Stratta blog

Spiced Pear Glazed gammon

Continuing our autumnal fruit theme, Mary has developed this fabulous way of finishing a gammon in the oven.  Graham Love grows wonderful fruits up at Greenways Farm near Cowbeech and he cropped some perfectly firm pears that Mary prepared, poached and spiced into the vacuum jars.

The spiced pears are great partners for cheese, scrummy additions to winter fruit salads and we have a great friend who simply reaches for the clotted cream!!

Meanwhile, back to the baked ham –

spiced pears

  • 1 ¾ / 2kg gammon piece
  • 600ml perry or cider
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • Spiced Sussex pears from stratta!

Cover the gammon with cold water, bring to the boil and skim.  Pour in 450ml of perry, add the bayleaf, black peppercorns and the juniper berries and gently simmer for an hour and a half.  Lift out of the pan, cut off any string and remove the skin.

Place the joint in a roasting tin, score the fat and press in 3 or 4 quarters of the spiced pears which have been well drained and mashed.  Add the remaining perry and a little of the spiced pear juices for basting during the glazing. (oven gas mark 6, 200C for about 20 minutes)

Serve, hot or cold, with a few thin slices of spiced pear.

Stratta blog

Squash and Rocket Salad with Pears

This time of year, as the days shorten and the air chills down, it is time almost to be thinking of hearty stews but with conference pears at their very best and the occasional warmer spells here is one for such days.

If you have a butternut squash to hand – this is a delicious and easy recipe to try.


Sarah Raven suggests that this dish can be used as a side dish without the rocket (perhaps with pan-fried lamb or pork fillet), on its own as a first course warm salad with the rocket added at the last minute, or simply as a salad, served cold.

Serves 6

  • About 1kg prepared butternut squash cut into large chunks
  • Herbes de Provence infused olive oil (stratta)
  • Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 3 firm pears, peeled, cored and sliced in to 4 pieces (Tom Maynard (In the picture above we were prepping for quite a crowd!!)
  • Butter
  • 4 handfuls of rocket or mixed salad leaves
  • Finely chopped winter savory or rosemary
  • Slivers of Lord of the Hundred cheese (


Toss the squash in the olive oil and seasoning and roast in the oven (170C/gas mark 3) for about 45 minutes until softening and beginning to char.

Sauté the pears in the butter with the herbs until the pears are slightly brown but still crunchy.

Scatter over the salad leaves when cool and top with slivers of cheese.

Stratta blog

Soused Herring Fillet with Apple & Celery Coleslaw

russet apple

We are speechless with admiration at the fantastic support the good people of Hastings show toward their fishing fleet.  The council team that create the three fish festivals are inspired, and the restaurants and producers that show their wares involve themselves wholeheartedly.  Having spent an amazing weekend at the beautiful and blustery Herring Festival we came back quite inspired.  Here is a fabulous recipe with a stratta twist for you to try.



  • 2 herring, filleted
  • Thin apple slices and watercress to decorate

For the Pickling Liquor:

  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml Stratta Russet apple vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • Half a small bunch of dill, chopped
  • Sea salt, generous pinch
  • 6 cracked white peppercorns

For the Apple and Celery Coleslaw:

  • 2 Cox or russet apples,
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 170ml plain Greek style yoghurt or crème fraiche



Use tweezers to remove any remaining visible bones from the fish.  Small pin bones will dissolve in the marinating liquor.  Mix the pickling liquor ingredients.  Cover the fish completely in the liquor and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

Apple Salad:

Cut the apple into thin strips (peel if desired) and place straight into the yoghurt or crème fraiche to stop them going brown.  Add the celery and season to taste.


Two marinated fillets of herring per person drizzled with a little pickling liquor on a bed of coleslaw.  Decorate with thin apple slices and watercress.


The gulls were enjoying the festival too; 

Stratta blog

A heart-warming recipe for the autumn.

The weigh-in at Steyning Farmers’ Market.

It is almost impossible to ignore pumpkins at this time of year.  In our case utterly impossible!

Planted in one bay of our compost heap, it took off at a great rate – climbing through the pea sticks up over the rosemary bushes and across the slate table in its struggle to engulf that corner of the garden.  The result?  Three grand pumpkins weighing in at 8, 12.5 and 15kilos apiece.  The consequence – the finest autumn recipe for pumpkin soup.

2 of our 3 mighty pumpkins!

Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup A wonderful, warming soup for lunch or supper.   Dress with roasted squash seeds or squash chips and a couple of drops of truffle oil to serve for dinner. Serves 8 as a starter

1kg (prepared weight) pumpkin or butternut squash   (reserve small slice for squash chips)

  • smoked garlic infused olive oil (from stratta of course!)
  • fresh thyme and rosemary,
  • finely chopped sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 300g Bramley cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 250ml unsweetened apple or apple and pear juice

Toss the squash pieces in the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.  Place in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, on 170C or gas mark 3, until they are soft and just beginning to char around the edges. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger, in a large heavy based pan, until soft but not coloured.  Add the squash and apples, stir in the apple juice and stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Check seasoning and thickness and liquidise.  Serve with roasted squash seeds or squash chips, a couple of drops of truffle oil and a little crème fraiche along with thick slices of brown or white sourdough bread.