Recipe: Ryton Organic Gardens

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:59 20 February 2013

Andrew Coffey, Chef

Andrew Coffey, Chef

An organic feast at Ryton Organic Gardens, Photography by Stuart Purfield.

It all started with a comfrey plant. Back in 1954 Lawrence Hills became intrigued with the work of a Victorian plantsman called Henry Doubleday who had discovered that the comfrey plant had huge benefits - it could be made into a powerful plant growth formula, and had medicinal properties too. Lawrence Hills, and his wife Cherry, founded the Henry Doubleday Institute in Essex with the aim of promoting and researching organic gardening.

Over the years the organisation grew, moved to Coventry, and today is the leading centre for organic gardening in the country. Garden Organic at Ryton is a delightful place to visit for its beautiful gardens, to learn about organic gardening and for a meal in the award-winning Garden Caf. Chef Andrew Coffey jumped at the chance to work at Ryton after several years working in hotel kitchen. "When I worked in a hotel chain the menu we served was the same as every other kitchen in the group. Here I can cook different dishes according to what's in season and what's available." And for fresh herbs chef just has to step out of the kitchen door into the chef's organic kitchen garden.

Rump of Elmhurst Farm lamb with root vegetables and Puy lentils

Serves four

4 organic lamb rumps
2 organic onions diced
2 organic carrots diced
organic celery head diced
1 organic leek diced
Organic fresh thyme (a couple of twigs)
100g organic Puy lentils (cooked according to packet instructions)
25g of chopped organic garden herbs
100ml organic olive oil
Salt & pepper

Place lamb in a bowl with a little olive oil and sprigs of thyme.

Heat a heavy frying pan until hot then place the lamb rumps in the pan, season and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side. The lamb should be served pink but if you prefer it a little more well cooked allow 6-7 minutes each side, allow to rest for 3- 4 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile heat a pan and saut the vegetables in a little olive oil until they start to take on a little colour about 4 -5 minutes. Mix in lentils and season with salt & pepper use the vegetable & lentil mix as a bed for the lamb rump to sit on. Serve sprinkled with chopped herbs.

Swirled lemon mousse with chocolate-coated Viennese fingers

Serves four

Lemon mousse

300ml organic double cream
2 x small or 1 large organic lemon juice & zested
75g organic castor sugar
2 organic egg whites
Lemon Curd
Sprig of organic chocolate mint to garnish
Organic Viennese biscuits

Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and whisk until they form soft glossy white peaks. In a separate bowl place the cream, lemon zest and sugar and whisk until very soft peaks form. Slowly add the lemon juice and continue to gently whisk to form soft peaks, gently fold the egg whites into the lemon mixture. Take the lemon curd and swirl through the mixture serve in glasses garnished with chocolate mint and extra lemon zest if you desire. Serve with a Viennese finger.

Lemon Curd
2 organic lemons, juiced and zested
2 organic eggs beaten
60g organic butter
225g organic castor sugar


Bring a pan of water to the boil and then allow to simmer. In a large bowl place the sugar, juice, zest, butter and eggs sit this bowl over the simmering water in the pan. Stir continuously until thick - the curd should coat the back of a spoon. The curd can then be used or stored in a sterile jar in the fridge.

Garden Organic Ryton's Viennese Biscuits

15 Biscuits

150g organic self raising flour
150g organic margarine
50g organic castor sugar
1 drops organic vanilla essence
50g melted organic white or milk chocolate


Cream sugar & margarine together until light and fluffy

Add vanilla essence

Add flour mix well

Pipe onto baking trays covered with baking paper
Bake in oven 160 for approximately 8 -10 minutes
When cool dip each end in the chocolate or place the chocolate in a piping bag and drizzle over the biscuits

The Garden Caf
Garden Organic
Tel: 024 7621 7723

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