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Petra Hallstrom, of Deal, wins recipe competition run by British Leek Growers Association

A blogger and food entrepreneur has won a national recipe competition.

Petra Hallstrom, 51, of Deal, created a leek ravioli recipe that wowed judges from the British Leek Growers Association.

Petra Hallstrom. Picture: British Leek Growers Association
Petra Hallstrom. Picture: British Leek Growers Association

It had launched a recipe competition to celebrate the British leeks season.

Entrants from across the UK were tasked with creating a recipe that used all parts of the leek and minimised waste. Petra’s entry was inspired by a traditional leek and potato soup.

The vegan dish saw Petra puree the dark green leafy flag of the leek, sauté the lighter leaves for the filling and then add charred leek through the pasta dough as well as serving it as a garnish.

Petra says: “I entered the competition because I liked the idea of using the whole leek and wanted to make the most of the different colour tones and textures. I enjoy creating vegan dishes and decided to try and devise a leek-based vegan pasta.

“Cooked leeks partner so well with other ingredients, like cheese and potatoes.”

Petra is a regular stall holder at Deal Town’s Saturday Market where she sells her own Heatonomy range of chilli sauces, jams and spice mixes.

Petra has a stall at Deal Saturday Market. Library image. Picture: Roger Charles
Petra has a stall at Deal Saturday Market. Library image. Picture: Roger Charles

These include a red hot pineapple sauce and a wild garlic and chili salt.

Petra grows her own vegetables and is a keen forager, scouring the countryside for everything from wild garlic to chestnuts. She also publishes a successful food blog – Food Eat Love, which ranks in the top 500 UK food blogs.

Stewart Aspinall, recipe competition judge and chairman of the British Leek Growers Association, said: “We were impressed by the creativity of Petra’s recipe and the fact it used all parts of the leek, demonstrating the vegetable’s versatility and that there is no need for waste. Her presentation of the dish was also exceptional.”

Petra wins a £100 voucher, a day’s food consultancy with Chef Julie Cleijne of Sustainable Food Consultants and the chance to visit a leek farm and see the crop being harvested. This will be once lockdown restrictions are eased.

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