals. She lives in Copenhagen and wanted to know why the meal boxes were only available to be delivered on Wednesdays. We were able to put this question to the Aarstiderne team and found out that things are changing.

It shouldn't be forgotten that Aarstiderne delivers to over 45,000 homes across Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The boxes are packed at the Barritskov farm in Jutland - they travel a fair distance. Not every box can be offered to every home every day of the week. However, the good news is that for customers in the Copenhagen area there will soon be more options. Deliveries to some areas will be available midweek and at the start of the week too. Keep an eye on the Aarstiderne website and click on 'Find din leveringsdag' on the right hand side of the homepage to find out if the changes will affect you.

If you are an existing Aarstiderne customer with a question or if you have browsed and tried to use the Danish Aarstiderne website but something wasn't clear, please do get in touch and we will try to help. After all, if you don't ask, you won't know!

You can leave your comments here at Soil to Stove, on the Aarstiderne facebook page or you can contact Aarstiderne (70 26 00 66) or send an email to

Here are the answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions:

Is all the produce in the boxes organic?
Yes, all produce is organic save for fish, which is not farmed but caught in the wild.

How often are the boxes delivered?
When you sign up for a subscription, boxes can be delivered every week, every fortnight or every three or four weeks. You can decide.

Do I have to sign up for a subscription?
No, you can be an Aarstiderne customer without a subscription. Simply call customer service on 70 26 00 66 or email with your order. If you are an existing customer and you would like to buy produce other than your subscription, you can log onto your account page on the Aarstiderne website and shop online for other items.

How long does the subscription last?
You can cancel your subscription at any time by calling Aarstiderne on 70 26 00 66 or by sending an email to The latest time for cancelling a delivery is up to 2 days before the date the delivery is due. 

Can I suspend my subscription if I am going travelling?
If you go on holiday and want to suspend your subscription then that is fine too, just be sure to let Aarstiderne know at least 2 days before the first delivery that you want to cancel it and when you want it to restart.

Can I make changes to my subscription?
Yes, you can make changes to your subscription - deadlines for making changes depend upon your delivery schedule. You can check here.

What time are the boxes delivered?
All boxes are delivered between 02:00 and 17:00. You don't have to be home, they are left outside your front door.

How is the produce delivered?
The 'boxes' are in fact wooden crates that can easily be stacked. Chilled produce is delivered in insulating styrofoam boxes that fit within the crates.

What do I do with the empty crates?
Aarstiderne recycles the crates and so leave them out on your doorstep before the next delivery and the driver will collect them if he has room. If the driver doesn't have room for them, hang on to them until the next delivery.

Where are the boxes delivered if I live in an apartment block?
If you live in an apartment block with a locked main entrance, then Aarstiderne can still deliver the boxes to your front door but the driver will need a key to your block (not your front door key). Call Aarstiderne on 70 26 00 66 for instructions of how and where to send a copy of your key.
If one of your neighbours in the same apartment block is already an Aarstiderne customer, you may not need to send another key. Call 70 26 00 66 and find out.

What do I do if an item in my box is bad?
You will not be charged for any produce that is bad when it is delivered to you. Simply call Aarstiderne on 70 26 00 66 or send an email to and identify the problem. Your bill will be credited.

Be assured that Aarstiderne pack all the boxes by hand and every effort is made to check the produce for quality control. However, sometimes mistakes happen or things might be damaged in transit. In those instances, customers are reimbursed.

If you still have unanswered questions, we'd love to hear from you.

(Katherine Ball)

Friday, 13 April 2012

Cold Pressed Apple: Something for the Weekend

This week the first blossom flowers started poking their way out from the dense armor of their apple tree home in our garden. Like butterfly wings their fragile petals unfurl as they venture into the air until the whole tree is completely covered in white flowers, a canopy of promise.
Through the summer months we watch as the flowers leave behind buds, hundreds of them among the branches. The strongest of which keep growing until the leaves are punctuated with bright jewel like fruits just waiting to be picked and enjoyed. Denmark is host to many apple varieties and there are indeed many ways in which to enjoy this humble yet delicious fruit.

We at Aarstiderne are very happy to be able to share with you Cold Pressed Danish apple juice from our grower, Henning Brook. Cold pressing releases the great taste of 100% pure, undiluted apple juice. The apples are mashed and then pressed so that every drop of liquid is extracted, this ‘must’ is then filtered.
Henning carefully selects the apples and checks the taste of the must regularly to ensure that it has just the right fullness and flavor. The blend we offer consists of several different varieties, which ensures the right balance between sweetness, flavor and acid. A great accompaniment to the table and a wonderful taste of Denmark.

3 boxes of Henning Brook's apple juice are available to order directly to your door for 79kr
Visit the link below to order 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

For the sake of the planet ...

Allan Savory on Erosion and Carbon bonding

Allan Savory was in Denmark recently to visit us. Mr Savory is unique in his thinking about how the planet should protect its resources and carbon bonding for the benefit of the entire globe.

