It’s time to embrace and cherish our own food when it’s in season
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This week I’ve added the recipes for a three course lunch.
Locally grown asparagus is now available and vastly superior to imports from far flung places like Peru and Mexico.
Asparagus grown here and in the rest of the UK has a limited season – it’ll be around for a couple of months only. With this in mind I’ll embrace this verdant vegetable for as long as the locally grown shoots are around and then forget about it for another year.
We need to get back to this way of eating and cherishing food. Strawberries grown in a greenhouse in November in Holland are never in a million years going to taste as good as those grown here in the height of their season. As well as enjoying them at their best, preserve some for the months they’re not here. There’s nothing nicer than finding a jar of strawberry jam in the middle of winter, made in mid summer with pristine fruit.
Likewise when you find an unexpected bag of blackcurrants or gooseberries in the freezer out of season.
Asparagus is an easy to prepare vegetable – the stem will naturally break when it reaches a tender bit, leaving the rough part. Cook in boiling salted water or steam for a couple of minutes, toss in butter and serve.
In the recipe here it’s blanched in boiling water and then finished on a grill – this enhances its natural sweetness. It’s accompanied by a crispy poached egg and a nutty brown butter dressing.
A perfect early spring dish.
Lamb is most associated with Easter lunch but the recipe here is for roast chicken with a maple and mustard rub. Rather than the usual bunch of vegetables the recipe here is for a simple potato salad. Potatoes in their skins are boiled and then tossed in a dressing while still hot. This way they’ll pick up all the flavours. A green salad would complete the dish.
The essential part of the lunch is the dessert especially for anyone off sweet things for lent. Marveilleux is a French dessert that literally translates as “marvellous”. It consists of meringue discs sandwiched with a raspberry vanilla cream, coated in cream and dusted with grated chocolate – pretty marvellous sounding to me.