As far as side hustles go, Laura Jackson and Alice Levine's is pretty sweet. The TV presenter and Radio 1 host, 29 and 30 respectively, have hosted their eponymous Jackson + Levine supperclub since 2013 – a venture that's resulted in food editing gigs, a linen collection with Habitat and a cookbook, Round To Ours (Quadrille, £25).
While shareable feasts created for the sorts of evenings that last for hours are their area of expertise (although 'experts' is a term they shun), their love of foraging, grow-your-own and of putting exciting veg at the centre of a plate makes them sustainable, too.
Here's how they do it.
Get your forage on, or try growing stuff
"Herbs are a good place to start," the pair say. "You can be mean to them and they survive. Mint is lovely at this time of year, as is lemon verbena, (great to make a tea out of) sorrel and little blue borage flowers that have a cucumber-y taste." Foraging-wise, summer is time for clouds of elderflower that can be paired with sugar and water for cordial or infused into jellies, as well as wild garlic (great in pesto). "If I go to Cornwall for the weekend with my family, we love to dig for clams then make a spaghetti vongole," says Alice. "Not for every day, obviously, but fun."
Key tip: "Only take what you need – it's important not to deplete what's there so that it can a) grow back and b) be available to fellow wannabe foragers.
Think about provenance
Obviously cutting out supermarkets isn't easy. But trying to buy what you can direct – via veg box deliveries or going to a fishmonger – reduces the amount of packaging and air miles involved in bringing you your food. "When we first met, we got a veg boxes from Growing Communities. You've got all your veg for a week in one cardboard box," Laura says. And it's a trend that's picking up steam. "People have more of a moral compass when it comes to food, nowadays," says Laura. "We're aware of the strain on the oceans from over fishing, of the environmental impact of eating too much meat."
"Eating seasonally is more sustainable by default," Laura says. "If you eat what's around you – courgettes and strawberries in summer and all that. I'd love to say that I'm organised enough to spend my summer picking and pickling, but I am into taking rhubarb from my garden and using it to infuse vodka, then take that, rather than a bottle of wine, to friends' houses for dinner."
Try proper tableware
The pair are devotees of the napkin (hence, Habitat collection.) Being re-useable, good quality linen is sustainable, too. Invest in decent tablecloths, napkins and stick seasonal flowers or foliage on the table, to keep the extras eco.
We've all witnessed the rise of the cauliflower 'steak,' and spiced, roasted broccolis as replacements to a leg of lamb, or whatever. "We celebrate veg more now," says Alice. "It used to be the poor man's option, boiled and sad." The pair say that the Ottolenghi-led move to Middle Eastern food has been seismic. "Za'atar's in so many homes now and people have re-structured their plate, with plants at the centre," Laura adds. Add in showing us the way with tahini for nutty creaminess without the needs for any animal products and you can see how he changed the game.