He believes that 80% of the earth's land is better suited to animal pasture rather than the ploughing and cultivating of annual crops. During the last decade up to 40 million hectares of land have followed Mr Savory's principles.

But it's a surreal concept if you think about farming in Denmark, apart from in conservative and historical terms, we are meant to plough. Mr Savory's theory is based upon ensuring that livestock do not graze too hard on the land but that it has time to recover.

Letting the land recover results in anti-erosion, the carbon bonding This method is known as "Holistic Planned Grazing".

It was Thomas Harttung who had a visit from Allan Savory, he has been experimenting with these theories on Barritskov since Spring 2011. My ears simply perked up when I heard Allan talking about his experiences.


[Translated by Katherine Ball from an original post by Søren Ejlersen's on Køkkenblog]

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter cooking: Hot Cross Bun's

It's Easter morning and the family has awoken to the heady aroma of Hot Cross Bun embracing them warmly as they rise from their beds. The benefit to having a small child for whom the day began at six a.m is that I could indeed start baking early enough to have fresh Hot Cross Buns ready and on the table for breakfast a couple of hours later.

A traditional Easter bread, the Hot Cross Bun is a spiced dough, slightly sweet and traditionally filled with currants and candied orange peel or zest. The risen bun is topped with a paste of flour and water in the shape of a cross to represent the message of the crucifixion. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st the ruling Protestant's tried to ban the Hot Cross bun claiming it represented a hold over the people from the Catholic church, from whom the dough was said to originate. Yet as the humble bun proved to be far too popular to ban, the monarch relented slightly and in a compromise allowed them to be baked but only during Christmas and Easter.

So thanks to her majesty I found myself measuring out the ingredients this morning in eager anticipation of the finished product. Starting with 500 grams of white flour, an equal split of strong white bread flour and regular flour. You could use a wholemeal flour if you prefer but as these are a special treat I go with the flow of tradition and that makes my children even more grateful. Next into the mixer goes 5 grams of dried yeast, followed by 50 grams of fine sugar and a good pinch of salt. At this stage we add an egg to the mixer bowl alongside 50 grams of room temperature butter before switching it on low and mixing for two minutes.

The twist comes in the shape of the wonderfully aromatic spices that we now add in to the mix, I think it is a personal taste but we use an amount of freshly grated nutmeg and cardamon. Most English recipes call for Mixed Spice which is a pre-blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and can be easily bought. Next we add the fruit, again not the most traditional with the addition of sultanas but that is what we prefer and that is how I cook, we make things our own and the recipes in turn become part of who we are as a family. Followed finally 50 grams of candied orange peel or if you prefer the zest of an unwaxed orange.

The mixer goes back on for roughly ten minutes, by which point our dough is silkily smooth and glowing with the promise of good things to come. Then we have to leave the dough to prove for an hour to double in size. Next job is to shape the dough into ball's and place on the baking tray to again prove before the final step that turns these humble fruit buns into their alter ego the Hot Cross Bun.

Using a flour water paste we draw a cross on the top of each bun before finally placing them in a hot oven for ten minutes to bake and go golden brown. When they are ready, brush a glaze of watered down apricot jam onto the warm buns and there they will rest, golden, glowing and smelling simply too delicious to resist.

Which is just as well because at that point there were suddenly three hungry boys called from their slumbers by the spices that persuaded them from their warm cosy beds all the way downstairs to the table. We sat and enjoyed the food, little ones grateful to have their fill of Hot Cross Bun's unaware of the part they have to play in the passing of tradition. I, content with the smell and taste of my own childhood as well as with awareness that these tradition's are such an important part of life away from home. A moment to sit back and enjoy, Happy Easter.


Friday, 6 April 2012

International flavour: Something for the Weekend

France: Cheese and grapes

Last year the Sydney International Food Festival hired an ad agency to create a series of images to represent the different countries around the world. Their concept? Create each national flag from that nations more traditional cuisine. Hot dogs from America, rice with curry from India, tuna sushi from Japan, they look fantastic and inspired us to get thinking.

Australia: Meat Pie

Here are some suggestions from the Danish readers of Aarstiderne's Facebook page for their flag the Dannebrog.

"pureed beetroot with pureed parsnip"

"red and white cabbage"

"strawberries with cream"

"Smørrebrød with roast beef and horseradish"

Japan: Tuna with rice

We'd absolutely love to hear suggestions for your own flags, we must be able to cover many countries between us. Please send in your answers or, if you have an especially creative moment, a picture of the finished product that we can share with all the readers of Soil to Stove.

Italy: basil, pasta and tomato

To get the ball rolling here is my own offering. The 17th of May is Norwegian National day and so last year to celebrate I made a Norwegian flag from red berries,blue berries, pastry and custard. A family event that the children thoroughly enjoyed and it was indeed they who chose the ingredients for our flag, a case of enlightened self interest!  

