Thanks to Isabelle Neville, Lead Grower, Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea project (CKC) for this delicious alternative to turkey! 

The Cultivating Kensington and Chelsea project, which will bring together kitchen gardens to sell locally grown produce, launches next year with plans to create a market garden site adjacent to the Olympia railway line and the Kitchen Garden site, Russell Road. Isabelle Neville will be the Lead Grower and work will start this month to build the greenhouses.

Isabelle is a community kitchen garden plot-holder whose gardening career started at the age of three in Mauritius when she was assigned the important task of gathering snails from her father’s vegetable bed and has grown into a passion which she has maintained and shared with others for many years.

Existing plot holders and budding gardeners are invited to volunteer at the CKC market garden site where training will be given on some aspects of horticulture.  For more information or an application form please contact Isabelle at or Lisa Wilkinson at

Isabelle shares with us below a festive recipe which is an alternative to the more traditional turkey at Christmas.  The recipe was handed down by her father more than fifty years ago and the leaves, herbs and garlic were picked straight from her kitchen garden plot.

ROAST LEG OF LAMB  (with kitchen-garden produce and spices)


1 leg of lamb, 1 garlic bulb, 1 red onion, whole black pepper, whole cloves, cinnamon, fresh mint, rosemary leaves, rosemary sprigs, sea salt, mint sauce.

Young brassica leaves such as kale, cabbage, khol-rabi, cauliflower, beetroot, spinach, chard etc.

For the paste

3 cloves of garlic, a chunk of ginger, 1 large red onion, 1 tsp of whole black pepper, 1 tsp of whole cloves, 1 tbs of cinnamon, a handful of fresh mint, a handful of rosemary leaves, 1 tbs of sea-salt.  Grind or blend to make a thick paste.

Preparation & cooking

Peel and slice 5 cloves of garlic lengthwise into 20 slivers and mix in with the paste.
With a small sharp knife make a deep downward incision in the lamb. Insert one of the paste-coated slivers of garlic deep into the incision and a sprig of rosemary on top.  Repeat the process all over the meat, not forgetting the sides.  Rub the rest of the paste onto the meat, place in the lightly greased oven-proof dish and pour a generous amount of mint sauce all over.  It should look like this before the mint sauce is poured over:  LambThen cook, uncovered, at 200 degrees for 20 minutes on each side.

Remove the meat from the dish and lay the brassica leaves (cut or whole) at the bottom of the dish, replace the meat, cover with a double layer of cooking foil and cook for 30 minutes at 150 degrees on each side, or until the juices run clear.

Remove foil, turn oven down to 100 degrees and leave to cook until a skewer can penetrate the meat with ease.

Remove from oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Serve with broccoli, carrots, swede, mashed or roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding!  Thicken the juices to taste and use as gravy and enjoy.

Wow. Thanks Isabelle!