Recipe: kalettes with pancetta, shallots and squash

James Debbage from Green Pastures Plant Centre and Farm Shop with his festive vegatble 'Kalettes' a

James Debbage from Green Pastures Plant Centre and Farm Shop with his festive vegatble 'Kalettes' a cross between brussell sprouts and kale. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Bored of sprouts? Fancy making Christmas lunch more fun? The team at The Gardener’s kitchen, winners of the Best Family Dining Award, sponsored by Makro & Booker Wholesale, might have just the answer

“Here on the farm we love trying new things, seeing what sorts of varieties we can grow to offer customers new tastes – and to find delicious, unusual things that children will love,” says James Debbage, who along with partner Michelle Evans, runs Green Pastures Plant Centre and Farm Shop, home to The Gardener’s Kitchen restaurant.

“This year we decided to sow some Kalettes – a cross between kale and a sprout. It is a relatively new vegetable which produces these pretty little blooms of kale growing up a stem, like miniature open cabbages.

“Sprouts are traditionally a real marmite thing, people either love or hate them. But Kalettes have a very sweet nutty taste. People seem to really love them – even kids. You can roast them, steam them, sauté them or stir fry them. Here is a great recipe for a delicious and colourful side dish, perfect for serving at the Christmas dinner table - guaranteed to convert even the most ardent sprout-haters!

James says the festive period is always hectic at both the shop and restaurant.

“We are doing our Christmas menu and customers are pre-ordering their festive food. There is always a great atmosphere here in the days just before Christmas as people come in to collect their orders and stop for a mince pie and a little festive treat in the restaurant.”

Recipe: kalettes with pancetta, shallots and squash

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- 250g Kalette

- 100g pancetta

- 50g diced tomato

- 4 banana shallots (thinly sliced)

- 50g grated parmesan

- 50g squash (Preferably “Crown Prince”)

- olive oil

- sea salt

- black pepper


Simmer the Kalettes in salted boiling water until there is still a “bite” to them. Plunge them into iced water (to keep the green colour). In a saute pan, fry your shallots in olive oil until golden, meanwhile roast the pancetta until crispy. Add the Calettes to the shallots and stir-fry with the diced tomato and pancetta until hot. Season, then finish with the grated parmesan.

Green Pastures Plant Centre & Farm Shop

Mill Rd, Bergh Apton, Norwich NR15 1BQ. 01508 480734


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