Norway: summer berries with vanilla cream

Have a wonderfully creative weekend


Great Britain: Scone with fruit jam and cream

Original Photography by

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lamb dishes for the Easter table

Spring is the best season to enjoy lamb and holidays are the best time to try new recipes. As the Easter break is now upon us, we thought we would share with you some of the lamb recipes from the Aarstiderne kitchens. These three meals are easy and will not take more than 40 minutes to prepare. Let's hope for some spring like weather and maybe we can enjoy grilling the lamb outside...enjoy!

Lamb ragout with chickpeas and fennel and cabbage salad

You will need:

Olive oil
1 can chick peas
Diced lamb
1/2 cabbage
1 tsp mustard
grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt
500g tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
black pepper
500g carrots

Heat a little oil in a heavy-based saucepan and brown the meat on all sides.
Add the passata and let it all simmer for approx. 30 minutes, or until meat is tender. Add a little more water, if necessary.
Dice the carrots and add them to the meat - let them cook for a few minutes.
Add the drained chickpeas, heat right through and season with salt and pepper.
Wash the lettuce and spin it dry. Cut cabbage and fennel in as thin slices as possible, preferably on a mandolin, and toss them with lettuce. Stir mustard and olive oil together in a dressing, season with lemon zest, salt and pepper and pour dressing over salad.
This salad tastes wonderful with a generous sprinkling of toasted nuts too!

Spicy lamb kofte with easy moussaka and mint salsa

You will need:

1 cup drained Greek yoghurt
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed coriander
300g minced lamb
50g feta cheese
200g potatoes
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp salt
1-2 aubergine
1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
cucumber, lettuce and 4-6 tomatoes
fresh mint leaves

Combine the minced lamb and salt in a bowl. Add the chopped onion and spices. Mix well. If you want to test the seasoning, fry a test meatball to taste!Make small balls of the meat mixture and fry them on the hot grill. Be sure to cook them through, approx.6-8 minutes, turning occasionally.
Cut the aubergine into slices and sprinkle them with a little salt. Let them stand for approx. 30 minutes then squeeze them to remove the moisture. Grill the slices or fry them in a pan with oil until golden.Boil the potatoes in water until tender and allow to cool slightly. Cut them into slices. Stir cinnamon along with finely chopped thyme and a little oil. Turn the potatoes with the cinnamon mixture. Slice the tomatoes and feta cheese.Lay the cooked aubergine slices in a dish, add a layer of potato slices, feta cheese and then tomato. Top with a second layer of aubergine.
Serve the moussaka dish as is or warm in the oven for approx. 15 minutes at 175 degrees. Chop the mint leaves and mix with the drained yoghurt.

Whole grilled carrots and lamb chops

To serve 4, you will need:

1/2 red chilli
1/2 - 1 cup soy
4 lamb chops
3 tbsp oil
cooking foil
freshly ground pepper
100g grated parmesan
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sesame oil
2 bunches spring onions
1 bunch small new carrots

To do this:

Wash spring onions, remove the seeds from the chilli and chop into small slices. Make four small packets of aluminum foil and divide the onions and chilli between the packages. Combine the soy, sesame oil and maybe a little lemon juice, season with pepper and pour into the four packages.
Seal the foil packets and set them on the hot grill for 5-7 minutes (or bake in the oven).Cut the tops of the carrots to leave just 5 cm of green. Peel and wash them clean. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill them on the grill / a grill pan.
Take the baked / grilled onions out of aluminium packets and be sure to save the liquid. Place all vegetables on a large platter and spread the parmesan over them. Whisk together the liquid from the packets and add more soy if desired.
Brush the lamb chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill them until they are pink (about 3-4 minutes on each side). Serve the vegetables with lamb chops and the sauce.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Barley, hops and a beer that rocks!

Since the arrival of Aarstiderne's resident brewer in January, the taste of the first beer has been eagerly awaited. Today at the Easter market at Krogerup, Gækkebryg, the Easter brew and the first to come from the new distillery, was launched by Per Kølster himself.


Sharing the fruits of his labour with the market visitors, Per gave tours of the distilling rooms and there were plentiful supplies of Gækkebryg for tasting too.

In a word, the Gækkebryg is 'rich'. Different from industrial brews it is full bodied and overflowing with flavour, malty and sweet.

Per explained how the method used to brew this beer is different from the German traditions usually associated with lighter Easter ales: it is 'bottom fermented' and has taken time to mature and this is what makes it, as he describes it, a 'sophisticated' taste.

The newest addition to the Kølster collection, Gækkebryg represents a new chapter of brewing at Aarstiderne and there promises to be exciting times ahead. This week Per and his team have been seeding the new barley and planting the hops. There's to be a new orchard too and so we look forward to ciders joining the ales in future harvests.

There will be a chance to taste Gækkebryg again at the beer-tasting and meal events hosted by Per on 20 April and 9 June (see below for details).

(Katherine Ball)
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