Redeem the Swede!

Local Greens, a not for profit, local, weekly veg bag scheme in Southeast London, will be holding a swede recipe contest on February 10 at the Herne Hill Market in Railton Road. 


Swede in field

Our celebrity guest judge is local foodie, Observer restaurant critic, and Masterchef guest judge Jay Rayner. He says “it is my hope that the winning entry makes a virtue of swede rather than tries to hide it.”

Swede is considered by the French to be pig food, and can be a challenge to cook with. The contest has the aim of getting people excited about cooking and eating swede.

A contestant says “I’m starting to obsess about swede. I’ve been mulling over lots of ideas and I think I’m going to make a secret family recipe, substituting swede for potato.”

Another contestant says “I’ve only just started thinking about what to cook, and I’m already keen to try using swede in different ways. You can even eat it raw!”

Field of swede

Field of swede

Contestants will be provided with swede grown organically by Sarah Green on her family farm in Essex. Sarah Green is one of Local Greens partner farmers, and her veg appears in our veg bags most weeks.

The Contest

Sunday 10 February @ Herne Hill Market 

10am: contestants arrive with prepared recipes
11am: judging commences
12pm: prizes awarded


  • The contest is open to all local residents, one entry per person.
  • Recipes must contain at least 1 cup of swede.
  • Recipe originality: you can use someone else’s recipe as long as you alter it to make it yours, and you give credit to the recipe’s author.


harvesting-swedeFirst prize: Dinner for two at Suzanne James SupperClub. Suzanne James is an East Dulwich based caterer known for exceptional food and a commitment to  sustainability. The Supperclub is a hugely popular monthly dinner held in their premises.

Second Prize: A signed copy of Less Meat More Veg, a cookbook by local food writer Rachel de Thample, which features three swede recipes. Rachel says “Swede used to fill me with dread until I started spicing it up. My favourite way to eat it is with Indian spices, roasted and mixed through a rich red curry sauce or mixed with cumin, turmeric and mustard seeds and transformed into savoury, crisp-breadcrumb-coated bites.” Rachel has worked has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon and was commissioning editor for Waitrose Food Illustrated.

Third Prize: A bottle of wine that goes well with swede, provided by Herne Hill’s new wine shop Bacchus (on Half Moon Lane at Holmdene).

Registration is open until Friday 8th Feb at 5pm at

Local restaurant Pullen’s will feature the winning recipe on the menu. Judging will be held in front of the restaurant, and the staff will aid in keeping dishes

Photographers very welcome on the day, email:

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