From our own roof garden: a strawberry and fresh herb compote recipe | Providence Row

Did you know that Providence Row and Rise Bakery have their very own roof garden? Bursting to the seams with seasonal produce and flowers, our garden is also home to compost and recycling systems, solar panels, bee hives and a wormery. 

We are very proud of the fact that solar power provides 15% of the energy used by our Providence Row offices and hostel. Our roof garden also provides produce to our day centre kitchen to feed 30 people for lunch 5 days a week.

We are delighted that our multi-award winning garden has been invited to take part in the Open Garden Squares weekend (for a third year running) on Saturday 8th June.

Open Garden Squares is a fantastic opportunity to delve into London’s hidden gardens and learn about the great initiatives happening behind the trees and shrubs. Whilst we often associate produce grown in our gardens with cooking, it’s easy to forget that the same produce can also be used in baking. It’s all about elevating flavours and taking the bake to the next level!

With an abundance of seasonal fruits, herbs and vegetables available on hand to pick, bake and eat, we’re very lucky at Rise Bakery to have access to our roof garden. It’s as fresh as it gets.

This week we’ve been eyeing up our crop of strawberries, which are all rosy and ripe and ready to be enjoyed with a cream tea. At our Rise Bakery, we’ve also been talking about making jams and compotes by marrying strawberries and tayberries with garden mint. We also like the idea of making Victoria sponge cakes. 

Our Bakery Training Scheme commences in July…fingers crossed the jam will last till then! If you would like to visit our urban jungle, tickets can be bought online at Open Garden Squares (see link below). Our Providence Row roof garden will be open on Saturday 8th June only, with garden tours led by our fantastic Garden Co-ordinator Julie. There will also be delicious Rise Bakery brownies on sale and music and art in the courtyard.

Open Garden Squares Tickets

In the meantime, here is a simple garden forage recipe to whet your appetite. Hope to see you on Saturday 08th June!

Strawberry and fresh herb compote

Serves 4

  • 500g strawberries (350g diced, 150g sliced in half)
  • 0-2 tbsp unrefined sugar (or honey) amount depends on sweetness of the strawberries
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt flakes and grind of black pepper (optional)
  • Small handful fresh basil or mint leaves

Wash the strawberries. Remove stems and prepare: 350g in small chunks, 150g sliced in half or quarters along the length. Set the sliced strawberries aside, to add at the end.

Place the 350g diced strawberries in a pan with the sugar or honey and seasoning, and cook on a medium to low heat for about 10 minutes until softened and sauce like.

Remove from heat, add lemon juice, torn or sliced fresh herbs and the remaining 150g of halved strawberries.

Enjoy with yoghurt, buttered bread, sponge cake, scone, rice pudding, ice cream or simply on its own!

Providence Row is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 07452798 and registered charity number 1140192. Its registered office is at The Dellow Centre, 82 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7SA.
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