Eat the Seasons

March 2019

In Season this month

 Fruit & Nuts
Forced Rhubarb

Vegetables & Herbs
Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichoke Kale Leek, Onion, Pak Choi, Parsnip, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Salsify, Spinach, Spring Onions, Swede, Turnips, Sweet Potato, Wild Nettles

Meat & Game
Hare, Spring Lamb

Fish
Cockles, Cod, Dab, Dover Sole, Gurnard, Hake, Halibut, Langoustine, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters, Red Mullet, Salmon, Shrimp, Whitebait, Winkles

 

Rhubarb is absolutely top of my list of favourites at this time of year. There are so many ways to use it, and every single option is delicious! This is a stunningly good trifle that I particularly like because each element is prepared in advance, with only the final assembly needing to be done ahead of serving – easy peasy!

Rhubarb, Apple & Ginger Crunch Trifle

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

 Ingredients
85g Coarse Oatmeal
1 tsp Ground Ginger
100g Golden Caster Sugar
3 Bramley Apples (about 800g in total), peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
2 Balls ginger in syrup, chopped
700g Yorkshire Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into thumb-length pieces
Approximately 400ml of double cream
600ml pot ready-made vanilla custard (guilty secret)
300g/11oz Ginger Cake (McVities Jamaican Ginger Cake is a good option), thickly sliced
1 tbsp ginger wine

 Method:

  1. Heat the oatmeal, ground ginger and half the sugar in a non-stick frying pan until the sugar starts to caramelise and the oatmeal toasts, stirring often. Tip onto non-stick baking paper to cool, then break into crumbly nuggets. Make up to 2 days ahead and keep in an airtight container.
  2. Put the apples in a large saucepan, then add the chopped ginger, 50ml water and remaining caster sugar. Bring to a simmer, then gently cook for about 7 mins, adding the rhubarb halfway through, until both are softened, but not mushy. Add more sugar to taste, if you like, then leave to cool. Make up to 1 day ahead and keep in the fridge.
  3. Lightly whip the cream and fold half of it into the custard. Line the base of a large glass serving bowl with ginger cake, sprinkle over the wine, then spoon over the apple & rhubarb mix, draining off any excess juice. Add a layer of about half the oatmeal mixture, cover with the custard, then finish with the rest of the cream and the remaining oatmeal. Best assembled shortly before serving. Each element can be made the day before, then layered up when ready to eat.

Enjoy!

You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at info@suzannejames.co.uk

Eat the Seasons

January 2019

In season this month

Fruit, Nuts & Fungi

Apples, Pears (late – Concorde, Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Winter Nellis), Rhubarb (forced), Walnuts

Vegetables & Herbs
Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Shallots, Spinach, Swede, Turnips.

Meat & Game
Duck (end of season), Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Venison

Fish & Shellfish
Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Salmon (coming into season), Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot

In November I decided to turn vegan (again) and I have found it much easier this time around, after 2 false starts earlier in the year. I know it isn’t for everyone, but lots of you are reducing the amount of meat in your diets, so this month I wanted to share a lovely recipe, which is inspired by a recent visit to Honey & Co – I have tweaked their recipe to include more vegetables, and it is now at the top of my list of vegan favourites. If you would like to try out some more of my vegan dishes then make sure you book seats at our Vegan East Dulwich Supper Club on 22nd February at fifty seven!

Lentil Stew with Burnt Aubergine & Tahini
Makes 4-6 Portions

Ingredients:

For the Stew: 

  •   350g Puy lentils
  • 1 small red onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, peeled & sliced
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic, halved
  • 1 Red pepper diced
  • 1 Green pepper diced
  • Small bunch of rosemary & thyme, tied with some string
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil 

To Season the Stew: 

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • A generous pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  1. Place all the ingredients for the stew (apart from the olive oil) together in a saucepan and add 1.5 litres of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, skim any foam that may have come to the top and turn down the heat to minimum.
  3. Add the olive oil and simmer until soft. This will take about 30-40 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and season with the salt, pepper, ground cumin & crushed garlic.
  5. Set aside and allow to infuse for about 20-30 minutes before removing the rosemary, thyme & bay leaf.
  6. You can serve the stew straight away or reheat it later.It is delicious as is, but even better with the following:

Burnt Aubergine

  • 2 Aubergine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Take the aubergines whole and place over a gas flame or under a very hot grill and burn until the skin is charred all over and the flesh is soft. You will need to turn them every few minutes.  You can also do this in a pan with a tiny drop of olive oil if easier.
  2. Once they are soft, remove to a serving plate, slit open and, using a spoon scoop out the soft white flesh, season with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Thick Tahini Dip

  • 100g Tahini paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • A pinch of cumin
  • ¼ tablespoon salt
  • 100ml water
  1. Mix everything together to form a thick paste.
  2. If it is too thick for your liking, you can add a teaspoon or two of water to dilute.

Enjoy!

You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at info@suzannejames.co.uk